In case you’re wondering, I’m tinkering my way toward a new theme design. For something different, I thought I’d do the development live, which means that as I start out there is very little here for styles. This approach lets you watch it evolve over time, and should help me catch any trouble areas as they occur. One oddity that I’ve found already is an inordinately high number of database queries occurring — in the hundreds, in fact, when there should be something in the low double-digits. Normally this is caused by plugins, but disabling plugins and changing over to an effectively blank theme hasn’t eliminated that problem, which is the reason the blog loads much more slowly than it should.
I seem to be in the midst of a technology update. It started with replacing my Treo 650 with a shiny new HTC Touch Diamond. I have to say I like the calendar and the email app on the Treo better than the HTC, but the Treo lacks about 83 of the features on the HTC even though it has a much more functional keypad. Or it could be 84 features. Anyway, now I have the task of transferring everything over. I hate the transition where I have half my data in each place and have to carry two devices as a result.
I’ve upgraded my WordPress install from 2.2.3 right up to 2.7 now, including updates to several plugins and a few plugin changes as well (add this, drop that). Turns out I had an improper MySQL query, and the changes I’ve made seems to have overwritten it. Like the shoemaker’s son who wanders around town in the worst shoes of all, I keep falling behind in the updates to my own website. Kind of embarrassing how long I let it slip because of some necessary database changes that I wanted to avoid. I won’t be doing that again.
I don’t normally do straight tech posts, but this one is worth it: if the title didn’t quite give it away, WordPress 2.7 was released today. I’ve already been running WordPress 2.7 on a couple of blogs I’ve been readying for another project, and I must say I’ve been quite pleased with it. Huge changes in the admin area, enough that I will no longer need to add admin themes to make the interface more easily navigable. Not only that, the admin screens are easily customized. Other major enhancements include automatic software updates, threaded commenting, and more — it’s quite a significant upgrade. If you’re not running WordPress, it’s time to switch. Seriously.
I’m still beating on this thing with a hammer… I’ve got my database issue fixed, but today’s project was migrating the blog onto a new host that I’ve been using in tandem with the old one for the past few months for some odd-and-ends and a couple of new sites like Missio.nalVie.ws, an experimental Digg-like site for all things missional — it now just needs beta testers, a facelift, and some promotion so feel free to jump right in.
I’m doing some work on the blog at the moment, so things may be a little off-and-on for a short while. I’ve switched over to my new theme as the default option (actually the only option right now), and will be doing some tweaks to it in order to get tagging support finally implemented. A WordPress upgrade is in the cards as well… hopefully I should see y’all on the other side!
My new theme isn’t 100% ready for prime-time yet, but I’ve been plugging away at a new blog design. I’m not actually happy with the colour scheme and some of those bits yet, but it’s growing on me some. It’s more legible than my current/outgoing theme, which is now a year and a half old. The pages are much lighter as well, so should load faster. Not all the page loads are snappy yet, but I am planning to upgrade WordPress and disable a bunch of plugins as I make the change over to the new theme.
Yes, the site was running very slow yesterday — I expect a large number of people were unable to load it. I’ll have to put some effort toward a new hosting setup sooner rather than later, it seems. I was hoping to do some upgrades at the same time, and I did do some work on the site redesign yesterday. Now with 70% less scrolling! Seriously, you can see the whole front page by “paging-down” only about three times… and still shows 10 posts on the front page, 2 sidebar columns, and a few ideas for some keen new features. I’ve got the layout pretty much worked out now, just need to determine the colour scheme and consider how much or what sort of graphics it’ll have. It will be lighter on graphics than what I’ve got.
I noticed yesterday that somewhere along the line I seem to have stopped serving the full text of my post in my RSS feed. This was not my intention and I’m not sure how long it’s been going on — sorry about that! WordPress has made some internal changes to the way it handles feeds, so I hope it hasn’t been this way for a long time. (Perhaps someone will be kind enough to comment and let me know.) Obviously I haven’t been checking my own feed regularly as I’ve installed various plugins, patches, and tweaks along the way.
Again, I have way too many browser windows open with pages I’ve yet to read or have read and want to blog something in response. Can’t have time for everything… so in the interest of swishing away what’s on my desktop to clear it off and give me room to work again, here’s what’s landing on the floor:
- Scot McKnight takes on the “Emergent False Dichotomy” in The So-Called EFD: very well done, an explanation of what a false dichotomy is and how it gets wrongly used as an accusation. He yanks out the oft-used “Word or Spirit” as an example. I pointed to this one in an online discussion somewhere in the last week, but I don’t recall where now.
I’m having a database problem at the moment which means my comments aren’t working — you can try, but you may get an error page that looks a bit horrifying. For now, before hitting “save”, drop your comment into an email to me and if your comment doesn’t appear, email it to me. Update: things seem to be back to normal now, comment away!
This is all rather unfortunate, as I was rather hoping for some comment on a reflection I’ve just composed and posted this morning. I do hope you’ll read that reflection… it’s predicated on the fact that at Easter we can sometimes identify with one of the disciples—usually Peter. We’d like to be John, but we’re not. Sometimes we’re Judas.