BLOGS

Joel on TextMate

Joel Spolsky (who started his career at Microsoft as a manager on the Excel team) has been writing some recent longer blog posts on a MacBook Pro in TextMate using Markdown. He describes the process in a recent entry. He calls it a “surprisingly good experience.” He goes on to gripe about anti-aliasing quality (FWIW, that’s explained here), and beachballing from dropped wifi connections (which I’ve never experienced, maybe it’s an early Intel thing?

I hate those SitePal ads

Feedback sent to Technorati today: Please, I beg you, kill those talking “SitePal” ads. I keep my PowerBook plugged into an amplified speaker setup all day, and when the “Pal” begins talking after having been displayed for X seconds (without me so much as mousing over it, I’m pretty sure), it’s heinous. And embarrassing if anyone is within earshot. Plus, they creep me out. Thanks, Paul Update: After some testing I think that I was in fact mousing over the ad – my Dock is on the right side of the screen, so with a vertical ad on the right side of the Technorati page it’s easy to do.

Is Akismet broken again?

In the past 24 hours I’ve seen a wave of comment spam resembling the late August outage. Mostly porn spam. Is it just me? I’m using the Akismet API from my homebrew code (negatives are simply rejected), but maybe this is a sign that I should start using the feedback part of their API to report false negatives. This also gets me thinking about the need for an Akismet-like service that is run cooperatively, with multiple servers to avoid the single-point-of-failure problem.

Akismet anti-comment-spam

I’ve yanked out my own crude anti-comment-spam tests and replaced them with a nice tidy call to the Akismet API. If this works out I’ll most certainly incorporate it into the Django version of the blog – there’s a nice Python interface as well. seanrox commented on Thu Aug 24 14:58:33 2006: Akismet is nice and works wonders on comment spam as you’ll see on your site.

Well blogs

I’ve recently moved the Wellblogs aggregator to my server from its former home. It’s a simple “planet” style presentation that shows the last week’s worth of posts across a few dozen blogs written by members of The Well. The software is a Python engine written by Michael Josephson, and I’ve been very impressed with it so far. It’s based on Mark Pilgrim’s Universal Feed Parser, a MySQL data store, Cheetah templates, and some extra bits to gracefully handle the inevitable connection failures involved when fetching dozens of disparate feeds every hour.

About.com starting to move to WordPress

Interesting – About.com is moving to WordPress. I also learned from Matt’s blog posting, much to my surprise, that they were using Movable Type before. It feels very significant that the New York Times Company is migrating its $410-million-dollar baby over to an open source content-management platform. The usual open source components further down the stack – Apache, Linux, et al. – don’t have the same implications for feel and functionality that the content management layer does, and therefore this feels like more of a significant endorsement of open source.