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This blog might just go away

Sorry to say.

Today I lost not one, but two drafts, because the idiotic JavaScript that Typo uses to save the drafts shows you a green “draft autosaved” message, even though the answer to the autosave request is a 404.

This drove me crazy. Seriously crazy. Crazy is the right word. I’m so angry with this pile of detritus that I literally (and not figuratively!) almost thrown my laptop out of the window.

I’ve gotten tired of Typo, or Publify like it’s called now. They started bolting on tons of features, visual editors, carousels, S3-compatible resource upload, and so on so forth, and now most of it is completely useless to me.

I cannot update my install to “Publify” because there are too many failed merge due to the complete rename of the interface. Plus it requires way too many new dependencies that I really don’t care about. I cannot keep the current one because as I said it’s partially broken.

Either I’m going to build my own system on top of the parts that work of Typo over the next week or so, or I find a new replacement platform, or most likely I’ll just close everything down and rm -rf the database.

Comments 15
  1. It would be a pity to see this quality blog with in-depth posts (in times when people just repeat the same old stuff over and over again) just go away.What I’d suggest is: go static and use one of the many static blog generators. It will keep you sane in so many ways.

  2. Why don’t replace your blog with a static site generator. Most of the comments don’t add that much to a blog anyways. As I see it a blog should serve the author first and foremost. If people have something important to tell you they can email you. Another good choice might be to use WordPress, My Opera, Blogger or a similar service. I wouldn’t cut my veins if you stooped blogging but I certainly enjoy reading your blog.

  3. You’re a bright guy, creating a minimalistic blog system should be a trivial exercise for you. You could put all of this Typo nonsense behind you, and design something that WORKS. Or fork, if you prefer. You’ll be happier in the long run!

  4. I’m not going to go static, because I find interaction being a _big_ reason why I’m interested in blogging. And I don’t want to detach the comments to Disqus or something along those lines for the same reason: the comments are to me as dear as the post itself. This is also the reason why I set up Flattr on the comments themselves.Similar is the problem with going on a third-party service. I used to run this blog as part of the Gentoo blogs, but we had so many disasters that I’ve been very happy with moving away from it. And Flattr is not allowed there.I’ve tried cleaning up Typo last night, but it’s non-trivial. I can probably cut a lot of shit out by replacing at least part of the templating system with fixed templates instead, but the biggest grievances for me are in the admin interface.I have a plan that for now entails replacing all the Textile-formatted content with Markdown (Markdown being more widely adopted), and probably replace theme and sidebar with simple views (the sidebar code being terrible).I’m also going to try out “mezzanine”: on a friend’s website. If it works out decently, I might just move this blog to that.

  5. I know exactly how it feels… [rant] just recently wrote two paragraphs in some Wiki, then somehow lost the focus of the edit window and pressed backspace –> poof, everything gone. How f*ing hard can it be to not let the user lose data that he tediously typed into a multi-line text field? WTF? We can tap and store the whole f*ing Internet’s tubes’ content for days, but saving some hundreds of bytes of typed text locally is too hard or what?? It has been like that since I can remember, with every browser. [/rant]I’m usually using the “It’s All Text” extension for Firefox, which lets me write the stuff in a trustworthy editor (kate), and whenever I save, the text gets copied back into the text field… but still, what a hack. I’m pretty sure I’ve also damaged some keyboards over this…Hope your laptop is alright… and please keep blogging!

  6. I do not want to go static either because I want comments, and I don’t want to depend on something like Disqus. I have some plans to circumvent that, but it will require some work.That’s why for now I’m using (gasp!) WordPress.

  7. … I made it a habbit though to write all longer texts (blog, email, wiki, whatever) in a regular text editor first and only C&P things over into web forms or email clients later … I unfortunately also developed the habbit of ignoring the mental “this is going to be a long text now …” trigger way too often though …This all started when I used a Mac for a little while some 10 years ago … too many emails were lost by in the end thinking “uh, maybe I should put … on Cc:, too” … problem there was that @ on a German PC keyboard is AltGr+Q while on the Mac it was something else, and the right Command key being in the same position as AltGr on a German PC keyboard … so the mussle memory made me press Cmd-Q for @ and gone was the mail compose window without even asking whether i really wanted to close it …On the browser front Shift-Ctrl-T (restore most recently closed Tab) has become a real life saver over the years as Ctrl-W does a completely different thing in FireFox (close active Tab) than it does in Emacs (cut marked region), and unsaved form input at least sometimes being restored when hitting [Back] or after a browser crash also helps …

  8. The biggest issue holding me back from starting a blog of my own is the publishing systems. They all have their quirks and issues, and features so smart it hurts. I may be settling for Textpattern, though. Just need to turn off every feature first.

  9. It will be a great shame if you stopped blogging. Even if you don’t continue, would you consider at least leaving your existing posts as an archive rather than rm -f’ing the database?

  10. Tom suggested making a fork. Funny, Publify feels like *it’s* a fork. spidered on June 2 and got good Typo content; when it returned on July 17 it got a redirect to with nary a mention about a project rename.Actually, though, as I look at blog posts and the Git history, it would appear that Tobias Luetke gave up full control over the project fairly early on. So it only *feels* like a fork.The fact remains that changing internal identifiers within the project is a whole different animal than simply changing external items like program titles, artwork, and the name of the repository and of the base project directory. Did they do a lot of testing in their conversion process? Could some of your problem be due to identifiers being stored in the database or in odd-location configuration files that are not converted? (Imagine a configuration setting called “typosomething” that no longer matches anything in the codebase.)There are tons of files in the Publify repository that were renamed from typo-something to publify-something. Renaming them all was a bad idea. Git makes file renaming have pretty little consequence for the repository: renames are too easy. Score one for Mercurial (which I prefer) over Git.Maybe it’s possible to dump all the blog posts and comments to some big text-backup blob, install and customize Publify afresh as if it were an new installation, and then restore the content into the new installation. There still might be Publify bugs, but at least there would not be (you hope!) any dangling references to Typo in the code and configuration.

  11. I can feel your frustration; I’ve been *seriously* pissed with certain technology lately as well.I very much enjoy reading your blog, it’s one of the very few places where I regularly learn something new and useful, and you take great care to write to a very high standard of – hm, do I call it “neutrality”? I feel you keep fact and opinion very well seperated, which makes your blog immensely useful not only for anecdotes and best practices, but as a reference as well.It would be very sad to see no more posts.But whatever you do, *please please please* do not kill the content that’s already accumulated. It is absolutely invaluable.If you find that you cannot host even a staticified archive any more, please contact me and we’ll work some kind of “flameeyes blog archive” out.

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