Posts tagged "blogging"

Full content RSS feed

blogging
I hope that I might have fixed the RSS feed here so that it once again shows full posts rather than just a summary. I did this using a combination of Jack Baty’s tips and Hugo’s own updated RSS template, with the .Summary entry changed to .Content. I found that I could stick with rssLimit: 15 in my config file, but I guess that might also change in upcoming versions of Hugo. Continue reading →

All change on the fonts front

blogging geekery

You might notice a bit of a change to the appearance of the pages around here. I’ve changed the way that I define how the fonts are rendered, and in the process I have switched the fonts that I use. I had used Typekit for about five years, which enabled me to select from a range of fonts and then easily include them in my CSS file with a bit of Javascript boilerplate. It was a nice system, though it did generate a bit of overhead on page loading. Nevertheless, I was quite happy with it. Then Adobe acquired Typekit and doubled the annual subscription rate. There’s now no limitation on how many fonts you use, but given that I only need a handful at most, that doesn’t work in my favour. So I decided to ditch Typekit/Adobe Fonts and load some webfonts myself.

Continue reading →

Trying out Commento

blogging geekery
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been looking around for a replacement to Disqus for handling the comments on my blog. It’s a tricky thing to manage because I’ve got a bit archive of comments that I want to preserve. The system obviously needs to handle this static site, but also enable commenters to comment easily, without needing an account if they don’t want to create one. I ended up coming across Commento, which seemed to fulfil all of those conditions. Continue reading →

Keeping track with Fathom

geekery blogging

For much of the time that I’ve had a blog, I’ve kept a vague eye on its visitor numbers in one way or another. I’ve used a variety of different tracking methods from the no-longer-supported Mint, to Matomo (formerly Piwik), and the usual Google Analytics that everyone uses. I’ve always favoured simpler web analytics, as my needs are very simple, but those have been increasingly difficult to find. Since it opened to beta testers, I have been using Fathom Analytics, and I have been really happy with how it works.

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Hugo photoblog

geekery blogging

I’ve had an itch for a while to create my own photoblog site. Flickr is convenient, but it doesn’t feel like your own site, and you can’t style it the way you would like. I’ve tried other photo hosting options, but they have the same kinds of issues. Lately I’ve wanted to host my own stuff in my own way, using — as far as possible — simple frameworks that I understand and can maintain. I have been working on it for a while, but I’ve finally got my Hugo-based static photoblog setup to a presentable state, and made it public. Here’s how it works.

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Using Huginn

geek coding blogging

My recent tinkering with Slipstream and micro.blog has been going quite well. The convenience of automatically piping my social media activity elsewhere to Tumblr has certainly resulted in more frequent posting there, which was my main goal. While IFTTT is easy to use, it has its limitations, but I didn’t know of any alternatives. That was until I accidentally came across Huginn.

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Using Hugo

blogging geek hugo

As I wrote about earlier, I’ve just finished moving this blog from Pelican to Hugo. I was so impressed with Hugo after setting up Slipstream to use it, that I fancied trying it here as well. Not that there’s really anything wrong with Pelican — it’s a great system, with a lot of flexibility. It’s just that Hugo has two big advantages, the first of which is particularly useful to me, as I’ve got such a large site: speed.

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RSS feed change

blogging

I’m going to write more about it later, but I wanted to quickly post about a change to this site. I’ve switched to using Hugo to run this site, and in the process decided it might be time to rationalise my feed address. For various historical reasons1, the old address for the feed was very convoluted. I resisted changing it (even though it no longer made sense), because I’ve found that doing anything with feeds is fraught with confusion and difficulty.

Anyway, it’s time for me to bite the bullet and just change it. This may well break things. More than likely you’ll also end up with notifications of new items in your feed or duplicate items, or any number of other configuration horrors. I’m truly sorry about that, but I just don’t know how to avoid it. The new main feed address is this one, but there are also now individual feeds for each tag, if you’d like to follow a particular topic. The URLs for those can be found by clicking the RSS feed icon at the bottom of the tag page you’d like to follow.

More later!

Slipstream Mark Whatever

geek blogging

It seems like only yesterday that I was converting my neglected Slipstream snippets blog to a Wordpress installation. I originally did it so that I could use IFTTT to provide some of the content automatically by pulling in stuff I had posted elsewhere (like Flickr, Pinboard and so on). That was a good idea, and it worked reasonably well, but two things became apparent quite quickly:

  1. I am really bad about keeping Wordpress updated, and with all the hackers out there trying to spam Wordpress sites, that’s a dangerous game to play. I hadn’t yet been targeted, but my feeling was that it was only a matter of time. You should be able to hit a button in the Wordpress dashboard to update, but due to my particular set up, that wasn’t working and it had to be done manually, which is to say, never1.
  2. I was never really happy with the styling. Ideally, I wanted to format each of the types of post differently depending on the content. I’m sure if I was better at modifying Wordpress templates, I could have accomplished it, but that was beyond my abilities.
Continue reading →

iPad to Pelican

geek blogging
You may remember that I wrote about a month ago about my Hazel workflow to enable me to publish blog posts from my iPad. That has been working well for me, but it was — by my own admission — a rather gaffer-taped together solution. One minor problem was that I my iMac isn’t awake all the time, just most of the time. So the publishing workflow is most vulnerable when I’m away from home (and I most need it), and my iMac is likely to be asleep. Continue reading →

iPad to Pelican Update

geek blogging
As an update to this post, it predictably didn’t quite work the way it was supposed to. It fell at the building hurdle, but I think I’ve fixed the paths now, so this should work. Fingers crossed!

Publishing from iPad

blogging
If everything goes to plan, this post should appear on this blog, after having been written and auto-published from my iPad. I realised that I could use Dropbox and Hazel to write on any Dropbox connected device and get my home iMac to automatically build the site using Pelican and rsync it to my Linode server. It works like this: I write the post on my iPhone or iPad using any Dropbox-enabled notes application (I happen to like WriteUp), saving the article in a Dropbox folder called Drafts. Continue reading →

Spring Clean Design

blogging geek
I’ve been pretty busy over the past few weeks for one reason or another. Exam marking and other administration has been very intense, and Mr. Bsag had to go in for planned surgery on his foot, which generated a bit of domestic upheaval. Things have calmed down a bit more now, and I’ve had time to finish my spring clean of this site. If it has worked, things should look a bit different around here. Continue reading →

Feed issues now sorted out

blogging
I had one or two problems with the Atom feed that happened just after I moved from Feedburner recently, but which were actually my own fault and nothing to do with that transition. During a previous update of Octopress, I think I must have forgotten to update the source for the Atom feed. I therefore didn’t have the latest version in which the contents of the feed are surrounded by CDATA blocks. Continue reading →

Moving from Tumblr

blogging geek
Since I moved my stuff to Linode, I’ve been on a bit of a digital self-sufficiency drive. I’ve tried as much as possible to move all my stuff (at least the stuff that I put some effort into creating) to my own VPS, and keep it in a format that I can easily move somewhere else or use again. Where that isn’t possible or too much trouble1, I’ve tried to move to services that do the old-fashioned thing of charging money for services or products, rather than providing something ‘free’, while exploiting the ‘customer’ for advertisement revenue or whatever. Continue reading →

Pseudonymity and the Internet

geek blogging
Over the past few months there has been a resurgence of arguments about anonymity and pseudonymity1 on the internet, sparked off by Google Plus’ faintly ridiculous policy of requiring ‘Real Names’, where their idea of a Real Name is somewhat narrow and excludes many names real people have on their birth certificates. As someone who has participated and interacted online under a pseudonym for nearly 9 years, I obviously have a keen interest in this debate. Continue reading →

Octopress Tweaks

geek blogging
After getting some feedback about the new design (the consensus seemed to be that the fonts were TOO BIG), I’ve tweaked the design and structure slightly. I’ve added back the link under each post’s title that shows how many comments there are, and which links to the comment thread itself on the individual article page. Previously it wasn’t as clear as it might have been that there was any way to comment, unless you visited the individual article page. Continue reading →

Octopress

geek blogging
Yes, it’s not just you — things do look a bit different around here. I’ve been tinkering again1. A week or so ago I noticed Octopress. It’s not a full-blown static blog generator, but a framework around Jekyll designed by Brandon Mathis. I looked briefly at Jekyll when I converted to nanoc recently, and thought that it wasn’t flexible enough for my needs. It turns out that I didn’t really understand how to adapt it for my needs, because it’s working really well for me now. Continue reading →

Nanoc

blogging geek code
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve switched to using nanoc to generate this blog, so I thought I would write a little bit about why I chose it and how I switched. There are many static site generators out there, but when I looked into them in a bit more depth, nanoc stood out because of its flexibility. I also really like that fact that it was written in Ruby and that you could choose which templating system to use. Continue reading →

All Change Again

blogging nanoc
You’ll have noticed that the site looks a bit different again, and that there are a few structural changes too. I’ve been tinkering again, I’m afraid! I’ve been writing this blog for just over eight years now, which I wouldn’t believe myself if the evidence wasn’t in front of me. In that time, the blog has been powered by a variety of different bits of software. I started with Tinderbox, exporting text notes to HTML and then uploading them to form a static site. Continue reading →

ExpressionEngine 2.0

blogging
I've just upgraded to ExpressionEngine 2.0, a process which was not without it its glitches. I think I've got them sorted out now, though I seem to be having trouble with the feed still. Let me know if you notice that anything is broken. I've still got to sort out the Twitter Timeline in the sidebar, but apart from that, things should be OK.

Off for a week

blogging
I'm sorry for the silence around here recently: things have been hectic to say the least. I'm just about to fly to the Netherlands for a conference and other work business for a week, so things are likely to remain quiet for a bit longer. I may get a chance to post something if I get some wireless access, but time will probably be more limiting. Once I've got over the hassle of travelling, I'm quite looking forward the trip, as I've never been to Holland before. Continue reading →

Twitter to Disqus

blogging
Here's something I meant to mention a while ago: I've set up my Disqus account (which provides the commenting service here) to allow people to sign in using Twitter. So now — if you have a Twitter account — you don't have to have sign up with Disqus or comment as a guest. Instead, you can use your Twitter credentials (via OAuth) to sign in, and as a bonus, you can Tweet your comment automatically. Continue reading →

Revived tumblelog

blogging
I've just revived my old Tumblr tumblelog, slipstream. The latest version of Tumblr has some very nice features, and now with Disqus, I can get commenting working there too with very little difficulty. I'm probably going to use it for short posts and links (particularly for photographs, audio and video posts, as Tumblr is set up nicely for those) and leave this blog for longer articles. That's the plan anyway! I've gone through several different styles on slipstream over the past week or so, so the appearance may well change again before I feel comfortable with it. Continue reading →

Updated style

blogging
I've been meaning to update the style of the site (again) for a long time, because it had got rather hard to maintain. After spending a lot of time this Christmas migrating the site, the last thing I really wanted was to spend more time tinkering with the style, but it was the best time to do it, so I gritted my teeth and tackled it. There's not a huge visual difference, but it's much more organised behind the scenes, and uses the Blueprint CSS framework, which is much neater. Continue reading →

Happy Christmas

blogging
I probably won't be posting for a little while. I've got various family visits to make, and I've got to move all my various web sites to a new server. The latter will be lovely when it's done, but is currently causing me some headaches. At some point during the move, I'll put a temporary message up on this site while I'm shifting the virtual furniture around, but you should be directed to the new site automatically when it's all done. Continue reading →

RSS feed has moved

blogging
An admin announcement: Feedburner has been bought by Google, so they are now administering the RSS feeds for this site. The feed should be redirected automatically to the new URL, but if it isn't, then please update your RSS reader with the new URL for the feed: http://feedproxy.google.com/butshesagirl. I've changed the URLs on the page (such as the link in the sidebar to the right) to point to the new location. Continue reading →

Trying out Disqus

blogging
I've been having issues with comments on this blog for a little while. I love seeing people discuss things I've posted about and I think it adds immeasurable to the content of the blog. However, I've had a problem with spam comments for a little while. An Akismet plugin handled things well for a time, but recently I've been getting spam that seems to be manually entered, and superficially looks like a legitimate comment, so Akismet doesn't catch it. Continue reading →

Comment moderation turned on

blogging
I've been getting a fair bit of spam slipping through Akismet's fingers recently, so I've decided to turn comment moderation on and see how it goes. Please feel free to comment as usual, but remember that your comment won't show up immediately. If you are a spammer, your comment won't turn up at all!

Trying out Flock

blogging
I'm trying out Flock (a 'social web browser') following a recommendation from Martin Polley as a way of integrating ma.gnolia bookmarking into the browser. My timing was poor, because there's a problem at the moment with posting bookmarks to ma.gnolia from Flock because of a temporary problem at ma.gnolia's end. However, I tried it out with de.icio.us, and it was a pretty seamless process. I'm not quite sure what to make of Flock. Continue reading →

Cocoalicious

blogging
I've been using ma.gnolia for my online bookmarking for a little while now, and the non-private bookmarks appear automatically in the sidebar of this site. I like ma.gnolia a lot, but I've had a tendency to use it mostly for bookmarks that want to publish on this blog, and largely in a write-only way. Part of that is because it always seems like a bit of work to log in to ma. Continue reading →

Leaving again

blogging
It's that time of year again when I have to pack my bags to go to Brazil for three weeks to teach a course. As usual, I haven't got nearly as much organised before my departure as I'd hoped. I had planned to write a few articles to forward post here, but -- well -- that didn't happen. Frankly, I'm amazed that I seem to have got things organised for the trip, but I'm paranoid that I've forgotten something vital. Continue reading →

Feedburner adverts

blogging
If you subscribe to my FeedBurner feed you may have noticed (or will notice) small adverts at the bottom of each article, which have appeared recently. I haven't actually seen them myself yet, because the first ad appeared to be geographically targeted to US readers, but they are supposed to be appearing in the feed right now. It's a bit of an experiment, really. For one reason or another, I could really do with a little extra income right now (well, I could really do with a lot of extra income, but I'm not greedy or optimistic), and while I don't want to put adverts on the site, I thought that having adverts in the feed might be less annoying for readers but bring in a little bit of money. Continue reading →

Feeds redirected

blogging
Prompted by some problems with my RSS2 feed in Bloglines reported by David (thanks, David!), I've redirected both the Atom and RSS2 feeds to the FeedBurner feed. The biggest headache I've had in my frequent flits between different software tools for publishing this blog is breaking the URL for the feed. There are quite a few people who subscribe to the feed and rarely visit the site itself, so if the feed goes quiet for a while, they just think that I've stopped writing. Continue reading →

Feed(ing) frenzy

blogging
Following the transfer to ExpressionEngine to run this site, the hardest thing to get right has been the feeds. That's partly because they are inherently somewhat tricky, and also because caching in feed readers and browsers makes it very hard to debug. Anyway, I think that I've got it sorted now. I've set up two ways to access the Wings Open Wide feeds, so that people subscribed to the old feeds should start to see content again (thanks to David of fuddland for the reminder that I'd broken it). Continue reading →

Transferring from WordPress to ExpressionEngine

blogging
As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I've recently transferred this site over to using ExpressionEngine (EE) from WordPress. WordPress is an excellent tool, but if you want to do a bit more then EE is really superb. The templating system takes a little while to get your head around (not that it's particularly difficult, it just does things a little bit differently), but once you have, there's more or less no end to what you can do. Continue reading →

Tinkering abounds

blogging
If any of you visited earlier, you will have noticed either an "under re-construction" page, or a big 'ole mess. I've been tinkering again (not that this will be much of a surprise to anyone). I used to run this weblog using WordPress, which I still think is a very fine bit of software. However, a couple of things made me think that it might be worth a bit of work to port this blog over to ExpressionEngine. Continue reading →

Formatting glitches

blogging

ExpressionEngine and XyleScope

blogging
At the weekend, I finished the long-overdue re-design of my project site for Tracks^1^. I used to use Textpattern to run the site, but while it was pretty powerful, I found doing some advanced things a little tricky. I spent a while looking around for other solutions, and eventually decided on ExpressionEngine Core. You have to pay for the Personal version, but the Core is free for non-profit use and has the all the features I need. Continue reading →

Upgraded to WordPress 2.0

blogging
I've just upgraded to WordPress 2.0 (always a somewhat nerve-wracking process). Things generally seem OK, with the exception that the commenting form has gone AWOL. Previous comments are being displayed, but there's no form to add new ones. Update: OK, I think that's go it. It was a rogue plugin. Let me know if there are any other screwy things.

Back in the country

blogging
I'm back. I'm very tired but I had a fantastic, productive, awe-inspiring time in Brazil. Right now I'm ploughing through a huge pile of emails, but once I've sorted myself out a bit, slept, eaten some real veggie food for the first time in three weeks (most emphatically not rice and beans), and of course caught up with the hubbie, I'll start writing about some of the great experiences I've had. Continue reading →

Repeats

blogging
Well, I'm flying in a few hours, so this will be the last live content for three weeks or so. Mr. Bsag is under strict instructions to look after himself, the house and the garden (in that order), and I've promised to phone him as often as I'm able. I didn't like to leave But She's a Girl... with the lights off, so I've resorted to a common broadcaster's summer practice; I'm posting repeats. Continue reading →

Amazon Media Manager

blogging
One of the first plugins I installed when I moved to WordPress was Amazon Media Manager. It's a handy way of getting the details of various Amazon products on to your site easily, so that you can link to books, CDs or DVDs you're interested in. It also includes your Amazon Associate ID in the links if you have one, which removes a number of otherwise very tedious steps. I used it to power the media links in my sidebar for a long time, but somewhere in the upgrade to WordPress 1. Continue reading →

Service restored

blogging
Sorry about the MySQL errors a little earlier — my fault. It's been one of those days...

Upgrading TextPattern

blogging
As some of you may know, I've been using Textpattern to run my project site, Tracks (more on why I made the decision to use Textpattern rather than WordPress later). Textpattern 1.0 RC3 came out last week, and when I eventually got around to thinking about installing it, and I couldn't believe how straightforward it was. I followed the instructions for upgrading via svn which are detailed on the Textpattern forum, and it was simplicity itself. Continue reading →

Mind the dust sheets

blogging
I'm just in the process of upgrading to Wordpress 1.5, and some things are temporarily broken. Bear with me while I fix stuff up. If you saw brief flashes of either nothing at all, 500 errors, or completely different stylesheets, that was me frantically trying to sort things out. :-D

hobix

blogging
{width="365” height="223”} In the course of keeping up with Ruby-related things, I came across a weblogging engine written in Ruby and called hobix. The hobix homepage could well be the maddest I've ever come across; the tagline "hobix: the white pantsuit of weblahhing (sic)" gives you fair warning. Hobix is written by _why the lucky stiff (his friends call him _why), who is also the evil genius behind Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby (of which more later), and the excellent RedCloth (combined Textile and Markdown format markup in a Ruby library). Continue reading →

Trackback spam

blogging
I'm under a bit of a torrent of Trackback spam at the moment. It's particularly nasty content, and — as yet — very difficult to block without blocking Trackbacks totally. So that's what I've done; until someone comes up with a counter-attack, I've turned Trackbacks off. In fact, I've also changed the permissions on wp-trackback.php to 700 so that it can't be executed. It still doesn't stop me being notified of the trackbacks, and I still have to delete them manually from the moderation queue. Continue reading →

del.icio.us linkage

blogging
I used to use MagpieRSS to pull my del.icio.us links into the sidebar on this site. It worked very well, but I've had problems in the past when the cache directory has become unwriteable because of permissions problems. The feed is then fetched every time someone loads the page, which is obviously very bad news for Joshua's bandwidth, not to mention contravening the terms and conditions for the del.icio.us service. Continue reading →

Arrived

blogging
Well my DNS has propagated now, and it seems as if my move between hosts has been relatively uneventful. I think that I've put everything back more or less where it belongs, but if you spot anything that's broken, missing, or not where you expect it to be do let me know. My move wasn't prompted by dissatisfaction with my previous host, Blogomania. They have been great hosts: reliable, great value and — apart from a small blip a few months ago which is now resolved — giving great support. Continue reading →

Spam Karma

blogging
I read about a clever anti-spam plugin on the WordPress Development Blog. Spam Karma assesses comments on multiple dimensions to determine their 'spaminess'. It also tries to prevent any false positives at the same time as minimising the effort required to moderate comments manually. I've installed the plugin now, as I've periodically had problems with comment spam (though nothing like the level of spamming I got when I was using MovableType). Continue reading →

Quoted

blogging
A reader^1^ emailed me to point out that part of my rambling entry about MacExpo (embarrassingly, the most rambling part) had been quoted in the 'Voices from the Web' column in the latest issue of MacUser. I subscribe to the magazine, but I'd been busy, and hadn't had a chance to open the issue — it was quite a surprise. ^1^ I feel an irresistible urge to add "...a Mrs. Trellis from North Wales" at this point, but that would baffle people who don't listen to I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. Continue reading →

Feedburner

blogging
I've just discovered Feedburner. It's a service which takes your RSS or Atom feed and splices in bits of other content or functionality. So — for example — you can produce a 'SmartFeed', which dynamically delivers the correct format (RSS, RDF or Atom) to a the reader, or you can splice in feeds for your last few flickr images. It's free, so I set one up out of curiosity, which you can find here. Continue reading →

MT 3.0

blogging
This is the kind of thing that always happens when I go away for a few days; this time I came back to find a storm of web traffic discussing the long-awaited release of Movable Type 3.0. As I switched to WordPress last month, I can sit back and read the war of words without worrying about whether I should upgrade or not. An article by Mena (one of the developers), has received — at the time of writing this — 661 trackbacks. Continue reading →

del.icio.us feed

blogging
I had been thinking for a while that I'd like to incorporate some quick links in the sidebar to things that I've read and enjoyed, but I was still deciding on the best way to do it. There are some nice WordPress solutions, like markku's excellent wp-recent-links, but I was feeling exceptionally lazy and thought that there must be another way to do it. Then I remembered the service which allows you to quickly mark and categorise links, and display them publicly: del. Continue reading →

Commenting on comments

blogging
Mark Bernstein has been commenting on comments on blogs (if that isn't too recursive for you). He wrote: Comments don't belong in weblogs. I don't agree, at least in a global way. First, I think that people are entitled to make whatever they want of their own weblog — it's their own space. Some people see their weblog as a kind of considered thinking space which they want to control quite tightly. Continue reading →

Comments feed issues

blogging
The comments feed seems to be behaving a little erratically, and is only updating intermittently. I'll look into it and see if there's a way to fix it. Anyway, the main posts feed seems to be working fine. I meant to point out yesterday that there are also feeds for the comments on individual posts, if you are following a particular discussion. The link is just above the comments form on the individual entry page. Continue reading →