Bear with me. Still moving much of the old Darker View material to the new platform. Thus you will see posts from the old site appearing here as new posts. The easiest way for me to transfer the old stuff is to cut, paste, edit for freshness, and re-post. It will be a long process.
How do I fold all of the legacy parts of Darker View into the new format?
Slowly, I hope to move all of the legacy information in the old darker view site onto the WordPress platform. The first goal is to deal with the old static HTML pages that existed beside the blog. These pages have an ancient heritage, at least by web standards. They are fragments of the website I began almost twenty years ago, the old WhitethornHouse.com. Much of this was ported into the blog when the website was converted in 2007. At one point the whole thing was seamless, the blog integrated with static HTML pages, integrated with a batch of PHP scripts to dynamically create the observing database.
Right now the thing is just a mess.
The goal is to achieve the same seamless appearance. First to import all of the old static pages into WordPress as either posts or pages within the WordPress database. This requires some method of redirecting the old pages to the new locations when a 404 error occurs. To this end I have borrowed and modified a custom PHP script to automate the 404 page. With this I can map any deleted pages to the new location.
Actually, it seems to work reasonably well. With this I can begin the process of deleting the old material as it is imported into the new format, without abandoning all of the old links to my site that exist across the net.
Expect problems. Expect dead links that will eventually get corrected as the material posts to the new site. Expect to see old articles posted as new on the new site, that material I deem worth preserving. This will be a long process as I slowly, page by page, move the material across and get the links re-mapped.
Bear with me. Thanks!
I expected the video to be popular, maybe not this popular. So far several major websites have picked up the video. First is was ScienceBlogs.de and Universe Today, then Phil at Bad Astronomy was nice enough to post the vid. Now it is Wired Magazine that has posted the video along with an article. I expect the video will pass 10k views sometime in the next hour.
For those readers that might be stopping by Darker View for the first time… Welcome!
A video like this takes a surprising amount of work to assemble. It is rewarding to see that the results of that effort are not in vain. Sharing my experience on the mountain, celebrating the efforts of the great guys of our summit daycrew, it is very satisfying to see that so many folks are interested in what we do.
If you like what you see, why not stick around, we have more to share!
The world of WordPress plugins is a stew of confusion to a new WordPress user. Thousands of options are available for use with your blog, an amazing array of interesting features to add useful capabilities. From this, you are trying to choose what works for you. You really do need a few plugins to add key features.
For Darker View there a number of things I have determined I need to get working… Spam comment filtering, backup capability, statistics, social site support, threaded comments, and a decent photo gallery. I have the backup utility working now using the very nice WordPress Database Backup by Austin Matzko. Social site functions and statistics from Jetpack work smoothly.
The latest experiments center around getting a decent gallery function integrated. Two options appear to be worth considering… NextGEN Gallery seems to be the standard, but I had read that it was flash based, and I want things to work on an iOS device. In a later experiment I found that it does work on my iPad, so it is back on the list.
In the meantime I have experimented with DM Albums. This is a straightforward plugin with a decent interface. Just load the photos and put a single tag into the post. I like the effect, it seems to play well with my theme. The result is a nicely functional gallery.
DM Albums does have some sizing issues in the full screen mode, pretty annoying issues. The package has seen very active development lately, with two major releases already this year as they clean up the bugs and get everything working. Thus I am not giving up on this package just yet.
This issue is not done yet, I am just out of time to play with it for now.
[dmalbum path="/wp-content/uploads/dm-albums/Hawaii 100/"/]
This has been the year for internet legislation in the Hawaii legislature. First there was the terrible HB 2288 that would require complete records of all personal internet activity to be kept for two years. This bill has been deferred, and is hopefully dead, after active opposition in the press, social media and pressure from internet service providers. The measure received nationwide media attention, overwhelmingly negative attention, when it was first proposed.
The current focus of attention is on SB2104, which attempts to address online harassment. The bill defines electronic harassment as follows…
(g) Makes any form of electronic communication, as defined in section 711-1111(2), including electronic mail transmissions, that is directed at a specific person and causes emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose. SB2104 as of 10Jan2011
Other island bloggers have posted on this measure. Interestingly with opposite takes on the issue. Tiffany has come out in wholehearted support of SB2104, while Damon has come out in opposition, citing free speech issues.
I usually side with free speech, even in the face of offensive speech. I am particularly sensitive to anything that threatens our use of electronic communications, a tool that is increasingly important in our society. It is the net that has facilitated true social opposition and organization to counterbalance the abuse of governmental or corporate economic power. It was the stunningly rapid response on social websites and blogs that halted the SOPA and PIPA legislation in the US Congress. A clear example of the power available to our communities through these new media.
With that in mind I have some real problems with the language on this one. I can all to easily imagine this sort of legislation being used to stifle legitimate comment and opinion. While I applaud the intention, to limit cyberbullying, I am not sure if this can be addressed like this without impinging on freedom of speech.
OK, I have some little nagging issues in the format of the blog. I keep dealing with them, today I fixed the unordered list format issues. There is more to be done. I need a sample post to test the various formatting available in the CSS file, so here it goes…
I have spent much of the day, between doing yard work, working on the style sheet for Darker View. I have solved a few little issues, put a header image in place, and learned a great deal about the intricacies of CSS and WordPress. I still have some problems with tables and the favicon, I will just attack the issues one-by-one.
I have also learned a bit about WordPress templates, making a few modifications here and there. Good progress, the whole thing is looking much better.The major bug of the Blogum theme seems to be putting a ‘Read More’ at the bottom of every post, even if it has nothing else to read. This one will be a challenge. Otherwise I have figured out date formats and many of the other WordPress function calls.
If you have any comments or suggestions, please comment!
Update… The Read More bug is fixed!
Yes, I have changed the theme. Sorry.
The theme currently displayed is Blogum. I think this is the way I want to go. The original appearance was back on white. Not really appropriate for a blog called Darker View. I have edited the CSS for a gray on black appearance closer to the original DV. A few things do not work quite right, particularly the tables I had so neatly laid out for the earlier theme. Just more work ahead, bear with me.
Yeah, I am not happy with the appearance of the site either.
The current theme just has a number of annoying “features” that just bother me. I am experimenting with another theme, one with an even cleaner and more minimalistic layout. So expect the appearance to change some time. In the meantime if you happen to stop by Darker View late some night to see an entirely different look… It is just me working on another layout.
It has been a decision that has been brewing for quite some time. I have changed Darker View over to using WordPress as the underlying software.
For the last four years Darker View has run on Serendipity (known as S9Y) as the underlying blogging software. The software has served me well, it is easily customizable and has proven quite stable. Unfortunately it is also beginning to show some signs of wear. It is getting slower and slower as the size of Darker View’s databases have grown. Any number of new technologies and features I would like to add to DV are not available.
Serendipity is not supporting the blogging community to the degree that WordPress is. The development behind WordPress has reached such an overwhelming critical mass that it is hard not to make this switch, if just to avail myself of the features and support available from the WP community.
When my father asked me to setup a blog for him I knew I would use WordPress to do it. Using WP to setup NordicQuest.com allowed me to get a good hands-on look at the software. I was expecting a good experience, what resulted was even better. I was consistently pleased with the features and ease of use offered by WP. This cemented my decision to convert Darker View to WP as soon as possible.
This will not be without a lot of pain. There are over 2350 postings, hundreds of images, and a lot of history contained in the databases of Darker View. I have attempted twice to automatically convert the mass of material contained in the S9Y databases to WP. Both attempts were dismal failures, resulting in a couple FTP and SQL sessions needed to delete and clean up the resulting morass. Thus I have simply setup a clean WP install and started afresh. I will probably make an effort to cut and paste the most significant articles over to the new platform.
I will leave the old blogging software in-place for now. All of the old links and articles will remain online. Fortunately the choices I made when structuring the site years ago when installing S9Y will allow me to run both blogging packages in parallel. But for 2012, all new material will be on the WordPress platform.