Tag Archives: blogging

Moving Day

The other side effect of not being able to sleep is that I finally moved this blog over to a new domain.

Welcome to the eponymous oookeeek.com! :)

The two of you that still have my RSS feed, please update it to the new one if you like. The old one will still work since I’ve set up an automatic redirect

In retrospect, I should have done this a lot earlier, just plonk in a .htaccess file with a 301 rewrite rule and move files. All done.

Update (April 2010): Well that didn’t last long. I’ve let the domain expire. I’m archiving this blog on my regular site and also bringing it out of anonymity.

Reboot

I’m considering doing a re-design of the blog. And this time I want to try and do everything myself (from making the tiny bullet gifs to the header image) except, I’m shit at design. So, any one want to give me a leg up? Ideas, maybe even a complete mock up would be appreciated. Don’t worry about creating the CSS & HTML, I can do that myself. All I need is a image of what the design should be like. The banana bullets will probably stay. :)

Secondly, domains are so cheap now, I’m considering buying my own domain and pointing Google at it, so that I can then use all the new blogger features. The problem is oook.com is already taken. oookeeek.com is available though. Should I buy that one? Anyone got better suggestions? I need to keep it relatively close to the blog name which I don’t want to change.

Whew! All done!

I spent the better part of the day patiently going through every single post on the blog, trying to label them and also formatting them into paragraphs, lists, etc instead of ugly line breaks every where.

And finally, I’m all done. Time to republish it to my FTP site. (I was using http://oookeeek.blogspot.com to make my life a bit easier.)

Blog updates can be frustrating!

Thanks to Blogger deciding to add cute little icons next every commenter id, my blog layout was broken. Not terribly so, but enough to look ugly.

Since I had to edit the template anyway, I decided to make a few other changes too.

  • Moved the post time to below the title (and removed post author, since it’s only me.
  • Removed the bit of JavaScript that would hide comments on Item pages
  • Fixed the display of icons next to commenters.
  • Some sidebar cleanup
  • Added in some CSS to display labels like other post metadata
  • Pulled the CSS out of the blogger template and put it into a single .CSS file (This alone saved me about 2MB of server space!)
  • Lots of HTML cleanup. I can’t believe the number of places I’d left open elements!
  • Changed my DTD to XHTML 1.0 Transitional (It still won’t validate though, there’s a lot of work to be done before that happens.)
  • Removed the display of backlinks

I also changed a couple of settings in Blogger before I was finally done.

Little did I know…

Since I publish my blog via FTP, Blogger had to republish the entire site, file by file. Hanging every now and then…

And then when I looked at my earlier posts, I found them all in single massive paragraphs. Back then, Blogger didn’t have a rich text editor (or maybe it did, I can’t remember) so I used to type my posts in with 2 hard returns to mark the end of a paragraph. Blogger, in all its wisdom, would preserve these hard returns as <br> tags, rather than enclosing each paragraph within <p> tags. (Oh glory days! When we didn’t care about semantically marking up content!) I have known for quite a while that Blogger doesn’t seem to want to create paragraphs for you. Not even the new version released just a year ago. Why? Google knows!

Anyway, I’ve been hand coding paragraphs as I type my posts in Blogger for the last year or so. So most of my new posts display and parse without any problem.

But today since I was making all these changes, I decided I should fix my older posts and even label them while I was at it.

And that’s where I hit a brick wall. Or should I say Blogger’s short-sightedness/cussedness.

  • Making a change to a post’s labels makes Blogger republish ALL the other labels. Everyone single one in your blog.
  • If you’re editing an older post, you have only two options. Either publish it or save it as a draft. No option to save and publish later.
  • Publishing each old post means you have to wait until it uploads all of the labels each time.
  • If you thought that you could mark a whole bunch of drafts as “publish” from the “Edit Posts” page, think again. All you can do is apply labels to multiple posts there.

So what’s the solution? I don’t want to host my blog on Google’s Blogspot, nor do I want to go purchase a new domain just to point it to Google’s servers. This means I have to sacrifice some new features of Blogger, so be it. But I really want to clean up my older posts. I guess the only solution is to temporarily switch to blogspot, so that republish older posts doesn’t involve a round of FTP each time and when I’m done with all my label and formatting changes, to switch back to my FTP site.

Too lazy to do that right now though, it will have to wait for another day! :)

All stokked up

About a month or so ago, a picture of an American high school pole vaulter named Allison Stokke made the rounds of the internet. It was posted on numerous message boards and sites and fan clubs sprung up on facebook and elsewhere.

Apparently the picture itself was taken a while ago, but for some reason became an internet phenomenon earlier this year.

What’s interesting though is this article I read on Feministing.

Allison Stokke’s father is a lawyer who has in the past defended men accused of sex-related crimes by in essence saying that the women were asking for it!

Of course, this in no way condones the comments being made about Allison Stokke on the net but isn’t Mr. Stokke’s reaction to them hypocrictical?

*sigh*

The one good thing for me out of all this is that (thanks to reddit) I’ve discovered Feministing, an interesting feminist blog.

Blogcamp.in – Second day

Most people dashed off for the beach party at the end of the first day, but somehow the thought of a large bunch of nerdy boys and a lot of alcohol was not terribly tempting and so I just went to my friend’s home for a quiet dinner of pizza, chicken wings and vodka! That was followed by general catching up with my friend and yakking on into the night. (When he was not whispering over the phone with his girlfriend!)

All of which meant that I woke up late on Sunday morning and so missed the first session at BlogCamp.in on Corporate Blogging. Apparently I didn’t miss much since I popped into the IRC channel caught a bit of the presentations on the live webcast.

By the time I got to Tidel Park, that session was winding down and the next scheduled session was the talk by Sunil Gavaskar and followed by Robert Scoble‘s live webcast.

Mr. Gavaskar’s talk was very measured and accompanied by a general hush around the entire hall. Only the flashes and clicks of cameras broke that silence. In fact, sitting at my table at the back of the room, it seemed like a surreal, choreographed performance as people glided fowarded, clicked a photo and glided back while Mr. Gavaskar talked in clear, slow tones about his experience with pod-casting, being in the commentary box and possibilities for blogging in the commercial sports world. While he didn’t say anything revolutionary either about the technology or the technique of blogging and podcasting it was nevertheless interesting to hear his take on things.

One of the bloggers at the conference made a rough transcription of his talk. You can read that here.

What seemed like a perfectly organised half an hour with Mr. Gavaskar was followed by a completely chaotic and pointless couple of hours as they tried to get Robert Scoble up on screen. Since apparently there was a while to go before he could come online, a couple of other guys filled with some talks. When it was finally time for Scoble to go on, numerous technical hitches held things up.

Now, I didn’t care to listen to the man, so I would have been perfectly happy to go sit in another session except there wasn’t any other going on! All the guys who should have been hard at work making sure that other stuff went on as scheduled were too busy waiting to worship at the altar of Scoble! I even heard one nerdy kid say to another, “Scoble is the King, da!!” It took a lot of strength to not burst out laughing at that!

What this meant was that the session that was to start in the other room on Community, Languages and Bridges was delayed inordinately until each speaker in that session got barely 5-6 minutes to speak!

Oh, Scoble did go online finally and wittered on about God knows what. He also pitched for PodTech India, but oh well, who cares? I was busy eating lunch and catching up with other bloggers who weren’t particularly interested in Scobleizing themselves.

The Community session was interesting with a fairly wide variety of talks. If only there was more time for discussion on those! Aparna Ray of newsmericks fame spoke on the difficulties of blogging in her native language and in characteristic style ended with a limerick!

Back in the auditorium, some twit read an interminable speech. Apparently he was a local journalist. At the time I sat there gritting my teeth and wondering why the guy couldn’t have just put that damn thing online somewhere and tell us all to go read it. Apparently he did have the whole bloody speech on his blog, but still insisted on reading it out!

The last session was the most interesting one of BlogCamp and probably one that witnessed the most participation. Kiruba, Peter and Dina lead a discussion loosely on the responsibilities of writing in a public medium.

Blogcamp.in – First Impressions

In case the badge at the right is not “in-your-face” enough, I should mention here that I’m attending Blogcamp.in on my company’s steam.

In the interest of keeping this blog as anonymous as its always been, I’m obviously not going to mention what I’m speaking on but people who know me can obviously figure that out!

The conference is happening at Tidel Park in Chennai which is a fairly fancy tech park but with some serious security! We had to pass through 3 levels of security before we even entered the building (after passing through a metal detector.)

My first big gripe about the conference is that during the registration (when we pick up our freebies, which by the way are fairly decent) is that we had to fill out a short form from Yahoo! (who are the “platinum” sponsors of the event) where we basically agreed to let them spam us. I quickly overwrote the bits where they said “I agree” and “Yahoo can” blah blah changing them to “I DO NOT agree” and “Yahoo can NOT.” The guy at the registation desk mutely took back my form, I’m not sure if he actually saw what I did! :)

The entire morning I was offline since in a very “doh!” moment, I remembered that I should have packed my wireless network card only after I got to the airport. I thought this place would have ethernet ports around that I could use, but no. And that was my second gripe. The connectivity is provided by Sify and they have a pretty decent WiFi zone set up but if you want to plug in through ethernet, you’re out of luck. I’m also carrying along my portable HDD which has all my portable apps on it so I thought I could just plug into the desktops they have around for free access. Except the desktops were the junk iWay systems which wouldn’t let me plug in my HDD into their USB ports. Gah!

I only managed to get online because I had a crossover cable and connected it to a helpful guy’s laptop. Phew!

The talks in the morning were quite blah. Someone from Sulekha was up first and I missed the bulk of his talk since we got here late. An open session where bloggers shared their experiences followed which had some fun anecdotes but also had some guys drone on about some story that only they got the point of. After a coffee break, Atul Chitnis was up with “Blogging in the 90s: A Dinosaur’s Tale.” The only thing to like about this was that Toolz is finally calling himself a dinosaur. Lets hope he goes extinct soon!

The parallel session going on in another room seemed interesting on paper. Intro to WordPress, WordPress Hacks were a couple of the topics. But when I popped into that room, it was mostly geek boys using the word “like” altogether too many times!

Lunch followed which was quite yummy but only veg.

I’m sitting right now in the afternoon session which is on “Collaborative Blogging” while a session on Podcasting is going on upstairs.

More later or tomorrow if I’m too bored today! :D

Performancing!

I recently installed Firefox 1.5 on my parents’ computer and was idly browsing for extensions when I came across Performancing. This is an extension that allows you to blog to WordPress, MovableType or Blogger from within Firefox!

Performancing for Firefox

Experimental support is also there for LiveJournal and MSN Spaces or a custom blog based on known blogging APIs. I just found a flaw in this extension though. Actually it’s more like a lacking feature than a flaw. There is no way to delete or go back and edit a post you make through the Performancing extension. You will be forced to do that from within your regular blogging service’s interface. Also, there is no way to change the date and time of your post. And, Performancing is only for Firefox 1.5.

These are minor quibbles nevertheless, and considering that the extension is still in beta, its bound to get better! I’m already in love with it, although this is probably the last post I can make with it for a while since I’m heading back to Bombay tomorrow.

*sigh*

But dammit, this is so coooool!

Update: I’m just so stupid! There is a History tab which allows you to edit your last few posts and delete them even!

New Features!

For lack of anything else happening on this blog, I’ve spent most of last night plugging in some new (and mostly useless) features! :)

Well, basically, I’ve just tweaked the way commenting works and I’ve included Google/Blogger’s version of trackback which they call “Backlinks” (opens in a new window.)

Next, if you look to the right, you’ll see there’s a list of comments made on all the posts on the main page. If you click on the Date-Time stamp, it will take you to the item page for that blogpost and the relevant comment. Clicking on the usernames will take you to their Blogger profiles.

Also, the comments now appear on the main or archive pages too when you click on the comments link below a post. And (what I like the most) is that now I also list all the people who have commented on an entry!

Wheee!