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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Mon, 25 Jul 2011

BoingBoing drops Movable Type for WordPress

The recent BoingBoing post about the busy/huge web site's changes focuses on the move to Disqus comments, but the bigger news is that it's dumping Movable Type for WordPress. Even Matt Mullenweg of Auttomatic fame mentioned it.

A few years ago, BoingBoing, which does something like 1 million views per day, made the move to Movable Type from whatever it is they used until that point. The reason behind the move to MT, as I remember it, anyway, was the high availability of a statically built Movable Type site and its ability to handle the kind of traffic BoingBoing was drawing.

Well fast-forward to now, and BoingBoing's Movable Type days are over. It's still plenty popular but is now running on WordPress. I guess this means that WP is more than able to function in extremely high-traffic environments like that of BoingBoing.

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Thu, 28 Apr 2011

The search box in FlatPress only searches blog titles, not full text

I just found out that the search function built into FlatPress does not look at the text of the entries but only at the titles (and possibly the tags; I’ll have to check on that one).

I know this because I was searching for an entry, and it wouldn’t come up when searching for a word I knew was in the body of the entry but not necessarily the title.

It’s not a FlatPress deal-breaker, but bloggers might want to explore the alternatives. I’ve been using the Google Custom Search box on some of my other blogs, and that works very well.

Wed, 20 Apr 2011

FlatPress revs to 0.1010.1 to fix login/authentication exploit

If you're running a FlatPress blog, keeping an eye on the main site and the forums lets you know about any potential problems with the software as well as available solutions.

That's especially the case right now as forum member pierovdfn has released a patch to one of the PHP files in FlatPress that eliminates a potential exploit in the authentication code.

FlatPress creator NowhereMan has already updated the FlatPress code and released it as 0.1010.1.

For existing FlatPress installations, applying the patch is as easy as swapping in 21 lines of PHP code. I did it this morning, and everything is working fine.

Fri, 01 Apr 2011

Blogsum (not Bloxsom) for blogging in OpenBSD

Blogsum is a written-from-scratch blogging application meant for use in the chroot web environment of OpenBSD. It uses an sqlite database and Perl on the back end. The developer uses it for his Obfuscurity. blog.

Thanks to Chess Griffin, in whose Twitter feed I learned of this project.


Like databases, blogging and a CMS with the word "geek" in it?

I present Geeklog.

How did I find out about it? It powers Groklaw.

Mon, 07 Mar 2011

PPLOG - a flat-file, Puppy-friendly blogging system written in Perl

I got a comment from BK (it could be Puppy lead developer Barry Kauler, or not …) about PPLOG, a flat-file blogging system that — like Bloxsom and Ode — consists of a single Perl script and very little else.

PPLOG comes out of the Puppy Linux community, and Puppy is a distribution that I’ve used quite a bit since I began messing around with Linux in late 2006/early 2007. I’m thinking of using it (again) on my 1999-era Compaq Armada 7770dmt, which I recently upgraded from Debian Lenny to Squeeze. Squeeze is running great on it, but I think Puppy will allow me to squeeze (no pun intended) more performance out of this now-12-year-old laptop. The live CD will enable me to keep the disk entirely devoted to swap and storage, and Puppy is lean yet easy to configure — it’s not as bare as TinyCore.

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Fri, 04 Mar 2011

FlatPress tip: Enable the PostViews plugin and get a visitor-per-post count

I wondered why the official FlatPress blog shows the number of views per post, and mine did not.

The “xx views” at the end of every post is enabled by the PostViews plugin.

To enable the PostViews plugin, go to the Admin Area, click on plugins, then go down to PostViews and click enable.

The per-post counter starts when you enable the plugin.

Chronicle: A Perl-based blogging system that creates static files

I’m on the lookout for more small blogging systems, and via Planet Debian and a post by Debian Developer Kai Wasserbäch, I just found Steve Kemp’s Chronicle.

You can see the system at work in Kai’s Chronicle blog and Steve’s Chronicle blog. Like many of these smaller (and larger) blogging systems, it’s packaged for Debian.

This is another one I’m going to look at.

Wed, 02 Mar 2011

FlatPress and other flat-file blogging systems

I’ve been experimenting with other flat-file blogging systems, including Blosxom and Ode.

Both Blosxom and Ode are based on Perl scripts, while FlatPress is written in PHP.

Blosxom is pretty much dead, though there are many offshoots, including the Python clone PyBlosxom, the above-mentioned Ode and more, the list of which you can see at Blosxom’s Wikipedia page.

Ode has in its favor an excellent default design/theme, its mission of teaching the user Perl (since it was developed with the now-classic “Learning Perl” O’Reilly book in mind and includes two extensively annotated extra versions of the main Perl script), good documentation and an enthusiastic and inclusive lead developer in Rob Reed (Ode has its own Twitter feed as well).

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Wed, 23 Feb 2011

I did a quick install of WordPress, then killed it — I’m looking for a flexible multiple-blog system

FlatPress has been working great, but I’m still exploring other blogging/CMS systems. I already have one WordPress install on my Hostgator shared-hosting account, and I used Hostgator’s automatic system to install another WordPress instance in a different domain.

That all went well, but what I really wanted was the ability to manage multiple blogs from a single WordPress instance. I made the first configuration change needed, but I couldn’t go further.

Why didn’t it work? I think that as part of the automatic installation of WordPress in Hostgator, it used the same database as my other WordPress instance, and due to that bit of database sharing, somehow I couldn’t get the “networked” blog feature to work.

The automatic installs, whether with Fantastico or Hostgator’s newer tool, are great because you click, click, click and have a service installed, but you then have no idea about how things were done unless you dig into the configuration files.

My database knowledge isn’t exactly broad, and I think the way to learn more is to create the database myself and install and configure the blog/CMS software the traditional way.

That’s what I like about FlatPress — besides not needing a database, you drop your files on the server via FTP, make a few changes, do some configuration (it’s not all text files; there’s a lot GUI in it) and you’re going. You can move it easily, back it up easily and look at the text files that hold your individual entries.

But I still want the multiblog, and I could do it with WordPress, Drupal, or even Movable Type, which I know very well. However, I don’t think that WordPress or Movable Type will allow me to do the one thing I really do want: the ability to write an entry and than target it to my choice blogs, moving it from one to the other (or running it in more than one) at will. That’s what I want.