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7 posts from December 2008


End of Year Changes

As I near the one year anniversary of this site, and to close out this year, I'm switching to a custom domain: blog.techstacks.com. I'm doing this to (hopefully) better highlight what this site is geared towards—a resource for systems administrators and engineers to get help with and manage the technology stacks that we have to support.

Other changes that I've made recently are modifications to my template to utilize a screen resolution of 1024 by 768 and higher. Visitors to this site using a screen resolution of 800 by 600 only account for 0.60% of visits--most visitors use a screen resolution of 1280X1024 or 1280X800.

I've swapped out the previous search for a different hosted solution by Eurekster called a 'swicki'. Although there was nothing wrong with the previous one I used by Lijit, no one used it so I thought, "why not try something new?".

About three weeks ago, I started experimenting with other ad providers. On an average day, I only receive about 100 visits, which is too low for Amazon Affiliates and is probably too low for AdSense. I've started using Project Wonderful and I've been happy with the results so far—we'll see...

Stay tuned...there should be more changes in the near future.


Blogger: Workaround for Export Blog Failures

This was a problem that I had experienced for months after I switched to a 3-column template and I thought that using a customized template was the cause. In a nutshell, I was unable to export blog posts and comments. Sometimes, I would re-publish some articles then re-try an export and my exported xml would only contain the recently published article(s) only.

I am not a google employee so this is by no means official support and try this out on some test sites first before trying it out on your "production" blog. Searching through the blogger help forum indicated that I was not the only one suffering with an inability to export blog posts and comments. Since I use blogger-in-draft, I don't know if this particular problem exists in regular blogger also but I figured out today that I can get a blog to successfully export by changing the "Convert Line Breaks" option in the "Formatting" options to "No".

Go to your Settings tab, then the Formatting option. Change Convert Line Breaks in the drop-down list from Yes to No. Then export blog as usual.

The help text for this setting indicates that this option controls the behavior of carriage returns in the Post Editor. Setting it to "no" in blogger in draft seems to not have an effect on carriage returns in the new Post Editor because there is a default Post-Option that performs the same function that this global setting enables. This applies only to blogger in draft however--I don't know what impact it will have on the regular post editor but I assume it will remove html line breaks from your posts—which it does not do in blogger-in-draft.

Finally, I don't know why this works. Let me know if it works out for you.

Blogger: Beyond the Basics: Customize and promote your blog with original templates, analytics, advertising, and SEO (From Technologies to Solutions)


A Question for Visitors to This Site Using Internet Explorer

One look at this site and it is pretty clear that I'm no designer. I ran through some google analytics statistics for this month so far and was surprised to see that Internet Explorer only accounted for about one-third of the visits to this site. As it is a tech blog primarily focused on apache, tomcat, jboss and related items, maybe this isn't so surprising a statistic but today was the first time in the year that this site has been up that I visited it myself using Internet Explorer 7 and I have to say that this site looks terrible in IE.

I have no intentions of bashing IE or Microsoft here and I know I could spend some time trying to make the site work well across all browsers but the site pretty much looks the same as-is in Opera, Safari, Chrome and Firefox--only in IE do things look even stranger. This and the fact that approximately 35% of this site's visitors still use IE6 and IE7 has me wondering: Why DO technical users continue to utilize IE? I can understand if my visitors were typical Internet users but the focus of this blog and the search queries/referrals indicate that people visiting this site are looking for specific technical information, which implies "Developer", "System Administrator", "Webmaster", etc.—pretty much any one aware of the various rendering issues with Internet Explorer 7 and below.

If there is anyone out there visiting the site today and reading this particular post, if you could reply in the comments why you are satisfied with Internet Explorer as your main browser that would be really great.