Craig Talbert's Weblog

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Twitter, Google Plus, Disqus -- Great Success! Facebook, Blosxom -- Fail. :(

posted 07-01-2012 at 20:12

When I decided I wanted to write a blog and host it on rintintin, I needed to find something that ran on rintintin's minimalist set of supported software. At the time that meant it had to run on Solaris 9, work with Apache 1.x, Perl 5.6.1 and didn't require a SQL database backend (although BerkleyDB was installed). Blosxom was one of the few ones that fit the bill, but even back then it's development community had gone a little stale. There was also TWiki that at the time could just be ran with perl, rcs, diff and grep. Anything I compiled had to live in my then 20MB of space, althought I was able to get an increase to 200MB later.

TWiki required compiling the GNU versions of serveral of the base tools (the Solaris 9 versions were incompatible) and although I was able to eventually compile SQLite on rintintin, I believe any blogging software I could find that could use it as a backend had other compatibility issues. Later there was also a split in the TWiki community that created FosWiki, and I'm still not sure which side I like or what the difference is in the software. is an amazing site with compiled binaries of common software for different Solaris architecures, but I couldn't find a way to extract the binaries from their format without have root access (it looks like the new site, may have a saner approach to this). That's a long way of saying I eventually just decided to work with Blosxom.

At anyrate, I wanted to add some common features to my blog this week (comments, and buttons to share on Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook) and I was partially successful. The way Facebook implemented their like button, however, is a touch disappointing as it's difficult to have multiple like buttons on one page for different items, and to get blosxom to do this would require some substaintial rewriting (I tried several hackish approaches that all failed). Disqus is also a little annoying in that you can only have one active comment section using it per page, so you have to go to the permalink for an article if you want to comment.

There have been some attempts to resurrect Blosxom, for example had some discussion of a new version. I believe Ode is also based on Blosxom. Do I want to migrate from Blosxom to Ode? You are part of the mystery.

category: /Blosxom | click to comment (permanent link to this entry)

link and guid tag URL bug fix

posted 09-14-2011 at 12:44

If you subscribe to this blog in a reader, you may have noticed (like I have) that each time I update it would mark all of the posts as new. I discovered this is because of a recursive percent-encoding bug. For each item in the feed it would re-encode the percent sign used in the code for the tilde character in the URL. So, %7E in the first item would become %257E in the second, and %25257E in the third (%25 is the percent code for the percent character), and on and on and on. Needless to say URLs containing these codes were not only invalid (except for in the first item, the only one you'd test after posting a message) but as it was used in the RSS feed link and guid tags most of the feed readers and crawlers probably got confused, or just marked me as a spammer (which I'm guessing is more likely).

category: /Blosxom | click to comment (permanent link to this entry)


posted 03-23-2011 at 17:34

It took me a long time, but I finally worked out the mod_rewrite rules to direct URLs appropriately so I can run blosxom on my rintintin account. They more or less looks like this:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /~talbert/
#Paths I don't want blosxom to handle 
RewriteRule ^/forms/ - [L]
RewriteRule ^/sw/ - [L]
#Paths I do want blosxom to handle
RewriteRule ^$ blosxom.cgi [L]
RewriteRule ^([0-9]+)(.*)$ blosxom.cgi/$1$2 [L]
RewriteRule ^([A-Z]+)(.*)$ blosxom.cgi/$1$2 [L]
#If its not a file or a directory, it's also a bloxsom URL
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f 
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule ^([a|c-z])(.*)$ blosxom.cgi/$1$2 [L]

You may be wondering why I left 'b' out of the last regular expression, and why the [0-9] amnd [A-Z] ones are split up the way they are. For a reason unknown to me, trying to condense these in to one expression, or one expression that includes the lowercase 'b' results in Apache producing a 500 Internal Server Error (on rintintin, at least). You are part of the mystery.

category: /Blosxom | click to comment (permanent link to this entry)

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