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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Sat, 21 Sep 2013

Blogging with files stored at Dropbox and Evernote -- it's a thing


Mon, 11 Feb 2013

Ubuntu developer Mike Rooney, who was blogging with Octopress, moves to WordPress

I see via Planet Ubuntu that Ubuntu developer Mike Rooney, who had been blogging with geek-favored Octopress, has now moved to WordPress.

He acknowledges that most people seem to be moving it the other way (from WordPress to Octopress), but he cites a few things that he couldn't get past in the Ruby-on-one-side, static-HTML-on-the-other world of Octopress:

  • Hard to set up on OS X
  • Doesn't like Markdown
  • Hates lack of copy flow
  • Wants portability in composing entries (from machines without his private key)

WordPress has all of this, of course. It's not geeky sexy like Octopress, or the Jekyll project on which it's based.

Acknowledging that something isn't working for you and seeking something that does? Nothing wrong with that. And a whole lot right.

By the way, I love Markdown. And you can get it in WordPress

Sun, 13 Jan 2013

Benjamin Mako Hill moves from PyBlosxom to WordPress

Big-time free-software personality and developer Benjamin Mako Hill has moved his blog from PyBlosxom, the Python-coded Blosxom-style blogging system, to WordPress. He details his reasons in this post.

Thu, 27 Dec 2012

Two new users of the Chronicle Blog Compiler

I'm a big fan of Steve Kemp's Chronicle Blog Compiler, available direct from Steve's site and in package form from Debian and Ubuntu.

I noticed recently that two Debian Developers, Gregor Herrmann and Nathan Handler, have moved their blogs to the Perl-based, static-rendering system.

As with many static-blog compilers out there, I don't really have Chronicle figured out from a user perspective -- I run Ode, which isn't at all static but is coded in Perl and is fairly easy to get running on most shared hosts.

One of Chronicle's notable features is native comments. I don't know of many other flat-file (static or dynamic) blogging systems that don't rely on Disqus for commenting.

Aside from eliminating a task for developers, a big reason to use Disqus and not to code a native commenting system could be the spam problem. For that reason, Disqus might very well be the best solution out there. But I've seen many users of blogging software who are uncomfortable (or not comfortable) outsourcing their comments to a third-party site.

Steve Kemp has a whole site/service/program at BlogSpam.net that deals with the spam problem in blog comments. It's definitely worth a look, as is the whole of Chronicle.

However you look at it, the option to host your own comments is a good and viable one, as is the option to outsource them to Disqus or even Facebook, as Anil Dash does.

Note: While I remain interested in the landscape, if you will, of blogging software, I remain committed to Ode as my personal-blogging platform of choice, even as my "professional" life is all about WordPress. More on this in an Ode-focused post in the near future.

Fri, 21 Dec 2012

Nikola, a static site/blog generator written in Python

A peek at the Planet Python blog aggregator (I'm a big Planet blog fan, in case you didn't know) clued me in to a project I'd never heard of before: Nikola, a static website/blog generator.

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Mon, 29 Oct 2012

My new, old WordPress blog

Click, the blog I write under the auspices of my employer, has moved from Movable Type to WordPress.

The move was prompted by the company's decision to phase out Movable Type, which they've been using since the MT 3 days.

I can't say I'm surprised. While there's a certain flexibility in what you can do in Movable Type (like setting up any number of feeds and kinds of HTML output without regard to themes), the multiblog capability is integrated in a way that WordPress isn't anywhere near, and every damn thing is a static HTML file (if you want it that way), the platform is getting creaky, there's not much of a community, especially compared to WordPress, and the whole WP ecosystem of plugins and themes is pretty much nonexistent.

That said, I got to know Movable Type pretty well, I will miss it, I have to figure out how to build a whole lot of stuff that is easy (and already built in MT).

But there are so many things that WordPress brings to the proverbial table, things I'm learning about as I go, that it's going to be an equally proverbial adventure.

Fri, 05 Oct 2012

The PyBlosxom blogging software isn't dead, but it's not terribly alive either, plus why I use Ode as my flat-file blogging system of choice

PyBlosxom, a very worthy project that took the Perl-based Blosxom and re-did it in Python, has been slow, development-wise, for a long time now.

In recent months the project was near death, but a new maintainer is at least watching over what's left.

Not that Blosxom is an active, living project, because it isn't.

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Tue, 12 Jun 2012

WordPress: What am I doing wrong?

OK, here's the deal. In Ode I can get any kind of output I want through the project's infinitely flexible theming. In Movable Type I can create any number of custom Javascript output files that draw on the blogging system's database.

So how do I do this in WordPress? I'm looking into child themes (I confess that I've -- horror of horrors -- modified the main theme in a WordPress blog), but I need EXTRA theming. What I need is the ability to tap the blog database for custom HTML output that includes only the elements I want with accompanying HTML so I can display that output on other sites.

It's so easy to do this in Ode and Movable Type. Why is it so hard (or seemingly so) in WordPress?

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Mon, 11 Jun 2012

Allowing the use of multiple themes simultaneously would solve many #WordPress problems for me.

Tue, 22 May 2012

Blosxom in Github

I don't know what it means (and it could very well mean nothing), but Blosxom is now in GitHub.

Crawl through these files to find out more.

This file in particular says:

Welcome to Blosxom 3.0, the future of the Blosxom self-publishing system, coming soon to a computer near you.