Technology, Thoughts & Trinkets

Touring the digital through type

Category: Administration (page 1 of 3)

Administrative Note

Over the next 48-72 hours I’ll be doing some (extensive) work on my site. I’m simultaneously trying to renovate some features, dispose of others, and generally repair some long-standing problems on the backend. This site – and the database behind it – started as an experiment many years ago and I made a large number of fairly boneheaded mistakes over the years that I’ve tried (I think successfully) to cover up with bandages and duct tape during the last 3 years. It’s time, however, to amputate of these festering areas and rebuild them.

I’ve begun fixing up some of the problems over the past month, including migrating to a better hosting company that has located my data in Canada. Uptime has been more reliable and access speeds have generally improved, but more needs to be done. By the end of the weekend I hope to have performed the work needed to correct the bits and pieces of the site that are becoming increasingly problematic to deal with.

One of the more significant changes will be that the “/blog” in my URL will largely be removed. I’ll be trying to remedy internal links over the coming while, to limit internal breaks, but this might mean that some inbound links are broken. Significantly, those who use RSS readers to read what is written will likely need to adjust their feed. By the end of the weekend, the feed should have moved to: https://christopher-parsons.com/?feed=rss2 

I’ll post an update, to this post, once the transition is complete. See you on the other side!

Update:

The move has concluded. In addition to considerable visual modifications I’ve also remedied some rotten links and tried to improve page response speed. URL structure has changed, though old links should successfully redirect to the new link structure. Text should remain easy to read (ideally as good, if not better, than before) and I’ve presently adopted a ‘reading-for-mobile’ theme. The analytics engine that I use is, at present, Piwiki, which stores data on my server instead of providing it to a third party. The privacy notice has been updated as a result.

As noted in the earlier note, the RSS feed has moved to: https://christopher-parsons.com/?feed=rss2

Administrative Note: Website Refresh

Photo by Sanja Gjenero

I’ve been testing different ways to present the content of this website for about 9 months now, testing about 50 different themes, hundreds of plugins, and learning more about the loop than I though possible. For some time the iNove theme that I used has caused me a lot of headaches: it is slow, has regularly crashed the publishing functions of my WordPress install, and hadn’t been updated by the developer in years. This last item was particularly annoying, given that these lack of updates have prevented me from taking advantage of many new features in WordPress 3.0.

After spending (literally) countless hours trying to get iNove to work and find an alternate theme, I finally decided to take the plunge on switching themes on Sunday evening. The site came down for about twenty hours (two more than initially scheduled) and has since come back. I’m using the TwentyTen theme as the underbelly of the site, with many of the CSS changes courtesy of the TwentyTen – Blogging Inside Edition child theme. The changes in the child theme have been supplemented with my own modifications. I want to quickly catalogue what I did, in case there are features that someone else wants to incorporate some of these changes into their own TwentyTen installation.

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New RSS feed, ‘Worth Reading’

Like most people who are active online, I read a lot off the web, and there isn’t any way for me to analyze and critique much of what I’m reading on this site; I touch on items here and there, but I can’t be systematic on many topics. For some time I’ve used delicious to tag articles, and all of those tags are available to anyone who’s interested in using them to comb through my bookmarks. This said, it was recently pointed out that I have a foolish number of tags (they’re there so that *I* can cull articles based on tag-based query) which makes navigating my delicious stream…unpleasant.

Given my own temporal limitations and the critique of my tagging system, I’ve added an RSS feed titled ‘Worth Reading‘ to the right-hand side of the site, over beside the blogroll. The feed just follows the ‘ttt‘ tag from my delicious stream (ttt=Technology, Thoughts, and Trinkets) and will provide subscribers with articles, blog posts, news pieces, and academic papers that relate to topics often written about here (i.e. security, copyright, deep packet inspection, p2p, social networking, etc) as well as articles on the academy that are useful and/or thought provoking. I’m not digging through my archive to identify items for this feed – time constraints and sanity preclude this – but will be tagging anything relevant to this space so it’ll show up in the RSS.

Hope it’s useful and/or interesting. Feedback is always welcome!

Administrative Note: Changes Implemented

spiralblueI’ve just spent the past little while implementing a few changes to the site – there is a new template that should be a bit easier to read, as well as some SEO stuff under the hood that is running now. Let me know if you run into any weird issues, though I think that I’ve tested all the code that was modified enough that I’ve squashed the bugs that had crept up.

The full list of changes includes: a direct link to all bookmarks I’ve tagged with as relating to DPI in delicious, an updated CV, a picture in the ‘About’ section, no more direct link to my edublog (which will, eventually, get drawn into this blog), a new theme (plus some code changes), a few SEO plugins.

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