Tag Archives: blog

WordPress

This blog has, until now, run on Movable Type. I initially chose Movable Type when I set up my first self-hosted blog back in 2002. Back then Movable Type was the only real choice in this area and it had the bonus that it was written in Perl so I could hack on it if I wanted to. Of course I never got round to doing that.

Since then I’ve set up many blogs and they’ve pretty much all used Movable Type. But over the last year or so I’ve been wondering if that’s the right choice. There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is the relative popularity of MT compared with other platforms. There just isn’t the community of people producing themes and plugins for MT that is for, say, WordPress.

I’m already pretty impressed. Moving the stuff over from MT was pretty painless and I’m already reaping the benefit of the larger ecosystem. I’ve found plugins that deal simply with things like Google Adsense and Google Analytics.

Currently the links to the monthly archives are broken. But I’m sure I’ll get those fixed in the next day or so. I’ll be monitoring the error logs closely to see if there are any other missing pages, but please let me know if you find anything that’s broken.

Oh, and just to head off some obvious comments – yes, I’m using a blog engine that is built in PHP, not Perl. My operating system isn’t written in Perl, nor is my web browser or, indeed, most of the software I use from day to day. It would be great if there was a powerful and popular blogging engine written in Perl. But there isn’t, so I’m using this instead.

Warning: It’s likely that I’m going to spend some time playing around until I find a theme that I like. This site is likely to look different every time you visit over the coming weeks.

Cultured Perl Blog

A couple of years ago I thought that one thing the Perl community was missing was a network of blog sites about Perl. I’m not talking about the individual blogs that are being shown off to such good effect by the Iron Man project, I’m talking about a set of multi-author blogs that covered particular facets of the Perl world. Something like a Perl-specific version of LifeHacker or BoingBoing. To that end, I registered a number of domains and set about installing Movable Type.

That bit was easy. That bit I can do. The next bit is harder.

The next bit involves getting authors interested in writing for the blogs on a regular basis. That bit I didn’t do so well at and none of the blogs florished.

One of them didn’t even get going. That was Cultured Perl. The idea behind Cultured Perl was that it would discuss Perl culture. That’s all the non-technical bits of the Perl world. Perl Mongers, Perl conferences, things like that. I had a few authors signed up, but nothing ever really happened.

So why am I telling you this? Well, the Cultured Perl domains are up for renewal. And I’m trying to work out whether it’s worth keeping them.

Would you be interested in reading a Cultured Perl blog? And would you be interested in writing for it?

A Perl Programming Blog

Here’s my new Perl programming blog. I have another blog where I talk about a number of different things, but I like to keep my Perl writing separate from the rest of it.. Until recently I kept a Perl journal over at use.perl, but the technology behind that site is looking pretty dated so I thought it was worth striking out on my own. So here I am at PerlHacks.com.

It might be interesting to explain how I came to own such a cool domain. It’s a story that has some useful lessons about the kinds of scams that people try to pull on the internet.

It managed to get perlhacks.org in 2005, just because no-one else had thought to buy it. But someone already had the .com and, even though they weren’t using it for anything, I suspected that they’d want a lot of money to part with it, so I didn’t even bother contacting them.

Then in September of last year I got an email from someone offering to sell me the domain. They contacted me as I owned the .org and they assumed that I’l like the .com to go with it. They wanted just under $1000 for it, so I ignored them. Over the following few weeks I got three or four more increasingly desperate emails from them. All of which I also ignored.

At the end of October I got a different mail. In this one they dropped the  asking price to $99. That was closer to the price that I wanted to pay, so I investigated further. I mentioned the mail on the london.pm IRC channel and someone pointed out that the domain had, in fact, lapsed and was available for anyone to buy.

There was a brief race as three members of the channel tried to register the domain at the same time, but it was a race that I won. I got the domain for less than £10. I took great pleasure in pointing out that fact to the people who were trying to sell it to me for $99. They never replied.

The lesson is, of course, to always check whether you can buy something cheaper than the price it’s offered at.

So there I was with both perlhack.org and perlhacks.com. And now they both point to me Perl blog.

Now I just need to think of something to write about.