Goodbye old friend

This is it, my final post.

A wonderful boquet of flowers.I've been using this weblog, and Blogger, for the past nine years, but some recent changes to Blogger got me thinking, maybe it's time for me to make a change.

New site, new weblog, new publishing system.

If you follow this weblog in an RSS reader it's time to point it at my new home. That new home is being published using WordPress, and I'm loving it.

So, point your browser to iam.fahrni.ws if you're looking for my new home. This site will remain unchanged, an archive of my weblogging life.

Web Home - fahrni.ws
Weblog - iam.fahrni.ws
Twitter - @fahrni


See you on the internets.

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Posted by Rob at 6:23 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

The problem with company blogs

Inc: "The big-hit technology companies from the past 10 years tend to have pathetic blogs. Twitter's blog, like Facebook's and Google's, is full of utterly boring press releases rewritten to sound a little bit less stuffy. Apple's employees produce virtually no blogs, even though the company has introduced several game-changing new products in the past decade. Meanwhile, hundreds of Microsoft's employees have amazing blogs, but these have done nothing to stave off that company's slide into stodginess." - He's right. The best weblogs tend to be run by the little guys. The indies making a living using the technology they're talking about. Company weblogs often have to walk a fine line, they have to be careful about what they're saying and how they say it. Just look at Joel, he's killing off his weblog because he can't really be himself any longer for fear of offending someone. I think there are still some exceptional BigCo weblogs to read, John Nack for instance. I think he does a great job of representing Adobe and talking to his audience, without sounding like a marketing wank (yeah, yeah, I know, he's not a marketing wank, but you get the picture.)

I guess what I'm trying to say is this. If you're going to have a company weblog, or company weblogs, don't come across too stodgy or corporate, it's a turnoff.

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Posted by Rob at 5:13 PM | 1 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

60+ Free WordPress Templates

Instant Shift: "In this showcase below, you'll find a Excellent Collection of Fresh High-Quality Free WordPress Themes Around because We all know that we're going to use our blog as a tool to promote our business, so we need to have a clean, professional, corporate look." - I've been struggling to get my new weblog up and running. I keep finding themes that are near my idea of perfect, but I can't find the one. Out of this collection of 60 I should be able to find a good starting point, if I can't get my current template straightened out that is.

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Posted by Rob at 11:47 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Hey, money talks

Tumbledore: "I've run pitchfork.tumblr.com for almost a year now. I had several posts up and I followed 28 people with the account. All my posts are now gone and my address has been changed to pitchfork1.tumblr.com. Where my blog once stood now stands the official Tumblr for Pitchfork Media Inc. Watch out, Soup, I hear Campbell's is gunning for you next." - Here's another reason I like having my own domain. I'm sure the Tumblr license agreement spells this out somewhere. I do feel sorry for this guy/gal, but know what you're getting into.

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Posted by Rob at 8:09 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Switching to WordPress

Well, after all the talk about Movable Type and Tumblr, I've decided to switch to WordPress even though I don't like that it publishes pages dynamically. Yep, I caved, as my brother said "Welcome to the darkside."

Let me explain, it won't take long

AHHHHHH!When I convinced Jay, known as Jerry to ya'll, to start weblogging he purchased his domain, and we set him up with WordPress because it was easy to configure on DreamHost. It's what they call a "one-click" install. It was brain-dead simple. Jay has been weblogging for just under a year and things have gone quite well for him and his site. Install to successful weblog in under one hour. Three easy steps: buy domain, point domain to host, install WordPress, WHAMMO!

Fast Forward

I've been on Blogger for nine years and I've thought of switching many times, but I was never satisfied with anything I'd considered for various strange reasons; dynamic publishing or archiving was strange, etc. When Blogger made the announcement they were going to jettison FTP publishing I was a bit bummed, but I completely understand the reason they did it, they need to move the platform forward. But I digress. As I've explained in some recent posts since the announcement the new structure doesn't really work for me. This domain has sub-directories under it and I'm not sure how to map them to a Blogger hosted site. Sure rob.crabapples.net would work just fine with the new Blogger scheme, but what about rob.crabapples.net/source? I won't have access to the server at Blogger. So I decided I was going to evaluate different platforms.

I looked at Tumblr, Movable Type, and WordPress. I quickly eliminated WordPress because of my desire to have static pages. I still believe hitting the database to produce the page when it's visited isn't the right thing to do, so it was gone. Tumblr does the same thing as Blogger is proposing. They'll host your domain on their servers. Haileigh, our oldest daughter, and Kim, my wife, have Tumblr based weblogs on Tumblr's servers and they work great for them. I on the other hand don't like their archiving scheme, again, Rob strangeness. Their archives have random numbers attached to them, like this, http://fahrni.tumblr.com/post/377656270/random-shot-of-me What's with the 377656270? I'd like to have Y-M-D in my post, like 2010/02/13 followed by the post name. I still think Tumblr is in a very sweet position and would probably chose them over Blogger if they were my only two choices. My final candidate was Movable Type. It is a very powerful weblog publishing system. With Movable Type 5 you get the concept of a website that can have multiple weblogs. Pretty sweet. I installed it, gave it a whirl, and had decided it was going to be my platform of choice. Then I talked with Jay about it.

"What, WordPress is good enough for my weblog but not yours?"

Yep, that's what my brother said to me in response to a tweet about Movable Type. It got me thinking about WordPress again. I'd started bahookey.crabapples.net a couple of years back to play with WordPress so I had grown pretty familiar with it. I spent a couple of days warring with myself over which publishing system to choose, and I finally decided WordPress would do just fine and it gives me all the publishing power and customization I'd like to have, even if it publishes pages dynamically.

At some point in the near future this weblog will go into mothballs, yet another tough decision I made along the way. It'll remain as it is, unchanged, and serve as an archive to my new site, which I hope to unveil at some point in the near future, not like it's going to be a huge deal, a couple of folks will have to point their feed readers at a new RSS feed. This site will still have contain my source code projects, so rob.crabapples.net/source will not change, at least not for now, and maybe not ever.

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Posted by Rob at 11:24 PM | 1 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Happy Ninth Birthday!


Wow, this weblog turned nine on February, 1. Happy Belated Birthday.

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Posted by Rob at 10:42 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Twitter Engineering Weblog

The Twitter Engineering Blog: "Welcome! I'm Ben, and I'm an engineer at Twitter. We've started this blog to show some of the cool things we're creating and tough problems we're solving." - Besides having interesting content I love how clean the design is. Oh, if you're in the market for a job, check out the jobs listed in the right column, they have quite a few, and they're very interesting. If you're into Ruby, Java, Python, PHP, JavaScript, HTML and CSS you may be a nice fit!

Also, check out their photo stream on Flickr, it's nice to be spoiled.

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Posted by Rob at 9:46 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Blogger changes, the future hurts

RibbitMike McBride: "As I think about it, the last time Blogger added a feature that we could, you know, use, was categories, or maybe comments? (Upon further review, scheduled posts were available regardless of where you are publishing within the last year) Any way, it's been awhile. Almost all of the innovation at Blogger now seems to be around widgets, and other tools for use with Blogspot hosted accounts. Those of us who don't have those, get nothing. I can't help but wonder if the fact that Blogspot hosted accounts have ads on them is the reason?" - Well, I guess I'm not the only Blogger "old-timer" bit by the changes. Mike has already made his choice and upgraded to WordPress, not a bad choice at all. I still struggle with my decision to not go with WordPress, it really is that good.

I don't hold a grudge against Blogger, they need to move their platform forward and had to make a tough decision. They're looking a bit long in the tooth. Their built in templates need a complete refresh and they need to build their community. Tumblr is kicking butt and taking names. They have a beautiful user interface and they've embraced their user, and designer, community. My lovely wife and oldest daughter are hosted on Tumblr, and love it. I'm pretty sure Blogger looks at Tumblr and says "Hey, we're falling behind here, and these FTP users are holding us back." The natural choice is to kill off FTP publishing. I'm certain they'll get a number of folks to switch, I have a weblog it makes sense to do that with, but this weblog isn't it.

The bottom line; Blogger has to beef up its platform to compete with the likes of Tumblr, Posterous, and WordPress.

You can't blame them for that.

UPDATE: Here's the post on Blogger Buzz that explains the situation. - "Three years ago we launched Custom Domains to give users the simplicity of Blogger, the scalability of Google hosting, and the flexibility of hosting your blog at your own URL. Last year's post discussed the advantages of custom domains over FTP and addressed a number of reasons users have continued to use FTP publishing. (If you're interested in reading more about Custom Domains, our Help Center has a good overview of how to use them on your blog.) In evaluating the investment needed to continue supporting FTP, we have decided that we could not justify diverting further engineering resources away from building new features for all users."

I'd also like to thank Rick Klau, a Blogger Product Manager, for taking the time to address my questions personally, it helped a lot Rick.

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Posted by Rob at 7:27 AM | 4 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Understanding Movable Type 5

Victoria Wong: "Getting Movable Type where I wanted it turned out to be much more of a project than I expected. I've documented the following in hopes that it'll help someone out there." - This is going to be invaluable as I move forward with my Movable Type 5 experiment.

As of this writing Movable Type is the front-runner in my weblogging tool search. Smile, life is good!

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Posted by Rob at 9:27 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

The weblog publishing search continues

AHHHHHH!Rob Wells: "Tumblr isn't a bad system. It's really not. It's fantastic. But it's just not what I'm looking for for my main site. I've still got it set up and I'm still going to post things to it, but 'proper' blog posts that have taken time and effort will be published here." - A view from a switcher. This particular Rob went from WordPress to Tumblr back to WordPress. My research into weblogging systems continues. I've been experimenting with Movable Type a bit, along with Tumblr, and of course I'm continuing to use Blogger to post.

I hope to put together an official review of the systems I'm evaluating in the near future. To be perfectly honest I'd love to move to WordPress but it misses the one feature I find most important; static publishing. If it wasn't for that I'd have leapt to it a while back.

So, we're down to three systems as of today. Movable Type, Tumblr, and Blogger.

P.S. - I am well aware of WordPress caching systems. Thanks.

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Posted by Rob at 10:17 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

So begins the switch

I've had this weblog and used rob.crabapples.net as its home for almost nine years now, but change is afoot. After finding out Blogger is going to kill off FTP upload I've been thinking about how to approach the change, and now I have a plan.

This weblog will go into mothballs, in a sense. The domain rob.crabapples.net will, at some point, stop being the place I publish my weblog. I've also owned the fahrni.ws domain for a long time and never really knew what to do with it. Fahrni.ws will become my new home on the web.

Since I'm making the change the next question is this, do I stay with Blogger? Tumblr is an awesome weblogging system that allows publishing to custom domains. The exact thing Blogger is going to do in March. Do I stay with Blogger, move to the more modern Tumblr, or switch to the awesomeness that is WordPress. Like most seasoned developers I'm always tempted by the idea of creating my own system, but that usually wears off after a few minutes.

Blogger is a great service and I've been very happy with it these past nine years, yowza it's hard to believe it's been almost nine years. It is, however, getting a bit long in the tooth. The changes are necessary to move the platform forward, which I'm all for. My hope is Blogger will go far beyond what it is today and hopefully catch up with, or surpass, Tumblr. I'm looking for better integration with my social networks. I've been using FriendFeed as that connector, but it would be awesome if Blogger could do all that for me. When I post to my weblog it should shorten the URL, using the service I choose at the time I publish and publish an update to my social networks with the post title and the shortened URL at a minimum. If Blogger doesn't plan on doing this I will definitely move off the platform for one that gives me these options. Tumblr provides this very functionality minus the choice of URL shorteners, they shorten with their own service, tumblr.com.

Something else that needs time and attention is the design and user experience. Something clean and functional yet powerful. I'm a bit biased, but I think you should talk to the fine folks at Hundred10 Design. They're an award winning design shop. The other thing that needs work is your default template collection, they're ok, but not great. They need to be great and you need to embrace the design community and provide user designed templates as an option to the community.

Rick Klau (@rklau), the Blogger Program Manager, has offered to answer questions about the change, and I'm very grateful for that, so we can do more here, or on my original post.

Oh, here's a question I do need answered. Can I use a custom template for publishing if it's hosted on Google servers? That's important to me.

All that said the nine years of this weblog will be maintained, as it is today, but my web presence will move entirely to fahrni.ws, including a new weblog.

Here's to the future.

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Posted by Rob at 1:30 PM | 2 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Static pages, yes static I say!

Dave Dribin: "Static also means fast it's fast. I don't need to install the latest and greatest super-duper-OMGWTFBBQ cache plugin. And getting Fireballed won't take down my site. The few times my site has been linked by more popular sites, my server hasn't so much as strained itself, let alone failed to serve up pages." - Ahhhh, a man after my own heart. This is the one thing that keeps me from leaving Blogger. I can't find a single cool publishing system, with ease of use, that pushes out static HTML for posts. Crazy isn't it?

I'll have to keep an eye on what Dave decides to do, it may be what I'm looking for.

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Posted by Rob at 12:58 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

My Own Universe

Like many I use Twitter and Facebook, and I have my weblog, which I consider the center point of the Rob Fahrni Network.

Dave Winer has been working to de-centralize micro blogging, that's not a bad thing, it's a very good thing. I like the idea of being in charge of my very own nightmare. I need a center point, a launch pad, that works with all these services, including my weblog, and pushes updates to Twitter, Facebook, my weblog, and the other services that are a part of the Rob Fahrni Network.

Why?

Open for Business.Well, I see my weblog as a personal history of my adventures in life. Apparently it's next to impossible to get your full Twitter history, Dave has done so by constantly backing it up. I'd like to do so moving forward. To do that I'll need a tool I can use for weblogging as well as one for microblogging that will push to Twitter and Facebook, as well as keeping a copy of everything for myself.

How?

That is the question. I have server space and I'd like for it to live there. I have a desktop tool I love, MarsEdit from Red Sweater Software, but it's just a way to push data to the server. So, are there existing web services I could use to tie it all together? There's Ping.fm which offers a gateway to many different services, including Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, and Flickr, just to name a few. There's FriendFeed which will aggregate posts from your weblog, or Twitter, or Facebook, and publish to other services.

I'd like to find a CMS, or weblogging tool like WordPress, that I can use as the center of the Rob Fahrni Network. Here's what I'm after.

1) It must install on my server.
2) It needs a UI to publish directly to social networks, ala Ping.fm.
3) It needs a weblogging UI, that in turn pushes the title and shortened link to social networks.
4) It needs to publish to my weblog and publish to a microblog, ala Twitter, that's lives in my network.
5) It must have API's. One for blogging, one for microblogging, so I can point my favorite desktop at it. Basically MarsEdit would become my frontend to tweeting.
5) Everything points back to a center point, my weblog.

Instead of going to Twitter, or Facebook, or Blogger, I go to my network, where everything begins life, and it pushes to other services. For your average person this is Facebook, I want more, I want to control it. It is, after all, my content.

Hopefully I'll be able to do this with a combination of WordPress and Ping.fm. If not, maybe someone has already explored this and has a nice solution.

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Posted by Rob at 12:35 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Another reason to like static HTML

Scripting News: "Choose software that's easy to archive. Ideally you should just have to make a copy of a folder to back it up. Most bloggiong software is nowhere near that simple. " - This is yet another reason I LOVE my statically published weblog pages. I've moved my weblog to a few different hosts over the years and I can do exactly what Dave does; I tar up a directory, copy it to the new host, untar, and I have my weblog up and operating. Easy. It's also darned easy to backup, using the same method.

All this talk boils out of a post on Blogspotting, a BusinessWeek blog, that is going bye-bye. The writer would like to back up his work, I'm not even sure if he has the right to do that, but it puts the light on backup/archival yet again.

I'm one step away from moving to a WordPress based weblog, and this comes along to make me think twice, again!

How easy is it for one to migrate a WordPress based weblog to a new host? As easy as 1-2-3, or does it involve moving a database? Hopefully that process has been completely automated. It looks like quite a process, doesn't it?

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Posted by Rob at 11:20 AM | 2 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Feed Reader vs. Twitter

Jerry Fahrni: "I love reading stuff like this because you can see the passion that everyone has for their little corner of the technology world. It's even more interesting when you consider that it's a completely personal choice. Boxers or briefs, who gives a crap as long as you're comfortable." - I use both. With Twitter lists, and a bit more tweaking, you'd end up with an RSS feed reader of sorts. I have my feeds sorted by categories, using the ever popular NetNewsWire. I can easily read the river of news, a.k.a. fire hose, or read just a particular category. I'd like to be able to do that with Twitter. Have my following list be a list of lists. This way I could still follow people's tweets, and dial into a particular list when I want to cut out the noise.

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Posted by Rob at 10:46 AM | 1 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

The Death of Blogs

Rob Walling: "Several bloggers I follow have moved to Twitter and are no longer updating their blog. That's a mistake. When Twitter dies down what then? Blogs are not like the fads I listed above; they will be around with or without the unwashed masses." - Well, that pretty much says it all.

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Posted by Rob at 9:17 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

The National Enquirer of Tech

Valleywag: "Robert Scoble, the blogger (often given credit for giving Microsoft a more personal and open public image at a time when they were universally distrusted as closed, monopolistic, and evil) turned video producer, apparently wants his old job back... only this time with Google." - Is it true? Could Mr. Scoble be headed to the Goog? Enquiring minds want to know.

Robert would be great there, no joke, no sarcasm. He's a good guy, and Google would be lucky to have him, IMHO.

I think this is just rumor, but it's a good one.

Oh, I almost forgot. I'm going to work for Steve Jobs soon. Good time to announce it. :-)

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Posted by Rob at 1:03 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Revisiting 09/11, Scripting News

I followed a link via Dave Winer's FriendFeed this afternoon to an piece on Gigaom titled "Remembering 9/11 - A Time Before Social Networks."

I left a comment of course because I was a part of a social network at the time, called weblogging. The only thing Twitter has brought us is a much quicker flow, along with more noise to sort through. Still useful, yes, just noisy.

On that day I found it next to impossible to get through to CNN, MSNBC, and the NY Times websites. They were just overwhelmed. I turned to Dave Winer's Scripting News for up to the minute information. Dave, if you read this, you did a great job that day.

This brings me to the title of this post. Go read Dave's account of the day, and click on the links. It's surprising how fragile our lovely World Wide Web is. A lot of the links just don't work. Sad to lose that history, don't you think?

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Posted by Rob at 3:28 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Now 64-bit Snow Leopard Compatible!

I just wanted to announce this site is fully Snow Leopard 64-bit compatible. Nice Kitty.

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Posted by Rob at 1:25 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

All a twitter about the death of RSS, NOT!

James Robertson: "Out here in the real world, the rest of us are using Twitter, and RSS, and search, and basic web pages based on what we're looking for at the time. Inside the echo chamber? It changes all the time, and everything old is worthless..." - Well said.

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Posted by Rob at 8:38 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Scobleizer and Posterous

Robert Scoble [on Posterous]: "Oh, and one other disclaimer: I see that this is running on the Rackspace Cloud. That makes my heart warm!" - The plot thickens! Posterous is hosted on Rackspace, which is where Robert works. This could be reason enough to switch. Posterous has a lot of fans, but it's JAWS (Just Another Weblogging System.) I think it's time to take the Posterous challenge, create the bullet list of features vs. other weblogging systems, and see how it stacks up. I know it doesn't work with my favorite client, MarsEdit, which tells me it doesn't support any of the popular remote editing API's. That's clearly a big minus for me. Posterous may end up being like Facebook, or MySpace. A simple way to reach the web. Not as full featured, but gets the job done for granny, or for the kids.

I'm sure their account numbers shot through the roof yesterday when Robert announced on FriendFeed he as going to talk with a Posterous evangelist, exclaiming "Will today be the day?"

It's a good thing to have Robert talk about your product, he's one of the good guys, and it gives you instant credibility, even if he hasn't made an endorsement, yet.

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Posted by Rob at 7:46 AM | 2 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Can I get an Amen!

Om Malik [via @davewiner]: "Chris Saad, who works for JS-Kit.com, a start-up that makes social media tools and has been involved in various technical groups such as DataPortablity.org, today outlines seven reasons why the blog-builders and users need to rise-up. 'It's time we start re-investing in our own, open social platforms... Blogs are our profile pages - social nodes - on the open, distributed social web,' he writes. Well said, Saad! For his seven reasons," - I've been writing this weblog since 2001, it is my own personal profile. It's me, it's how I feel, what I'm doing, who I'm doing it with. It's family and friends. It's work and play. It's a view into my life, it's my very own personal nightmare. It is me.

I love having this blog and always have. As long as I'm still around this weblog will serve as my very own, one man, social network. It cannot, and will not, be replaced by Facebook or Twitter, they don't, and won't every let me run things the way I want to run them.

This is my place on the web, and they can't touch it.

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Posted by Rob at 6:50 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Static Pages

Ugly CritterScripting News: "But not this blog post if I have any say about it. It's stored as a static file on a Windows XP server running Apache. It could just as easily be stored on a Linux machine running anything. Or even an iPod or iPhone. Text files are the ultimate in stability. The same text file you could read on a mainframe 40 years ago could be read on a netbook today. " - I've said it before, I'll say it again, I'd like to switch publishing systems but I can't publish static HTML from many of them. I share this idea with Dave, no matter how arcane it may seem. My static HTML pages are super easy to backup and move from server to server and if I switch to a new publishing system, it doesn't matter. I don't have a desire to pull those static pages into the new system, they'll stay just where they are, in their current form. No fuss, no muss.

So, I think Blogger will continue to serve my weblogging needs.

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Posted by Rob at 6:10 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Weblogging System

Brent Simmons: "I tried Wordpress for a little while on this weblog since I wanted to have comments. And last night I switched off Wordpress, back to my homegrown static-rendering system." - I've written about this before. The BIG thing that has kept me with Blogger is the ability to publish static pages.

I'd love to try a new, self-hosted, simple weblogging system, that publishes static pages, can publish a "one-off" page; meaning not a part of my weblog flow, oh, and works with my favorite weblogging client, MarsEdit. I can use Disqus for comments and that's about all I need. I don't even need to import my old content because it already exists in static form on my weblog.

That's the system I'm after. Maybe it's time to start creating said system? I've wanted an excuse to learn Python, but I want help doing it because it's too darned time consuming, and I have other things that keep me super busy.

I also need to take another look at Tumblr, I believe I can publish static pages with that, and with Red Sweater's last update to MarsEdit I can now communicate to Tumblr from the desktop.

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Posted by Rob at 2:04 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

NY Times Reader

NY Times - First Look Blog: "Next week we'll be introducing Times Reader 2.0. This version is powered by Adobe AIR and will run equally well on Windows , Mac and Linux computers. With this latest release, Times Reader resembles the printed paper even more closely, and it updates every five minutes with the latest news from the Web." - Here's a great example of AIR done right. The application looks fantastic. Now, question is, will someone go out and create a generic RSS reader that can be crafted to look like this by other newspapers. Then when you subscribe to their RSS feed it also includes some extra bits that tell the reader how to skin itself so it's branded properly for the newspaper.

I think the NewsGator folks better get on the ball. Brent, Nick, are you listening?

More on the application at Adobe INSPIRE.

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Posted by Rob at 1:15 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

New blogger on the street

Pharmacy LogoJerry Fahrni: "This time of year always comes with a lot of requests for medication usage data from the Pharmacy Clinical Coordinator. This year has been no exception. The most recent request was for a report identifying all medications in the pharmacy drug master that were used less than ten times in 2008. Seemed simple enough. Right." - Yes, Jerry, or Jay as the family knows him, is my brother. Jay has a PharmD from UCSF, and an insatiable need to solve Pharmacy problems using technology. He's the IT Pharmacist for Kaweah Delta District Hospital is sunny Visalia, California.

If you're into Pharmacy Informatics, you should be following Jay, he's one of the smartest people I know, and he knows how to make your hospital pharmacy operate to its' fullest potential. I'm subscribed out of curiosity.

You can also follow him on Twitter, @jfahrni.

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Posted by Rob at 10:41 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

What is Twitter?

Twitter birdy with signScripting News: "In a way, as a user of Twitter, I have the same business model as the investors in Twitter. I don't know what it is, but I have a feeling there's something here. I look at it this way, if you tried to tell me what we're doing on Twitter has nothing to do with what we'll be doing with networks in the future, I'd be 100 percent sure you were wrong. There's something here. The challenge is to figure out what it is." - Look at Twitter, now look at Facebook. A while back I said I didn't get Facebook, but a wise man informed me it was a way for non-techies to have a presence on the web. He was right. If you take this weblog, combine it with Twitter, Friendfeed, Flickr, and possibly some others you get something like Facebook, only as the author you have complete control over the "dashboard" to your life, the weblog portion.

The weblogging community is a loose community, Twitter is only slightly tighter knit, and Facebook is the tightest knit. Twitter and Facebook integrate search which makes it seem easier to locate people you might share interest with. I know I've mentioned things on my Twitter feed, like "I'm having a Firestone DBA, while BBQ'ing" and the next morning I have two new followers, one with interest in beer and one with interest in BBQ.

How long will it be before we have a Twitter like service that's embedded into your weblog that federates our loosely coupled community? Maybe Twitter could fill, or is filling, that need.

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Posted by Rob at 7:28 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Another MarsEdit request

Dear Red Sweater,

I'm not sure if I've made this request yet. My primary weblog, the one you're reading, is Blogger driven. I'd like to be able to set the "Reader Comments" option from the MarsEdit editor. You probably already have a request for that somewhere, just add my vote.

Sincerely,
Rob

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Posted by Rob at 8:53 AM | 5 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

MarsEdit 2.3

MarsEdit by Red Sweater SoftwareDaniel Jalkut: "It feels great to finally have an official release out there that supports Tumblr. I would like to thank Marco Arment for his patience in working with me to improve the Tumblr API, so that it will work better with MarsEdit. There are still areas where we can improve the integration on both sides of equation, but I think this release represents a great start." - If you have a Tumblr account, and you're a Mac fanatic, MarsEdit is a fantastic weblog editor. I manage my main weblog, which is Blogger based, a test weblog which is WordPress based, a Windows Live Spaces weblog, and finally a Tumblr weblog. MarsEdit works as advertised with every one of them.

Congratulations on another great release Daniel.

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Posted by Rob at 8:45 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Happy 8th Birtday

Wow, it's hard to believe this weblog started just over eight years ago. Eight years ago yesterday to be exact.

My first post, ever.

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Posted by Rob at 12:53 PM | 2 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Publishing Static Pages

Brent Simmons: "Itís more than just a weblog system, though: itís a small content management system, complete with templates and macros and snippets and all that good stuff. Iíll be able to use it to create the help manual for NetNewsWire and to manage the appcast feeds (both of which Iíve been doing by hand, to my extreme horror)." - Brent talks about his new CMS he's written in Ruby. Go read the entire post, it's quite good. He talks about his time at UserLand and how Dave Winer, and his time working for him, influenced his design.

I've looked at different weblogging systems over the years. I've wanted to replace Blogger, but I can't find a system that works the way I want. I used Radio, but didn't like the UI and it ran on my local machine. I gave WordPress a try, and loved it, but I really like the idea of publishing static pages. I don't want them generated with each hit of the website, a static page is just fine, and it's what I want. You'll notice old pages on this site do not change when the site look changes, that is important to me. So, until I find that perfect mix of CMS and weblogging system, that runs on the backend, publishes static pages, and allows me to use a client side application to post to it, I'll keep using Blogger.

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Posted by Rob at 11:00 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Chyrp

So, is anyone out there using Chyrp?

It looks like it could be another nice weblogging system.

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Posted by Rob at 8:12 PM | 2 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Twitter bridge API?

So, I've finally taken the dive into Twitter, I really didn't think I'd enjoy it as much as I am. Now that I'm using it I'd like to be able to post using MarsEdit. MarsEdit supports TONS of weblogging backends but it doesn't support Twitter, yet. (Hint, hint, Daniel.)

In the meantime has anyone implemented the Blogger Data API, or another variant, that would allow me to post using a redirect of sorts? I point MarsEdit at a compatible API, provide my name and password, write a little somthing, and click Send to Weblog, which really sends the text to Twitter indirectly.

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Posted by Rob at 9:28 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Owning your content

Scoble [via James Robertson]: "The first two years of my blog have disappeared. They might be on a hard drive somewhere, Iím still trying to track them down." - I have all my content, several times over, and you can still access my first post. This is one of the reasons I love generating static pages. They're very easy to backup. I've been kicking around the idea of switching to WordPress for quite a while now and haven't taken the leap because I'd like to have a static page created. I see my weblog as an ever changing thing so I like to preserve it warts and all, that includes the previous incarnations with their varied styles.

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Posted by Rob at 10:23 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Sanitizing CSS

Nick Bradbury: "Earlier this week I wrote about sanitizing CSS, and I've been thinking about it a bit more. Like many RSS aggregators, for security and presentation reasons the current version of FeedDemon strips all inline styles before displaying a feed, and I thought this was the best approach."

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Posted by Rob at 8:29 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

New weblogging tool

MarsEdit LogoI've been using MarsEdit for the past few days, and I'm loving it. It connected to my Blogger based and WordPress blogs without much effort. I need to figure out how to hook it up to MSN Spaces, but I'm sure that'll be just as easy.

So, if you're using a Mac, and you'd like a client side publishing tool I'd strongly recommend MarsEdit.

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Posted by Rob at 8:31 AM | 2 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Another weblogging tool requirement

I started my exploration of WordPress a long time ago and really enjoyed it. I've been slow to transition for a few reasons, least of which is time, but I've been thinking about it more and more laately.

I posted a couple of days back asking how it would effect what I have on my server currently and got some feedback from Prasenjeet, thanks Prasenjeet I appreciate it.

Watch out! It's a blog fly!The next question, and this one is SUPER important to me. I want to publish everything as static pages. I don't want to hit the database every time someone visits this site, and I don't want to have to deal with the problem Steve Rubel is trying to deal with. When I eventually switch I'll leave my old posts sitting on the Blogger servers, because I have all the content in static HTML form, archived on my site. Who knows, maybe I will back it up another way, but I don't feel the need to import it into whatever new tool I select.

So, that being said, I haven't investigated WordPress thoroughly enough to know if I can publish pages in static form? Can it be done? Is it just another plug-in? Hey, I'm even open to exploring other weblogging tools, not just WordPress.

Ok, here are a few more requirements...

Tiggers are wonderful things!1) Cross Platform - I'm currently hosted on Dreamhost, which runs a Linux backend, and has support for all kinds of stuff. I'd like something that works on Linux and Windows, just in case I ever move hosts.
2) It must be scriptable - This is one reason I'm looking at WordPress. I'd like to do some pre-processing on my posts before publishing, so I can automagically change the header graphic based on dates, I do that manually today. Maybe silly to some, but it's important to me.
3) I'd like to install it to my server - I like being in charge of my own nightmare. While Blogger has been very, very, good to me I'd like to have more control over my publishing tool. Warts and all.
4) Must have a great community - Another reason I started with WordPress. There are lots and lots of WordPress experts out there.

Thanks ahead of time for any and all help, it's much appreciated.

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Posted by Rob at 10:07 AM | 5 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

About

Rob Fahrni has been a Software Developer for 20 years. He's developed DOS, Windows, Linux, iPhone, and Palm based applications in C, C++, Objective-C/Cocoa, C#/ASP.Net, and, yes, even BASIC...
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I work at Pelco. The opinions expressed here are my own, and neither Pelco nor any other party necessarily agrees with them.

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