Category Archives: Admin

WordPress 2.3.1 and other doodads

Does this look different? If not, you are probably reading this through the RSS feed and can just skip to the next item. Unless, of course the feed is now broken. Then, I really want to know.

But for those of you looking at this article on its own website, there has been an upgrade of components. This blog now runs:

  • WordPress 2.3.1 -the latest and greatest
  • Soleil theme, slightly modified. I like per-category RSS subscription buttons. I think it is important for the blogs with multiple barely overlapping topics
  • Bookmark and feed subscription buttons from AddThis. Hopefully, it does not slow down the blog too much. If it will, I will explore some other options.
  • Other Posts from the same Category plugin.
  • Akismet (of course)

Not everything is perfect yet, but it looks like a good step. If all goes well, this look will probably stay until WordPress 2.4, which is rumored to include a fully semantic theme, based on Sandbox.

I had a quick look at Sandbox for this switch, but the only interesting theme I found was incredibly heavy on the images and other downloadable elements. Much as I believe that this blog is best read through RSS or email subscription due to its aperiodic nature, I still don’t want to make the visitors of the website to get slow loading pages.

If you see anything odd or find a particular aspect extremely nice or annoying, do let me know in the comments or directly via email (listed on the About page).

Subscribing to this blog

Are you a regular yet not subscribed reader of this blog? Would you like to subscribe, but haven’t figured out how? I apologise.

I have received an email asking how to subscribe to my blog via email. That made me think about subscribers in general and that maybe some of you may be stuck reading this (not-really-periodic) blog the hard way. If you do, maybe this post will help you (and me) to solve this problem.

Subscribe to blog iconIf you are familiar with using RSS (or ATOM), then things are easy. When using Firefox, there is an orange and white icon in the title bar that you can click on and choose to subscribe to this feed. If you are reading this in Internet Explorer, the orange button on the left here links to my feed URL, which you can subscribe to using software you are already using. If you are not using anything yet, have a look at Google Reader, that’s the one I prefer at the moment.

If you don’t use RSS and prefer to get my articles via email, there are couple of free services for that as well. I haven’t used any of them, but I know of FeedBlitz, RssFwd and Rmail. If anybody used them before, I would love to know.

Going forward, I will need to make the subscription options more obvious. Any advice on your (reader’s) preferences would be appreciated. As would be any advice on whether this blog layout in general is good or bad for you. Or any other issue with this blog (except for its frequency) that you would like to comment on.

The comments can be done under this post or directly to me at alex (at) this domain name.

Loosing non-ascii characters

Somewhere between upgrading WordPress and (possibly) upgrading MySql database, all the non latin characters got corrupted. This included my Russian, Spanish, French and possibly Esperanto writing. Basically, anything in UTF-8 that is not in latin-1.

The partial solution was go into database administration and changing the text columns collation order to Unicode. Unfortunately, that only fixed the new entries and not the old ones. So, I have to compare latest export with the older backup (which I take before every upgrade) and reconstruct entries from that.

I don’t know if that means reedited entries will get pushed into RSS feed again. Hopefully not, but if it does, this is the advance apology.