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Archive for the ‘Blogging Toolchains’ Category

Upgraded blog to WordPress 2.7

December 11, 2008 Comments off

Very impressive UI for the Dashboard, Love the QuickPress widget on the top right hand corner. Maybe this will get me get back to blogging rather than twittering

Categories: Blogging Toolchains

Some comments on older posts got deleted

June 7, 2008 Comments off

Not sure how this occurred, will see if I can get some of them back via backups. Will have to automate blog backups and keep weekly snapshots

Categories: Blogging Toolchains

Twitter's use for SMS sending and receiving

June 7, 2008 Comments off

Hong Kong is unique in the sense that whilst we have insane mobile penetration of 154.4 %, there is a huge price difference between voice plans and SMS plans.

Depending on a third party long distance provider, it is actually cheaper to call up somebody and speak for a few minutes (HK-US charges are 7 cents/min and an SMS costs at minimum HK$ 2) and convey more than send a SMS to that person

Thus, I find Twitter’s SMS integration very useful. I tell my family members to sign up to Twitter and then also enable their mobile devices. In India, Twitter has a shortcode 5566511.

In HongKong, wifi access is very ubiquitous via the GovWiFi program as well as efforts by FON as well as PCCW, HongKong’s dominant telco provider so hopefully with the upcoming launch of the iPhone in Hong Kong it can help me by allowing me to have access to Twitter

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A brief interlude with Yahoo Pipes

April 29, 2008 Comments off

Friend and fellow jamaat member Ali Ebrahim recently setup an instance of the Venus RSS aggregator to create Planet Bohra. He had pulled the twitter feed for mumineen.org but my grief was that when I clicked the link from inside Planet Bohra, I would be sent to the twitter page and not to the final destination.

I thought I would have to hack Planet to get around this. Thinking for a few minutes, I realised that maybe I should munge the twitter feed via Yahoo Pipes and started playing around with it (I had never used Yahoo Pipes before).

A short while later, I had something which did the trick and Ali was able to incorporate into Planet Bohra.

I should try and get together with Ali and see if we can do something more interesting via Yahoo Pipes.

NetNewsWire 3.1 is now free

January 9, 2008 Comments off

I’m a big fan of NetNewsWire and love its synchronization ability with NewsGator Online. Imagine my suprise when I open up NNW today and come across NewsGator’s CTO Greg Reinacker’s post that all of NewsGator desktop clients are now free and will include synchronization

Thanks to the team at NewsGator for making this decision.

Off to check out FeedDemon on a Windows box

Upgraded to WordPress 2.2

May 16, 2007 Comments off

I had been looking forward to WordPress 2.2 being released though I miss having tagging as part of core. I shall probably investigate Ultimate Tag Warrior one of these days
The upgrade was relatively straightforward and the new release incorporates Widgets as part of the core. I googled a bit and came across this neat Category Cloud Widget which just dropped in neatly.
I’ll wait for a few days and then see if there are any other widget friendly themes so I can try a new look.
Looking forward to 2.3

Categories: Blogging Toolchains

Simpler way to upgrade WordPress

April 5, 2007 Comments off

I love WordPress and the ecosystem (plugins and themes) behind it. However, upgrading WordPress is generally a tiring event and not something I really look forward to. So when Mark Jaquith provided a diff to upgrade from 2.1.2 to 2.1.3, I quickly jumped on it.

A quick test with

 patch -p0 --dry-run < diff-file 

seemed to indicate no issues and then applied the patch for real

Categories: Blogging Toolchains

Early thoughts on NewsGator Online Beta

February 28, 2007 1 comment

My RSS newsreader of choice is NetNewsWire. I had purchased it a few months before Brent Simmons sold his company to NewsGator and as a result of that purchase, I was able to obtain a premium NewsGator Online subscription for 2 years which allowed for synchronization of my desktop Mac with the web-based reader.

The web-based reader NewsGator Online whilst functional was not known for its performance, an area touched upon by Michael Arrington of TechCrunch in a recent post which analysed market share of various online readers

Newsgator online, a feature fantastic service long plagued with deal-breaking performance problems, is trailing in third place with a mere %3 of views. The company’s desktop feed readers, NetNewsWire and FeedDemon, probably have a much larger percentage of views as they are older, more stable products.

After reading an editorial on ajaxian wrt newsgator perceived slowness, I wrote to a few newsgator employees and investors about some ideas I thought which might improve performance

I had discussed these in my community blog a while back

Brian Kellner (GM consumer) wrote back to me that they were going to launch an ajax version of their online reader which would reduce page refreshes and was optimized for client side caching. Today, I received instructions on how to access the beta site. The email from Brian indicated that it was okay to blog about it (yeah, no NDA unlike the Joost invite I got)

I fired up Fiddler and tried to analyse the network traffic. As someone who lives in a different continent to NewsGator servers in a city with tremendous local connectivity, web traffic analysis via a sniffer is a regular excercise

Some early disappointments

Looking at the traffic sent out by Newsgator Online beta via Fiddler , I see that there is a lot of request/response for content with type image/gif and image/jpeg coming from http://www.newsgator.com without any cache-friendly headers (Expires, Cache-Control)

Some Suggestions for performance improvement

Always send images with a Cache-Friendly header

Move the images to either a separate domain or a new sub-domain. Currently because the images are sent from newsgator.com, there is an unnecessary Cookie: header sent from the browser for all images. It should be easy for newsgator to buy a new domain and use that exclusively for image/static content serving.

An example of a request for http://www.newsgator.com/ngs/subscriber/reader/img/folderopen.gif generates a request of size 1025 bytes (dominated by the Cookie: header) for a response of 677 bytes which is further divided into an actual payload (image size) of 353 bytes and 324 bytes for the header. Remove the Cookie header and the request becomes only 334 bytes. One could tune the image server a bit and reduce the bytes used by the response header

Also, one would expect all html/javascript to be sent via Content-Encoding: gzip for all responses of those Content-type but there are quite a number of responses of those content type sent without being gzipped.

I can understand some reluctance with gzipping Javascript since there are quirks with IE (though if I remember correctly, IE6 SP2/IE 7 handles this correctly). Even use of jsmin would give around 25-30% reduction in size

On the bright side, page refreshes are reduced a lot in the beta.

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Upgraded to WordPress 2.1.1

February 21, 2007 Comments off

As mentioned in a previous post, I was going to upgrade to WordPress 2.1 after it’s release. Well, I had upgraded to it but didn’t mention it on this blog, today I decided to upgrade to 2.1.1 by creating a diff between 2.1 and 2.1.1. Going to turn on mysql query caching (if that’s possible at Dreamhost). Maybe I should ask Dreamhost support if query caching is enabled

Categories: Blogging Toolchains

Upgraded to WordPress 2.0.7

January 15, 2007 Comments off

As I mentioned in my last post, I was waiting for the release of WordPress 2.0.7 before upgrading this blog. Upgrade was smooth. I was considering adding support for WordPress widgets but may probably wait till 2.1 is released

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Categories: Blogging Toolchains
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