1. Ralford.net Overhaul – Redirecting Home-Brewed URLs

    Part I of the Ralford.net overhaul really happened when I transitioned to WordPress, so consider this post ‘Part II’. If you haven’t noticed, I made the decision way back then to keep my home-brewed PHP weblog at the root of Ralford.net, and I installed WordPress to its own dedicated subfolder that would be free from all of the unorganized files that live on my domain.

    Though this was a good organizational move, the original reasoning for this was to keep any bookmarked URLs to my site from breaking. If I replaced the home-brewed weblog at the root with the new WordPress weblog, the old URLs wouldn’t work. I moved forward with the decision to place WordPress in a subfolder, and dealt with the fact that any new visitors would need to be sent to “http://www.ralford.net/wordpress/”. I updated all of my social webpages to tell the world that my webpage was now at the subfolder, and crossed my fingers that no new vistors would go directly to the root of Ralford.net and see old posts I wrote back in 2004.

    Today, I updated the .htaccess file at the root to redirect all old home-brewed weblog URLs to an archive subfolder – and the attempt was a success!

    The first great thing this accomplishes is that it preserves a link to the content bookmarked by any of my home-brewed weblog visitors. If they bookmarked my old wiki entry on guitar maintenance (notice the link doesn’t have an ‘archive’ subfolder), they will now gracefully get redirected to the new location!

    Secondly, if our search engine friends take ages to update URLs of my old posts to their new ‘archive’ location, a non-updated search engine result will redirect the user to the new location instead of it sending them to a dead link with an ugly 404 error message (I know I know, after 5+ years I still haven’t created a custom 404 page).

    And finally, archiving the old content allows me to update content of the root. That will happen soon, but is still in progress (heck it took me nearly a year to take care of the archive redirects). My game plan is to turn it into a page for myself as a musician, and display a dynamically-updated list of dates for events my music projects are scheduled to play (you can see some of this code in action over at the Dirty Superb homepage, where our dates are pulled automagically from our MySpace page).

    And so, the Ralford.net saga continues…

    This post is part of the thread: Ralford.net – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

  2. phpThumb() Working Again

    If you’ve seen my first WordPress post, you know that ongoing image-related error messages gave me a boost to the the other side of the fence where WordPress lives. I like WordPress, but as I’d rather not leave my codebase in the dust, I’ve been poking around for solutions to the thumbnail display problem.

    Last night I tried logging in to WordPress and was hit with a server error. I was struck out a second time when I attempted accessing the “old” code-base at the root (WordPress is in a sub-folder) – it too was down. This morning I checked both WordPress and the root locations and found both weblogs were again up and running. To my surprise, the Bear Meadows Post (the last post to display images with the home-brewed code) displayed every image without any errors.

    I shot en email to my web host and discovered there was an overnight issue with some files controlling PHP, and to resolve it, some files were swapped around and Apache was reinstalled to a newer version. Fortunately for me, the version update on the server seems to have fixed the issues I’ve been seeing. (This explains why I could never reproduce the image errors with Apache on my PC at home.)

    I’ve since closed the support case I opened at the SiliSoftware support forums. (This is the part where you yell at me for not upgrading phpThumb() for four years.)

    I think it’s time seriously consider packaging the Ralford.net code for release.

    This post is part of the thread: Ralford.net – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

  3. Well that was easy…

    It’s now been years since I started coding the interface behind ralford.net (my home-brewed PHP weblog/wiki has been running since 2005), and well, to say the least, I’ve finally given in to WordPress!   Really, I think the big factor for me “giving in” is that image support on my home-brewed weblog is lacking a software genius.   I ran phpThumb() for a long time, but one day, everything started behaving funny and pictures stopped working.  I do not blame phpThumb() for this – if there is fault to put on someone here it is me for not having more patience with the code. I wanted to talk about some recent hikes I went on, and show pictures of where I’ve been, as well as pictures of my new pack and camp-stove.  Well, I hiked and ralford.net stayed broken, I traveled and ralford.net stayed broken, and I played music and ralford.net stayed broken.  And finally, I gave up on trying to figure out why the pictures weren’t showing up, because at this point in my life, I engineer during the day – not at night.

    Tonight, I installed WordPress, and simply speaking, it was a breeze.

    This post is part of the thread: Ralford.net – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.