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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.

Fri, 06 Apr 2018

My new Ode microblogging site is live

I've been thinking for a while about breaking out my social/microblogging posts and putting them on a separate site mostly because the number of these short entries quickly outpaced the number of "regular" posts.

They're different kinds of content, and I think having them on separate sites works better.

I now have a live microblogging site, also based on Ode, and I'm experimenting on how to tweak the Ode theme(s) to better accommodate what are traditionally considered social posts, meaning they don't have a title and are just a block of short text.

I copied the contents of the /updates directory over to this new site, but I haven't yet removed them from this site, nor have I set up my scripts to automatically publish on the social site. When I pull those entries here, I'll have to make a few tweaks to make sure that the Counter add-in isn't needlessly counting a directory that no longer exists and also isn't counting stray text files in the themes directory.

I've also been working on the .htaccess file and have finally succeeded in creating an Ode blog at the web root that doesn't require /cgi-bin/ode.cgi in the URL. The main reference on how to do this comes from Ode's predecessor Blosxom, and that has always worked for eliminating /cgi-bin/ode.cgi in favor of a subdirectory (I usually use /blog), I've never been able to also make this rewrite work for a web root itself, but once I figured out that you represent the web root in regex with ^$, I was well on my way to figuring it out.

Here's what I have so far:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /cgi-bin/ode.cgi/$1 [QSA]
RewriteRule ^$ /cgi-bin/ode.cgi [QSA]
Options -Indexes
IndexIgnore *.txt

URLs with /cgi-bin/ode.cgi will still appear and resolve, but that part is not necessary when requesting pages.

My next .htaccess hack, which I would also love to use on this site, is adding a / to the end of every URL request. That would eliminate many Ode errors because the system expects a trailing / on all requests for directories (meaning http://stevenrosenberg.net/blog/ode/ will work but http://stevenrosenberg.net/blog/ode will not).

For the past couple of days I've been working on getting the microblogging site up and running, and I haven't been doing any posting of microbloggy content, which at this point would still be on this side because all of my scripts are set up to feed this blog.

Once I get some things set up, I can and will use this site for my social posts, and I will be able to remove them from here and make this site smaller and not overrun with short entries and links.

Aside from the basic functionality, most of what I'm doing on the new microblogging/social site is stripping away functionality -- removing add-ins, taking out theme code -- to make the social site a focused tool that gets its one job done without any unneeded extras. I even removed titles from the post displays, though I haven't yet done that from the RSS feed.

The split of the two sites should make each one more focused and easy to navigate and read. That's the idea anyway.

I haven't built a new Ode site in quite a while. It's been a lot of fun, and I do recommend it.