WordPress, day two

I must say that I am really impressed with WordPress after finally getting around to playing with the guts of it. There’s a built-in version to grab your blogroll and import it into it’s own linking system. Another nifty feature is the ATOM support as well as the built-in “comments only” RSS feed for those that enjoy this type of document. Much like MT’s own modding community, there’s also quite a few help sites for installing various hacks. One great feature that I am not sure is available in MT is the my-hacks.php file which is essentially a repository of your own hacks that are independent of the base code present in WordPress. So, if I have any hacks that I do not want to get overwritten when an upgraded release comes out, they will not. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I overwrote a hack in MT when I upgraded to a new version.

Luckily, I managed to find a hack for pinging Blogrolling since pinging weblogs.com seems to be a little off now (granted I think it’s more of an issue with weblogs.com than this tool). Another nifty hack is the PDA version of this blog that I found here. Sweet eh?

I got around to improving the look and feel of the site a little before I slap on a new layout later on in the next couple of weeks. As GeminiGirl pointed out, the default font selection of Lucinda Grande looked very crowded on a Windows machine with large resolutions. I had mine on 1280×1024 and it also had the same effect that she made me aware of. It was very odd however that the default font looked quite beautiful on my Linux desktop in Mozilla without the “crowding” effect that I noticed on my XP setup. I even relaxed the character spacing and I think it was just the font itself that was acting wonky so it was brought back to the good old Georgia.

I also found the section where you can create your own virtual archived pages. The way I set it up is very similar to the way I had my archives set up in MT. It uses the same year/month/day/id of the entries as I had before. However this time there are no actual pages, rather the links are recreated on the fly via some crafty mod_rewrite tags.

All in all, I am glad I made the change to WordPress. Now it looks like I am going to have to take that book on learning PHP and finally make some use of it. 🙂

A new kid in town

Things may look a little odd here over the next few days.

When I first began blogging, I hated MovableType. Mostly because I built my own CMS with some ASP and a SQL server and I did a pretty damn good job of it too. However, that Windows server crashed pretty bad, so I took advantage of my Linux box and moved my blog over there. Now rather than learning PHP and MySQL, I went to MovableType instead.

Then I grew to love it and everything it could do.

As of late however, I have noticed that on blogs with a good amount of extra curricular stuff (Recent comments, recent entries and such) and a great deal of entries, the sites tend to get very slow and quite sluggish. This is especially true when it comes to rebuilding. No kidding, rebuilding my blog took a little under a half hour and I have a pretty decent server with a good chunk of ram and oodles of processing power at my disposal. It was starting to get annoying to be quite honest and reduced rebuilding to a cron job that I ran on a weekend when it had to be done.

Plus, because of the archiving style built-into MovableType the site was swelling up in size with web files all over the place. I’m not a fan of statically created pages at all. I think it leads to bloating and to make changes, you have to rebuild every single one of them pages. So, I have been looking for another blogging tool to run this site off of. I looked at all of the major players other than MT and found WordPress to be the best out of all of them. I checked it out and even created a test install with some of my existing entries. I thought MT was easy to install and setup. MAN was I wrong! This stuff set up in very few steps and importing my entries was a cinch. This default template is rather snazzy and XHTML compliant right out of the box which I never got on a fresh install with MT. There really aren’t templates to edit because the pages are dynamically created, so you only need to edit your index.php page to make any change. Period. I have to figure out how the perma-linking system works, but it looks like it also works off the index.php page as well. What a dream! 🙂

For geeky types, you can even run the most recent version off of nightly builds via CVS. There’s an option for blogging over e-mail or your phone and I think it can also use the xmlrpc methods (like the ones in MT) for blogging over off-line tools. So far, it looks like I am going to stick with this pseudo-CMS for my blogging needs from this point on. I love MovableType and will whole heartedly recommend it to anyone seeking a good beginning blogging tool or CMS for that matter. However, there comes a time when you outgrow it and need something with a little more punch.

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Gating a directory

A short while ago, I noticed that there was some schmuck from Russia linking me to a gallery of theirs. What they did was capture my gallery site inside an iframe and showed it off as theirs. Those rat bastards took a couple of GB of traffic last month alone! Luckily, I have plenty to spare, so I wasn’t charged extra for that unusual spike in bandwidth consumed.

Obviously, that pissed me off a little, so I worked a little mod-rewrite magic. I could have easily written a javascript to bust out of the frame, but I didn’t want to have any part of that. Personally, I believe there should be no reason whatsoever for anyone to directly link to my gallery without my permission. As such, I fudged a little rewrite snippet to prevent anyone but me (well, some of my domains) to directly link to my gallery.

Obviously, if you want to use this on your site to prevent people from linking to a specific area, be very careful about it. Just drop it in your .htaccess file for the specific directory that you want to gate. I realize I’ll shut search engines out of that particular area, (I think) but I can care less about a Google Rank. Also, I never really tested this, so I am not entirely sure it will work. So far, I can’t link to this site from any of my other domains not specified, but I’m sure this can be circumvented. If anyone can help to harden this, please drop a comment. I’ll have to admit, I’m a hardcore n00b when it comes to mod_rewrite. 🙂

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://somerisebysin.org.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule .*$ - [F,NC]

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Let there be geek

Every once in a while everyone needs a fresh start.

While, I am not sure what’s going to happen to lascivious.org, it’s going to stay up for a while longer. I may give it to Devina to continue or perhaps raffle off the domain name via a contest of sorts. Who knows… I wind may keep this blog strictly related to all things techie and geeky and keep the old site for all other things Dave and Devina. Either way, I’ve been feeling like I’ve outgrown the other domain name and needed something a little more related to me. Let’s see how this ventures from now on.

However, if you still want to link to me, please use this domain instead.

Here’s to new beginnings eh??

Also, a big thank you to Lynne for the kickass header graphic up above! Doesn’t it kick ass? 🙂 Thanks <3!