August 2006 Archives

Converting greymatter to b2evolution

I was converting Y's blog from greymatter to b2evolution. There is no ready-made conversion. The trick was to export the greymatter blog to movable type export format. Then use the b2evolution movable type format import to import the blog entries.

I'm using the latest one-month-old b2evolution and of course... the MT importer was broken. Had to make some fixes to it. Also it didn't really read the MT format, so had to change that a little. Unfortunately took more time than I wished, but I succeeded. Converted 100 posts and all the comments, plus deleted all the spam from greymatter since there was no spam control on that blog.

I've decided to write this down so other people can do it more easily, hopefully. Here

I guess b2evolution is not using a regression unit test set with cruisecontrol. Then this wouldn't have happened :)

Reflections on installing TWiki


Yesterday, I spend some time installing TWiki wiki. Now in itself this is not special. However when reflecting on it, I (re)-learned an important lesson for developers. Let me explain.

Installing TWiki is fairly easy. Just follow the installation instructions. However, the no-extention files didn't seem to execute. The installation manual said that on some web servers the files need to be renamed to .pl or .cgi. So, I look in bin and see about 20 files without extension. I rename the first one, test it and it works.

I rename the second one and wonder. Renaming 18 files is a lot of work :) Should be able to be done faster. So renaming the first 2 back to the original name; I write some bash for loop to rename them all. Done!

I continue following the installation and done. The manual says> Just go to the login page. So I go there and... "internal server error". Not a very useful error message.

So reflecting on this, at this moment I have at least 2 choices.

  • Figure out what is wrong

  • Figure out what mistake I made

I guess I'm a typical programmer and I chose the first option, without thinking. So I spend an hour reading the web configuration, browsing the web forum, reading the perl code and nothing seems to be wrong. Thus I start editing the perl code and adding debugging messages to figure out on what line it generates the error. So after an hour... I find it! It cannot find a file called web.cfg (something like that). It's located in the bin directory....uhm... wait a second... in the bin directory? Yup. So... might it now have the name Yup! Thats it! Just my mistake, I renamed the file by accident.

So, reflecting on this, I could have saved a lot of time. (On the other hand, I learned a lot of OTHER things during my debugging). What could be different?

  • When being lazy and automating things, pay attention :) Might seem obvious but I've been making this mistake over and over again the last years.

  • When something is not right, first think about what you could have done to break it. Not assume that the error is out there and not caused by your own actions. It's most probably because of my own mistake. So, I could have just traced back my steps and thought about where I could have made a mistake. The renaming of files would be one obvious place.

I'm not sure if I will ever learn these two simple guidelines. Still, I'll try :)

Assembly 2006

This year, I've finally been able to go to the Assembly2006 demo party. Years ago, I used to follow the demo scene and even went to some party in Holland. Though the last years, I lost track of it due to other things. Currently I happened to live in Finland so decided to go there this year.

Asm2006 was really kewl. There were about 4000 people and a great atmosphere. The whole event is in the icehockey stadium in Helsinki. I took some photo from it:

15 - Screen lights

I've spend a lot of time in the seminar's that were organized. Most of them were really good and learned a lot from them. Many thanks to the organizers for organizing Asm and getting these speakers there.

One of the things that surprised me was the amount of gamers though. I had expected more people who were writing code, making music or making art. After all, it's a demo competition. No, most of the people seemed not too interested in the demo's but more interested in playing games. That's too bad...

First post

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Finally found some time to install b2evolution as blog software. I've been playing with Greymatter before. It's kinda ok since it doesn't require mysql databases (which b2evolution does) however it's rather outdated. I was especially annoyed by the rather bad RSS feed. When reading it with Thunderbird, it seems to get the RSS dates from and all posts are thus out of order.

Therefore, I switched to b2evolution and see how this works.

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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