If you ever visited my blog in the past and you see this, you should’ve noticed a pretty significant difference in appearance that happened the other day here.
When I kicked off my blog here on the site back in August 2007 and moved my blogging from advogato to self-host, I installed WordPress and I’ve been happy with it since then from a usability stand-point. I crafted a look based on an existing theme and left it at that.
Over time, WordPress has had its hefty amount of security problems over and over again and I’ve also suffered from them myself a couple of times, and a few times I ended up patching it manually more than once. At one point when I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade to the latest version it didn’t work to upgrade anymore and I postpone it for later.
Time passed, I tried again without success and then more time passed.
I finally fixed the issues I had with upgrading. With a series of manual fiddling I finally managed to upgrade to the latest WordPress and when doing so my old theme was considered broken/incompatible so I threw that out and started fresh with a new theme. This new one is based on one of the simple default ones WordPress ships for free. I’ve mostly just made it slightly wider and edited the looks somewhat. I don’t need fancy. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with WordPress better this time.
Additionally, I added a captcha that now forces users to solve an easy math problem to submit anything to the blog to help me fight spam, and perhaps even more to solve a problem I have with spambots creating new users. I removed over 3300 users yesterday that never posted anything that has been accepted.
Enjoy. Now back to our regular programming!
Our friends at .SE are once again putting together an interesting conference-style day with talks, and this time the title of it is “OPTIMERA STHLM” (yes they use all caps) and it is all about optimizing web-related things.
I’ve been invited and I will do a 30 minute talk during that day about the transport layer and stuff on top of the transport layer. In other words it’ll include things to consider for TCP, DNS, HTTP, handling sockets, libcurl and a quick look at things such as Websockets, SPDY, MPTCP and SCTP.
The full day’s program is now available on the linked page. Enjoy!
There’s no secret I’ve had my share of gripes with WordPress and here comes two more:
I can’t upload images at the moment! I run the “plain” wordpress package in Debian testing and when I try to upload an image using the fancy new ajax way in 2.5, it just sits there for a while and it seems it receives the file but I don’t get the UI up that I believe I should get when the upload is completed… so I can’t confirm the upload etc so it instead it gets discarded!
I’m suffering a bit from trackback spam so I installed a plugin named Trackback Validator to help me reduce the manual work of denying them. It seems to work rather well so far in that I now no longer have to mark very many comments (trackbacks appear as comments within WordPress) at all, but the annoying part is that even though the validator unvalidates the trackbacks I still get information mails sent out to me about them! I’ve now also enabled the Akismet plugin so let’s see what happens. Of course simply disabling trackbacks is an option that I’ll use if this doesn’t work good enough.
A funny side-effect with installing and enabling Akismet was that all of a suddent I could access comments previously marked as spam, and thus I could undo the damages from my accidental mark-as-spam-hiccup the other day!
While playing around with plugins, I also installed a gravatar plugin that shows gravatar-images for users on comments, and I installed a plugin that will automatically set my timezone correctly even when DST changes – which WordPress can’t do by itself!
Then all of a sudden when I poked around (too much) I managed to somehow ruin the background image I use a the top of all pages on my blog. Somewhat I got a gradient there instead, which indeed is what the theme supports (the theme I use is of course a standard one but I have done some minor edits of it). Took me a while to manage to get rid of the gradient and get back image back… I had to resort to editing the PHP file for the theme!
Blah, so I get a large amount of spam comments and trackbacks to my blog and I go over them and mark them as spam regularly. They don’t appear on the site, they just end up in my attention queue and I need to deal with them and take care of the occasional “true” comment as well.
When I do this I press the Awaiting Moderation () link (assuming I have fifteen comments awaiting), select them all and then press Mark As Spam and I’m fine.
Right now I managed to error. I didn’t press the awaiting link and then I had the list of all comments shown and since there were many comments I got to see the last 20 comments or so. I selected them all (all comments on that page) and marked them as spam. Whaaaaaa. Pain! That was not very clever! Several legitimate comments now went down the drain and…
There’s no way to restore them, there’s no undo the deletion, there’s no “oh wait these aren’t spam really” way.
Grrrr. So guys, if I removed one of your comments you should know that I’m sorry. I really am. I’ll try to improve…
I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry but out of no particular reason that I understand, my WordPress installation has started to speak French to me! At least all controls/popup-texts in the text editor are no longer in English! I don’t know any french, but luckily I know most of these things already without actually having to read the labels. Like this “insert link” example:
(Update: I guess I could mention that this is a plain Debian Unstable installation, and most of the thing is still in English. It is just parts of the UI that went French.)