Archive for the 'WordPress' Category


Something went terribly wrong in my WordPress install today, and I’m not sure what, or why.  The database is fine, along with all the posts and comments, as far as I can tell.  Those who read by feed probably won’t even notice a difference.

Once I have time to descend back into the Jeffries Tubes around here, I’ll get it sorted.

Permalinks Fixed

Sysadmin Has Been Enlightened

After following the bug around for a while, and playing a bunch of Internet Pong game1, I finally discovered that my Apache VirtualHost config file had unfortunate AllowOverride settings.

Oh.  Is THAT all.

Still:  fixed!  Yay!  (By the way, the janky ?p=# permalinks this site used in the meantime will be automatically redirected to the proper post.  Double-yay!)

  1. Google has stale links, bug report that has gone from fixed to unfixed to fixed to unfixed, bug fixers redirecting questions to unspecified support forum threads, forum threads are all unanswered… you’ve played this game, right? []

Permalinks Temporarily Wanged

I upgraded this blog to a new version of the WordPress software in order to get some juicy new features, and it in turn bit me with a crippling bug in the permalink system.1  Until this is worked out, I’m using post IDs instead of dates and titles to generate permalinks.

If you read this blog via a feed, you probably won’t even notice.  If you got here via a permalink that went 404, please use the search box on the right – that at least seems to work!

  1. One day it’ll finally stick in my head that the WP guys have… unexpected ideas about quality control. []


Keeping the gate far too closed

Quoth ångel: “Your verification question to assure I am not a bot gave me pause.”

Then came to me, in person, michele: “It ate my comment, a long one with a T. S. Eliot quote!”

So, something was awry with my theme and WP-Gatekeeper, and I shut it off in favor of Akismet.

This is kind of a shame, because I really like the idea of WP-Gatekeeper. It’s Captcha, but instead of a weird graphic, it asks you a question. The question is supposed to be obvious to a human, but non-obvious to a computer:

  • What color is an orange?
  • Which of the following is food: Rocket, grape, gravel.
  • What compass point is usually “up” on a map?

It’s a fun little Turing test1, and it seemed less obtrusive to me than regular Captcha.

Of course, Akismet is not obtrusive at all, but any sort of machine-judged anti-spam solution means you’re now counting on a machine to pass a Turing test, instead of a person. That still seems risky to me…

If it fails, let me know, so I can find yet something else.

  1. I’m pretty sure ångel is pretty advanced for a bot, and can pass most Turing tests. (What’s the emoticon for a raised eyebrow?) []

Migration and Themes

A quick description of the process so far

Moving to the new blog has actually not been very difficult, but getting it set up just so is turning out to be a some work. Any reader who works in a design-related field will already appreciate this fact, but it’s something that strikes me anew every time I try to customize something.

This post details some of the technical and aesthetic details of the transition and the reasons for it, in case anyone is interested.

Continue reading ‘Migration and Themes’