Updates

In case you haven't noticed I"ve been steadily running through my collection of plugins with small, but important, updates. See the respective change logs for details.

Tonight I pushed up a new version of RapidBlog -- A few small enhancements & bug fixes, most important is there is now a RSS Title field that you probably want to change from the default of "A Great Blog"!

I've had a few niggilng issues I'm still tracking down on RapidBlog but I feel I'm close to calling it 1.0 and starting to work on some major enhancements and new features including a archive overhaul, date localization and improved comment system.

-Jm
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Base URL

Most of my plugins require the Base URL to be set up correctly but it seems to cause a lot of confusion.

Fortunately Nik Fletcher has just published a very nice screencast on it.

It's only about 2 minutes long Highly Recommended, Don should consider hiring him (or maybe Nik should consider a competitive offering)
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too funny

Too Funny -- Some slightly adult humor and may not be work appropriate (it's not too bad but just be careful to turn down the volume)
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Lockdown

I just posted a new version of lockdown that fixes a few issues (see here for my godaddy rant). You can read the non-rant change notes here.

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GoDaddy -- The Interent Explorer of Web Hosts

I'm really loving using RapidBlog day in and day out now, it makes it much easier to keep a blog active -- I don't really know why that is except for I'm able to do it at work, the library, etc.

Anyway that's not the point of this point. The point is that I released a new version of Lockdown tonight (1.65U) that fixes a few different problems including making email work with GoDaddy.

You see GoDaddy is the 'Internet Explorer' of web hosts. Like Internet Explorer is very popular and in many ways an OK solution however like Internet Explorer it's almost, but not quite, standard. They have funky server configs and make may bizzare choices that cause me (as a developer who has 3 of his 5 plugins which require sane server configurations) a lot of headaches.

Case in point... I started getting complaints about email notification no longer working on GoDaddy. I fired up a test on my server (hosted by dreamhost.com) and all was well but after the third or forth person contacted me I dug in and figured out what had happened.

So here is the sad thing, I still don't know exactly what they did -- However I did find that by removing a single string from the email message it started working. For whatever reason GoDaddy decided that any emails containing the words "ip-lookup.net" should not go through.

I don't know, maybe they thought it was spam? Who Knows? Anyway I know use dnsstuff.com for looking up ip-addresses in the email. It's kind of frustrating because ip-lookup.net worked well but there you have it.

So I sent out the update to the folks who had problems and they all responded, to a person, that GoDaddy had been no help and showed no interest in fixing the problem -- Not at all cool.

So in honor of that I've set up a promotion code at my web host (dreamhost). It's NoDaddy Use it to get a new account and you get basically the maximum amount off I could give you (in most cases it's $97 off for the first year which makes your first year a total of about $30) -- I don't get anything out of this deal EXCEPT the satisfication of knowing more people are using a sane web hosts and it's fewer people I have to support on GoDaddy.

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RSS Feeds & Pipes

I had a strange comment appear in my inbox to a post I did about a year ago. I was scratching my head over it "Why would someone comment on such an old post". I double check my site and that looked fine.

Finally tonight I hit upon it. The RSS feeds are in order of update, not publish. So if you edit a post it pops to the top (I had been playing with some formatting) -- The question is, is this the right behavior? on NetNewWire it shows the 'updated' date as the 'date' so if you edit a post it (seemingly?) jumps to the top again -- I would have assumed the 'published' date was used for this purpose

Gotta think about this one.
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Bandwidth!

I was downloading a file yesterday and I looked up at MenuMeters and saw something that sort of stunned me.

It was saying the download was 2MB/sec.

Now keep in mind that is MB=Mega Byte, so 2MB is 16Mbits/second.

I'm on a cable modem and I actually pay an extra $10 a month to get the 'gold' package of 8mbps. Previously I had a wireless DSL connection that would get me 1mbps so I was oh-so-happy to get the cable modem (it wasn't available in my area until recently)

So I had gotten used to seeing max downloads of 1MB/s, but what was this?


90504635

A little snooping let me to dslreports.com forums where I found out that it's true. Comcast (my cable provider) is rolling out 16mbps, apparently I was recently provisioned.

Needless to say I was pretty happy. It's sort of amazing to have a connection this fast, very few sites can fill my pipe so I can download away and still cruise the web without any apparent slow downs -- It make me start thinking of all sorts of crazy ideas of how you could use this much bandwidth.

For a person who remembers painfully logging on with 300 baud modems on a vic-20 it's amazing how far we've come.
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New RapidBlog

I just pushed a new rapidblog up, see the changelog for details and download links. This is a recommended update as it fixes a number of problems and cleans up lingering UTF8 issues.

Most importantly it fixes, in a nice way, the 'hang' that occasionally occurred during publish.

Normally I don't talk too much cocoa in this blog but I wanted to put something out in googleland for the next poor sap who had a problem.

Basically the root of my problem was I was modifying entries bound in a NSArrayController. This, in itself, is not a problem except I was doing it in a background thread -- I can't really control this as RW pushes my code to a background thread during a publish and, again, this is not necessarily a problem except for the fact that I was occasionally updating the contents of the bound objects. Again, this in and of itself is not a problem except that one of the things being bound was a MutableString bound to a NSTextView (RWTextView).

That is a problem -- You see NSTextView stores it's content in a 'NSTextStorage' which is a mutable object and that, in fact, is not thread safe. The problem was that the main render code would sometimes try to render the scene exactly as I was modifying it causing a 'deadlock' -- Each process was waiting for the other to finish which was the hang.

The solution? It ended up being pretty easy (as these things often are) in retrospect but it was painful to find. I ended up listenting for notification from RapidWeaver that it was about to start publishing. Then I told the NSArrayController to unselect itself on the main thread -- That is the secret sauce, you have to perform this on the main thread with

[self performSelectorOnMainThread:@selector(deselectLineLH) withObject:nil waitUntilDone:YES];

deselectLineLH is a little snippit that basically has the NSTableVIew unselect itself so it never renders any updates. That little bit of magic was all it (finally) took. It's really kind of wild that you can do this kind of stuff and it works, cocoa+objc is so cool sometimes.


-John


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The machine is us

A RapidBlogger posted this on his site (I'm sorry, I've seen so many sites recently I forgot who). Then I saw it on TechCrunch.com. If you are at all interested in the web & society it's a nice watch
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Busy

Hi Guys,

It's been a fun couple of days but pretty busy. For the most part it's gone relatively smoothly but RapidBlog is a new kind of product and fairly complex so there has been a pretty heavy email load.

If you don't hear back from me within 24 hours please re-send the note, I'm not ignoring you I probably just lost your message in my growing inbox!

-John
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