Dec 142009

Well looks like the first post needs to be about how to setup a blog off all things!
It should be so simple really…these things have been around for ages!
But no complications ensue, after much mucking about and trying to use both Trac and B2evolution I ended up with the very commonly used WordPress.

Trac is great for posting code due to it’s wiki markup, wide layout and syntax highlighting, but not so good as a blog since I didn’t want to perform the various hacks to have it accept comments etc. Trac is after all part of our software dev platform so it’s best to keep it stable so that upgrades are smooth. Also it’s really not so pretty.

B2evolution was very easy to setup in Debian and after quick alias and rewrite rules added to apache the home page redirected to /blog and everything behaved. However the lack of decent formatting (never mind syntax highlighting) in the Debian Lenny version made it useless as a coder’s blog.

WordPress was a lot harder to setup and the apache rewrite rules needed more tweaking. Finding themes for v2.5 was a pain since there are so many millions of themes out there that don’t specify the compatible versions which it is very critical. Of course we also needed a wide 2 column layout so that code was rendered correctly and narrow centre columns are the norm in the blog world. I gave up on all the plugins that claimed to make SMTP email work and just reconfigured exim4 to do the job. Even so I had to change things in the PHP code to get my SMTP provider to accept that this was not spam:


var $From               = "";
var $FromName           = "wp-username";
var $Sender            = "";

Note: In Debian /usr/share/wordpress/wp-includes/class-phpmailer.php is a symlink.
Change the above to something valid and remember that we have now changed the global PHP config…why is there not a /etc/wordpress/mail.config for this?

But after all that, as you can see, code looks very nice with the help of WP-Syntax plugin placed in /usr/share/wordpress/wp-content/plugins. Thank you very much Ryan McGeary. Now to get on with posting what I set out to post 5 days ago…

PS. this is me reposting all the content at 23:00 after I managed to drop the wrong WordPress database while playing with three servers…thankfully I had set my Firefox cache pretty big so managed to retrieve most of it from there.

Update: Ok I finally had enough of the spam bots and installed wp-captcha-free.

Gavin Kromhout:

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