The Daily Whim

The Daily Whim

Mon. Jun 21, 2004

This Site Now TextDriven

It’s a bit like having an old car that needs rebuilding. Except it’s in another city. So you laboriously cart it part by part to its new garage, completely rebuilding and restoring it along the way. When you’re done, from the outside it may look mostly like the same car (though spiffed up a bit). But underneath the hood is a monster, an engine with capabilities you never dreamed this car would have. And the trunk space seems to have doubled, even though it now contains nearly every word I’ve written in this century.

It’s a clean machine. And if you’re reading these words, you’re soaking in it! is now married to TextDrive, for life, after a long co-dependant relationship with Earthlink (no MySQL, ancient PHP), followed by a relatively short fling with A+ Hosting (uses Zeus not Apache, and was bad in bed).

TextDrive, by giddy contrast, uses strictly the latest stable versions of Apache/MySQL/PHP, on the fastest servers I’ve ever used. It is both purely wonderful and wonderfully pure. And though that’s true for most any usage, the environment was specifically tuned to run Textpattern, which now powers this site. Blissful harmony (and less grey hair for Reid) is the result.

So, what’s new? Well, there’s lots of new content, starting with three articles about “Missing News” ... topics that happened while I was “on hiatus” (on Reagan, on Al Qaeda and the murder of Paul Johnson, and on miscellaneous topics), and a more detailed geek report about the joys of Textpattern and “All My Content Under One Roof.” And in addition to containing new content, Pixel Pile, QuoteLog, and Arbitrary Secondaries have all been reworked/redesigned for their new home.

While the “redesign” was minor, Pixel Pile entries are now categorized. At least, those posted since September of last year (from Pixel Pile #1365 on). So, now you can see that I take entirely too many pictures of cats and ducks, and not enough of toys (at least, not lately).

In addition to a redesign, Arbitrary Secondaries is now also “categorized,” primarily for myself. I often use them as “online bookmarks,” and though I know you may not be interested in the “MacIE5 CSS Hack: the commented backslash,” I want to be able to go to the CSS category and easily find it when I need it. But, again, these categories don’t go all the way back. There’s only about four months worth in there now, but I’m working backwards over time to add the categories to old links.

QuoteLog is also completely redesigned, and more search friendly (with over 1,000 quotes now, that’s a Good Thing). I can now find that I’ve quoted Sgt. Stryker one time more than I’ve quoted my wife. I need to keep an eye on these things. Because they apparently matter to some people.

And in a long overdue move, I’ve updated my portfolio. You might ask, which one, web design or photography? Well, they’re now combined in the new Professional section, which is also linked at the top of each page. So go hire a pro.

The pages for “About This Site” and “Who Is This Guy” have been reformatted and rewritten to reflect any changes in this site or my life (i.e., not much). And the new Site Search page should allow you to find most anything worth finding.

And thus, the combo of very late spring cleaning and a move to a new home is complete. Everything’s nice and orderly, and properly in its new place. Now I can proceed to make a mess again.

Peanut Gallery

1  Harvey wrote:

Just wanted to congratulate you on finding a stable, happy home. Here’s hoping it serves you well for years to come.

2  John wrote:

Everything’s looking pretty good. I guess things are working smoothly, despite some evidence to the contrary in the TextDrive forums.

3  Reid wrote:

If you’re referring to the SSI issue, it hasn’t been resolved. Just buried (mostly). It likely will only pop up from outside links and straggling search returns to old pages. And the linked content is still there, just not the sidebar content (which were SSI’s).

Can you hear the rationalization going on between the lines? I’m trying to convince myself it’s OK not to convert 4,000+ SSI’s to PHP Includes.

4  rturner wrote:

Very nice. Well done. The new site seems snappier. Rationalizing or not, I just know you’re gonna grep those 4000 SSI’s. It’s impossible to resist.

5  phaTTboi wrote:

Congratulations on the re-launch of ! We missed your bubbling, infective brightness (sure, it could happen) during the demi-hiatus. The world turned, but less surely for not being as closely observed.

Your site does seem quicker, but OTOH, I’m older, and your server is closer. And your inbox still runneth over, which is no props to gmail…

6  Reid wrote:

Regarding the site seeming quicker, I can now quantify that for you. With most servers, if you “View Source” on a *.php page, at the very bottom you’ll find a comment containing the “Runtime.” This is the time it took the server to recieve the request, access the database for the content, and dynamically render the page.

If I access my old server by the IP number (which you’ll only be able to do a couple more days before I shut it down), and load the home page, it says “Runtime: 1.7622.” When I load the home page on the new server, it says “Runtime: 0.1535.”

It may only be a second and a half of real time, but literally, that’s more than ten times as fast.

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