And Now for Something Completely Different

Well, there’s been yet another change to RandyRants.com. Since I’m now using a PowerBook as my full time notebook, CityDesk was becoming less and less an option for writing my blogs. I could have typed up the Rants in TextEdit and move it over, but that seemed kind of silly. I looked at a couple of different server and client technologies and I have a new recipe for what I hope is future success (and at least stave off this “upgrade of the week” urge that I’ve had lately).

The nice thing about CityDesk was that I never had to worry about where I host the web server; since everything was built on a local PC there was no need for server side management. All of the dynamic links and connections were built locally and the whole web site was pushed to the server in the form of HTML or ASP pages. Since I write most of my blog entries offline, I found this to be a great thing… that was until I moved to Apple.

Steve, author of FurryGoat.com, has been using MovableType for his web site for some time now. Nice thing about MT is that it seems to run on most web servers, provided they have Perl support, and it is platform independent. In theory, I could post a Rant from a WebTV browser; MT uses web page based forms to allow me to add new Rants. This is great because no matter where you are in the world, you can use any web browser to add new content to a MT server. However, this posed a problem for me because to use MT you had to be online; it wasn’t an option to work on something offline with what MT comes it. Same thing as above, actually; I would have to write it in TextEdit and then post it via Safari when I got online.

Enter Kung-Log. More or less, Kung-Log is an offline blog entry tool. I’m currently typing this GeekStuff rave from my PowerBook from the couch; when I post it to the site, it will go over the air with the AirPort Extreme card that is now installed here. This application kicks ass. It’s got in-line spell checking, the exact same fields that MT uses (so it will import exactly as it should), stores “drafts” of blog entries (for offline composition), and will connect to your blog directly – this allows Kung-Log to keep an up to date list of categories. And it’s a Cocoa application, so it’s a OS X specific solution. The only problem is that I won’t be able to upload my entries to the site directly. Due to a problem with SOAP on IIS, the connection to the site from Kung-Log fails; as soon as the bug with SOAP is fixed, however, I’ll have a one-click to publish solution. In the meantime, I have Safari to pump all the information through to the server. If everything in MT works correctly, this post will be up on the server before midnight…

What else has changes? The count indicators are gone from the menu; they are now on the Archives page. “New” still appears for postings done in the last seven days. If you’ve been subscribing to the RSS feed, that page has moved and been upgraded to the 1.0 standard. An older format is still available if anyone needs it. The main page still shows the last ten entries, Rants shows the last 20, and GeekStuffs the last 15; the Archives now show all the entries, grouped by category and sorted by entry date.

So. If you find any broken links, can ya let me know via e-mail? This is the most radical change that I’ve made to the site, so I’m expecting some issues – this site is now “made on a Mac” though. Who would have thought it? At a minimum, all of my entries from Google are now broken!


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