MovableBlog: Archives: February 2003
February 28th, 2003
Evil RSS: it doesn't crash Syndirella (20030224) if you answer No to the 'send e-mail report to the developer' prompt.
Five minutes later: Okay, it does if you load the offending posts in the evil feed often enough.
February 27th, 2003
- PHP 5 Preview [via Simon]
- SmartyPants upgraded to version 1.2. From the credits: "Brad Choate is a fine hacker indeed." [via webgraphics]
- Some more RSS Evangelism from The Shifted Librarian here and here [via well, her RSS feed].
- Bookmark context menu for Phoenix in latest nightly builds. I echo Pinder's gratitude for this feature, if only it is because I was used to being able to this in IE.
- Requisite link to a Mark Pilgrim article: Inside the RSS Validator [via the man himself]. He does sleep, right?
February 26th, 2003
PB wonders about the ethics of using a form to post a TrackBack to a site. I'm not worried. The resulting links on my site don't contain author information, just a link to a post and an excerpt in the title attribute. (The author information, correct or not, gets sent to me by email.) Now, is there potential for abuse in the excerpt? Sure. Does it matter at this point, seeing as how I get only 200 visits a day? No. (Aside: there hasn't been any pings in the last few days: did I break it?) Plus I can—and do—delete the TrackBack's that are not related in some way to Movable Type. As for pinging my sidebar with a post written by someone else, again, I have no problem with that: there's no author information that goes public, and I envisioned the sidebar as content (not very much content, that is) that my only my readers have control over. It's just like putting a link to a post on your own weblog, except, well, it goes on mine.
Be sure to read Mena's response in the comments, too. [link via Anil]
February 25th, 2003
Just to add to what The Shifted Librarian said about RSS feeds (or, more accurately, to respond to whom she quoted), I like the fact that I can separate the content from the design. Sure, there are plenty of well designed (i.e. simple but elegant) weblogs out there (e.g. deftone.com, ktheory, dive into mark, Gizmodo, svn and the list goes on), but it's the content that is still king. Tim is right, however, in that RSS doesn't work well for media-intensive weblogs.
Number of W3C member sites with valid markup increases by more than 75% in a year!: which is to say that it increased from a not-very-impressive 3.7% to a not-very-impressive 6.5%. It's a lot easier to almost double a small number than it is to almost double a big number. [via MeFi, and while I'm at it, I'm not sure I buy Anil Dash's assertion that if you build a standards-compliant site, that Netscape 4 will render it correctly]
February 24th, 2003
MT releases 2.63 update, also offers nightly builds. From the changelog: "Fixed bug where Next and Previous links on edit entry screen skipped drafts." This evidently was consistent with draft posts and not just new entries set to draft, as I thought.
[via Brad Choate]
February 23rd, 2003
Ever wanted to close comments on your past weblog entries but didn't have the time to go through all 273 of them? (That's how many, at this writing, are on Vancouver Webloggers.) Now you can with Tubedogg's closecomments PHP script. Note that it requires MT 2.6 and must be running the MySQL version. Necessarily, you also need PHP on your system. [via scriptygoddess]
February 22nd, 2003
A few more articles cleared out of my Bookmarks.
- GeoWorks (PC/GEOS) 1.2: I had this back in the day. The neatest feature were the sticky menus. After giving up in favour of Windows (versions 2.0 up), I have yet to use an OS that has 'em.
- Google's Gaggle of Problems by Alex Salkever: mainstream online journalism continues to do a poor job of actually linking to the sites they mention. Also, this article is silent on the whole "Is Google Evil?" issue.
- Full-text searching using PHP and MySQL by Zend staff
I needed to clear some bookmarks, and here are the geekier of the articles that were there.
- WebWord Interview with Andy King on Web Site Optimization
- Amazon.com Recommendations: Item-to-Item Collaborative Filtering by Greg Linden, Brent Smith, and Jeremy York
- Advice to Microsoft regarding commodity software
- Microsoft Cleartype Tuner (turns out the default setting was adequate for me) [via kilic.net]
- news.php.net: PHP mailing lists with RSS feeds for most of them (although not the biggies)
- The Linux Uprising by Jim Kerstetter [via /.]
- Building a WYSIWYG HTML Editor pt. 1, pt. 2 by Mitchell Harper
- The Trouble with XML by Christopher Fry
- The Languages of the Semantic Web by Uche Ogbuji
February 21st, 2003
The comments for Ben Hammersley's post on NewsMonster features a debate between Mark Pilgrim and Kevin Burton. They've butted heads before. As for myself, I had difficulty installing it last night. I'll try again tonight after bowling.
I brought Mark's discussion up on the Syndirella mailing list, and there will be some limited support for robots.txt in a future release.
Also: Mark's Day 2 of NewsMonster.
February 20th, 2003
You can charge for support services (installation) as long as a commercial license is purchased, by you or the owner of the site.[...]
What isn't allowed: Someone buys one license and charges multiple clients or installs multiple instances of the software. I.E a host buys one copy of MT and then offers customers pre-installed MT.
KABLOG facilitates blogging from your cell phone using Movable Type (or "other blog servers that support blogger.getUsersBlogs as well as metaWeblog.newPost". (Well, it would facilitate it for me if my cell phone didn't suck!) It would be cool to have though, because a) I don't have a laptop, and b) I always have these great blog post ideas while on SkyTrain and not while sitting at home sitting at my computer.
Since it's apparent I don't know where to find them, can someone point me towards a repository of icons for RSS and RDF feeds? There are some elegant ones out there, and I'd like to change the de rigeur white-on-orange XML icon (which, admittedly, goes nicely with this site's colour scheme) to something prettier.
Unrelated: hopefully nobody linked to the category archives that until recently were on each post's footer. At least three of them need to be renamed: 'Mozilla/Phoenix' to simply 'Mozilla', 'HTML/CSS' to something like 'Web Design', and 'XML/RSS' to simply 'XML'. Partly because for truth-in-advertising (e.g. Phoenix will eventually change its name, but will always be associated with Mozilla), but also partly so I can add an XFML link for this page (for no other reason than to understand-by-doing).
February 19th, 2003
Mark Pilgrim: why NewsMonster is bad (and what you can do about it).
Custom Error Pages with PHP and Apache: I thought the first bit of code was inspired, but then the author gets into dynamically generating content based on the URL, and even gives code for a smart URL redirect à la PHP.net, both using error documents.
It's very bad of me to quote without attribution here—okay, from top of the thread to the bottom, and using first names only, it's Ryan, Keith, Peter, and Erick—but this quote represents what I love about the sfu.unix newsgroup. Very geeky, and very picky about things sometimes. And often very off-topic. (This is part of a thread discussing my alma mater's consideration of removing all Microsoft products from the lab computers and going open-source.)
>>>(single point of failure) inter-campus link at DC in all of 2003, it
>>>will have operated at roughly "one nine" service levels for the entire
>>"One nine". Useful phrase, that. Covers the whole huge range between 9%
>> and 99%.
> Actually no, in this context it refers to the number of 9s after the
>decimal point (with %99. being assumed). The public telephone network typically
>strives for 5 9s reliability (i.e. 99.99999 uptime). One 9s reliability is
>considerably less reliable ...
Wrong, five 9's reliability is 99.999% uptime. The correct way to look at this is the number of 9's after the decimal point with "0." being assumed. One nine is thus 0.9, or 90% uptime.
This allows "nines" to be used as fractional units on a log-scale like decibels
"Zero nines" would mean no uptime and "half a nine" would be about 68% uptime.
"Five and a half nines", 99.99968% uptime. Works nicely, doesn't it?
I've been lurking in the newsgroup for at least 6 years now. Also, the sfu.test newsgroup has some of the funniest rejoinders to test messages I've ever seen.
XFML is an XML format designed to ease indexing, publishing and sharing of hierarchical metadata. Important concepts include topics, facets and occurencestrength. Peruse the spec for XFML 1.0, and be sure to check out the Movable Type template for XFML. The software compatible with XFML is listed, but evidently a PHP/MySQL solution for authoring in XFML is coming soon. Is there no PHP parsing solution available yet? [via feature request in MT support forum]
Some links found while traveling while browsing the Syndic8.com site and through web searches:
- MagpieRSS, which is a PHP module for parsing RSS feeds
- PHP and XML: Parsing RSS 1.0
- a document—very much a work-in-progress (e.g. the Movable Type website is movabletype.org, not movabletype.com—on how to access RSS within Movable Type
If, after posting in Movable Type, you're getting error messages like the following...
One or more errors occurred when sending update or TrackBack pings. Check the Activity Log for the error.
...and it directs you to your error log, giving you something like this...
Ping 'http://rpc.weblogs.com/RPC2' failed: HTTP error: 500 read timeout
...then you need not worry too much. This from Ben in the support forum:
This isn't a problem with MT. The pings were always failing--MT just started telling you about them, because for many people, they didn't know why they weren't appearing on the updated lists, etc. So it's helpful to know what is going wrong.
The fact that the error (the first quote above) appears in red led me to suspect that it was indeed a problem with MT, but evidently, like Ben says, MT is just letting you know about what has always been occuring on weblogs.com (or blo.gs, as the case may be) anyway.
Two links, culled from Anil:
- Accessify.com- tools and wizards to help you build an accessible website (the accessible pop-up window generator is neat because it's coded in DHTML, which leads me to wonder how accessible that page is)
- Overture Buys Altavista - quoth Anil: "for the sake of perspective, this affects many times more users than Google/Pyra, and is worth orders of magnitude more money"
February 17th, 2003
Due to legal reasons, the Chimera browser for the Mac will be renamed, probably to Camino. It's funny that when I first read the announcement, I totally knew people would ignore the post and suggest names. This thread at the Phoenix forum got entirely out of hand (at time of writing, it contains 1678 posts!), so I don't blame pinkerton for disabling comments.
Leave it up to Jason Kottke to redesign Blogger in the Google mold, although if it were up to me, I'd change the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button to "Get Lucky". He also (necessarily) has some comments on the acquisition, although I have to wonder about the comparison to Netscape, which ended up getting bought out by a faceless corporation (although not the faceless corporation Netscape users were most afraid of).
February 16th, 2003
Six Apart have released MT 2.61, a bug-fix release.
Jenny at The Shifted Librarian (one of my favourite weblogs these days, not least because she includes full entries in her RSS feed) has aggregated some posts on the Google's latest acquisition, and has some comments of her own.
Hidden secrets in Movable Type 2.6: I noticed it too during upload of the upgrade. Now, if only I could figure out how to exploit it fully.
[via sidebar Trackback > Phil]
Some resources I consulted looking at the
Basically I was trying to figure out the best way to format inline quotes (as opposed to block quotes. At great risk of embarassment, I'll using the
em tag for inline quotes, unless there is a better alternative (NB: I will not be using the
February 15th, 2003
As seen at 12 million other blogs by now: Google Buys Blogger.
I looked at the calendar, and it's a month and half until April 1st. What gives?
Update Feb. 16, 10:35 AM:
So I've upgraded one installation (the one that powers MT blogs on the richarderiksson.com domain) and so far so good, except that the bookmarklets do not have the "Add new category..." option in the "Primary Category" drop down menu. For me, it's going to be one of the most
abused features of MT 2.6. That and the Text Formatting plugins especially TextileFormatting. That there's a MovableJive plugin is just...awesome.
This has been bugging me for a while now: the status bar in Internet Explorer 6 in Windows XP isn't consistenly displayed after closing the browser. A simple Google search found this page: Tip - Always Display IE6 Status Bar. Hopefully that will solve the problem.
There are quite a few beta chapters of O'Reilly books available. The chapters for Google Hacks should keep me occupied, at least for a little while. Update: nevermind that, the chapter from Python in a Nutshell looks more interesting (and time-consuming), since, well, I don't know anything about Python.
Back in my live concert trading days (i.e. summer of 2001) I used the following freeware programs extensively:
* EAC: Exact Audio Copy, used to extract tracks from audio CDs to WAV format. The 'exact' part was important, because live show CDs have no gaps, so each WAV file needs to have the exact amount of audio in it (i.e. down to the milisecond) for it to be reburned without any skips or gaps. [EAC documentation]
* mkwACT: Michael K. Weise Audio Compression Tool, used to compress WAV to SHN—a lossless compression format for easier transfer of huge WAV files over the Internet—or to MP3 (which is lossy). [mkwACT documentation]
I started out getting some shows via the Etree.org, which have a policy of only facilitating trades between 'taper-friendly' bands (i.e. bands that allow fans to tape the concerts and trade them without any money changing hands) and then set up trades through my trading website (powered by MT, of course). The software above was (and is) indispensible for trading live music online.
February 13th, 2003
MT 2.6 Released! I may wait a day or two before upgrading my (gulp) three installations of MT, though.
And there was much rejoicing. Okay, bad joke, and it's even worse than you think, my being an atheist/agnostic (if you can believe it, I switch between the two). Interesting tool for faith-based blogs, one of which I follow, uh, religiously.
Six Apart Log, Phil, David and Kottke discuss Reversible.org, which, if I understand correctly, is an amalgam of open directory, public referer log, and Trackback repository (similar to the sidebar of this site, except not limited to MT-Related posts; as an aside, this sidebar is starting to get Trackback Spam).
My guess? Learn how to exploit it now, because it may turn out to be similar to weblogs.com. I remember getting a lot of hits from it early on, because a) its traffic was high, b) the amount of pings was, compare to now, relatively low, and c) the name of the personal blog I pinged from is fairly unique. Now my hits from weblogs.com has slowed to a trickle (the name is still unique, but it gets buried in the amount of weblogs pinged in small amount of time).
February 12th, 2003
"[Gecko's] robust support of a wide range of standards, it's speed, flexibility, and portability make it an excellent candidate for use in PC based systems, as well as Internet appliances (remember Touchpad?), WAP browsers, game consoles 3, set-top devices, even those wonderful dot-com refrigerators."
February 11th, 2003
Mena reports that NetNewsWire 1.0 works with MT, but categories are problematic.
February 10th, 2003
Keyboard and iconic shortuts in MetaFilter for latest builds of Mozilla: awesome! Now if only MT Bookmarklets could work properly in Phoenix/Mozilla, all would be as one.
[first link via Movable Type Support Board]
MT Plugin Directory: looks pretty comprehensive to me. [via...well, my referer log]
Last night, looking for a transparent windows manager, I found the open-source Froost. The interface needs work, and I had trouble restoring it from the system tray, but it was pretty cool having a full-screen Unix shell (through Putty) while being able to see the windows in the background. Consider Froost the open-source version of Actual Transparent Windows which will set you back 20 clams.
February 9th, 2003
The fine folks at O'Reilly have released a beta chapter of Content Syndication with RSS by Ben Hammersley. There are some typos (e.g. "Its author, Dave Winer, did not invent any new practices with this specification, but did codify RSS in a far more precise way that [sic] the Netscape original..."), but it's cool that they're releasing a chapter even before the estimated March 2003 publication.
Importing LiveJournal Entries to Movable Type: it looks more than a little cumbersome, and LiveJournal does have certain advantages over MT (e.g. friends-only posts, a neat little desktop client), so if you're willing to join the MT revolution as a LiveJournal user, it's not without its costs. [via scriptygoddess]
February 7th, 2003
Ask (for screenshots of MT as appears in Lynx) and ye shall receive.
Since the sidebar gets pushed to the bottom in some resolutions, I'll get you to read the full post in the individual entry.
The login screen. Lookin' good, except for that alt attribute on the images.
The next 4 images show the blog menu screens. Lots of [spacer.gif] blocks.
The following screen is page 4 of the Edit Entry screen. Again, [spacer.gif] blocks.
February 6th, 2003
Expect a final decision on the future of MovableBLOG soon. I'm leaning very heavily towards conversion to a geeklog with emphasis on MT. Of course, that would leave the Trackback sidebar in limbo, and would need to create categories and maybe 'about me' pages as well. But my Sunday is free, so it should get done then.
Home Network Security [Recommendations]: The main reason I'm unworthy of the label 'computer nerd' is that my knowledge of security is, well, limited. Up until recently, there was no firewall installed on my home computer. And it cost me.
February 5th, 2003
I'm using my copy of MT from Lynx because at work, a telnet connection is the only one that seems to have any permanence. MT doesn't look too bad in Lynx: overall the navigation is fairly easy, but there is work to be done. [spacer.gif] blocks take up quite quite a bit of 'screen' space, which could be eliminated with a reliance on CSS positioning, or with a combination of alt and title attributes in the img and a tags respectively. Also, skip-to tags could eliminated some navigation weirdness.
Then again, how many use Lynx to blog? No, that's an honest question. Is it a big enough deal to make the MT CMS itself that accessible?
February 4th, 2003
David has a request for proposals concerning the Pluging Manager. You can comment on his proposal in his comments section or his forums section. Via MT-Dev.