Net work

I’m afraid. I’m afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I’m a… fraid.

I’m about to dig into the innards of the software that runs this blog (updating WordPress from 1.5 to 2.6, installing some plugins, fiddling with CSS and PHP). So, just in case I can’t get the pod doors open when I’m done, I want to say it’s been fun, and thanks for tuning in.

Update: It seems I’m still here. Much remains to be done, but I’m hoping the site will remain functional while under reconstruction. Comments and complaints are welcome.

Update 26 October 2008: It’s like gardening, or dentistry, or cleaning out the attic: Once you start mucking about, you notice more and more that needs attention, and there’s no end to it. It’s clear now that I’m going to be fussing with the presentation of this site for weeks to come. Expect something different every time you visit. Those who read via RSS will probably be seeing the same posts flagged as ‘new’ over and over again. Sorry about that. (Does anyone know a way to avoid it, other than shutting down the feed altogether?)

Anyway, don’t be shy about letting me know what doesn’t work or what looks awful. One of the main motives for this housecleaning was to provide a less-lousy interface for leaving comments. I’ve already experimented with three approaches to that problem, and I’m not terribly happy with any of them. I’m likely to change again. If you’d like to test the system, this post would be a good place to leave witty remarks such as “Hello, world!” and “Testing, one, two, three.”

Here’s a specific question: All of the schemes for providing a preview of comment formatting rely on Javascript. I read RSS feeds with a program that doesn’t do Javascript (NetNewsWire 2.0). How about others? Will a Javascript solution actually solve anything?

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3 Responses to Net work

  1. Carl Witty says:

    Testing, testing, one, two, three.

    I like the “Preview Comment” button; I use a web browser to read this, so JavaScript is fine for me.

    Once I previewed the comment, I had to use the “back” button to get back to my text so that I could edit and (finally) submit. Is this intentional? It’s the only “preview” I’ve seen that works like this.

  2. brian says:

    Is this intentional?

    It’s not my intention, but I haven’t yet figured out what to do about it. Before investing too much work in customizing this particular bit of code, I want to look more carefully at what else is out there.

    P.S. Just discovered it’s worse than I knew. You have to use the back button, even if you don’t want to make any changes. Otherwise, the “Submit” button does nothing.

  3. David Eisner says:

    For what it’s worth, Javascript is fine with me as well.

    Thanks to, I’ve recently become aware of the combination of Markdown and WMD, which together provide a very nice comment-editing environment with as-you-type preview. You can see a demo of it here, or just try it on Stackoverflow.