The theme currently styling this site is called "Meshup" and utilizes the Blueprint CSS framework which has made the development of it so much easier than it normally would be.
I've just upgraded Blueprint from v0.5 to v0.6 (SVN version) and so far it looks like that was a good move.
Now all I need to get to get sorted is all my other stuff, like archives, alternative front page view (in progress, jquery cookies are fun) and the other ideas I have.
Whoa, what happened?
Well, for one thing the site is now powered by Habari and not Wordpress. So long WP, and thanks for all the fish. Wordpress has been running great on this site since October 2004 but its time for me to move on.
There are many reasons why I decided to leave Wordpress behind, and I might very well post something outlining my specific issues at a later date.
For now though, I just want to focus on Habari and on the new theme I managed to put together. The theme isn't 100% finished yet, but instead of procrastinating more I figured I just had to jump in and get my feet wet.
The biggest change is probably that I've decided to go for a more "magazine style" theme, and not your usual timeline based blog layout (Personally I've really not considered this site to be a blog, but thats just a question of definitions I guess). I have a couple of other features yet to implement and I'm sure there are lots of small errors I will spend time on tweaking as the site evolves from here. One of the features I expect to have ready very soon is an alternative front page view for those of the readers who prefer to view the site chronologically, like it used to be. Also, you could always use the site feed which now is Atom 1.0 based and always will be chronological.
Lastly I want to thank the Habari community for the support and continued development of the Habari Platform. As a community they have been very welcome to any input given and the development process seems to be one of enjoyment and a common interest in creating something new rather than any ulterior motives.
If you have any comments or questions regarding the site, theme or why I migrated over, please let me know by using the comment form below.
Gallery 2.2.3 has been released. The new version includes security fixes for the WebDAV and Reupload modules.
Merrick Manalastas and Nicklous Roberts become the first to receive funds from the Gallery's Bounty Program for reporting the issues fixed in this release.
For more details, have a look at the official release announcement.
The recent Windows Genuine outage has highlighted a very real problem with the way it currently works. While some genuine copies of Windows XP and Vista were reduced to running in "reduced functionality mode", pirated versions that bypass WGA continued to work normally. Microsoft has fixed the problem, and revalidating your install should bring normal functionality back, but this incident does prove that the current WGA model has some serious flaws.
Only installs that contacted the WGA service over the weekend, either for activation or patch installation ran the risk of being functionally reduced since WGA doesn't actively look for non-geniune installs unless your install contacts the servers.
The real problem here is that you could actually get punished for using genuine copies of Windows, while non-genuine installs continue to work.
Way to go, Microsoft. As far as I can tell, this is yet another nail in the coffin for the current activation model. The system is inherently flawed, and this outage proves it.
I don't have any problems with realizing that all Microsoft is trying to do with WGA is to protect their own products and their own bottom line. They are, and should be, free to do so, but the current way of doing it is hurting their customers which is something they cannot continue doing in the long run. People pay good money for a product only to find it could be crippled by a problem they have no control over or any way of avoiding on their own.
Microsoft has undoubtedly worked hard to remedy the problem as soon as possible, but that does not change the fact that this problem should not have been remotely possible in the first place.
The WGA team has released an explanation for what happened. Turns out human error is to blame, as "pre-production" code went live early.
One interesting bit in the clarification is
We do. It's important to clarify that this event was not an outage. Our system is designed to default to genuine if the service is disrupted or unavailable. In other words, we designed WGA to give the benefit of the doubt to our customers. If our servers are down, your system will pass validation every time. This event was not the same as an outage because in this case the trusted source of validations itself responded incorrectly.
Basically that means that if WGA does go down in flames, your copy will not be invalidated. What happened this time was that the WGA servers told the installations that they were invalid, due to faulty code on the servers.
Brave move by Microsoft to publicly disclose a detailed account of what happened, lets hope it doesn't happen again. It never should have happened in the first place, and the fact that pre-production code went live like that is not something that builds confidence in the WGA team.
A while back, in June, I thought I would be migrating pretty quickly but it still hasn’t happened. My “excuse” is the same as the last time, my own inability to finish the new theme in a way I’m happy with. I’ve decided to start over fresh, as the more I’ve worked on the theme the more I’ve grown tired of it even before it’s seen the light of day.
I have done another theme for Habari though, one that I won’t be using on this site, that I’m very happy with. I even did a Gallery 2 theme to go with it.
While it still needs a few finishing touches, this might very well end up being the first real theme I end up releasing as a download. Well, the first one besides the Opticalpork theme for Gallery 2, which basically was just a Lightbox modification of the Siriux theme.
Anyway, back to my Wordpress to Habari migration plans. I still plan on migrating, and the Habari project is moving forward at a very nice pace.
The development process is very easy going, and open discussions are encouraged. One of the very nice things about the Habari community is anyone can suggest a change, and you do get taken seriosuly if you propose something. You might not get your suggestion implemented, but I have yet to see that someone who suggests something don’t get a reply and a well reasoned reply.
So, when will I do the actual migration? Well, that depends on how much time it will take for me to get my theme done and that depends on how much time I have available to actually work on it. I really hope it will be much quicker to start fresh this time around, as I’m getting somewhat familiar with the Habari structure and start to see which possibilities it really has.blogging, habari, theming, Wordpress
Gallery 1.5.7 is now available for download. This release fixes one very minor security issue, fixes a few small bugs, and makes a significant amount of text more sensible. Even though this release has no major security fixes, we recommend that all users of Gallery 1.5.6 and earlier upgrade to this release to be as bug free and secure as possible. You can download 1.5.7 from the Gallery 1 download page on SourceForge. Upgrade instructions are available on our documentation site.Gallery, open source
Your one stop resource for Habari related news is now updated with release information, documentation and postings to the mailinglists and more content is to be added as it becomes available. Go check it out and download the latest version. Get involved!habari
MWM Consulting has released v1.1 of their Gallery Gadget, for use in the Microsoft Vista Sidebar. The Gadget allows you to have a live Gallery 2 powered slideshow in your Vista sidebar.Gallery, gallery 2, microsoft, open source, sidebar, vista
According to eweek.com, Microsoft says no to virtualizing Windows on top of Linux:
Microsoft will not allow Windows Vista or Windows XP to be virtualized on top of Linux, Sam Ramji, the director of Microsoft’s open-source software lab, said at the annual LinuxWorld Conference and Expo here Aug. 7.
I find this very hard to believe, and I’m struggling to find other sources for this little piece of information. Reading the rest of the article doesn’t really give any more details, besides other comments from Sam Ramji regarding other details about the Microsoft Novell agreement.
The way the article reads, I doubt that Microsoft is really going to try and disallow running virtualized Microsoft producs on top of Linux. I think Mr. Ramji really meant to say that there will be no ability to move virtual machines from Viridian to Xen or vice-versa. Or at least thats what I hope he means.
After all, it is in Microsoft interest that people can run virtualized instances even if they run on a Linux host machine as virtual instances also needs to be licensed properly.
Does anyone have more info regarding this statement? It really strikes me as a bit odd, but I’m not quite able to shake eweeks spin on it entirely until I get confirmation somewhere else.linux, microsoft, Sam Ramji, viridian, virtualization, xen
I need to switch between different DNS settings on my client computers from time to time. While I’m at home, I prefer to use OpenDNS but since I also have a permanent connection to the work LAN I sometimes need to be able to query the work DNS and I definitely don’t want to query my work DNS servers for all traffic on my local LAN.
Remembering that I had used netsh to completely dump/restore NIC settings in Windows XP for a somewhat similar task earlier, I had a quick look to see if it was possible to switch between a static DNS server and a DHCP assigned one quickly using the netsh command.
It turns out it’s very easy to do, and the basic commands are:
netsh interface ip set dns "Local Area Connection" dhcp
This, as you can see, configures the LAN NIC to use a DHCP assigned DNS server.
To switch over to a non-dhcp assigned DNS use the following:
netsh interface ip set dns "Local Area Connection" static x.x.x.x
So, now I can switch between the two scenarios very quickly. I should make a wrapper or something around it that checks if the current setting is static or DHCP and switch accordingly but thats better left for another day.client, dns, microsoft, netsh, networking, windows
FireStats , an existing PHP based web statistics package has now added experimental Gallery 2 support. Current users tracking the Gallery 2 SVN repository should get the option to install the Gallery 2 plugin from the community repository as soon as it has been rebuilt (the repositories get rebuilt every 6 hours).
I for one will be testing it as soon as possible.firestats, Gallery, gallery 2, plugin, web statistics
As mentioned before I decided to drop Text Link Ads when they told me that my nofollow modification to their Wordpress plugin was in violation of their ToS and that my account would be suspended if I didn’t comply.
Yesteday I got a new email from them, again explaining that my ads wasn’t showing at they would have to suspend my account unless I re-instated them. Clearly communications internally in Text Link Ads hasn’t gone the full circle and the second representative that contacted me was unaware of the earlier conversations.
I took this opportunity to, yet again, ask for the ToS that I’m in violation of and got a Word document in return. After asking yet again, I did get a link from them to the ToS. The document is only linked to on the signup page and it’s not possible to find a link to it after you have registered. Why they make it so hard to review after you sign up is beyond me, but I guess we can all speculate.
Either way, the Text Link Ads Terms of Service document does have an URL, it’s just not well linked to anywhere, but here it is Text Link Ads Client / Publisher / Affiliate Agreement
And yes, I was clearly in violation of it after I did my changes to the plugin, I just had no way of finding out before I decided to “hack” the code.
9. EXCLUSIVITY PROVISIONS.
A. The publisher is not permitted to alter the ad script provided by the Company in any way without written consent from Text Link Ads while delivering the advertisements. …
So there it is. No modifications are allowed.advertising, google, link ads, monetizing, search engine rankings, SEO, TLA, ToS
A while back made a personal Gallery 2 wishlist, and I am very glad to see that one of the things I felt was missing has now been developed.
Gallery 2 now has Akismet support! I have been highly critical of the data gathering Akismet does, but at the same time there really isn’t a better alternative available when it comes to the spam comment battle.
Last night the comments module for Gallery 2 was updated with Akismet support, so if you do have an Akismet API key, all you have to do is update the comments module and then enter the API Key in it’s configuration. After that, you can process all your existing comments and make sure they are spam free as well as being assured that Akismet is from now on checking your new comments as they arrive on your site.
To enable it, all you have to do, is to go to Site Admin -> Plugins and upgrade your Comments module to 1.1.6. If you have DP (Downloadable Plugins) enabled this shouldn’t take many seconds. Then configure your newly updated Comments module with your Akismet API key.
I’m really looking forward to see my spam-free Gallery install!
On a sidenote, WP-Gallery-Remote looks interesting. It’s a Wordpress plugin that uses the Gallery Remote protocol to embed your Gallery installation into Wordpress. A novel approach, and while I haven’t tested it it does look pretty interesting. Go Christian Bartels!akismet, antispam, Gallery, gallery 2, spam
The second developer preview release of Habari has now been released. Read all the details in the official announcement. All you have to do now is to head on over to the usual download location and give this new publishing platform a test run now.
Now would be a great time for any budding community members to step up and get involved!
I know I’ve been teasing you all with my migration from Wordpress to Habari, which is still not complete. Time has not been on my side the last few weeks, so I haven’t been able to migrate as planned. Things are slowly moving forward though, and I really hope to get it done very soon now. All thats left is a some cleanup and polishing on my theme as well as a couple of theme features I want to finalize before going live with it.blogging, developer release, habari, open source, PHP
The Gallery team has announced the new Gallery Bounty Program. Basically this means that if you report a valid security issue or create a patch for an existing issue or even implement a requested feature, Gallery will pay you for it.
Additional details, besides the announcement itself, can be found on the Gallery Bounties page.Gallery, open source, PHP, security
While working on my much delayed Habari migration, I decided I wanted to coComment enable my theme. coComment is currently in the process of launching v2 of their service so this seems like a good time to get it integrated into my still-in-progress migration tasks.
The Habari specific cocomment.js looks like this (you may have to tweak the formID, textareaID and buttonID values to match the ones in your own specific theme):
blogging, cocomment, habari
Some time ago, I decided to add the “nofollow” tag to the link ads I had running from Text Link Ads. Why, you might ask? Well, I had a hunch that something might be happening with regards to how Google treats sites that sell text based links for PageRank. As I really don’t want to play with my relationship with Google, adding a simple nofollow to the links would then indicate to the mighty GoogleBot that I don’t want to transfer any PageRank to the advertisers.
I’m not the first one to do this, Ryan Jones over at dotcult.com did the exact same thing back in January, and got suspended from TLA (only to be let back in later). Like Ryan, I looked for a ToS on the TLA site, but could not find one. I therefore modified the raw PHP plugin that they provide, to add the nofollow tag.
Everything seemed fine, until I got an email from TLA a couple of days ago stating that my account has been suspended due to the modifications I had made. My reply was to send them the link to Ryan Jones’ post, and asking them to show me the ToS I was violating. The reply was:
But Christian, please know, if you don’t remove the nofollow, we will be forced to remove the advertisers and refund them their payments. This is not up for discussion, you must remove the nofollow.
And I have yet to see any ToS that forbids me from doing what I did, and the representative from TLA (which I talked to on IRC), then came up with this little gem:
I spoke to patrick on the matter already and he said publishers are not allowed to use nofollow, there’s no way to validate what that guy said actually came from patrick
Who should I believe? Some random blog posting, or the company that makes a living by cheating the Google rankings. For me the choice was easy in the end;
TLA has proved to me that they sell text based ads purely for PageRank and nothing else. Text Link Ads actually say it on their own front page:
Improve your traffic and search engine rankings.
Only TLA can deliver an ad that does both.
That is clearly something Google will penalize at some point, probably sooner rather than later. So, as far as TLA is concerned they are now officially removed from my site, and my TLA account has been suspended. I have no intention of removing my nofollow and helping TLA game the search engines for money.
Rumour has it that Google will start penalizing sites that do sell links like this, and I’m sure Matt Cutts “Whitehat SEO Tips for Bloggers” session at WordCamp 2007 will be really interesting in this regard. My guess is that sites that sell text ads for PageRank will lose the ability to enhance other sites PageRank. I might be wrong, but lets see what happens.
Other postings on the same, or related matters:
- Thor Schrock: Give Give or Sell Links on Your Blog? Google WILL Stop You…
- Garry Conn: It’s Google’s Way or The Highway
- Matt Cutts: Text links and Pagerank
- John Chow: http://www.johnchow.com/live-by-the-google-die-by-the-google/
My conclusion is easy: If it comes down to a TLA vs Google battle, Google wins. Hands down. There is no way I and jeopardizing my Google ratings for some easy monthly pay, even though the money TLA provided was pretty good. TLA tries to manipulate search engine rankings, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be long until they and/or their users will be penalized for it. For all I know, it might already be happening.advertising, google, link ads, Matt Cutts, monetizing, search engine rankings, SEO, TLA, wordcamp
Rod Paddock over at codebetter.com (and blog.dashpoint.com) has published a blog entry called “Server Virtualization the New Snake Oil” where he claims that server virtualization, specifically naming VMware, is a bad idea. Well, after reading the entry I tend to agree.
Not that I think that server virtualization is a bad idea, but the implementation Rod outlines is indeed a very bad idea. Running eight 24×7 production servers on a single piece of hardware, without building any redundancy is indeed a very bad idea. In fact, thats a recipe for disaster. The original post does not indicate whether VMware Server or VMware ESX server were used.
Like anything else, especially in the tech world, building solutions without the proper knowhow or competence will lead to problems at some point. If you build the infrastructure right, there is no reason why a virtualized environment would be more error prone than a physical one. As long as you are dealing with production servers, you do need to build redundancy into the infrastructure, regardless of virtualization or not.
Server Virtualization is not snake oil, not even close. In my experience, from my own live production environment, server virtualization (with VMware ESX Server/Virtual Infrastructure 3) has resulted in better uptime for our servers, reduced power consumption and better manageability.
I guess Rick’s comment on the original post sums it up pretty nicely:
server virtualization, snake oil, virtual infrastructure, virtualization, VMWare
The only proper reply to this badly informed rant is: virtualization does not compensate for incompetence.
For once, there was an interesting read on the Wordpress dashboard (one that doesn’t involve Lorelle needing a parking space in SF, or some random site that has switched from something to Wordpress).
Matt Mullenweg, of Wordpress fame, has posted a reaction to the PHP 4 end of life announcement. Starting his posting with some general harassment of the php.net site (missing permalinks, rss1.0 feeds) he goes on to explain how PHP 4 still dominates the hosting field, and that PHP 5 adoptation has been slow.
So far so good, it’s all correct. But, why has PHP 5 adoptation been slow? Has it been due to faults in PHP 5 simply because people haven’t dared developing for PHP 5 only simply since the vast majority of PHP installs are still on the 4.x revisions? The people behind PHP wanted to push it to the next level by releasing the 5.x series, but to keep compatibility with most apps the 4.x series was continued until now. So, does that mean that PHP 5 is a flawed and failing product as Matt claims? NO, it means that the PHP team has had to keep focus on two separate branches of development while trying to bring PHP to the next level in the 5.x series.
Matt then goes on slamming the GoPHP5.org site as the “world’s ugliest advocacy site“, and that it’s being run by “some misguided app makers“. I’m sorry Matt, but the last little bit of respect I had for you as a developer has now finally worn off. Not that you should care, but this really is one of the things that makes my urge to jump off the Wordpress bandwagon even stronger than before.
Now the PHP core team seems to have decided that the boost their failing product needs is to kill off their successful one instead of asking the hard questions: What was it that made PHP 4 so successful?
Ok, what made PHP 4 successful? Was it PHP 4 or the apps that runs on it? I wonder… The logic here is pretty darn simple, you can make the worlds best programming language, but if no-one uses it is it truly the best? It might be, in theory, but as long as it’s not used by anyone no-one cares. So, yes, PHP 4 has been a great success mainly because people has made some great apps based on it. Wordpress would definitely be one of the most successful ones at that. Thats also why I’m very disappointed to see that an application that has greatly helped spur interest in PHP based solutions has developers that seems to be uninterested in helping the framework that enabled their success forward.
Can anyone say Chicken. Egg. Omelet?
It’s not like PHP 5 requires you do to OOP, if you don’t want to. Wordpress itself runs fine on PHP 5, so I don’t really see how the EOL announcement for PHP 4.x is such a big blow?
For those of us who read the wordpress-hackers mailing list it comes as no surprise that Matt is not a big fan of PHP 5, and he is of course entitled to his opinion however misguided it might be at any give time.
Finally, I want to direct a big fat thank-you to “Johan Delinger“, who’s comment on Matts posting sounds like a voice of reason for once.
This trac ticket explains the Wordpress stance on the PHP5 issue. Basically they are saying that they are not interested in helping the PHP 5 adoption rate, but rather wants to wait until the rest of the world has migrated. I would have expected that the people behind Wordpress had a better self image than that, but I guess I’m misguided.