Jan 17 2008

New blog backend!

Somehow, I managed to not post during the entire year of 2007. Totally awesome! At some point, I decided that sort of quiet dedication was a little extreme, (even for me) and went about upgrading MovableType with a new and improved blogging ambition.

That tapered out rather quickly, largely in part due to my upgrade attempts sucking miserably. I had radically changed the look and feel of martini.nu during 2007, so I had to redo all of my MT templates. I was awfully busy with real life, so it was tough to pour any real effort into fixing things up, and the initial attempt to get MT up to recent versions just failed with sqlite upgrade errors and other miscellaneous oddities (plugins no longer under support, yadda yadda yadda.)

I already hacked on MT Enterprise for my corporate environment (secure LDAP bindings, LDAP account synchronization), and I guess I'm in kind of a "purge and simplify" mode for my own stuff now. I don't want to admin my television -- hence MythTV/mythbuntu rather than a custom build -- and I sure as hell don't want to admin my personal blog, nor have to deal with hit-or-miss upgrades, custom template languages, or anything else that forces me to think beyond an ascii text file, for that matter. That's not to say I don't think MT is a good choice for personal blogs or for enterprise environments -- MT4 has a lot of nifty features that will make people tingle all over. I think I'm just done trying to shoehorn it into my own environment.

So, I'm in the tail end of a two week vacation (the longest time off I've had since my wedding 8 years ago, mind you) and I decide I'm done screwing around. If I'm ever going to post to a blog again, it's going to be under my own steam. So a quick 'MT db -> flat file' script and around 200 lines of Perl/Mason later, I think I'm back in the bloggin' swing of things.

Some realizations during this process:

I forgot how much I love Mason.

Like perl itself, mason lets you do whatever you want -- it either gets out of your way and allows you to implement something however you please, or it gives you enough rope to hang yourself with.

My perl-fu is waning.

Dammit!! Michael went and hooked me on Ruby, and it's nearly all I've been doing for 2007. Michael, if I haven't said so directly yet... thank you. I love it. But I can't remember 10 year old perl habits now that I could previously do in my sleep. You are simultaneously a savior and a bastard.

I don't need web two-point-oh interaction.

I started out with a grand plan for comments and such, then decided screw it. If you want to reply to a post of mine, you know how to contact me. And if you don't, here's a link. I neither want nor need threaded comments or the hellish nightmares of spam and maintenance that go along with them.

I barely wanted Twitter. I labeled it under whatever category the blogging attention deficit go that desperately seek new channels for peer acceptance and narcissistic spew... but... okay. I'm willing to admit I was wrong there. (Twitter is fun!) Errr.. wow. LiveJournal/SixApart didn't make me jaded at ALL.

Anyway, I digress. New backend is all straight ascii files. Mason caching makes it quick. Automatic archiving. Optional disclosures, built in drop caps and inline quotes, future posting, RSS, extendible sidebar goop, and Markdown everywhere.

Hooray, blogging is fun again.

Update 04-2015: 7 years after this post, I've continued with ruby, and have reworked this environment again using Strelka. It's worthy of a separate post.