splef-ty \'splef-te̅ \ adj: nifty, novel, cool or clever.
Thu, 20 Nov 2003

Mostly working

OK, things are mostly fixed now. I also updated my stylesheet to center the images without defining a new class, which is surprisingly difficult. The jury is still out on whether the trick I am using will actually work with most browsers.


Technical difficulties

As both of my readers can probably tell, I am experiencing some technical difficulties during the switchover from indexing by file modification date to indexing by file creation date. File creation date is obviously the better way to do it—you can fix a spelling error or otherwise rewrite the past without having the entry bubble up to the top.

I’m using a combination Rael Dornfest’s “entries_index” plug-in and some home-grown perl code that hacks the index file and replaces all of the timestamps with the Mac’s HFS file creation date. I’ll post this in a few days.

I also thought of a clever plan that will let me test everything on my development machine without modifying the world-readable copy on the server. It’s easy; just create a copy of blosxom.cgi, set it to render to local files and localhost as a url, and write your entries. When everything looks good, run the original version to refresh the copy on the server. It would have worked if not for those meddling kids! (That is, if last night I’d actually changed the file instead of just thinking about it.)

All will be fixed soon.


Sun, 26 Oct 2003

Getting started with blosxom

After a long time messing around with blosxom and cascading style sheets, I finally took the plunge this weekend and converted my pathetic web site over to something a little higher tech. Yes I know there is still no content.

Although I am using dynamic generation tool, blosxom, I decided to statically render everything for a couple of reasons. First, it hides the ugly “cgi-bin” in the url. Second, it allows the server to render pages faster. Finally, and most important for me, it lets me store the original files on a machine other than the server. Here’s how I have it configured:

Apache and blosxom are running my main work computer, which is not visible to the Internet. My blog “source code” sits in my home directory, which makes it easy to add new entries.

When I want to update the web site, I run blosxom statically. Blosxom is smart enough not to regenerate pages that already exist. Unfortunately it’s not smart enough to know that it needs to re-render pages if one of the flavour components has changed. The work around is to just blow away all of the existing files before asking blosxom to render.