OK, Seems I've been tagged too now.
So I'll oblige! Not sure I can find 4 other people to tag though...Does that mean I will lose my job, get run over by a truck and not get any christmas presents?
Four shows I enjoy:
Four jobs I've held:
NewsFire is clean, simple and fast and had me drop NetNewsWire within two minutes of playing around with it. Hey! It even accepted all my feeds from NetNewsWire through drag and drop. Mac software is really going from strength to strength!
The migration continues. Parallel to migrating this blog I'm also set up a project weblog using Blojsom, for a project I'm currently doing in Copenhagen. The idea is that all developer use this to post design ideas and ask questions, with commenting being used to facilitate discussion.
This seems to be going quite well. The upshot of course is that all project discussion in one place and can be easily exported elsewhere or archived (everything is just a text-file).
I've having some trouble setting up a secondary documentation blog on the same server though. I guess I must be missing some configuration somewhere. When I get it to work it will be really neat though.
The main sections of the project's documentation will be blog categories and the chapters will each be postings. That way it will be possible to:
This will be sweet!
Recently I took a long hard look at Blojsom and I must say I liked what I saw. Simple, clean, fast and Java based. Apple will apparently ship it with Tiger.
This has started me thinking about migrating to my own blogging environment again. Typepad is slow again after the recent speedboost, and the amount of new features and improvements to it is negligible. All the while it is costing me money and I just don't feel I'm getting proper "ROI" from it.
Parallel to this me and Hans are investigating build a simple Java gallery tool that could tie in to Blojsom. Who knows how that might end up...
After my last post, ranting about dynamic publishing systems, I decided to take a look at WordPress for myself. What is more I decided to do so on my Powerbook.
It turned out to be very easy indeed.
First I cleaned up my old Fink installation. I've never used any of the Fink packages I installed eons ago (incl. mysql) and I couldn't get the mysql package to run properly at all. A simple rm -rf /sw did the trick.
Next I found MySQL and PHP via Marc Liyanage's site, which turns out to be an excellent resource for running popular OSS solutions on the Mac.
Following the instructions on how to install both packages is trivial (just double click the installers and make a small ownership tweak with chown for MySQL). After this the usual <?php phpinfo() ?> test worked like a charm already. It had even started Apache for me.
Next WordPress itself. The installation really is as simple as it says on the site. Unzip the package, edit wp-config-sample.php and give it the login-name and password you use for MySQL (if you follow Marc's instructions you should have this info. For instance "root".). It also needs the database name. This triggered me because I wasn't sure it meant an existing database or one it would create. Just to be sure I created a database by running mysql -u root -p (enter password) and telling it CREATE DATABASE wordpress;. After this I could tell it exit. Having created the database and entered its name in the php-file I saved it as wp-config.php.
Next I just move the entire contents of the WordPress directory to the sites directory in my homedir and opened http://127.0.0.1/~myname/wp-admin/install.php. It gave some warning (which might have been something to do with the database already being there, so I perhaps I could have skipped the database-creation step. Anyway, the installation is a wizard. You just click through it, it gives you feedback on what it does and after a few clicks you're done and you can log in to your new WordPress installation.
Very simple. Very clean.
Once I've had more time to play with it I might report on WordPress itself; its features and problems... For now, if you are thinking about using WordPress you know installing it, at least, isn't hard.
With the whole MT3.0 debate raging on, I feel compelled to voice my opinion on the matter (not that anyone will read it).
As you can see, I'm a TypePad user and a happy one at that. I do however have a server I could use to run my own publishing system. This means that one day I might want to migrate my blog to this server instead. Installing MoveableType would be the most logical choice, but as things stand I won't do that.
The reason for that is that I do not think MT is worth the money. Since I've never met or talked to the MT authors and likely never will I'm strictly neutral in the whole "they spent so much effort and should be rewarded" discussion. To me this is simply a product that is being offered at a certain price-point. A price-point that I do not agree with. This isn't about not wanting to pay for software or about demanding that every bit of software in the world should be "free". This is simply about bang for buck.
So what is my beef exactly? Well, I think that $99 (or even $299 if you consider that running AdWords might be construed as being "commercial") for what basically amounts to a static webpage "manager" written in Perl is too much.
Sure, you can argue that the actual value to a Blogger is more then $99. I might even agree with you. If however, you look at the great variety of content management systems out there (Blogging systems are just a subset of this) you'll find that there are tons of these systems which are either free or very nearly free. You'll also find that a great number of them are dynamic systems, which do not need to "rebuild" that entire site every time you make a change. The concept of "rebuilding" is so embedded in the blogging world that people hardly think about it any more. Some of the contenders, like WordPress, even use the fact that they don't need this as a benefit. It should be the other way around for Pete's sake! MT should come with a label saying: "Warning! Needs to rebuild your entire site every time you make a change!".
Database-centric dynamic content management systems have been around for years and years and are the de-facto standard. Why? Because building them isn't rocket-science! I've built them myself, in both PHP and Java. Hell me and a friend even built one using C-based CGIs back in '96. That ran a very succesful BeOS news-site called BeView on a 486 without any caching (i.e. writing out "finished" HTML pages to disk and serve them instead) at all!
And even if your system can't use a database to do dynamic publishing it still should have to "rebuild" anything if stuff changes. Simple server-side includes would take care of most of the problems. And since with CSS there is no need for any presentation information to be present in the HTML most of the rest can be (or is already) solved too.
In languages like PHP and Java using databases isn't hard, especially when you are using persistance frameworks like Hibernate it almost comes for free.
If you want to see what a (free in this case) Content Management System can do, look at Ariadne. Its PHP based, is properly dynamic, has features like visual HTML editors (yes, inside the browser), user management (so you can make certain content available only if people log in), multiple language content, a PHP-dialect you can use inside the page, plugins and more.
You could run entire professional websites like ZDNet.com or something on it if you wanted to.
And oh yeah, it is Open Source. Is the author poor and lonely because of that? No. He runs a very succesful business implementing this system for corporate customers.
But does it do RSS and commenting out of the box? No. But you could probably make it do that relatively easily if you knew some PHP. And this is just one example of the systems that are out there.
All things being equal I'd rather donate to one of these projects then to pay for a system that even after a relatively feature-poor "archicture-upgrade" still isn't dynamic.
Of course being "dynamic" isn't the be-all and end-all, and in the form of Typepad (i.e. with extra services and hosting added on top) it is workable as it is. But when it is being sold separately, as the flag-ship product of what is arguably the most well-known blogging-company in the world, it just feels old-fashioned and clunky.
Oliver is back from holiday in Dubai. What is extraordinary about this (besides the mind-blowing decadency of it :-)), is that he managed not to blog at all for the entire duration.
Perhaps blog-o-mania isn't as crack-like as one would have thought.
This strikes a blow for getting out and away from the computer! For experiencing the great outdoors! For giving that significant other some much needed attention! For the notion that geeks too can be well-adjusted individuals!
Or perhaps he just cheated...
Basically this will be my third attempt at a weblog. The first being LiveJournal (which worked OK for quite some time), the second being a self-hosted version of MT (which I never posted to).
No idea why this would work, but I'll give it a try all the same. The thing is my friends blog, or some of them do. Well Oliver does anyway. Although I understand the phenomenon and eventhough it looks and smells like something I should be "in on", I haven't been, unless you count the LJ thing.
Consider this blog a (final?) try to see what I've been missing. Blogging therapy for the non-blogger. I'm skeptical...