with 'blogging' tag

migrated to slim framework 4

a couple of weeks ago i finally took some time to upgrade the code for this blog to the latest major version of the slim framework. it is still a strange mash-up of framework and hand-coded sql queries and old php code but this should make it easier to for me to tinker with going forward. the main thing i need to do is add a way to post images again.

another three years

another three years between entries. some stuff has happened. the store is still going, and i am still finding excuses to code and learn new things.

i wrote before about how i was converting scat from a frankenstein monster to a more modern php application built on a framework, which has more or less happened. there’s just a little bit of the monster left in there that i just need to work up the proper motivation to finish rooting out.

i also took what was a separate online store application built on a different php framework and made it a different face of scat. it is still evolving and there’s bits that make it work that aren’t really reflected in the repository, but it’s in production and seems to sort of work, which has been gratifying to get accomplished. the interface for the online store doesn’t use any javascript or css frameworks. between that and running everything behind cloudflare, it’s much faster than it used to be.

now i’ve done it

i noodled around a little more, and came up with an ugly way to supply and extract tags in my postings via email. the next step will be extracting attachments so i can post images again.


yes, this is still on. and now it is on a new server with new code, even though it looks the same.

i still need to knock together the "writing a post" bit of code so that i can post without using manual SQL queries. details.


it turns out that this thing is still on. it is kind of funny to me that it still just chugs along, but such is the joy of writing your own software running on your own (virtual) server. it is long past time to rebuild the infrastructure here, which may or may not happen. but it is something that i am thinking about again.

comments closed

i get tired of dealing with spam on very old entries here, so the comments now automatically close on posts after one week. you know, on the off chance that i ever post anything of interest again.

plus c'est la même chose

you might remember a little over a year ago, when automattic acquired blo.gs. no signs of life yet.

blo.gs lives?

so today i happened to stumble across the news from last week that yahoo “transferred” blo.gs to automattic.

i guess i can finally let the domain names lapse that i had planned to create a service like blo.gs on.

the march of time continues

i haven’t had much to say. very out of character, i know.

or maybe i’ve had a lot to say and don’t know how to say it.

i am looking forward to the dr. horrible’s sing-along-blog session at paley fest 2009.

maybe i’ll write about that next month.

boring from another continent

blogging session

as celia wrote earlier, we are in riga, latvia for a meeting of the mysql developers. she is holed up in the hotel room working on a screenplay (or maybe in the atrium where the wifi is better), and i am in a presentation about blogging.

celia already posted pictures from our excursion day on sunday (the day we didn’t sit around in the meeting rooms at the hotel). i took some video which i will figure out how to deal with once we are back home.

don’t ask too many questions

chyrp is a nice looking piece of blog software. individual posts can have different styles, something it borrowed from the hosted tumblr service. i was interested to read about “the sql query massacre of january 19th, 2008” but the numbers gave me pause — 21 queries to generate the index page? that is down from an astounding 116, but that still seems ridiculous to me.

the number of queries to generate the index of this site? two. one of them is SET NAMES utf8. i could see boosting that to three or four if i moved some things like the list of links in the sidebar into the database, or added archive links. call it five if i had user accounts.

but right now, the number of queries used to load the index page on a chyrp site grows with the number of posts displayed on the front page. not only that, it grows by two times the number of posts on the front page.

chyrp could use a security audit, too.

new voices

if downtown los angeles was the 3rd bloggiest neighborhood six months ago, things are really exploding now. walter has become frighteningly prolific at scribeskidrow. joe, of joe and ruby fame, has started a blog at big city poz. the guys at angelenic are doing a fantastic job of digging up the news on the downtown development front. white boy/white dog has all the news from 2nd and main. nearby, the lofty dog is one of the first businesses to start up a downtown blog (disclaimer: with my wife and dog’s help). bert green also has a blog as a business owner, resident and player. and dodger is another downtown dog with a blog.

that is a whole lot of new blood in the downtown blog-la-sphere. but i think my favorite part about is that i have been lucky enough to meet all of these new bloggers in person, and they are all fantastic people (and dogs!).

at a party the other night, i was talking with another of our new downtown friends (not yet a blogger) who mentioned how small-town that downtown feels. it is amazing to see how this community is growing up, and to be a part of it while it happens. and i know that the little network of people i know is just one of many such networks downtown.

but enough about me, what do you think of me?

in his infoworld blog, zack urlocker (vp products at mysql) passes on a good link about smaller software teams. and says very kind things about me, since he read the article after i posted it to our internal business-intelligence list. i used to report directly to zack, but i have managed to shoehorn in three other people between us on the orgchart since then.

that business-intelligence list is kind of a funny beast. it is mostly industry news (who bought who), with some interesting mentions of mysql in the press and blogs, and my ongoing implicit criticism of our development processes. it would make a pretty good blog. i should at least start posting the things i have been sending to the list.

and so the puppyblogging begins

wonton chewing a (fake) bone

5 things you didn’t know about me

i knew that dave would get me back for tagging him eventually.

  1. i am a published poet.
  2. i have appeared on a local newscast.
  3. i did telemarketing (cold-calling) for an insurance agent.
  4. i used to work the weekend opening shift at burger king.
  5. i failed two classes in my major in college.

tagging: angel, angel, shannon, jeremy and sam.

now for step 3

over at franklin avenue, mike coined the ridiculous term blog-la-sphere and a few misguided domain-name look-ups later, i ended up registering blog-la-sphere.com (and variants). now i’m proud to launch blog-la-sphere. or relieved. or mildly amused. or maybe i just ate something bad for breakfast.

i don’t like “better feed”

i finally saw someone make mention of the plugin that adds the load of awful crap to the end of some people’s blog entries which clutters things up on sites like planet mysql. it’s called “better feed.

clearly, “better” is in the eye of the beholder. i find it to be an eyesore.

i asked, and she said yes

so we started a new blog.

not quite formless

last night was the ambassador hotel wake, which mack of lavoice.org has already covered (although our paths did not cross). there was a large number of los angeles bloggers there: mike of franklin avenue, will and jillian of blogging.la, josh of curbed la (no, i don’t know which one, but i’m just “a reader”), carolyn of laist, kevin of la observed, joseph of martini republic, shannon, and my girlfriend celia.

there may have been more we met and i forgot, and almost certainly more that we just didn’t meet.

toast a dead building

next january 24, there will be a wake for the now-gone ambassador hotel at the hms bounty, across the street from the hotel (or where it was).

unfortunately, this is the same night as craig “craigslist” newmark’s appearance at the los angeles central library. maybe i’ll try to make both, but it seems more likely that i’ll ditch the library thing.

update: or not. the date for the wake will likely be shifting, as the event may combine with another that the los angeles conservancy was planning.

déjà vu

old bank district from california plaza laist used on of my photos on a recent entry, which was kind of strange. i thought the picture looked very familiar, and then saw the shout-out at the bottom of the entry and it made sense. here’s the original.

and to be clear, there’s no problem at all that they used the picture like this. all my pictures on flickr are tagged with the creative commons attribution license, and that’s only because there’s no “public domain” option in the flickr licensing widget.

i bet you think this song should be about you

this “outside the tent” piece whining that the recent los angeles times blogging article didn’t feature political bloggers is colossally dumb. “wah, the times didn’t write about me and my friends. they suck!”

lack of a discernible soul

if you read any los angeles blogs, expect to see a lot of mentions of this los angeles times article about los angeles blogs. no, i’m not mentioned.

someone had to be last

okay, since everybody else has finally tossed a link their way, now i have to point out the new curbed la, a blog about los angeles real estate and neighborhoods. they’ve gotten off to a great start.

it finally dawned on me what the building was in their header — it’s city hall. you’d think i would have picked up on that sooner considering i can see city hall from my desk.

what color is my parachute?

evan williams (of blogger and odeo) says that most people read blogs via their web sites, and not an rss reader. (he doesn’t cite any evidence, but i believe it is probably true.) this was in response to information from bloglines about how many feeds “matter.”

i’m one of those — i like reading personal blogs via their web pages, not in an rss aggregator. it is why i built blo.gs. it is why i might have to build something to replace blo.gs, now that blo.gs has become nearly useless for tracking updated blogs.

why do i prefer to read blogs via their sites and not rss? i like to see jason kottke’s remaindered links, reviews, and longer posts in their overall flow. i like to see the random pictures and latest comments on blogdowntown. i like to see what picture of herself shannon has decided to feature now. i like to look at the comments left on recent posts i found interesting by jeremy zawodny.

and for all of the blogs i read, the design of their site gives me a little context, and a little reminder of who they are. (not in the “who the hell is that?” sense, but the “hey, shannon likes pink!” sense.)

five years and two days ago, i wrote my first blog entry. i started out using blogger. four days later, i made my first entry with my own blog software.

mostly the truth

jakob nielsen’s list of the top ten design mistakes in weblog usability are generally reasonable advice, but i think it is funny that cory at boing boing decided to call out the one i probably pay the least heed to: #3, nondescript posting titles.

it’s not that my titles are nondescript so much as non-sequitors, or inside jokes so inside that i’m the only one who could possibly understand them. some recent highlights:

and then there are all the entries i don’t even title.

at the end of the day, i’m (mostly) writing for me, so i like to think that gives me license to flaunt jakob’s list.

weblogs.com was acquired by verisign. congrats to dave!

feedtree is a peer-to-peer system for distributing weblog updates, bearing at least a passing resemblance to what i described once upon a time.

i wonder how well it would handle having the livejournal firehose hooked up to it, and if it is of any use to a service like pubsub that would want to get everything.

she sets the summer sun on fire

the los angeles times interviews christine moore of the little flower candy company, who makes what sound like delicious caramels.

speaking of candy, candy blog is one of the coolest blogs i’ve found through lablogs.com. but after my bad reaction to the last candy bar i had, i’ve been staying away from chocolate bars. very sad.

new design

in the spirit of just getting it done, i kicked out the new design. as usual, it is best viewed from my desk. (second to that, using safari to get the ever-changing color effect. or possibly the latest firefox beta releases.)

i also “upgraded” the feeds to almost-valid atom 1.0, and got rid of the rss feeds. it is almost-valid atom 1.0 because apparently the atom 1.0 standard requires a non-empty titles. i wrote what i think about that three years ago.

atom 1.0 is even worse than other formats in this regard, if the complaints of the feed validator are to believed. not only is the <title> element required on each entry, but it can’t even be empty. nuts to that.

other things are undoubtedly broken. some day i may fix them.

i feel like i’ve already seen this discussion about elevator/metro etiquette.

kaj arnö is the latest mysql executive to get bitten by the blogging bug. he’s going to be taking up the mantle of vp/community relations soon. zack urlocker, our vp/marketing, was the first executive to jump on the bandwagon.

doc searls has sometimes explained how he blogs as just answering emails in public.

it has come up in some recent conversations with people i know that they keep up with what i’m up to by reading this site. (which, it frightens me to say, is probably pretty effective. there’s not much that goes on behind the curtains here.)

in conversation, i ask few questions and give short answers. i wonder if blogging has become a sort of conversational crutch for me. by blogging about something, i don’t have to talk about it.

or maybe by blogging about something, i figure out a good answer for the questions that nobody needs to ask because they’ve already read the answer.

cnet news.com reports on the results of the pew internet study that says for nearly half of the bloggers surveyed, blogging is a form of therapy.

that doesn’t surprise me. a lot of what i’ve been blogging recently has been motivated by that.

graph of posts made per month

i felt like i’ve been posting a lot lately — here’s a graph of posts per month since i started (way back in october 2000).

for the 1792 days i’ve been blogging, i have averaged 1.38 posts per day. my longest entry was my notes from the vsda home entertainment conference, the shortest entry was the percentage chance i gave to moving out of my then-current apartment.

trying to read through my archives can be a bit of a chore. it’s one of the things i’m looking to fix with the redesign that i’m slowly working on. so far, it’s not really too radical of a change — but i’ve just been focused on removing things.

businessweek’s blogspotting noticed in a wall street journal article that technorati is making deals to get ping data first, or at least that’s the claim in the article. it would be interesting to know who those deals are with. i can’t imagine it’s with either blogger (google) or six apart.

of course, i’m not sure it helps for technorati to have the data first if nobody can ever actually get at it because of their persistent inability to handle their search load.

jeremy zawodny says that “trackback is dead” and jason kottke says “so long, technorati”, which are both observations i find fairly interesting.

but not so interesting that i have much of anything to add. i don’t get into the stats/links/whatever navel-gazing side of blogging very often. it’s been nearly a couple of years since i’ve even bothered to run stats on the logs for this site.

the only stat that really matters most to me are the number of cool people i’m connecting with, and if they’re just reading, it’s not a very meaningful connection.

three of a perfect pair

metafilter is a funny place. i find myself generally more interested in ask metafilter and metatalk than the main site. some of the questions/answers on ask can be fascinating, and metatalk is good for entertainment value.

blo.gs has been acquired by yahoo!

the sale of blo.gs has been completed, and i'm proud to announce that yahoo! has acquired the service. as of right now, give or take a few minutes, yahoo! is running blo.gs.

this is the sort of good home that i was looking for — yahoo! obviously has the resources to run and improve blo.gs in pace with the incredible growth of blogs (and syndication in general), and in talking with them it was also clear that we had some of the same vision for the future of the service and the ping/notification infrastructure.

for users of the website and the cloud interface, nothing much is changing. the service will continue to be completely open, and both yahoo! and i hope you continue to use it and help it grow.

even though i’ll no longer be operating blo.gs, i'm not going to disappear from the community. i’m still very interested in blogging and syndication, and believe that blo.gs will continue to have a major impact as a key player in the evolving ping and blogging infrastructure.

some people have asked about the privacy policy during the transition. yahoo! is keeping the blo.gs privacy policy. the data collected on blo.gs will continue to be subject to that privacy policy and you will be given the opportunity to consent to future changes.

more: some thanks for those who made this all happen.

boing boing corrects error

in a posting about a comic strip by charles schultz featuring adults characters, mark frauenfelder wrote that peanuts never showed grown-ups, which i knew to be false thanks to the fantastic complete peanuts books.

i forgot to mention that the reason i ever got the books to know this is when mark blogged about the complete peanuts books last year.

in fact, i just ordered li’l beginnings after seeing that in the archives to dig up the other posting.

last night i went to an event at the central library put on by the greater los angeles chapter of the society of professional journalists, a panel discussion on “ethics and entertainment journalism.”

there were only about two dozen people in the audience, and five on stage, but it was a good panel discussion, and managed to go on for nearly two hours. there were five panelists: a news director from e! entertainment television (who admitted that sometimes she thought about getting out of the business because of the direction it is headed), the west coast editor for playboy (responsible for booking celebrity covers and centerfolds), a former reporter for us weekly, an associate los angeles bureau chief for people, and a reporter for the los angeles times.

something that struck me as i left the event was that on the whole, the ethical issues the panel talked about were being handled pretty responsibly (at least as they told it). while it seems like entertainment and especially celebrity journalism is where you would see the most compromises, i can’t think of instances where it has failed as utterly as the business press did in covering the dotcom bubble or the national press does in covering just about everything political (like the justification for the war in iraq, for example).

something that didn’t really come up at all is how online journalism fits into the picture, although the woman from people made a comment about how today’s writers for gawker and defamer may be the editors of tomorrow’s spy and then eventually an editor at time. i’d say that as things are going, tomorrow’s spy and time are going to be online. it remains to be seen whether those publications will “come down” from the printed world, or be born on the net.

(i originally spotted the event over on la observed. i’m such a sucker for excuses to go to the library.)

not journalists

boing boing passes on ross mayfield’s report that the number of books you can carry on to planes will be (and is) limited. this is the sort of case where a journalist would do something tedious like contact the tsa and actually find out what the reality is, rather than relying on second-hand information that originated from a screener.

i think it is pretty clear that the policy is in regard to books of matches, regardless of ross’s impression of what the screener was talking about.

this is the sort of thing that undermines the bloggers-as-journalists argument.


there’s a very persistent trackback spammer who i have managed to complete shut down. unfortunately, my trap for this pinhead is currently set up to email the blocked trackbacks to my email. so every time he does one of his 150 trackback spam runs, i get 150 of these dumb emails.

i need to flesh out my comment/tracback spam blocking a little more so i can flag some of these to just get dropped entirely.

does anyone else find it odd that nobody who is participating y!q for publishers beta has disclosed that they’re getting paid to put it on their site?

(and why do the results pop up in-page on the page i’ve linked to, but not on anybody’s blogs?)

andy baio, of upcoming.org fame, writes about “wordpress website’s search engine spam”. it certainly adds a new flavor to this entry about how many sites link to wordpress.org.

this isn’t entirely without precedent. they’re not there now, but for a while there were small text-links at the bottom of the phorum website that were obviously capitalizing on their pagerank. i don’t know how the phorum developers may have disclosed that.

the intersection of open source and business is always pretty messy, and i believe even more so when you’re starting with a community project. (as opposed to something entirely or mostly developed by those trying to start a business around it.)

that’s another way to go

joshua schachter quit his job to work full-time on del.icio.us. congrats!

more fun with stats

the number of unique blogs added to or updated in the blo.gs database, per day:


(the data for this is a couple of months old because i stopped logging this information. the way i was logging it was having trouble with the volume of data, and i lacked the interest to do it right.)

blo.gs growth

some people have been interested in the growth of the data that blogs collects. here’s some numbers. this is from a snapshot of the database from sunday morning, so it isn’t to-the-minute.

of the 6,602,676 entries in the blo.gs database snapshot i used, rss/atom feeds were known for 2,512,959 of them. that doesn’t mean more didn’t have rss/atom feeds, just that blo.gs didn’t know about them.

of the blogs that were updated in the last 30 days of the snapshot data, 71% had known rss/atom feeds.

this is the number of blogs added to the database each month. i wasn’t tracking this before september 2003, so the earlier number is all the blogs prior to that.


the big jump in january is from getting a feed that includes the livejournal data from pubsub.com.

here’s the count of blogs last updated in each given month:


and based on the ip address, here’s the top hosts:


needless to say, the entries for the spammer are gone now. blogdrive.com shows up multiple times because they use multiple ip addresses.

here is where i would insert all sorts of caveats about how these numbers are derived if i cared to hold people’s hands when dealing with numbers like this. these are free numbers, and you’re getting what you paid for them.

the wealthy blogger is new blog about money-management issues by my coworker mike hillyer, and non-coworker jeremy c. wright. a couple of canadians talking aboot money, eh.

on a similar note, i ran across liquid ledger today, which looks like nice money management software for mac os x. the current version doesn’t do any portfolio tracking, but it is promised for the next major version.

matt haughey noticed a bogus blogspot site in his spam. when i was on the suicide mission known as homepage.com (second-generation geocities), it was software pirates that caused us huge problems with their automated signups. i can imagine it’s only worse with the spammers and scam artists these days.

i’m surprised that blogger doesn’t seem to have done much to prevent this. you can see the automated crap via searches at blo.gs for things like “herbal” and “hilton”.

it would be helpful if services like blogspot published information on sites that are deleted as well as updated, so services like blo.gs, technorati, feedster, pubsub.com, etc could drop the sites from their databases, too.

more than 75 emails

i always like when someone throws out a number that is apparently designed to impress, but really seems rather pathetic in comparison to something else. like this washington post ombudsman piece about the response to an article about declining circulation. over 75 emails, letters, and phone calls! here’s a /. posting about apple getting a favorable ruling in its case against mac daily news that has nearly 700 comments.

geourl, a real-location-to-web-location service that used to be run by joshua schachter (also infamous for del.icio.us), has been taken over by ask, who is breathing renewed life into it.

24weblog, a weblog about the television show 24, is the closest weblog of those near me. but that weblog is actually from someone in england, so apparently the address they happened to choose to correspond to the show’s los angeles setting is just around the corner from me.

congrats to mark fletcher and the bloglines team on being acquired by ask jeeves.

once upon a time, a business development person at ask jeeves called me to talk about blo.gs. as i recall, the gist of the conversation from my side was that the site made no money, i spent no time on it, and there really wasn’t much to it.

this is another of those obvious-in-retrospect services that i can now kick myself for not building. having the vision, courage, and patience to execute on the idea is the hard part, of course.

at last year’s foo camp, when the limping feedmesh thing kicked off, someone suggested that we set up a yahoo group for discussion, and i made some comment about preferring something “more real.” a funny thing to say when one of the guys who built it (mark) was in the room. but in hindsight, i’m glad nobody wasted the time trying to create anything more real.

who’s next? i would think pubsub.com would be a likely acquisition for someone.

i also find this acquisition funny because there was a time when i almost ended up working at ask jeeves because i knew the ceo at the time. i got an early-morning call (or what was early-morning for me those days) where i agreed to fly up to interview, but i turned around a few hours later and cancelled, once i was awake and realized that i had no desire to work at a place using iis and asp, or relocate to the bay area.

typepad moderation and spf

i left a comment on a typepad-hosted blog, and got the bounce message resulting from the email that typepad sends to the blog owner with the comment. typepad forges the SMTP envelope sender of the message to be the email address used in the comment, and that failed the spf check on the owner’s mail system.

so if you are a typepad blog owner that uses a mail system protected by spf (or other spam measures that make decisions based on the SMTP envelope sender), you can get comments posted to your blog for which you will not see the notification.

(and to be clear, typepad is in the wrong here. it has no reason to forge my email address as the envelope sender. and remember, the SMTP envelope sender is not the same thing as the From header.)

rumor du jour

rumor has it that six apart (makers of movable type blogging software and typepad blogging service) are going to buy live journal (and by live journal, i think they mean danga interactive). it seems like it would be a good fit from what i know of the people involved in both companies and their development platforms. (they’re both perl shops.) and six apart would be getting some of the folks doing the most interesting low-budget, open-source web scalability work that i’ve seen.

rumors that anyone is about to buy blo.gs are completely untrue. unless they aren’t.

2005 prediction?

preshrunk is a new blog dedicated to cool t-shirts you can buy online. i bet we’ll see a whole lot of these blogs focused on little niches like this. (with the existing ones like pvrblog and the gizmodo and weblogs, inc. empires being the pioneers here.) here’s one i thought up over pancakes this morning: a blog dedicated to american animation. anime is well-covered, i think, and i don’t have any interest in anime.

oh, and many of these will be obvious-in-retrospect sorts of ideas. i pointed out the up-swing in online t-shirt retailers back in october.

pingback client

to kill time (see previous entry), i’ve implemented pingback 1.0 client code for when i post. if it works, this entry will ping the spec and ian hickson’s initial announcement of pingback. what are the odds it will work on the first try? answer: not good. it took two tries.

next time i need to kill a few moments, i’ll do the server side.