You may notice a few changes around here. Over the last several weeks, I’ve grown more and more dissatisfied with Blogger (free service). It started with some ghost entries that it wouldn’t let me delete from the archives–I had to hard-code pages to fill the spaces Blogger insitsted on linking to but wouldn’t generate pages for itself. Then there’s the ongoing archives problem, where only part of your archives get published to the “archives” menu, and the consistent bloggering of permanent links, and so on. I’ve been half-heartedly looking for a replacement, but yesterday I hit a wall. For some reason, after my last post was published (mercifully), my template reverted to one I had designed three years ago when I first signed up with Blogger (although it was never used). And Blogger won’t let me change my template, yesterday or today, which means, no posting, until BLogger gets around to fixing it. Of course, they have to guess that I have a problem, becuase I can’t access their tech support contact page.
So I made the plunge. My choices were limited by the wonky performance of Perl on my host’s servers. PHP doesn’t give me the same problems (although it’s locked in “Safe Mode”, which makes permissions a bit of a challenge). Which is ok–I like PHP. I also wanted something that was Free Software, GPL’ed if possible. Not because I plan to modify my code (I’m not much of a programmer) but because I support the principle of Free Software, and although my hardware pretty much demands I use Windows (and my budget pretty much demandes I keep my current hardware), I am trying to move to Free Software solutions whereever I can. (One of these days I plan to write a post on why I think Free Software is a Good Thing.) Everyone raves about Movable Type, and I might have struggled with my host’s wierd Perl, but MT is not Free Software, and I don’t like that my ability to use it is based solely on the whim of the producer, however good the software might be. I’ve had more than enough cases where free software (free as in beer) “evolved” into shareware or commercial software, and I simply cannot afford that risk with MT.
So, I’ve settled on Pivot, which is a nice software package, a little difficult to set up (especially in Safe Mode) but highly configurable. Technically, it’s an Alpha release, which means I shouldn’t be trusting my incredibly important thoughts to its potentially buggy workings, but what the heck, right? Gotta live a little. Things might be a little messy around here as I get settled in. The problem with Blogger’s template updating meant I had to format my Blogger entries for import by hand, and I already notice a few places where I stripped out a necessary P tag or two (thus removing my style definitions from that text)–I’ll try to clean everything up as time permits. I’ve also included links to the old comments in all the imported entries, so nothing’s lost, though it looks a little funny (with two “comments” links for all the old entries). THese things will slowly drift off the front page and everything will be wonderful once again.
If you see any strange problems, please e-mail me.