gimbo breaks everything – hurrah!

Well, hopefully not everything, but…

Woo: I’ve migrated (some might say upgraded) gimboland from Movable Type to WordPress.

This is the fifth system I’ve used to maintain gimboland. Initially I was just editing HTML by hand; very soon thereafter I started using Blogger; in June 2002 I ditched that in favour of some home-grown Python scripts; in December 2004, the desire for a commenting system led to Movable Type; now this. What next? Something in Haskell, perhaps? ;-)

The migration process was by no means “one click” (though aided considerably by my host’s use of directadmin and installatron) – which is why things have been so quiet here lately – and has had a number of consequences…

For one thing, all the URLs have changed, which means bookmarks and inward-links will tend to be broken. I’ve tried to fix this as much as possible with HTTP redirects (yay apache magic). There are nearly 2000 posts in Gimboland, however, so that’s now one long .htaccess file. :-) I might well have screwed up, so if you’re aware of anything missing or horrible, do let me know. One possible issue is the syndication feeds: I used to have RSS and atom feeds, whereas now there’ll be just one RSS feed in a different location – if the feed situation is unsatisfactory do let me know and I’ll look into alternatives.

The most obvious change is that all the blog stuff is now off gimbo.org.uk/blog/ rather than at the root; the rest of Gimboland – ie everything not off /blog/ – is still in a somewhat broken state (in particular the images), but now I’ve got this major part back under control, I look forward to making the rest of the site as good as I’d like it to be. The only problem is that it takes so long to get this stuff sorted, and I’ve got so much other stuff I should be doing. Well, I’ll get there, particularly if I remember that perfect is the enemy of done.

What else has changed? Generally, things have been getting “crufty” for a while, and much of that cruft should now be gone. The search box is working again; comments are up again (and handled better, particularly for code samples – though we’ll have to see how WP handles the spam question); we now have tags rather than categories; hopefully the colour scheme is nicer. :-) Finally, WordPress is GPL‘d, unlike Movable Type – yay.

Anyway: now it’s really time (I hope) to stop tweaking this stuff and start blogging again. And on that note…

WordPress appears to have a quite powerful plugin architecture; one plugin I’ve found fun is lightstats which, with some tweaking (bleurgh, PHP), gives me some interesting and informative graphs about gimboland’s posts over the last nearly six years. The first two show category use and are boring at the moment because most of the posts are uncategorised: I aim to fix that. The third one, posts per month, is the one I really wanted, and it’s a depressing sight: I’ve really dropped off posting over the last couple of years. Part of that, maybe, I hope, is that I’m posting less but better (much early stuff is just links to silly things), but I think I’ve also just trailed off in shame as the site got cruftier and cruftier. Thus, onwards to a cruft-free post-rich future!

Posts per category, snapshot 21 Jan 2007

Words per category, snapshot 21 Jan 2007

Posts per month per category, snapshot 21 Jan 2007

Comments per post, snapshot 21 Jan 2007

7 Responses to “gimbo breaks everything – hurrah!”

  1. January 22nd, 2007 | 9:49 am

    *eek*

    You killed my LJ friends page!

    All of your journal posts, regardless of date, are now at the top of my friends page. Given how long you’ve been blogging for, I haven’t even tried to find the end!

  2. January 22nd, 2007 | 10:07 am

    Wow! That’s seriously impressive.

    Sorry! I have no idea how that happened. I wonder how LJ inserts gimboland content into itself. The sensible way would be with rss, I guess, in which case it should just redirected to the new feed location, which does only contain about 20 posts… (I’ve just checked!). Aha: is this what you use?

    Maybe it uses a non-sensible way?

  3. January 22nd, 2007 | 10:43 am

    http://unknowngenius.com/blog/wordpress/spam-karma/

    is not too shabby a spam killer, may be worth a look ;)

  4. Rich
    January 22nd, 2007 | 7:37 pm

    ‘Tis good. Welcome back.

  5. January 22nd, 2007 | 11:43 pm

    Cheers! ‘Tis good to be back.

  6. January 23rd, 2007 | 10:10 am

    Ooooooh its looking shiiiny!
    The orange/grey look is a popular one it seems!
    Your RSS is happy in Google’s ig so all good there.
    For spam; there is a plugin installed by default I think, all you have to do is get a key, which you get when you sign up on wordpress – worth doing; I’ve only had 2 spams since I started using it (previously getting about 4/day)
    Info overload in your sidebar!
    Whee!
    -Steve

  7. January 23rd, 2007 | 11:45 am

    Steve: glad you like the shine! Yeah, the Akismet plugin is the one – it’s activated and has caught (or at least bugged me about) 3 spam so far. :-)
    Google’s ig? oic – wow, people still make portals?
    Clearly DaveA got a peek at the preview – I’ve been working on this (and it was, actually, up) for about four months now, on and off (mainly off until new year).
    And isn’t that what sidebars are for? :-) And hey, I’ve only just got started. Ha ha, but sheariously folks, I suppose I could reduce the tag cloud a bit by filtering singleton tags; I might shrink the fonts there a bit too – it’s a little CHUNKY!
    Wishlist item: comment previews for comment authors. Ah, maybe that‘ll do it…