June 15, 2009

Blogging upgrades coming

For the last four years, Adobe Blogs ran atop a sputtering ColecoVision powered by toejam biomass–or at least that’s what it felt like. Everyone who experienced timeouts while commenting & other weirdness knows a bit about that.
Now, however, we’re finally running on a modern setup. We’ll move shortly to Movable Type 4.25, and I’m looking forward to some nice upgrades. In particular, it should be possible to enable threaded commenting, making it much easier to track back-and-forth conversations. (I’ve never liked jamming my replies into the middle of others’ words, so hopefully this’ll offer a better way.) It’ll also be possible to subscribe to comments via RSS, and I’m looking into spam-resistant ways to enable immediate comment publishing.
I’m thinking of moving Feedburner so that I can gauge how many people subscribe via RSS (would you believe I’ve never had any idea?). I won’t pull the trigger on that, though, until I’m sure you won’t be asked to change your feed subscription more than once.
If you have any requests or suggestions about this whole process, please let me know.

Posted by John Nack at 8:47 PM on June 15, 2009


  • Josh Brandt — 9:45 PM on June 15, 2009

    Apparently you can redirect your feed to feedburner using a 302 redirect, and it will be seamless for us subscribers (well, other than old posts showing up as unread). e.g.
    [Not “>i.e.“? ;-) Thanks for the tip, Josh; I’ll check it out. –J.]

  • Luis Gracia — 11:10 PM on June 15, 2009

    As for spam blockers let me suggest whichever Movable Type plugin talks to the Honey Pot server. Even my insignificant blog was hit by thousands of comment spammers before installing “Bad Behaviour” for WordPress. Now I am free of spam and can concentrate in other stuff other than deleting spam.

  • Timothy Mackey — 11:14 PM on June 15, 2009

    You don’t like commenting that way John? I’ve always enjoyed reading people’s posts and seeing your direct “running commentary.” It feels more official, i suppose. ;-)
    [I think each approach will have pros and cons, and I’m not sure exactly how I’ll use threaded commenting. I haven’t liked the feeling of interrupting people before they’ve had a chance to have their say. –J.]

  • Robin — 4:20 AM on June 16, 2009

    I’m not sure if it’s a shortcoming of your current setup or if it’s your choice, but if you could have all your links automatically open in new tabs so I don’t leave your page all the time when you have a bunch of links posted that would be great.
    [My fear is that I’d irritate just as many people as I’d please. In Mac browsers you can hold down Cmd while clicking to cause links to pop up in new windows/tabs. Presumably some similar convention exists on Windows.
    It would be really hot if there were a way to change this behavior on the fly, so that you could flip a switch on the side of the blog, then get the behavior you prefer *for every link*. I’m not sure how that would be done, though. –J.]

  • Terry Sutton — 4:53 AM on June 16, 2009

    Its almost unbelievable that this site doesn’t run on a modern blog-machine.
    [It does now. The fact that it didn’t was a reflection of prioritizing customer-facing improvements (e.g. enhancements to Labs) over our own internal needs. –J.]
    Its really unbelievable that you don’t know how many people subscribe to your rss.
    [Not that I’m uninterested, but what difference would knowing make? I can’t and wouldn’t post any more than I do. I suppose I’d be concerned if I saw my traffic steadily declining, presumably indicating a loss of interest in my content, but I haven’t seen that. I simply do my best to provide useful, interesting content regardless of audience size. –J.]
    Its completely UNBELIEVABLE that Adobe has chosen Moveable Type over Drupal to run all of their blogs.
    It seems to indicate that very little research was done in making the decision.
    [That’s not what it indicates. –J.]

  • Josh Brandt — 12:40 PM on June 16, 2009

    John — my undergraduate degree is in Classical Languages. I feel your pain. :)

  • Phil Brown — 9:31 PM on June 16, 2009

    In Mac browsers you can hold down Cmd while clicking to cause links to pop up in new windows/tabs. Presumably some similar convention exists on Windows.
    Yes, John. In IE8, for example, ctrl-click opens in a new tab and shift-click opens in a new window. Also, centre-(or mouse-wheel)-click opens in a new tab (which is my preference) or a new window if you set the preference accordingly.

  • Charles — 4:57 AM on June 18, 2009

    For god’s sake don’t switch to Feedburner. It’s notorious for outages and slowness, I know plenty of bloggers who have had a ton of trouble with it. If you need metrics, just run reports on your referer logs.

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