Back in Action!

Long time!

The London Eye

At last – I finally got my blog sorted. To cut a long story short – I have abandoned Movable Type – and have defected to WordPress – which has been extremely hard – but, for now, I think it’s worth it. I became increasingly disillusioned with MT – even though I tried upgrading to version 3.x – and finally gave up when my host decided to upgrade me to a server which killed the ability of MT to perform on my site (of several hundred postings and several thousand comments) – and it was made worse by a persistent barrage of spam-comments that would simply not stop coming.

It’s taken me a while to get my WordPress template (theme) organised – and what you see here is the result of several attempts of several hours of configuration and fine-tuning to get it looking as “right” as I wanted it. As you can see – there are some changes:

* The 3-column layout has changed so that the “links” are now on the far right – this makes it much easier when viewing the journal on a small form-factor device like a wireless PDA with only VGA (640 x 480) resolution – no need to use the horizontal scroll-bar to view the main content of the journal.

* The comments page no longer “pops-up” in a separate window – also making it easier to handle on wireless PDAs and other browsers that don’t like pop-up windows.

* I now have a “search” facility for the journal – check it out on the top-right.

* All my links are now managed through the WordPress admin interface – which means no hacking around with the template files as I used to with MT every time I want to add new links.

* All pages are dynamically rendered – meaning that I don’t have to go through the hassle of “rebuilding” the journal pages everytime any of the pages and comments change. (This has a dramatic positive effect on host performance – as I was finding that my host could not handle my MT rebuild scripts any more; I kept getting Error 500 Internal Server Errors!)

* I have finally gotten rid of anti-spam “blacklisting” and all the maintenance problems that go with it – and instead I am using “captcha”-style techniques for preventing comment-spam. Most of you will recognise this as “type the code-word you can see below” to have your comment accepted.

* And finally – WordPress is a dream to work with compared to Movable Type – the admin interface gives me so much more control over so many more features – and there is no shortage of plugins and extensions out there. I initially feared that I would miss Movable Type on this point alone – but my fears have not been realised at all! In fact – WordPress is completely “open” – so not only is there the greater likelihood of ongoing free goodies – it makes me “feel” better for it too.

So – although I have been exceptionally busy with work lately (and will continue to be indefinitely) – a slightly more normal service will be attempted here over the coming days and weeks. A big “thank” you to all those of you who emailed me to say that you missed the Route 79 journal whilst it was suspended – and thanks to all who waited patiently for the return. I apologise that it has been longer than I originally intended.

Here is the home page as viewed from my Wireless PocketPC PDA:

Route 79 viewed from PocketPC in VGA mode

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