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Weblog Entry

Bumpy Ride

September 18, 2003

Folks, this is your captain speaking.

You may have noticed the turbulence. That’s to be expected when we’re flying this close to the ground, although we’re doing our best up here in the cockpit to pick up the nose a smidge. The windshield’s a little frosted over, but as best we can tell we’re heading in the right direction. (If anyone knows what Cleveland looks like from the air, well golly we’d sure appreciate it if you could come up to the front and let us know.)

Flight attendents will be coming by shortly to pass out a light snack and some beverages. If you need a paper bag, they may have one or two left, but just, uh… try and hold it, yeah? We’re running out of those in a real hurry.

We’ve shut off the inflight movie. Sorry about that, folks, we forgot to screen our new selections this month. Who knew that ‘Alive’ wouldn’t have… uh… been as uplifting as one would have hoped. Gosh, you should see us. We sure are red right now.

Looks like we’ll be clear in, oh, a few hours. Keep an eye on the ground, and let us know if we get too close. Thanks for flying with us this afternoon, and we sure hope you’ll choose our airline for your next flight.

Sorry about all this, I’m still trying to get solid answers. Even my host’s site has been up and down for the past two days, so I can’t check the status of my claim.

It comes at a bad time, but my hand is forced: I’ll be making the switch to PHP in the next few days, for better or for worse. Matt Mullenweg has stepped to the plate with an offer I just couldn’t say no to, so a few days of madly patching my scripts to work in a non-Micrsoft environment will ensue.

It’ll sting for a bit. But we’ll all be happier for it. Thanks for your continued patience.

Reader Comments

Adam Rice says:
September 18, 02h

Wow, first you buy a Mac and now you’re ready to eschew ASP? There’s a snarky comment lurking in there that I refuse to make.

Dave S. says:
September 18, 02h

You don’t know the half of it yet…

Ethan says:
September 18, 02h

Good luck in the weeks ahead, Dave–hope the transition’s a painless one.

Matt says:
September 18, 03h

What’s wrong with PHP and Macs?

Just curious…

It took me weeks to figure out how to do a simple server side include in ASP, where in PHP it’s a breeze.

Oh well.

Adam Rice says:
September 18, 03h

Matt–nothing’s wrong. Even I can manage simple PHP, and I use a Mac. The snarky comment I am not making would be along the lines of “nice to see you answered the cluephone, Dave.” If I were to say something like that. Which I wouldn’t. (vocubulary fun: mentioning something by pointing out how you aren’t mentioning it is called “paraleipsis”)

huphtur says:
September 18, 03h

so dave,
does that mean you are going to try wordpress as well?

September 18, 04h

I’m on the lookout for a new web host too. Let me know how things go with Matt, if that is what you meant.

Matt says:
September 18, 07h


Vocabulary is always fun! I didn’t know that one that you mentioned.

Got any other good ones?

rick says:
September 18, 07h

huphtur, thanks for the link to word press. Seems quite interesting. So much that I went, downloaded it, isntalled it, and am never going back to regular b2! Thanks again.

allgood2 says:
September 18, 09h

Wordpress? Ok, so I’ve never tried it, but pMachine ROCKS. Very full featured, very easy to install, use, and modify.

September 19, 01h

I must agree with “allgood2”, personally I use pMachine after using just about every tool out there. pMachine is simply amazing. Very highly recommended. And no I don’t have a vested interest in the software. Other than being a user.

PC to Mac, ASP to PHP. jeez, no small switch. Okay, you’re still using PC’s but you know what mean. All the best and we’re all rootin’ that this planes lands safely.

Daniel says:
September 19, 01h

I don’t know if this has been addressed, and this is an off topic post, but I noticed in ‘Door to my Garden’, Patrick uses transparent png images, and they work perfectly in IE!

Anyone know how he achieved this?

September 19, 03h

Good point by Daniel … how the f… did Patrick do that?

Well, after examining his code, all kosher, beautiful, good. It had to be the image … and it was!

door to my garden uses a png with 8-bit colour, instead of 24-bit color.

I played around with it and not being more than mediocre at photoshop, I could not get decent results (similar to transparent gif), so I’am personally sticking to serving bgSleight to IE (

September 19, 05h

Dave, Congratulations on moving to PHP.

Make sure you take the opportunity to move your file extensions to .html NOT the nasty .php, given that you’re presumably going to be using PHP in most/all your pages. This gives more flexibility, especially if you later decide to move away from PHP.

Just add:
AddType application/x-httpd-php .html
to your .htaccess file or config, as you probably know. What could be simpler?

Also check out the little-used but vastly useful
auto_prepend_file and auto_append_file
which basically save you having to put the same include on every page. has further info.

September 19, 05h


To make your Permalinks use slash-forward, just don’t use the <MTEntryPermalink> tag. Instead, reconstruct your archive path using the <MTEntryDate> or <MTEntryID> tags.

However, I think I left this comment before, and I think the problem was that MT automatically uses its Permalink format for several things, like Trackbacks.

Can’t win ‘em all. ;)


Matt says:
September 19, 06h

How is .html any less nasty than .asp or .php? File extensions are insignificant to any reasonably advanced web server. There’s no reason to have a file extension at all. Simply turn on multiviews in Apache (it’s on by default on the new server) and address the resource sans extension (or as a faux directory) and the correct file will be negotiated.

September 19, 06h

I’ve been hiding most of my file extensions for more than a year, simply by having lots of folders. I haven’t found any resource that says having lots of folders is A Bad Thing, so I can happily switch around from .html to .asp to .php without anyone being the wiser.

Dave S. says:
September 19, 07h



The only spot I’m going to have trouble with is my MT archives, thanks to my inability in figuring out how to drop the extension when I was tinkering a few months ago. But a liberal dose of .htaccess should clear that right up.

tomjleeds says:
September 19, 08h

In MT:

Weblog Config > Archiving > In the box. You don’t need to specify a file extension, although I use .php so I can keep dynamic content on the archive pages.

Dave S. says:
September 19, 08h

I’ve wrapped my mind around canonical date-based archiving in the configuration, that part was no problem. It was the links I was having trouble generating. I couldn’t see a way (in this case) to get them to drop the trailing /default.asp. There must be a way, I just didn’t find it when I had time to play around with this.

Dave S. says:
September 19, 08h

I was a bit obtuse in that last comment. What I was getting at is that I managed to figure out the server end of things to the point where I could safely link to this:

But I could figure out how to actually modify the links on my home page and archive pages to point to anything but this:

It has to be ridiculously easy, but it was two months ago now that I was playing around, and I can’t remember why I couldn’t. This is something I’ll re-visit only once I’ve re-built the site though, so it won’t happen right away. Thank god for weekends.

Martin says:
September 19, 09h

> How is .html any less nasty than .asp or .php?

Because you’re unnecessarily associating your site’s technology with a particular extension. .html is generic, whereas .php would generally indicate that you’re running PHP. At the moment, you’d have to parse .asp for PHP if the filenames weren’t to change. Perhaps that’s not actually a problem as such, but it is somewhat incongruous.

> File extensions are insignificant to any reasonably advanced web server. There’s no reason to have a file extension at all.

Indeed, this is recommended by the W3C. Personally I feel that using .html rather than obviously ‘techology-specific extensions’ such as .php is a better compromise if one can’t/won’t avoid using extensions entirely.

Scrivs says:
September 19, 10h

Just wanted to say there is nothing wrong with moving to the Open Source world. Glad to see someone like you “forced” to make the jump :) I know you have been wanting to do it for a long time.

I really like the idea of not using extensions for websites. There is a problem for sites that might use multiple technologies. Like linux servers that host php and jsp sites.

September 19, 10h

Also, the “.html” extension is meaningful if you happen to be serving HTML/XHTML content. Just like “.png” is a meaningful extension for the URI of an image file.

Of course, leaving off the extension leaves you more free to do content-type negotiation, but I’ve never actually seen that used in practice.

Eric says:
September 22, 08h

Thanks for the heads up on the move to PHP, now I can make sure to allocate a few extra minutes per day for your page to load.

September 24, 08h

I know exactly what Cleveland looks like from the air, and from just about every compass point to boot, so I’ll be happy to help out so long as you’re willing to gain some altitude so I can get a read of the land. Too bad FAA regulations won’t let me into the cockpit, though.