Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

So, new digs?

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

It looks a bit different around here lately. Sure, it’s roughly the same as what it was, but something is off.. A little bit here and there, so what changed?

Well, to tell the truth, I’ve switched blogging platforms. Don’t get me wrong, I love Serendipity. I’ve used it for years, love the features, love the simplicity. Unfortunately, Serendipity doesn’t have the greatest support for offline blogging, updates are relatively sparse, and it’s limited to just blogging. So I decided it’s time for a change.

Ok. Deep breath. I’ve switched to WordPress. Yes, yes, I know. I’ve decried WordPress as an insecure platform for a long time, but I’ve somewhat changed my thinking. The team at WordPress has done a great job ensuring the core platform is secure and they’re actively working to help older installations upgrade to newer releases. Plugins are where the majority of the security issues exist these days, and many of the more popular plugins are being actively scanned for security issues. So, overall, the platform has moved forward with respect to security and is more than viable.

I’ve also been leveraging Docker in recent years. We’ll definitely be talking about Docker in the coming days/weeks, so I won’t go into it here. Suffice it to say, Docker helps enhance the overall security of the system while simultaneously making it a breeze to deploy new software and keep it up to date.

So, enjoy the new digs, and hopefully more changes will be coming in the near future. WordPress is capable of doing more than just blogging and I’m planning on exploring some of those capabilities a bit more. This is very much a continuing transition, so if you see something that’s off, please leave a comment and I’ll take a look.

Rising from the ashes

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

*cough* *cough*

Awfully dusty in here. Almost as if this place were abandoned. Of course, that was never the case, was it. Just a hiatus of sorts. A reprieve from the noise and the harshness of reality.

But it’s time, now. Time to whip this place back into shape. Time to put the pieces back together. Time to build something new and interesting.

I know it’s been a while, but it’s time to get back in the habit. I’ve learned a lot these past years and I want to start sharing it. Soon.

Fixing the Serendipity XMLRPC plugin

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

A while ago I purchased a copy of BlogPress for my iDevices.. It’s pretty full-featured, and seems to work pretty well. Problem was, I couldn’t get it to work with my Serendipity-based blog. Oh well, a wasted purchase.

But not so fast! Every once in a while I go back and search for a possible solution. This past week I finally hit paydirt. I came across this post on the s9y forums.

This explained why BlogPress was crashing when I used it. In short, it was expecting to see a categoryName tag in the resulting XML from the Serendipity XMLRPC plugin. Serendipity, however, used description instead, likely because Serendipity has better support for the MetaWeblog API.

Fortunately, fixing this problem is very straightforward. All you really need to do is implement both APIs and return all of the necessary data for both APIs at the same time. To fix this particular problem, it’s a single line addition to the serendipity_xmlrpc.inc.php file located in $S9YHOME/plugins/serendipity_event_xmlrpc. That addition is as follows :


if ($cat['categoryid']) $xml_entries_vals[] = new XML_RPC_Value(
    array(
      'description'   => new XML_RPC_Value($cat['category_name'], 'string'),
      // XenoPhage: Add 'categoryName' to support mobile publishing (Thanks PigsLipstick)
      'categoryName'  => new XML_RPC_Value($cat['category_name'], 'string'),
      'htmlUrl'       => new XML_RPC_Value(serendipity_categoryURL($cat, 'serendipityHTTPPath'), 'string'),
      'rssUrl'        => new XML_RPC_Value(serendipity_feedCategoryURL($cat, 'serendipityHTTPPath'), 'string')
    ),
    'struct'
);

And poof, you now have the proper category support for Movable Type.

Evaluating a Blogging Platform

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

I’ve been pondering my choices lately, determining if I should stay with my current blogging platform or move to another one. There’s nothing immediate forcing me to change, nor is there anything overly compelling to the platform I’m currently using. This is an exercise I seem to go through from time to time. It’s probably for the better as it keeps me abreast of what else is out there and allows me to re-evaluate choices I’ve made in the past.

So, what is out there? Well, Serendipity has grown quite a bit as a blogging platform and is quite well supported. That, in its own right, makes it a worthy choice. The plugin support is quite vast and the API is simple enough that creating new plugins when the need arises is a quick task.

There are some drawbacks, however. Since it’s not quite as popular as some other platforms, interoperability with some things is difficult. For instance, the offline blogging tool I’m using right now, BlogPress, doesn’t work quite right with Serendipity. I believe this might be due to missing features and/or bugs in the Serendipity XMLRPC interface. Fortunately, someone in the community had already debugged the problem and provided a fix.

WordPress is probably one of the more popular platforms right now. Starting a WordPress blog can be as simple as creating a new account at wordpress.com. There’s also the option of downloading the WordPress distribution and hosting it on your own. As with Serendipity, WordPress also has a vibrant community and a significant plugin collection. From what I understand, WordPress also has the ability to be used as a static website, though that’s less of an interest for me. WordPress has wide support in a number of offline blogging tools, including custom applications for iPad and iPhone devices.

There are a number of “cloud” platforms as well. Examples include Tumblr, Live Journal, and Blogger. These platforms have a wide variety of interoperability with services such as Twitter and Flickr, but you sacrifice control. You are at the complete mercy of the platform provider with very little alternative. For instance, if a provider disagrees with you, they can easily block or delete your content. Or, the provider can go out of business, leaving you without access to your blog at all. These, in my book, are significant drawbacks.

Another possible choice is Drupal. I’ve been playing around with Drupal quite a bit, especially since it’s the platform of choice for a lot of projects I’ve been involved with lately. It seems to fit the bill pretty well and is incredibly extensible. In fact, it’s probably the closest I’ve come to actually making a switch up to this point. The one major hurdle I have at the moment is lack of API support for blogging tools. Yes, I’m aware of the BlogAPI module, but according to the project page for it, it’s incomplete, unsupported, and the author isn’t working on it anymore. While I was able to install it and initially connect to the Drupal site, it doesn’t seem that any of the posting functionality works at this time. Drupal remains the strongest competitor at this point and has a real chance of becoming my new platform of choice.

For the time being, however, I’m content with Serendipity. The community remains strong, there’s a new release on the horizon, and, most important, it just works.

Testing a new blogging tool

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

I joined this really cool network called Mac Developer a few days ago. The programmer from Celmaro, creators of Webbla, pointed me to the site. Anyway, Mac Developer is a beta testing site. Basically, developers put their software up there and let users test it. They can submit bug reports, suggestions, and contribute to making the software better. As a reward for testing software, users gain points that can be used to gain free licenses, discounts, and more.

Anyway, I was alerted yesterday about a new project up there called Blogo. Blogo is, well, blogging software. I’ve used a variety of blogging tools thus far and, to be honest, LiveWriter has been the best. However, as I’ve moved over to a Mac, using LiveWriter is, well, not convenient.

I’ve been looking for something decent to use on my Mac and thus far I’ve only found Ecto and ScribeFire, a Firefox plugin, to be somewhat decent. Neither of these seem to have the features that LiveWriter has, though. LiveWriter handles images quite nicely, even going as far as adding some on-the-spot enhancements such as cropping, adding borders, and more. The interface was actually pretty decent, especially for a Microsoft product.

Anyway, I’ve been checking out Blogo, and I figured writing an actual blog entry might give me some more insight into how it works. Thus far I’m pretty impressed. The interface is pretty straightforward and seems to have all the major features right out in the open. I don’t see anything for video, but I can handle pasting in an embed in html mode. It seems to handle images, so let’s show a screenshot of the editor in action.

According to the image tool, which you can see in action in the next shot, it handles both fullsize and thumbnail images. I definitely like that particular feature. It does not display the image itself in the editor, though, and I’m not sure how I feel about that yet. On the one hand, I suppose it’s ok. On the other, it would be nice to see the image, just to know which image is which. Though clicking on the image in the editor shows it in the little preview area, so that helps a lot and generally saves precious screen real estate.

Blogo has a preview feature as well. It accesses your blog and attempts to create a template that it uses to create a preview of the blog entry. It can periodically update the preview as well. Below, is an image of the preview feature in action.

Anyway, it’s looking to be a pretty decent tool so far. I’ll beat on it some more and hopefully get the points I need to get a discount. If not, I’m definitely interested and unless something really bad pops up, I think I may have found my new blogging tool. Here’s hoping!