Move to Word Press

September 3, 2004 | 32 comments
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I think this is now running. It looks like we just plain outgrew MT. I guess all of the earlier time outs were a warning. Apparently, it doesn’t handle particularly well when there are 1000 entries and 20,000 comments (3 MB of entries and 20 MB of comments). I would have preferred to have kept things in MT, having already done a lot of work in that software, but it looks like we hit the limit.

There are still some changes to be made.
At the moment, we still have to:

1. Import some old entries. Our files were too big to bring over at one time, so I brought over the most recent 500 entries. The others should be importable with a little bit of work.

2. Continue to fix the template. I’ve got a default WordPress template running. We had a fair amount of customization that we’ll have to get back in. (Any tips, Danithew?) Getting There.

3. Run a script (apparently it exists, but I’ve got to figure it out) to update our links. Until then, internal links between posts (“I’m writing in response to Greg’s post” with a link) will go back to the MT archives. Fixed via htaccess.

4. Fix a strange bug that popped up in a few of the guest blogger’s posts, where they are listed as authored by one of the commenters. (For example, Frank’s posts show obi-wan as the author). I think that was due to a bug in the import function, which didn’t quite read the author name properly on the import, but it should be fixable. And, as far as I can tell, all of the regular authors came out normal. Fix some author mismatches from the import.

5. Make the recent comments look like the format people are used to.

6. Fix a few instances where comments were messed up on the transfer, by pasting in the old comments. (It happened where comments had a long string of dashes in them: “—————”. Because MT uses strings of dashes to set text apart in its export, those strings were read as the end of a post, and following text (until the next post) was not properly imported).

7. Continue to update links and fix the place up generally.

That’s a bit of work still to do. But, the good side is, we should now have commenting and posting functionality. Hallelujah.

32 Responses to Move to Word Press

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  4. XON on September 3, 2004 at 6:34 pm

    Not that I need to be the first, but let me be one of the first to thank Kaimi and all those who help for maintaining this site. I’d be SOOOO bored without it. . .

    X

  5. William Morris on September 3, 2004 at 6:38 pm

    Yes. Thanks, Kaimi.

    Also: considering that much of the content of T&S is generated via comments, an RSS comments feed for individual posts is a very cool feature.

  6. Aaron Brown on September 3, 2004 at 6:40 pm

    Yuck. I don’t like it. I like the old format better. But I guess you have to do what you have to do.

    On second thought, maybe if everyone but me would just stop commenting, or at least limit themselves to brief accolades like “Gosh, Aaron B, that was really insightful. What more can I say?”, then the old T&S would be better able to handle the traffic. What do you think?

    Aaron B

  7. Ryan Bell on September 3, 2004 at 6:45 pm

    Someday, we’ll look back and tell our grandchildren we were there when T&S switched to wordpress. What a momentous day.

    But I’m with Aaron– hopefully the look won’t take long to get back.

  8. Jack on September 3, 2004 at 7:35 pm

    Kaimi & admn. I’ve been commenting for several months now at T&S and have never offered the slightest gesture of gratitude. Shame on me! This is the best blog-site in blog-town!

    Thanks, Kaimi and everyone at T&S!

  9. Gordon Smith on September 3, 2004 at 7:39 pm

    Ok, folks, I am going to tinker with the stylesheet, so this could get pretty funky. I’ll save this one just in case!

  10. Dave on September 3, 2004 at 8:00 pm

    Kudos the T&S admin staff. Any way to enlarge the tiny WordPress comment box and add a Preview function?

  11. Bryce I on September 3, 2004 at 8:19 pm

    Whoa! Cool — I just hit refresh, and new style goodness! (or ok-ness — it’s not that much better. Keep trying!)

  12. Nathan Tolman on September 3, 2004 at 8:43 pm

    Thanks! This is a welcome change. If the comments could go back to the format they were before, it would be perfect! I am sure you all are working hard at it.

  13. Kaimi on September 3, 2004 at 9:47 pm

    Thanks everyone, it’s good to be appreciated. (And don’t forget Gordon, who is fixing the stylesheet and template — and it’s a good thing, since style sheets drive me absolutely batty).

    It looks like a small number of comments didn’t make it through the transition. I believe they’re all post-Wednesday comments that had had rebuild problems, and did not export properly. I’m going to poke around the old site, and try to paste in any missing comments. There aren’t very many, as far as I can tell.

    And if you notice a comment that was eaten, please let me know, or, if you prefer, just repost it. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  14. Bryce I on September 3, 2004 at 9:59 pm

    I sound like an ingrate. I should mention that the change I mentioned was a simple change in the font color of the “Times and Seasons” header. Hence the underwhelmed response.

    Things are looking much better now. Thanks for working so hard!

  15. danithew on September 3, 2004 at 10:36 pm

    WOO! I think you’ll be glad you made the switch to WordPress. :) When you’ve got the look of the site to how you want it, make sure to strut your stuff here (then all the other WordPress folks can give you feedback and suggestions on things):

    http://wordpress.org/support/11

  16. danithew on September 3, 2004 at 10:53 pm

    Kaimi, if you need help or tips or experts to talk with, I can refer you to some WordPress friends of mine who have been very helpful to me in the past. And who knows… maybe I would even have an answer or two. The WordPress Support community is very good about helping people out. There are quite a number who have made the switch to WordPress from MT as well.

  17. Dave on September 4, 2004 at 12:04 am

    Wow, that was fast! It’s nice to see that signature logo back on top. The Bloggernacle was holding its breath there for a few hours, but now all is well in eZion again.

  18. john fowles on September 4, 2004 at 12:13 am

    Kaimi, I also want to thank you and the others for all of your work in facilitating this great forum for discussion. I have learned a lot by participating here.

    I understand your need to switch, but I agree with Aaron B. that the old format was much better (from a purely aesthetic point of view. The comments seemed easier to read through. Also, on the recent comments list, I liked having the name of the thread next to the name of the recent commenter rather than the first few lines of their comment, as in WordPress. When you get the time and the tips you need to finish this project, are you planning on trying to approximate the old style of the blog?

  19. Clark Goble on September 4, 2004 at 12:17 am

    Other than the way the comments look, I really like the look of the site right now (~10:20 Friday night) In fact I think I like the appearance a great deal more than the old one. About all I’d like is to not see the comment number and to have a bit more space between comments and perhaps a line separating them.

  20. Gordon Smith on September 4, 2004 at 1:28 am

    I appreciate all of the suggestions here, and want you to know that we are listening. Kaimi and I have been working on this for most of the evening to get some semblance of the old T&S. Matt and Kaimi will be hacking away over the weekend, as I have reached the limits of my competence. (Actually, I reached the limit about three hours ago, but in fine lawyerly fashion, I plowed on. Too bad that I can’t bill this time!) Anyway, it’s too early to make definitive judgments about the new site, but we should have a better sense of the possible ads and disads soon.

  21. danithew on September 4, 2004 at 1:34 am
  22. danithew on September 4, 2004 at 1:39 am

    Here’s a list of plugins that could be of interest: http://wiki.wordpress.org/Plugin

    If you have further css questions, you probably want to talk to Podz. You can find him in the WordPress Support Forum. I can also send his email addy to an interested party and make introductions.

  23. Keith on September 4, 2004 at 3:19 am

    Kaimi,

    Is it possible to list the blog or title or thread (whatever it is actually called) one is commenting on under “Recent Comments” rather than just who is commenting and the first few words? In the other format you had this and it made for better/quicker deciding whether a new post was something one wanted to read or not.

    Thanks for all the time you spend keeping this running well.

  24. danithew on September 4, 2004 at 9:53 am

    Some WordPress plugin thoughts:

    You may be working on other things for awhile, but one plugin I found handy was Matt Mullenweg’s Asides plugin. Matt Mullenweg, btw, is the lead developer/founder of WordPress and you can find him by simply doing a google-search for “Matt.” He’s the highest rank Matt on google.com right now (and probably for a long time to come). His blog is called PhotoMatt and is a pretty good place to check out from time to time.

    The Asides plugin/hack allows you to have one-liner posts (or a little longer if you wish) that merely draw readers’ attention to a particular site or thought. Though you type in a title, if you type a brief post and then select the Asides category box (or whatever you name it — perhaps Jots and Tittles would be a way to go for an LDS site), the reader will only see the material in the post (and not the title). For example, you could type something as brief as “A Soft Answer has announced such-and-such new blog.” That one brief line would contain the link to the new blog and that would be it. It takes a little getting used to but it is handy.

    Matt’s directions for using the Asides plugin aren’t the best. If you decide you want this feature, read the directions at Podz’s site: http://www.tamba2.org.uk/T2/archives/2004/08/20/asides/

    Another plugin that will probably be of interest is the Exhibit plugin. You can use that plugin to post pictures or images. You can post either a thumbnail, the image itself, etc. You can download Exhibit here: http://www.asymptomatic.net/wp-hacks (just scroll down a bit as there is a list of available plugins on this page)

  25. danithew on September 4, 2004 at 10:00 am

    There has been some debate about whether or not threaded comments would be desireable. I personally am “for” threaded comments but of course that’s ultimately up to you to decide. If you want the plugin, go here: http://weblogtoolscollection.com/archives/2004/05/09/threaded-comments-hack-for-wordpress-12/

  26. Matt Evans on September 4, 2004 at 10:03 am

    Test Message

  27. Kaimi on September 4, 2004 at 9:45 pm

    We’ve got a few authorship issues. Some posts either did not properly export from MT, or did not properly import into WP (I’m not sure which); the end result is that some of the posts list the incorrect author. It seems to be in stretches, and it’s systematic; for example, a stretch of Matt Evans posts from the beginning of the year are all attributed to Jim.

    I’m not sure how it happened, but it will be fixed at some point; in the mean time, for the next few days, don’t be surprised to see strange things like “Jim” posts from early 2004 that are strongly conservative in tone. :) (There may be others, that’s the one I noticed right now).

  28. danithew on September 6, 2004 at 8:49 am

    Brian Meidell has released his threaded comments plugin (the 1.0 version). Here it is: http://www.meidell.dk/blog/archives/2004/09/04/nested-comments/

  29. danithew on September 6, 2004 at 8:53 am

    It appears that Brian is going to be doing more work on that plugin so you might want to wait for the next version. It’s attractive but appears to have some problems in Internet Explorer as well as a lot of narrowing as the nested comments go on and on. I’m sure Brian’s going to make it into something special.

  30. marta on September 7, 2004 at 10:12 am

    Thank you for all your hard work; and while you are still tweaking, may I mention that I really miss the Previous Post/ Home/ Next Post links which used to be at the top of each page?

  31. Carl Youngblood on September 7, 2004 at 6:11 pm

    I just checked back at the comments for this post. Hi John, good to hear from you! Anyway, I wanted to make a suggestion that you free up some more space by making the side column a little more narrow. Also, the logo graphic could be make to look more appealing and less awkward.

  32. dan on September 7, 2004 at 6:12 pm

    Nice work on the switch.