Blogger Down

Parts of blogger were down over the last 18 hours. It now is back up. If you have experienced RapidBlog problems (blog now showing up, strange errors, etc.) it should all be working now.
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FAQ's

I've been working on improving my FAQ's for the last few weeks. In general I've added quite a few entries and gone for a more 'traditional' FAQ layout (questions/answers).

I was using Accordion which is a fabalous plugin but it made doing searches on the web site a little tough, let me know if you like these new 'web 1.0' style FAQ's.

In order to avoid total loss of eye candy I've also included a comment and rating to each entry. check it out

PlusKit
Lockdown
RapidBlog
SiteMap
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Coda

I'm always interested in new web development technologies or software on the mac for (ahem) the obvious reasons. I was pretty interested to see a blog post over the weekend from the guys at Panic that they would be releasing a significant product on monday for folks who do web development. So it's released, it's called coda and it looks to be designed for guys who design by hand (?) I haven't tried it yet since I'm at my day job (thanks to RapidBlog I can comment though) It looks pretty interesting, they include a text editor/shell/refernce/css editor. If you code your own sites (or need to debug sites) it's probably pretty valuable. I'm not sure, however, that the average RapidWeaver customer would use it much (but maybe I'm wrong) -- Probably power users will find it valuable for the last minute 'tweaking' or for those of us who write themes or plugins it'll be great to debug but I'm not sure it's a general purpose development tool (unless, of course, you like to do it all from scratch) Anyway I'll play with it tonight and update this post as appropriate. [Update] Well I've spent about an hour with it. It sure is purty. No doubt about it it's the slickest edit your site with raw HTML tool ever produced. Will I use it? Probably.... I'm a junkie for tools like this and it'll come in handy often enough. Of course I'll probably continue to do most of my editing with HyperEdit
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Warning to RapidFlickr users

If you use RapidFlickr I wanted to pass along a note that I just discovered that Flickr implemented a new method for constructing photo API's. What does this mean to you? New pictures will now start occasionally returning 'photo not found' I'm not sure when the exact cutoff date is but I believe anything before April should still work fine. I'm working on a fix that should be available in a few days.
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WWDC

Well I did it. I had been debating for a long time about WWDC. Honestly it's a big commitment. I need to take a week off of my 'day' job and it's a $1300 ticket. Fortunately for me I live very close to San Francisco so I can commute in every day (~1.5 hours) or (more likely) I will stay with my wifes parents who live in San Francisco very close to a train station (I can get from their house to Moscone in about 10 minutes!) Anyway, yesterday I got another promotional flier and noticed the early bird discount ends sometime next week (I don't offhand remember the exact date) and decided to buy a ticket. So I'm now $1300 poorer but hopeful that by the end of WWDC I will have completely forgotten that. As I've mentioned before I'm still relatively new to the Mac (maybe 2 years at this point)so I'm not really sure what to expect at a WWDC. I'll get to watch his Job-ness give the 'note which will be fun and I'm looking forward to the various lectures & labs but we'll see if it ends up being worthwhile. I will, of course, report back (what I can anyway :-) )so stay tuned to the blog during WWDC week. Oh, and here is where I get to start a unfounded rumor. Apple will announce 3rd party support for iPhone at WWDC and in an attempt to jumpstart development will hand out a phone to all attendess!
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Gdata framework

This morning Google posted very good news: An objective-c framework for dealing with GData (GData is googles web services platform upon which things like blogger, google documents, etc. are based) http://googledataapis.blogspot.com/2007/04/gdataservice-fetchmyfeed.html As someone who has rolled his own GData framework for RapidBlog I was really excited to see this. Google has some great services but it's always been harder for mac developers to take full advantage since the supplied libraires have usually been either Java or .net With this release of an objective c framework for google service it's now a lot easier to integrate great mac desktop apps with the google backend.
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Off for a few days

I'll be off for a few days taking some R&R -- I'll try to keep up with support email & what not but forgive me in advance if my response time is longer than normal.

-John
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Loghound software drops so-called web standards in favor of Microsoft Technologies

April 1, 2007 Loghound Software today announced today that after a thorough evaluation of web trends they are dropping support for so-called "Web Standards" in favor of Microsoft technologies. "After looking at the numbers" commented John McLaughlin, owner of Loghound Software, "We realized we've been making a mistake. Internet Explorer is the clear market leader and thus defines the real web" he went on to say "Starting now we've dropped support for third party browsers such as Firefox, Opera and Safari". When asked how his customer based would respond, John said "We will start encouraging our customers to drop non Microsoft technologies on both the Desktop and Server" With regards to future Development, John said "Here at Loghound software we are really excited to announce the development of a number of FrontPage plugins"
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GoDaddy: Redux

Well I think the GoDaddy saga is finally behind us with a final score of GoDaddy:1 and DreamHost:2

I spent a bunch of time going back and forth with a few customers to finally get a example that GoDaddy would admit showed a problem on their end. Their answer was "Yes, there are some networking changes going on that may effect customers and we have no estimate on when it will get fixed"

As a small business owner who lives or dies by support I'm always amazed with these kinds of message -- On the one hand it's probably the truth, there are problems and they don't know when they will be fixed but on the other I wonder how you can deny problems for so long and then finally admit that, yes, there is a problem but we won't commit to fixing.

In a business as competitive as web hosting it really makes me shake my head. While GoDaddy does have some fairly low cost plans ($3.99/month) unless you have very, very simple needs you should look around at all of your options -- You might find that spending just a few dollars more gives you a lot more value.

Finally: You may notice a Google AdSense add start to appear in this blog -- Don't worry, I'm not trying to monotize it, I'm just trying to test a, errr, new RapidBlog feature.
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-John
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GoDaddy: Crazy Making!

It's been a pretty frustrating 12 hours working on why RapidBlog is mysteriously failing for some people on GoDaddy. Someone has very nicely given me access to their GoDaddy account and I've been able to see what the problem is. The Connection is closing to blogger -- I don't know why but there it is and it's something specific to GoDaddy. So I built up a test case, about 4 lines of PHP code so we could send it to godaddy and say "Hey, this is broken" So the good news is it show the problem... sometimes. Sometimes it works fine -- Don't even ask me why. In fact I was finding that RapidBlog would work occasionally tonight but other times no. The 'glass half full' side of me wants to say they (GoDaddy) is working on the problem and it'll go away soon. So here is a link to a file with the test case. http://loghound.com/download/godaddyblog.rw3 Open it up in RapidWeaver and preview it. You should see some log messages and then eventually a bunch of XML. The final line should be tell you that it ran successfully. Now publish it somewhere on your site and look at it. It may or may not work. If it seems to work hit refresh a few times... It seems that it will eventually stop working. Let me know if this test case shows the problem. Better yet if it does send GoDaddy a support email. Give them the PHP script and tell them it's failing -- This is 100% valid PHP code. It should work. -John
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