Archive for subtext tag

Notes on the move to WordPress

The change to WordPress from Subtext went without major hitch. This was great considering I was tweaking the design and articles right up to going on holiday (I wouldn’t do this in a professional environment but my blog is a sandpit for such dare-devil risk taking ;-)

Here are my notes on the experience.

Spam

Akismet is good but I prefer the invisible captcha that Subtext was using. I’ve gone from dealing with 1 rogue spam a month to 1-2 held for moderation a day.

View counts

The WordPress import format doesn’t deal with view counts. I wrote a query against Subtext to list them, a query in MySQL to identify article numbers then manually executed

UPDATE post_meta SET meta_value = meta_value + 123 WHERE meta_key = 'views' AND article_id = 456

For every article replacing 123 with Subtext’s view count and 456 with the WordPress article id. As my blog was previously on Blogger.com which doesn’t provide view counts they are a year or so lower than reality.

Preserving links

I chose a custom permalink format of /blog/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname% which gives http://damieng.com/blog/2007/10/01/first-of-october for posts. This is similar to the old format of http://www.damieng.com/blog/2007/10/01/first-of-october.aspx but obviously has the file extension and www dropped. Apache’s .htaccess file made redirecting the old links a breeze which was important to me as my blog suffered big drops in Technorati and Google when I last moved from Blogger.com to Subtext. The required lines to achieve this, redirect /blog/ and keep the RSS going were:

RedirectMatch permanent ^/blog/archive/(.*).aspx$ http://damieng.com/blog/$1
RedirectMatch permanent ^/blog/$ http://damieng.com/
RedirectMatch permanent ^/blog$ http://damieng.com/
RedirectMatch permanent ^/blog/rss.aspx http://damieng.com/feed
RedirectMatch permanent ^/blog/Rss.aspx http://damieng.com/feed

Editing

The default editor is fast and for the most part okay although it lacks the ability to change from the default paragraph tag to headings, preformatted blocks, blockquotes etc. It also very annoyingly tries to be helpful by turning carriage returns into new paragraphs which would be fine if it was clever enough to leave <pre> blocks well alone.

Steve suggested FCKeditor which is very slow at initialising on my machine and also tends to really mess up my HTML :(

Going forward

There are still a number of things I want to do including further deviating from the Redoable theme. Lightening up the look somewhat perhaps with some soft gradients and alternative typefaces will go a long-way. I’ll also want to do a proper logo at some point as soon as I can decide what it should look like.

Being that WordPress is a higher visibility target Phrixus suggested hiding the wp-admin directory as an extra level of protection against automated vulnerability/brute-force attacks which I shall also try.

I need to speak to GrinGod about the download counting mechanism he mentioned too.

The original Blogger.com content from a year or two ago will be phased out/removed as it would appear it dilutes my page rank having almost-identical content elsewhere not to mention messing up traffic stats etc.

[)amien

Moving home

I have been planning on moving my blog off my little Windows Shuttle PC at home onto a hosted service for some time and the latest flurry of activity followed by DSL line meltdown was enough to give me the nudge I needed to get the job done.

Rob Conery provided a useful .NET/Subsonic app to make the transition from Subtext about as painless as possible bar the obvious one of going with a PHP based solution when I know .NET is a better technology.

I simply felt the .NET blogging engines didn’t give me what I want right now and yes, I know I should be contributing to them to get them where I want them but I’m just so busy on various projects that if I was coding a blog in the evenings I wouldn’t be writing on it. Hopefully the great, and no doubt equally busy, guys behind those engines will forgive my little foray into WordPress for a while.

The non-blog parts of the web site (yes, there are some, with downloads, fonts, cursors, little tools and a mini-biography) will be integrated with the site shortly and the theme will probably gradually change to something more me. I also want to add a few extra things, the tag cloud and identicons for a start.

The title of this post also has a second meaning… yes, I’ve put an offer in on a house and will hopefully be taking possession in around 6 weeks providing nothing goes wrong.

Your invite to the house warming party will be in the post…

[)amien

My development tools

Christopher Bennage wrote about his development tool set-up and encouraged others to do the same so here’s my current set-up.

Daily tools

  • Visual Studio 2005 – IDE of preference despite it’s sluggish behaviour
  • SQL Server 2005 Management Studio – Took getting used to but it’s an improvement on 2000’s Enterprise Manager
  • AnkhSVN - Subversion support inside Visual Studio 2005
  • .NET Reflector – Searching .NET API or to find out what it’s doing
  • Web Application Projects – Stop using VS’s web sites and start using web applications!
  • Web Deployment Projects – Deploy to dev, test or live servers as easily as building a project

Not quite daily

  • CodeSmith – Need to get to grips with v4 to build our whole database layer in one hit
  • Trac – Bug tracking, milestones & wiki with integrated support for Subversion
  • TortoiseSVN – Check-in/out of non-project items (e.g. art assets)
  • Web Developer Extension – Trying CSS changes on-the-fly, validating pages etc. from Firefox
  • Firebug – Examining pages, the page DOM etc. from Firefox
  • KDiff – Excellent 3-way diff tool that works great with AnkhSVN
  • Subtext – Blogging system running here

On occasion

  • Visual C# Express and XNA – Messing with 3D graphics, controllers and pixel shaders
  • Ogre – Steve’s object-oriented 3D engine
  • XCode and Cocoa – Still quite alien with it’s message-based calling mechanism but obviously powerful

Keeping an eye on

  • Eclipse – IDE for developing Java (C++ and C# support in various stages too)
  • Ruby on Rails – Interesting RAD approach to web development – Apple also supporting on Mac OS X 10.5
  • Sandcastle – Microsoft’s documentation tool that already seems to have had an impact on NDoc
  • SubSonic – Build-provider that generates an ORM on the fly and provides automatic developer-only db editing pages

Not used lately, still installed

  • Delphi 5/6 – Borland’s great RAD tool for non-.NET development, later versions support .NET too
  • JBuilder – Java development although I’d probably move to Eclipse
  • Visual Studio 2003 – Still required for the odd .NET 1.1 application/testing

[)amien

Subtext .NET blogging system 1.9 released

My favourite .NET blogging system, Subtext, is celebrating it’s first .NET 2.0 compatible release known as Subtext 1.9.

Hack and the team have worked hard on getting it out so here’s a thanks to them.

I’ve deployed it here with only a couple of minor issues which are most likely due to me previously running a self-modified version off the Subversion trunk. As a result it didn’t quite detect that it needed to upgrade the database nor that my skin was missing and it should use something else for now.

If anyone else has the same problem simply remove the 1.9.0 record from your subversion_version table and it should upgrade the tables and stored procedures appropriately.

Now Subtext is a Web Application Project you can add a deployment project so deploying to live is only two clicks away (you’ll need to install Web Application Project and Web Deployment Project upgrades to VS 2005 first until SP1 gets here)

  1. Right-click on Subtext.Web and choose Add Web Deployment Project
  2. Accept the defaults by clicking OK
  3. Right mouse button on your new Subtext.Web.csproj_deploy deployment project and choose Property Pages
  4. Set the output folder to the path to your blog’s home on your live server and hit OK

So now we have almost what we need but we don’t want the live server being deployed to every time we build so:

  1. Right-click on the SubtextSolution and choose Configuration Manager
  2. Uncheck the build for Subtext.Web.csproj_deploy and press Close

Now you can modify, run, debug and test safely on your dev machine until you are happy it’s ready for live.

To deploy to live either build in Release mode or right-click on Subtext.Web.csproj_deploy and choose build.

You can also have the deployment project replace sections of the web.config on the target machine – useful when your live server connects to a different database for example.

[)amien