this blog is girtby.net

Posted
25 July 2006

Categories
Meta

Tags

11 Comments

Girt By Rails

Welcome to the new Girtby.net, same as the old Girtby.net, but now 100% Web 2.0 compliant.

Yes, I've finally made good on my threat to migrate the blog to Typo, the blogging package built with Ruby On Rails. Typo 4.0 was released a few days ago and I'm happy to be an early adopter.

What problem am I trying to solve? Why the problem of not running a blog with Ruby on Rails, of course. Also there are some longstanding Wordpress gripes which I will go into in more detail later (except to say: Atom 1.0!) Lastly it gave me the impetus to clean up the theme, and I think you'll agree it looks nicer than the old one.

All URLs should be cool, with the exception of per-article comment feeds. All other existing feeds should still work.

Some things I still need to fix are:

  • Sometimes the Markdown formatting doesn't work right. I think this is a bug in BlueCloth (Ruby implementation of Markdown).
  • Registered users didn't make the transition. There were only a couple of you, so please re-register if this is important to you.
  • Firefox/Mac users will notice that the post dates are displayed in MM/DD/YYYY format, regardless of your locale. This seems to be a browser bug.
  • The site is slow while my hosting provider (who BTW deserve props) migrates to mongrel.

If you notice anything else strange — or stranger than usual — please let me know by posting a comment below or email.

11 Comments

Posted by
Aristotle Pagaltzis
2006-07-25 20:02:42 -0500
#

Atom 1.0!

Yay!

I think you’ll agree it looks nicer than the old one.

I don’t see a real difference. I preferred the bigger font on the old layout, and frankly I find the grey boxes of metadata useless at best and distracting at works, particularly on the main page where there are so many of them providing irrelevant targets to the scanning eye. So overall I think it’s a slight change for the worse, but not enough so that I’d care.

My only actual complaints are the same as I have with just about any Typo blog: that I always have to click “leave url/email”, and that for whatever reason Firefox refuses to autocomplete these fields.


Posted by
Alastair
2006-07-25 20:02:42 -0500
#

Thanks Aristotle,

I agree on the "leave url/email" thing. I will ditch it.

Also agree on the grey metaboxes. Will tone them down a bit.

On the font size. Here's the old stylesheet:

font-size: 62.5%;
font-family : 'Bitstream Vera Sans', 'Lucida Grande', Verdana, Arial, 'sans-serif';

New stylesheet:

font: normal 12px "Bitstream Vera Sans", "lucida grande", verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif;

So whether it's smaller or bigger depends on your default font size... (for me the new one is bigger).


Posted by
Aristotle Pagaltzis
2006-07-25 20:02:42 -0500
#

useless at best and distracting at works

Did I really write that?

Also, I just saw that a bunch of your posts when from fulltext to summary-only – aww. :(


Posted by
Alastair
2006-07-25 20:02:42 -0500
#

I knew what you meant :)

Re-enabled fulltext feeds.


Posted by
Richard
2006-07-25 20:02:42 -0500
#

Certainly for me, the del.icio.us links are larger.

I've seen what the old site did on Sunny's pc (when you ask for a small font size, Ubuntu knows you really mean it), and I'm sure he's glad for the new larger font style too.

But I'm sure Julian's gonna gripe about the use of a fixed pixel (? WTF kind font size is measured in pixels? Shouldn't this be pt, like Gutenberg intended?) height, rather than being proporsional... if he even notices (shh, maybe he won't).

One thing you might want to look into is the total absence of space between the article title and byline (in Firefox, are they drawn over each other? It's hard to tell with the top of the ascenders being horizontally separated from the descenders) vs the larger gap between the site title and subtitle. Maybe these should use the same style?

And finally: woot! Previews!


Posted by
Richard
2006-07-25 20:02:42 -0500
#

BTW Is comment revisionism on the cards in the New Girtby? Could there be at least corrections for the next N minutes? (sounds like a job for a new kind of plugin, since this site doesn't have any kind of user authentication...)


Posted by
Alastair
2006-07-25 20:02:42 -0500
#

Richard,

Excellent suggestion but as you correctly surmise, there are some issues with comment revision. The authentication problem is probably solvable - the site could just hand you a cookie which would authenticate you were the author of a given comment. This could be valid for N minutes which would let you edit the comment. I'll put this on the to-do list.


Posted by
Michael Studman
2006-07-25 20:02:42 -0500
#

Snap!

I've just migrated to Typo too for similar reasons. Now the blog is up it's time to pimp my scribbish.

Sadly my host doesn't support Mongrel yet so I'm making do with FastCGI - it's not too bad I guess but I pity the sucker who gets whacked with the 10-15 second load time after ther fcgi process is periodically sighup'd.

It's good to run into you via your blog. Just the other day I remembering my time at previous job and wondered what had become of you after your move to NJ. Drop me a line sometime.

Michael.


Posted by
Michael Studman
2006-07-25 20:02:42 -0500
#

Oops, sorry for the double post. It was a combination of slow AJAXy interactions and the confusing dead zone on OSX buttons.


Posted by
Alastair
2006-07-25 20:02:42 -0500
#

Hey Michael, congrats on the Typo migration.

So far I'm pretty happy with the migration. So far the only downside has been the need to upgrade my hosting plan to include SSH. Wordpress can be managed through an FTP-only interface, but not so for Typo (or any other RoR tech AFAICT).

Removed the duplicate post and possibly-obscure reference to my current employer (yes I'm still there).


Posted by
Alastair
2006-07-25 20:02:42 -0500
#

Just a short note to say that I've fixed various problems with comment preview. Hopefully this will prevent the duplicate comments appearing.