WordPress Blog Update

Having some free time on my hands, I have taken the liberty of upgrading our WordPress version from 2.0 to v2.1.

It was a rather simple procedure — since our blog is very standard [non-modified]…

  • Backup wp db, as a precaution.
  • Backup wp dir, as a precaution.
  • Unpack new wp version dir.
  • Copy over files wp-config.php and .htaccess
  • Run upgrade.php

With other setups, you would also want to copy over dir wordpress/wp-content, as it can contain themes, plugins, and images linked to from blog posts.

The major changes with our new setup are…

  • The use of the default WP theme, as it’s a bit cleaner.
  • The use of the Akismet spam plugin, hence allowing all visitors to post comments.
  • The use of the wp-cache plugin for faster load times.
  • The use of the Social Bookmarks plugin to allow interested readers to bookmark/submit an article to the various social sites.
  • The use of the Category Tagging plugin. [It’s the only one in its category that I could get to work]
  • The use of the Add-Meta-Tags plugin to improve Blog SEO.

The installation of the wp-cache plugin required permissions and ownership change for the wordpresswp-content dir…

  • ‘chown root:apache wp-content’ to give ownership to the Web-Server
  • ‘chmod 775 wp-content’ to give write permissions to the Web-Server

The Category Tagging plugin was a bit harder to setup, as it required the manual editing of a theme template and css file.

The other plugins installed automatic.

Previous posts: upgrading WordPress.

DeveloperSide.NET is converting to a Wiki

I have finally decided to convert DeveloperSide.NET and project into a Wiki.

All Guides, and Articles, will be user editable. Users will also be able to create new pages.

There will be no CAPTCHAs or login-required policies. Just strong spam control. The goal here is to make the entire editing process as painless as possible.

Choosing the right Wiki Engine was not simple… It came down to three choices: MediaWiki, TWiki, MoinMoin.

MediaWiki was too popular and bloated for my taste; which also translated into being insecure and most likely to be targeted by spam bots.

MoinMoin had the benefit of being written in Python, using flat files [simplicity is best], and having ACLs.

The final choice between TWiki and MoinMoin came down to this: Ubuntu, Apache, Fedora, Debain, and Xen all use MoinMoin as their Wiki.

If possible, I might even try to convert the entire site into a Wiki, and make the development of the Suite a community effort.

Due note that this is a big undertaking and might take a while to get up and running.

What Is a Wiki (and How to Use One for Your Projects)

DeveloperSide.NET Servers Moved

DeveloperSide.NET [and friends] started back in 2002/3 — with the lease of a dedicated server at rackshack.net -> which turned into ev1servers.net -> now known as theplanet -> which is also known as servermatrix… and who knows what else.

$120/month for a 512MB, P4 2.0, with a 10Mbit pipe, 700-1300GB allowance. You can get the same, or better, for about $70 a month now. But in my case, I would have had to switch to a new server to get the new price. Should have, could have, would have…

The service has been ok, in the sense that nothing major has gone wrong. I have not had to use support much either — just some minor issues and problems… Not that their support is good or anything; from what I have heard, it is not.

Recently, I updated my account’s cc info, and their system failed to take it. I called, they said no problem. Long story short: I made the mistake of assuming that they would simply credit back the cash, and just bill the new cc. Did not happen. cc is overcharged and for all I know, this could reflect bad on my credit, and raise the charge percentage six months.

Now that the Web-Developer Server Suite is on SourceForge [and pushing out 10gigs/day, moving up fast], I have taken the liberty of moving servers/providers…

We are now on a Linux VPS/VDS [virtual server] CentOS install at Linode. $20/month. They use UML [user mode linux] and have been established for some time. Can’t beat that price either for what you get. They offer different distros, but make sure to choose CentOS, as its a RHEL clone, and comes with everything you need from the start. Just one note though, and a major one… After you update the packages on the system (use yum over up2date), make sure you reboot with the 2.6 Linode kernel or you will think you hosed the system. I’m not sure why they do not just say so somewhere — their docs are seriously lacking.

The pings to the original server averaged 31ms, and now are at 91ms, but thats still pretty low to begin with, and the site(s) seem just as responsive, if not more. DNS has been updated with the new nameservers, and everything looks ok. All in all, a rather painful experience having to migrate data/servers, but it had to be done.

The only downside to this all, aside from taking 2 solid days out of my life, is the problem of the dynamic dns client that comes with the WDController…

It’s hardcoded to the old IP address; as I used a socket for the connection and the domain resolution on Windows seemed to freeze everything for a few seconds. Nothing can be done about it, and it wont be a problem until I shut the old server down. But still a mess nevertheless, and I will need to finish DynamicSide.NET and redo the client to POST the data to the domain. The work just never seems to stop.

We are on SourceForge!


I encourage anyone and everyone capable, to join in the process of moving the project forward… Wherever that might go.

I’m looking for other developers to become part of the project. All work will be GPL’ed. You must be able to integrate and configure some subset of the current component base. All builds should be made with…

The components are built with VC++ 6.0, Service Pack 5, Processor Pack (MASM), and the Feb 2003 Platform SDK (the last ‘official’ VC6.0 PSDK). This is the same toolchain that ‘official’ release builds of Apache, MySQL, PHP, etc, are compiled under. VS.NET is avoided, to prevent mixing runtimes between major components, except for mod_aspdotnet builds.

Components that are already built with VC++ 6.0, such as Apache and PHP, we integrate as binaries — no need to build from source.

VS.NET 2002/2003 [and not 2005] is also needed to build mod_aspdotnet.

Developers skilled with ASP, Perl, and JSP [Tomcat] that can install, integrate, configure mod_aspdotnet, perl, mod_perl, perl-modules, and Tomcat/mod_jk are needed.

C/C++ developers for the Web-Developer Controller are needed.

If anyone wants to maintain a VS.NET build, you are needed.

If you can work on documentation and know the difference between things such as “its” and “it’s”, you are needed.

I think the next release, v1.94, might be put out on SF. Though there are still some minor licensing issues to deal with.

Also, the Web-Developer Controller needs to be GPL’ed to be distributed with the project. I would just do it, but the code needs to be cleaned up significantly before I would want to show it to anyone. It might make it in into v1.94, or it might have to be distributed separately for the time being.

So if you think you have the right stuff, AFTER you see a release on SF, contact me at admin @ devside.net. Right now there is too much to do and the future is always uncertain.

If you are skilled in C/C++, and can handle a few thousand lines if poorly written win32 api code spread across header files with some crazy looking stuff, you may contact me anytime you wish and take a great burden of my shoulders. Be warned though, you may never be the same. Ever see anyone duplicate all the handles on the system for no good reason?

Maybe thats a good thing though, about the code I mean… No one will be able to integrate it into another WAMP distro, GPL or not.

New DeveloperSide.NET Website is Live

I’ll make this one short and simple, about something I’ve learned.

Don’t try to design your own website from scratch unless you’re a website designer.

Use a template, or use a CMS. Otherwise it will not look professional no matter what you do or believe.

You might find the following Google Search query invaluable…

Google Search:
“creative commons” OR “open source” website template

And if you can’t locate what you are looking for, you can always buy a template for $60 and save your time and effort for something else.

Switched from phpBB to SMF

All in all, I like it.

It generates valid html/css and has more administrative options than phpBB. Though in someways it does feel a bit more complicated to setup and use properly [keep in mind that *I have* been accustomed to using phpBB since 2003, and I did have to perform the extra steps of setting everything up and converting the old forum db to SMF].

On the plus side, it is much more secure than the nightmare called “phpBB”; though I do not like the fact you have to chmod 777 all the files — or at least some subset. Nor the fact that SMF does not seem to have as large of a community base as phpBB, which translates into “good luck finding the info you require, or locating a solution to a problem.”

The biggest hassle right now is with losing all the old URLs that have been indexed, that have good SE positions…

Indexed phpBB URLs are primarily of a post number while SMF uses a system where you have to start with a thread number and only then can you work to the post number. And since I have no way of knowing the thread number, all I can do is redirect back to index.php.

I’m going to stick to the default theme as it has a very clean and simple look. One other theme that I liked was called ‘DilberMC’, with the light silver color and an 800px width.

And just as a note to anyone interested in SMF, while it is free software, it is not GPL. The licensing termed specifically prohibit you from distributing the software in any way, modified or not. All generated copyright notices must also be retained.