I switched to Atom 1.0 on Workbench two months ago, a move that hasn't been as smooth as I'd like because of one popular aggregator that doesn't support the format. This site is created using Wordzilla, a LAMP-based weblog publishing tool that I've developed over the last year. Writing code to generate Atom feeds in PHP was extremely simple, since most of the code used to generate RSS feeds could be applied to the task. Atom uses a different format for date-time values than RSS, so I had to write new date-handling ... read more

Workbench doesn't require readers to set up an account before posting comments, because I like the freewheeling nature of the discussion that results from an open policy. Half the fun of writing a weblog is hearing from total strangers with an itemized list of my faults. Because of that open policy, this site is hammered around the clock by comment spammers who want me to enlarge my penis and lose weight with phentermine so I look good the next time I play online Texas Holdem poker. To give you an idea of how bad ... read more

When I upgraded the Drudge Retort, I wanted to simpify things by offering a single feed in RSS 2.0 format. Any halfway decent aggregator supports RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0, and Atom, so offering all three on a site just gives you two more things that can break. I quickly discovered that the Retort has 212 subscribers to its Atom feed on Bloglines, none of whom were getting updates when I redirected the URL to the RSS feed. So I added Atom support to Wordzilla and recreated the feed. Bloglines won't poll it, reporting an ... read more

I just finished moving the Drudge Retort from Movable Type to Wordzilla, my PHP/MySQL software that runs Workbench, giving all 14,400 weblog entries and 233,000 user comments a new home. The project took 10 days, around eight more than I expected. The Retort is emulating Daily Kos by giving site visitors the tools to create their own blogs. I'm going to choose interesting user blog entries for the main page and home page to run alongside my own blog entries -- I've always wanted to give the kids a chance to drive ... read more

Of all the insults I received for popesquatting, the ones that stung the most were about my web skills, such as this comment on MetaFilter: Eh, his website needs work. The text overflows the white box and he must've used the nowrap attribute as there is a hideous amount of rightwards scrolling. pls fix ur website b4 u sho it to teh whirled, pls ok tks. Ouch. F U 2. I like three-column designs, so I lay out my sites with HTML tables, often putting ads in the rightmost column. This lends itself to a creative trick ... read more

I'm coding this weblog myself in PHP and MySQL, writing software that I will eventually release under the name Wordzilla. A new recent comments sidebar on Workbench makes it easier to follow active discussions on old weblog entries. Running a weblog with open comments attracts some unusual discussions when people using a search engine find familiar names in an old entry. For two years, Workbench has hosted an ongoing soap opera between the current and former spouses of Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Ron ... read more

With help from Dave Sifry of Technorati, I have released Weblog_Pinger, a weblog notification class library for PHP that sends update pings over XML-RPC to services such as Weblogs.Com, Blo.gs, Ping-o-Matic and Technorati. The code has been released as open source under the GNU General Public License. Dave's going to be writing about this code on the Technorati Developers Wiki, which has an extensive section devoted to how to ping the site with weblogging software. ... read more