We’ve Got a Pulse!

Well I don’t know if it’s really back to life or simply undead, but here goes the BFC Computing Weblog, take #2.

According to the database, 296 days ago I got so fed up with comment spam on the blog that I pulled out the code that allowed posting, thereby eliminating the comment spam and my ability to post.

I’ve missed it and have been putting stuff over at Slashdot, Technocrat, and GNHLUG-discuss, where I can’t really search it easily (try the search window here, it’s cool).

That was a WordPress-Pg install (a port of wordpress to PostgreSQL, my database of choice). It ran on PHP, not something I like to run on an important server with other data on it, and the effort was officially dumped. That left me with two options – install mysql in addition on my poor little low-memory server, or get another blog.

Well, I went looking and a month later settled on Typo, a Ruby on Rails app. I did battle with it on my Redhat 9 box for many days, mostly trying to get mod_ruby or FastCGI to do anything, and finally executing a tactical retreat.

Fast-forward to today, the server is running FC5, typo has matured, rails has matured, gems has matured, typo got an installer, typo can run under mongrel. In general, the stage was set.

So, I went blind copying and pasting the data from one blog to another (the database was so bad and wordpress 1.3 failed to escape entities properly to automate it faster), wrote up some apache rewritemap’s and here we are. It’s nifty and it should work better.

Caveats – the process wasn’t entirely non-destructive. I don’t have a good way to re-create the comments and give them proper attribution. That bums me out. If you left an important correction here previously, please feel free to add it again. Sorry about that.

Month-view – some old links to this blog are in a month-view format. I don’t think Typo does that and I don’t really care for the idea, so -> 410 (Gone). I hope Google respects 410 and deletes the links. The rewritemap’s that take care of the story and category links on Google all return a permanent redirect, so they ought to update the URL’s there as well.

Javascript – the Lynxians will hate me for it, but you need to use JavaScript for parts of this site. Typo uses it for its fancy tricks, and, more importantly, it’s thought that spambots don’t implement AJAX yet, so I can offer CAPTCHA-free comments by requiring AJAX entry. When they catch up it’ll be CAPTCHA time.

RSS – my newsreader (NewsFire) doesn’t know what to do with a 302 status on the RSS feed. I hope others are better about it. Otherwise, see the Syndication link on top of the sidebar.

Maiden Voyage – I’ve got a combination of new techniques at work here: indexed rewrite maps, some fancy proxying and reverse tunnels with NAT-traversal tricks, caching, and a new Rails install all bundled up behind this blog. Please let me know (my first name at my domain) if you see anything wrong so I can fix it.

All aboard – it should be a fun ride!