October 23rd, 2003 § Comments Off on Content Management tools § permalink
On account of a personal project, I’m looking for a new tool to manage a site whose main focus is written content. The tool must be able to manage this content effortlessly while also being sufficiently extensible to allow forms of interaction between the users of the site.
While searching the Web, I came across a most useful site called OpenSourceCMS where anyone can try out dozens of tools related to content management without needing to install or configure anything. It’s just a question of following a link to get access to a fully functional installation of the tools, which also includes administrative access. It’s a very nice site, indeed.
One of the most interesting tools I found in the site is Typo3, a fully featured CMS with excellent extensibility and a wealth of configuration options that make it a good choice for many kinds of sites. I intend to test it as soon as possible since it seems quite adequate for what I have in mind. The tool looked so interesting that I will consider it for managing this blog as well, if it proves itself satisfactory to my needs. I have been planning to replace MovableType for a long time, as it’s not powerful or flexible enough to do what I want to do in the site. Maybe Typo3 will be the right option.
The OpenSourceCMS site, with all of its options, also convinced me, as far as I can see, that I don’t need to write my own tool since there are plenty of good tools out there that are more than sufficient for my needs. No need to reinvent the wheel when those needs are not that unusual.
October 23rd, 2003 § Comments Off on RSS and knowledge § permalink
It’s amusing how much dependent on certain technologies we become. We get used to having a given resource available to use anytime, and when we lose access to it, even temporarily, we realize we need or value it more than we thought possible. I experienced this recently with regards to RSS and aggregation.
One of my daily activities, which I perform unfailing everyday when I arrive in my working place, is to read the news and posts gathered by my aggregator from the sites to which I’m subscribed. When I changed jobs recently, this routine was interrupted for a few days, while I got settled in my new job. As a result, I felt myself completed out of touch with the world. And, in a certain way, I was out of touch with it, since I aggregate not only blogs, but news agencies as well. Even my daily intake of news about what is going on in the world was disturbed.
I found interesting to realize how much of my knowledge and daily updating are concentrated on a single tool. Granted, I have many other sources of information outside of the Web, but much of what I need and learn everyday comes to me via RSS. However trivial many blog posts seem, most times they lead me or contribute to lead me to other places where information — and quality information — can be found. And, in truth, trivial posts are but a minority of the posts I see everyday. Even sites with clear personal purposes can contain a wealth of knowledge unheard of before — mainly because they aggregate current and practical knowledge.
As much as people criticize the effect blogs are having on other important pieces of Web infrastructure — notably Google — the fact remains that blogs have become a indispensable tool in and of themselves. Even though the percentage of personal blogs, with a sole purpose of informing family and friends about what is going on in the life of their authors, is vastly superior to that of blogs with defined focus and purpose in the areas of interest of a given person, the information generated daily by those latter, be it direct or indirect, easily exceeds the capacity of absorption of any person.
Those days without RSS made me noticed how much this technology is an essential part of my process of growing professionally — and, in a certain way, personally as well. It always interesting to see how the simplest things can have the greatest impact on our lives.
October 19th, 2003 § Comments Off on Changes… § permalink
Many changes in my life this week… Some important, some not.
Of those, the most important was in my job. I left the company I worked for in the past two and half years for a new position in another Web company. Although the companies have the same target market, my role will be somewhat different in this new company. I will program less and research and design more, which is a more than welcome change. I was simply tired of programming the same old things in ASP, and now I will have opportunity to work with Linux and open source tools, directly participating in the process of building the products the company wants to market.
The other changes were not so important, but they kept me busy for some time. All in all, the past two weeks were two busy weeks. I hope the next weeks are as uneventful as possible.
By the way, I changed my hosting provider as well. If you are seeing this post, it means you are seeing this site on its new host, where I hope it will stay for a long time. If anything strange happens, let me now.
October 13th, 2003 § Comments Off on Hosting § permalink
As you may have noticed, this blog was largely unavailable in the past few days. My hosting provider made some changes in the servers and things were broken in the process, causing the aforementioned unavailability. Most of the issues are already solved, but as both the server and the DNS changed, a few things may be unreliable in the next few days. I lost some comments in the blog, and some of the e-mails sent in the past days didn’t arrive. If you sent me something and I didn’t reply, it’s possible I didn’t get it. Please, send it again.
By the way, I’m told the server will change again sometime in the next week. I apologize, and ask for your patience while all the issues are sorted out.
October 6th, 2003 § Comments Off on Comment spamming § permalink
A few minutes ago, I got a bunch of spam in the comments of this blogs. Confirming the impressions of other blogger, those comment spams were hand-crafted and had a certain logic to them. The person who entered them chose a specific entry and posted something relevant about it, proceeding then to enter comments in a bunch of other entries — one per entry — praising the entry, or thanking me for it.
Obviously, given the order of the entries and the content, or lack thereof, of the comments, it was clear that they were no more than a pathetic attempt at social engineering. It won’t work for most bloggers, but a few may end up thinking the comments are valid without bothering to check them.
Anyway, I deleted the comments. I’m fairly sure that will happen again, but because of the very nature of the method used to enter them, there’s nothing I can do to prevent them short of blocking the originating IP. Fortunately, the comments were few and it was fairly easy to delete them and rebuild the related pages.