Changing to Movable Type!

Hello, denizens of the Interweb!

It’s been a long time (more than a month!) since I’ve posted, and this post isn’t going to try to cover all that; that’s what the next one will be for. Instead, I wanted to point out (for those of you who don’t look at my site, or those of you on feedreaders) that my layout has hugely changed; this is because I’ve switched from Wordpress, which I’ve always used, to Movable Type.

Why did I make the switch, one might fairly ask? Well, I’ve been bothered by Wordpress’ speed issues for a while now. They’re partly due to the fact that I use shared hosting, sure, but honestly, it was driving me crazy to have to wait 15 seconds for the front page of my blog to load, and over a minute for a post to finish being posted.

Secondly, I was actually convinced by Anil Dash’s very funny (and not a little informative) post, “A Wordpress 2.5 Upgrade Guide.” It went through the list of advantages of Movable Type, and showed how with the impending release of WP 2.5– the best choice was to leave WP entirely. Obviously it was somewhat tongue-in-cheek– but the WP community appears to have taken it as pure evil. Matt Mullenweg, a man who I thought would have made a rational and insightful riposte, instead replied in the blog comments with an ad hominem not related to the article– and that’s setting aside his Twitter response. With advocates like that– MT seemed like a more fun place to be.

So then, how was the actual changeover process?

Well, first, Movable Type’s import functionality leaves something to be desired. Having exported my blog in the WXR format as requested, I imported it into Movable Type– and found that MT lost all my tags, and all of my paragraph breaks, from all my previous blog posts. This isn’t good– they’re in the XML file (I checked), so this isn’t WP’s fault. I’ve gone through and restored the tags, but I haven’t gotten around to fixing formatting; it’s a much larger job.

Other than that, the changeover went quite well– and I’m pleased with the results. My blog loads much faster (due to the static generation in MT), but even the long-form publishing to make static pages (basically the slowest thing you can do; it has to recreate every part of the blog) is faster than it takes WP to push out one post. How great is that?

The administrative interface is much more responsive generally, too, allowing me to make the changes to add Analytics, for instance, much faster than WP can even show me where that code is.

My plugins are mostly unneeded with MT– OpenID support, for instance, is in the core. So “it just works,” not “it works as soon as I fight with it for a couple weeks,” which was my experience with OpenID on Wordpress. (Admittedly, that was partly because the original OpenID plugin for WP stopped maintenance, so I had to switch over to a new one.)

So we’ll see how this goes; if nothing else, I hope the new, slicker interface will encourage me to post a bit more often. :-)

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A Big Month

Hello, all! So for those keeping track, it’s been very nearly a month since the last time I posted (excluding the earlier post about switching software, of course). Here’s the rundown of the interesting things that’ve happened to me in the interim:

<ul><li>When last I wrote, I’d just arrived in New Haven to visit Quinlan– we got to hear his small group of musical friends play, which was fun. :-) Also got to meet his girlfriend.</li><li>I got a new phone! It’s an iPhone, so I had to drop my Montana number– but as I have GrandCentral, I have one still (it’s just different): 406-545-0430. If you want my real cell phone number (say, so you can send me text messages), call me on the 406 number first, and I’ll give it to you.
</li><li>I judged at Grand Prix: Philadelphia, which was a blast; three days of awesome play. I was given the opportunity to judge the Grand Prix Finals– an amazing chance, where I got to sit very quietly and not make a fuss (assuming, of course, the players knew how to play correctly; they did :-) ). Also took some photos, mostly of judging stuff (always fun to have a big group of judges– 30+ attended). Nick, the L1 I helped train from L0, also got his stripes, which is always a great thing to see.</li><li>I helped my sister, Shannon, celebrate her 21st birthday in fine style– mostly at one fine establishment, but also sampling from others as the night went on.</li><li>I went up to visit my godson (now three years old!) in New Jersey, during the second weekend of Spring Break.</li><li>I broke up with Caitlin– my girlfriend, of two years and a bit. sigh This raised, to me, an interesting question about technological identity (though I’m hardly the first person to consider it, I hadn’t thought about it personally before).
</li><li>I accepted an incredible offer to go spend the summer in San Francisco, working with lots of really neat people at Six Apart! I’m delighted. I’ll be working under David, on Open Platforms. (On a related note, if you know of anyone who wants a subletter / housesitter in the area for the summer, let me know!)</li></ul>And, of course, the usual JHU grind of projects and homework. So I should probably go now, and attend to my Operating Systems project (pwn a linux box with a kernel module; obviously it’s not hard, but it’s meant to teach how silly it is to load untrusted kernel modules), my Programming Languages homework (do things in the Professor’s pet language), or any of my other ongoing major projects (Java Lab, research code, Information Retrieval, Constitutional Law V, Digital Preservation….) Should be fun.

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Teaching

So it’s been awhile since I last posted, mostly because of a rush of work. As I write this, I’m sitting on an Amtrak train to New Haven, CT, as I’m going to visit Quinlan at Yale. I can’t post from the train, unfortunately– while I’m eyeing the Sprint wireless broadband dongle of the person next  to me, I doubt he’d be willing to share.

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Logging

“Nice– now I don’t ever have to talk to you to see what you are doing.”

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