A new look

As you may have noticed, the blog has undergone something of a facelift. After a couple weeks of struggling, I moved my blog from proprietary Movable Type software to open source GPL WordPress software. While not all the features of the old blog are in place it is 95% there. It is good enough to switch while I tackle the remaining features that still need work.What is still missing? I have not yet succeeded in moving over the post tags. I tried to write a program to do it for me, but it is complex. It may be easier to copy and paste the tags for all 700+ posts piecemeal over the next several weeks than to finish debugging the program I wrote.

I have not yet found a WordPress plug in or widget that will show all tags on a master tag page. Instead, for now I have a “tag cloud” which you can see in the second column. The tag cloud lists popular tags, but not all of them. In addition, since I have tagged recent posts only, the tag cloud does not accurately represent all the post tags.

Email notifications are also incomplete. Notifications in WordPress are fancier than what I had in Movable Type. To receive an email when a post is made, simply enter your email address in the box in the second column and press the Send button. You can unsubscribe the same way.

If you take the time to create an account on this site, then you can subscribe to notifications for certain categories only. By creating an account (look for the link under the Meta section in the right hand column), you can also tweak your notification settings to request either an excerpt or the full post. In addition, you can request the post be formatted as HTML or as text.

Other features not installed: a Google Search box and disabling ads on the main index page. In addition, some utilities I wrote (such as one that lists all my posts with word counts) need to be rewritten. Perhaps these will come with time.

Overall, with a fair amount of research, ingenuity and elbow grease I was able to replicate virtually all of the features I had on Movable Type.

I hope you enjoy the new look. I believe that by using WordPress I will be able to offer more features for readers. I will also have an easier job of maintaining this place. In a future entry, I will get into my lessons learned from this rather major move.

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