42 posts categorized "blogging"

01/30/2011

Some Good HTML5 Articles

Dustin Marx is one of my favorite tech bloggers because of the thoroughness of each post.  He takes a subject, like a recently posted article on splitting strings with Java and Groovy, and provides an in-depth look at how to do it, other ways to do it, why you would do it one way over another, history, real-world examples, screenshots, and closes every article down with a nice conclusion.

This month, he posted a bunch of HTML5 articles, each one taking on one particular topic and providing great detail:

  1. HTML5 Canvas
  2. HTML5 Form Field Validation
  3. HTML5 Logo and WHATWG HTML Naming
  4. HTML5 Color Picker
  5. HTML5 Date Picker
  6. HTML5 Local Storage: Web Storage
  7. HTML5 Geolocation API: Your Browser Knows Where You Are

01/17/2011

My TypePad Wishlist

There have been a few blog posts over the past several months that I have seen in regards to TypePad, what TypePad should do to remain relevant, what TypePad needs to do to combat Tumblr, etc.  There is this unanswered forum post on AuthorityBlogger.com.  Also, there is this post from a while ago on the Blog Herald site.  This is not going to be one of those posts, mainly, because I am no expert on blog platforms and I think the SixApart people still employ a lot of people who know what they are doing.

I like TypePad as a blogging platform a lot and I think anyone looking to set up a blog should seriously consider giving TypePad a try.  It is easy.  It is inexpensive.  It has better SEO than Blogger did.  That being said, it isn't perfect for me.  What I should probably do is migrate to a virtual private server and run Melody or MovableType but, you know, I really like what I am getting from TypePad and my day job involves running and maintaining a hundred or so web sites.  At this time, I don't feel like hosting my own stuff.  I just want a little more!

The list that follows is in no particular order of importance. It is simply the order that they've popped into my head but each one would be useful to me (and would keep me from self-hosting).  Perhaps, they would be useful to other TypePad bloggers out there as well:

  • Custom Error Pages - Check out this bad link to my downloads page. The link is bad but all you see is a blank page. A blank page!  I mistype things frequently!  Lots of us do!  I think it would be great if I could set up a custom 404 page on my blog.  It would probably be very easy to designate a directory in the library named "errors", which could be used for this purpose.  Custom error pages are almost as old as the web and at this point, I would even settle on something that I couldn't necessarily customize.  It is more important to just see something—folks linking to me might get the impression that this blog doesn't exist!

  • Ability to Download Access Logs - Yes, this is very oldschool but I would really like to be able to see where requests that hit my blog from a Notify/Coaching Page on some company's proxy came from or to see who is trying to hack me or see what robots and spiders are hitting my site.

  • Block Referring Sites - I'm not going to name the site or link to it because I don't want it to gain any link juice but there is a short url service out there that allows someone to earn income by linking a short url to a page on my site.  Money is earned based upon the number of clicks on the short url.  I would like to block it because it isn't benefitting this site in any identifiable way.  I can't find the URL of the site that is linking to me through this shortened URL.  I don't believe I'm gaining any search engine ranking increase because of it.  TypePad's stats view and Google Analytics do not display the shortened URL, only the frameset URL, (Yes, to add insult to injury, this short URL site is wrapping the page inside their own frameset and placing a banner ad on it, too!)

  • Turn off Quick Compose in the Dashboard - It could just be me but the one time I tried this, I ended up with a post with no title.  Since I don't use it, it would be great if I could hide it from the Dashboard.  Hiding it would allow more links from TypePad blogs I'm following to show up "above-the-fold" so, theoretically, everyone benefits.

  • Backup/Restore Service - OK, OK.  I know I'm not the first to suggest it but I am pretty sure people would pay for this as an add-on to the existing service.

  • X-Frame-Options Support - I would like the ability to be able to enable or disable X-Frame-Options support on my blog to prevent my site from getting framed within someone else's site.  This could be very easy to set up in the UI—check a radio button to prevent or allow framing.  If denied, enable a check box to allow from same origin (assuming someone would want to do this on their own blogs).  This could also prevent that unmentionable short URL monetization service from framing my blog.

  • Sub-Headings - Perhaps I'm getting old but I like how magazines and newspapers use subheadings in an article.  A long blog headline looks terrible in large type but it would be nice to have a subheading below the heading that provides more information on what the post contains.  Sure, it could make SEO a problem but it would look nice.  Consider the following:
  • EVNark v0.4 Released

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aliquam nisi lorem, pulvinar id, commodo feugiat, vehicula et, mauris. Aliquam mattis porta urna. Maecenas dui neque, rhoncus sed, vehicula vitae, auctor at, nisi. Aenean id massa ut lacus molestie porta. Curabitur sit amet quam id libero suscipit venenatis.

    • Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.
    • Consectetuer adipiscing elit.
    • Nam at tortor quis ipsum tempor aliquet.

    Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Suspendisse sed ligula. Sed volutpat odio non turpis gravida luctus. Praesent elit pede, iaculis facilisis, vehicula mattis, tempus non, arcu.

    Donec placerat mauris commodo dolor. Nulla tincidunt. Nulla vitae augue.

    Suspendisse ac pede. Cras tincidunt pretium felis. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Pellentesque porttitor mi id felis. Maecenas nec augue. Praesent a quam pretium leo congue accumsan.

    The headline is short and sweet but someone new to the site has no idea what an EVNark is.  What might be neat is if I could do something like the following:

    EVNark v0.4 Released

    New Release of my SSL Extended Validation Verification Script

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aliquam nisi lorem, pulvinar id, commodo feugiat, vehicula et, mauris. Aliquam mattis porta urna. Maecenas dui neque, rhoncus sed, vehicula vitae, auctor at, nisi. Aenean id massa ut lacus molestie porta. Curabitur sit amet quam id libero suscipit venenatis.

    • Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.
    • Consectetuer adipiscing elit.
    • Nam at tortor quis ipsum tempor aliquet.

    Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Suspendisse sed ligula. Sed volutpat odio non turpis gravida luctus. Praesent elit pede, iaculis facilisis, vehicula mattis, tempus non, arcu.

    Donec placerat mauris commodo dolor. Nulla tincidunt. Nulla vitae augue.

    Suspendisse ac pede. Cras tincidunt pretium felis. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Pellentesque porttitor mi id felis. Maecenas nec augue. Praesent a quam pretium leo congue accumsan.

  • Excerpts for Pages - Updated: January 22, 2011 Since the Excerpt section in the Post Editor is used for the META Description text, it would be cool if this could be offered for pages, too.

In the unlikely event that someone from Say Media is reading this, let me stress again that I'm quite happy with what I already have and I would continue to recommend TypePad as a blogging platform to any one who asks.  I would just like to see some additional options like these.  They would make me feel like I was transitioning into a professional blogger.

01/04/2011

A Few Useful Sysadmin Sites

I removed the blogroll on the site because visits to those links were almost non-existent.  However, I have come across a few links over the past month that other systems engineers/administrators might find useful and/or interesting.  I sure did.

  • WhichLoadsFaster.com -  A site that allows you to run a basic performance comparison between two sites to see which site loads faster.  For example, say you want to compare the page load times for this blog vs. TomcatExpert.com.  Although they're still faster, I have been able to determine that several of the changes I've made to the blog over the past week have placed me closer to them in terms of page download speeds.
  • Martin Melin has created an online, mod_rewrite rule tester, which allows you to test rewrite rules on-the-fly.  Pretty neat!
  • LinkedIn open-sourced their Glu tool, which is a tool that allows automated deployments across any platform.  I haven't worked with it yet but it looks interesting.