Feeling Bad

I’m kind of feeling bad for not blogging lately. The site is not getting much of my attention over the last few months. I’m playing a lot with git, a version control tool and figuring out how it plays with SVN, the SCM we use at work. I’m most interested in the advantages over SVK for distributed development while still having a central repository. Expect some posts on that soon.

Aside from that it is camping season, so I’m trying to spend most of my weekends away from the computer.

Hopefully, the bookmark trail is giving some good data on what I am looking at lately. If you really want to know whats going on, follow me on Twitter. It’s where I spend most of my blogging time lately.

Denying Spammers

I’ve been having a real problem with the site being hit hard by spammers lately. Consequently, I have turned comments off on most of the articles on the site at this point.

Due to the implementation of SPAM Karma 2 and Akismet, none of the comment spam actually made it to the blog. I was pretty amazed at how thoroughly these two pieces of software have filtered the incoming comments.

However, the comments not making it to the blog doesn’t mean that the spammers haven’t done any real damage. Twice now I’ve come home to find my comments disabled by my provider, due to basically a Denial of Service attack being executed on the site by these morons.

I found a great page at the WordPress Codex on Combatting Comment Spam. I would encourage anyone currently dealing with this problem to check out this page. I will be implementing some of these ideas one by one over the coming weeks to see how much they help.

I’ll let you know of the success I have. In the meantime, if you aren’t running Spam Karma, I would encourage you to go take a look at it and its corresponding Akismet plugin. The combination of both has been highly effective in this corner of the web.

WordPress 2.0.5 Released

The folks on the WordPress team have released version 2.0.5 of the WordPress Blogging Application. This release includes around 50 bug fixes one of which was a missing index on the posts table. I just upgraded and the site performs much better now. I had always thought that the site ran a tad bit slower after the 2.0 upgrade, but for some reason I just figured 2.0 was doing so much more than the 1.x versions. Didn’t even think of looking at table indexes.

Mark Jaquith has also put together his list of change files and corresponding archives containing only the changes from 2.0.4 to 2.0.5, along with a patch file to upgrade your stuff directly. I opted to download from the WordPress site.

In any event, according to the release announcement, there are some security fixes in this release as well. As I do with every release of WordPress that contains security release, I am reminding you not to be lazy and get your site upgraded as soon as you can. The performance improvements alone are worth it.

Now … off to see if they fixed that “posting from Flickr mangling CSS thing” …

Building Subversion on The Mac and using Ecto for Blogging

I finally upgraded my Subversion installation on my MacIntosh to the 1.4 version. I was waiting for the “official” packages to come out so that I could just install it, but in looking at the different places recommended by the downloads page, these distributions haven’t been updated since early 1.3 releases.

I’ve had a goal to keep my Mac somewhat pristine. I decided thats not really practical. There are a lot of things that I use that I just like having built from scratch, so that I’m on the most current software and not dependent on someone else’s schedule. Subversion is one of those tools.

One thing I was shocked at was how quickly and seamlessly the build happened on the Mac. These MacBooks are pretty fast machines. I think it took a total of roughly 20 minutes (if that) to build, run tests, and install. The build on the Mac is definitely the fastest configure/check/install cycle I’ve gone through in the many installations of Subversion that I have performed over the years.

I tell you, the more I’m on the Mac, the more I like it. I haven’t run into anything that I’ve found irritating.

Its all good.

This is also the first post I am writing using a trial version of Ecto. I have to say, this application is pretty impressive too. They have both a Mac and a Windows version. I like it much better than blogging in WordPress directly – and at $17.95 a copy, its practically a no brainer to purchase.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to milk the 21 day trial, but it feels like this application is a pretty good fit for me.

Attention Efficiencies, Consistent User Experience, and the Labs

I came across an article the other night explaining how to create a daily post of your del.icio.us links on your WordPress blog ‘automagically’. I have been looking for a pre-fab way to do this for about a week and a half now and finally came across this article explaining experimental functionality in del.icio.us itself to do this.

This is one thing I’ve always liked about Cote’s blog, People Over Process. You can get a lot of interesting information from someones bookmarking habits.

Now that I have the posting created by del.icio.us daily, I have removed the link splicing from my feed that Feedburner has been providing. This follows my removing the Flickr feed splicing in my feed a couple of months ago when Tom the Architect had mentioned that he would get my pictures up to three times when I posted to Flickr, once in my main feed spliced in from Flickr, once from his subscription to Flickr to receive updates from his contacts, and finally when I decided to post a picture to the main blog. I also felt that having the del.icio.us links posted to the feed via Feedburner without appearing in the main blog seemed kind of inconsistent.

This change creates a huge attention efficiency for me in creating content (since I can do it as part of my normal daily activities), while at the same time makes the feed reflect the same content as the blog does, which I think results in a better user experience all around – as you don’t have to subscribe to the feed to get all of the information around what I’m looking at day to day. Increased transparency all the way around.

This activity is one of the reasons why I have been looking so diligently for a del.icio.us extension for Camino. I really like the Camino browser, but have lost the attention efficiency that the FireFox plug in afforded me. At this point, I have to change contexts in order to bookmark, whether it be via Cocoalicious, or del.icio.us itself.

Now I just need to find the time to dig into WordPress to find out why its stripping all of my CSS from pictures I choose to blog from Flickr so that I can cease the extra activity of re-editing posts created from Flickr. Hopefully I’ll be able to get to that soon.

The ultimate goal is to be able to expend the least amount of energy possible in order to increase transparency consistently across the blog, the feed, and any other piece of my life that I have outsourced to a third party.