failing like never before


IE8 Fail

So apparently the combination of my latest WordPress theme (Lightword) and Google's code syntax highlighter for Python, makes IE8 go insane. The syntax highlighter for C/C++ seems to work fine with IE8, but when IE8 tries to render a page thats displaying Python code, the browser hits some sort of null array error. The worst part, is that instead of handling the problem gracefully, IE8 doesn't display ANY of my Python code. I'm currently displaying Python code on my site without syntax highlighting, and am trying to find a solution to this idiotic problem.

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OMFG WordPress

As some of you may know, (and by "some," I do mean "me") I started my blog on a homemade CMS. It was simply and not particulary well written, but it did what I wanted it to and I never had problems with it after I finished its testing phase. I move to Typo because I wanted more and was too lazy to code a whole bunch of new features into my CMS, but discovered that, at the time, Typo was oh-so-slow and terribly buggy. So I switched to WordPress. And I've been on WordPress for almost a year now.

I like WordPress; its easy to use, and yet has a goodly number of features to get me through the day. The fact that I've stayed loyal to it after almost a year is a testament to how much I like it (I have a very short and fickle attention). But I cannot for the life of me, understand why the bloody hell the WordPress developers feel they have to push a new release at least once a month!

I generally don't have a problem with a rapid development timeline, but WordPress just really aggravates me. A Linux distribution with a nice package manager (Debian, Red Hat, Arch, etc.) can easily update all packages to the current version with a single very simple command. But such is generally not the case for the upgrading of WordPress. A lot of the people that run WordPress (like me) have to go and update their codebase by hand, which can really get old fast. Mind you, upgrading WordPress isn't hard at all, as it just requires some copy and pasting, but it does tend to be a pain in the butt, especially since you have to do it so often. (It just occurred to  me that I can simplify the whole process with a fairly basic script, but thats beside the point for now.)

I notice that a lot of WordPress releases are for bug fixes, rather then for new features, which begs the question why the development team doesn't just spend some more time debugging before they label their software as production-ready. And because of WordPress's constant bug fixes, I always feel impelled to upgrade to the newest release.

I'm starting to wander a little bit here, I know, so just to bring it back, OMFG WordPress!!! Why must you release so often??!?!


Way Back When

Way back in the days, almost a year ago, this site was running my custom CMS. It didn't look too bad, but it wasn't very configurable and lacked all the bells and whistles that make a mature blogging platform like WordPress so much cooler.

Here's a quick list of the functions that my custom application offered:

  • Image gallery: Upload a picture that was less then 1mb in size and my application would save it and create a thumbnail, there was also a simple gallery interface
  • Live search: A fairly simple feature to implement under Rails. For those of you that still haven't heard of web 2.0, "live search" is where the user types into a search box, and results are returned instantly, without having to actually hit enter and go to another page (try the live search in my left sidebar!)
  • Anyone can join!: My application allowed anyone to keep a blog on my site. Your blog would be hosted at<blog name>/, because I didn't know how to create subdomains automatically.
  • Comments: A vistor to the site could add comments without having to register, and they could add cool little emoticons by using TinyMCE. The only problem was that I didn't use CAPTCHA, Akismet or any kind of comment moderation, so I had massive spam issues.
  • Easy to use: One of the upsides of having very little features, my application was extremely easy to use. In that respect, it was vaguely like the ipod, except the ipod isn't free.

And thats about it in terms of feature sets, for my old blog application. I believe pictures are in order...

custom application, main page custom application, image gallery custom application, post and comment

But before I moved to WordPress, I was using Typo. See here for reasons why I decided to move to WordPress. And just because I feel like it, here's a really low quality screenshot of my old Typo blog, using the iWTAP theme.


Migrated to WordPress

A little more then a week ago, Typo 5.0 was released. Shortly after that, version 5.0.1 was released to fix a bug, and the next day after the 5.0.1 release Typo version 5 was pulled from the mirrors because of a critical bug that would result in the application purging the blog's database. I upgraded to 5.0 almost as soon as it first came out but downgraded back to 4.1.1 as soon as I heard about the new bug.

But even with version 4.1.1 I experienced numerous problems with Typo. In December of 2007, 21.1% of all the HTTP error codes returned by my server, were 500 (Internal Server) errors. In one month alone, the Typo application on my domain experienced 208 internal server errors. I've experienced many of these before. Occasionally, after writing a new post up in the admin section, I would click the “submit” button only to get a 500 error. Or I might be on the home page and click on a category link, again, only to get a 500 error. Most of the times, these errors would disappear once I hit the back button in my browser and tried clicking on the link a second time. But these were aggravating errors and shouldn't have been popping up in a stable application release.