Adding Atom 1.0 Support to RSS Sites

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 ... (read more)

Spam Spam Spam Spam Comment Spam

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 ... (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 ... (read more)

Changing Weblog Software is Drudge Work

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 ... (read more)

Let's Put Everything on the Table

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 ... (read more)

Weblog Comments Near and Far Out

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 ... (read more)

Weblog Update Notification in PHP

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)

I Want to Be a Better Neuron

Looking at Technorati this morning, I realized that none of the entries on my hand-coded weblogs are showing up there, presumably because I haven't been sending update pings to weblog notification services like Weblogs.Com, Blo.gs, and Ping-o-Matic. For a weblog to be a properly firing neuron in the information-gathering nervous system that Jon Udell describes on InfoWorld, tools like Technorati must learn in real time what's being linked, and by whom. To fix this, I'm writing a PHP class ... (read more)

Closing Movable Type Comments

I'm winning the war on comment spam on Wordzilla, my homebrew weblog software, thanks to PHP code that rejects link-heavy comments and submissions from banned IP addresses. I'm losing on Movable Type and Manila. Both programs are being flooded with spam that has to be hand-deleted, a chore that's miserably time consuming in each. Six Apart enhanced Movable Type's comment-management features in version 3.1, but it can take up to five minutes to delete a group of spam comments on the Drudge ... (read more)

Canning Comment Spam

Workbench has been under attack lately by a comment spammer linking to dozens of cheesy .info domains. The sites sell drugs like Cialis and Phentermine, offer Texas Holdem poker, and pimp a bunch of other get-rich-click schemes. I'm writing my own software here in PHP and MySQL, so I'm trying to deal with this abuse as painlessly as possible. For several hours at a time, a new comment spam is being posted every 1-2 minutes on the 2,300 weblog entries on this site. In a comment management tool, ... (read more)