Last week I decided that I should move my weblog to a new system on the backend of things. For the three years I’ve been keeping a weblog, it’s been powered by a custom Cold Fusion application I wrote for the task back in the day.
It was actually when I started the members.evolt.org service (which isn’t available anymore) that I decided to start keeping a weblog. Writing my own mini content management system to handle the backend tasks of that seemed like a good example of what the members.evolt.org service could be used for. So I hacked some code up in Cold Fusion and for the most part it worked very well for what I needed out of a weblog. When I decided I wanted people to comment on posts I’d made to the weblog, I hacked that into the code as well, and for the most part, it worked.
Buuuuut… Lately I’ve been growing a bit disenchanted with my little creation. Last week I was looking for a specific post I made a few years back about a driver problem, and I basically had to read a few months of posts to find it because there wasn’t any search functionality. Certain people *ahem* have also been bugging me to add a ‘remember me’ feature for comments, so they didn’t have to plug in the same information time and time again when making comments. Categories for posts. So on and so forth…
Well a few years ago I simply would’ve popped open a text editor and hacked the changes into the CF code, but since I really haven’t written any Cold Fusion code for the past few years, my skill level there really isn’t where it used to be so it wasn’t such a simple task anymore. I thought to myself, “Should I really have to keep up to date in a programming language I don’t like to keep my weblog functional?”
So, I decided to migrate my three plus years of weblog posts to the Moveable Type weblog ‘platform’ or whatever they call it. It has a lot of the features I was looking for, comes with a fairly decent license, and is fairly easy to hack up and customize. The most difficult part (to the tune of 12+ hours) was getting all my ‘old’ weblog posts from their little database scheme into the Moveable Type database scheme. The MT import format is really just terrible. But! I got posts in there, and as you can see, the site looks pretty much the exact same as it did before. If you’re ever going to move to MT from another platform, or want to import data into MT, forget the ‘import’ feature, and just use straight SQL to do it (thanks Rudy!). That was the only way I was able to get everyone’s comments from over the years into the new system.
I also hacked up some code so that if you were sent to the weblog by a search engine with the old URL scheme (/stdio/index.cfm/mommy/show/daddy/POSTID ) you’ll get redirected to the exact same post under the new URL naming scheme. I wanted to make sure all the content that search engines had me indexed for didn’t just get wiped out of their databses and that bookmarks still worked. I don’t know what it was with me and wacky URL naming schemes in the past, but that ends today! :)
The biggest changes are probably that URL naming scheme, where each post is referenced by it’s title in the URL, rather than a non-relevant ID number. Also, you’ll notice there is finally a search feature on the right hand side, as well as a link to syndicate my site with XML. The comments deal is a bit different now too… No more comment ‘Title’, no more need to markup comments with HTML if you wanted formatting, and if you choose, you can have it remember your name, URL, and email. Finally, there are categories I’ll try my best to stick to. That way, the majority of Linux people who read yee ole weblog won’t have to put up with all the political BS, and vice-versa :)
I’m still working on a few things like the monthly archives, and a decent way to format the ‘recent comments’ deal over on the right, so if you notice anything out of wack or have suggestions, I’d really appreciate hearing about it!
Finally, I guess it’s fitting that this is the 500th post I’ve made to my little weblog, kind of a nice place to stop and rotate the tires. 500 entries about one’s life seems like a whole lot and not very much all at once. Thanks for reading!