Fast, manual, incremental updating of WordPress

February 6th, 2008

WordPress recently released 2.3.3 as an urgent security fix for 2.3.2. Rather than wiping all non-configured files from my development site, extracting the replacement files from the tarball, and re-uploading said files by FTP, I used the fast and precise approach: Only upload changed files.

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No-hassle IE movie embedding

October 5th, 2007

Due to a lawsuit by Eolas against Microsoft, Internet Explorer (both 6 and 7) is not allowed to auto-load movies, flash, and other plugins. The effect is that users must click an empty area with a gray outline to load the content or start interacting with it. The standard approach to route around this usability fiasco is to dynamically load the <object> and <embed> tags with javascript. Here I present an easier, more readable, and unobtrusive technique for embedding content in IE6 and IE7.

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Odd Apache pitfall: ErrorDocument and POST

August 12th, 2007

I am writing a web app that hides much of its inner workings, as any good web app should. (Why? future-proofing, security, simplicity of user experience, etc.) I chose to route all requests that involve server-side scripting through a single file, capture.php. But somewhere along the way, form POSTs stopped working! Why?

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Duplicity + Amazon S3 = incremental encrypted remote backup

August 11th, 2007

Update: I haven't really been using this, since the bandwidth required is a bit... excessive. I think I'll stick to duplicity + external hard drive.

Duplicity is a backup program that only backs up the files (and parts of files) that have been modified since the last backup. Built on FLOSS (rsync, GnuPG, tar, and rdiff), it allows efficient, locally encrypted, remote backups.

Amazon S3 is a web service that provides cheap, distributed, redundant, web-accessible storage. S3 currently charges only $0.15 per GB-month storage and $0.10 per GB upload. The API is based on HTTP requests such as GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE.

The following is a description of how I made use of these to back up my laptop, which runs Ubuntu Feisty Fawn.

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Comment tokenizer algorithm

July 5th, 2007

The existing comment-tracking systems that I know of just aren't enough. CoComment is buggy and fails to properly parse out comments for a number of blogs, and is missing a number of important features. (Float unread to top of list, for example, or track a URL without visiting it.) has a much nicer interface and tracks better, but lacks a Firefox extension and some of the advanced features of CoComment.

Rather than simply whining about the lack of excellent trackers, I want to help the existing ones improve. Here I present most of algorithm to parse out comments from an unfamiliar blog template.

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