Third Rebirth of Deonandia

Welcome to Deonandia 3.0. Oh, what a nightmare it has been. More than three days of continual work have finally resulted in the salvaging of this veritable old blog from the Google dungheap. Most of you probably don’t realize this, but this blog has been operational continuously for 11 years now, which I think makes it one of the oldest extant blogs on the ‘Net. Before 1999, the mother site Deonandan.com was active since 1993, but without the “daily” updates that the world eventually came to know as a “weblog” or “blog” for short.

From 1999 to 2004, I called these updates my “Bulletin”, and I pasted them in basic HTML, which was both cheap and time consuming. You can still see those old posts if you go to my archives and scroll to the very bottom.  Version 2.0 was launched on January 1st, 2005,  as I finally joined the rush and updated the format to a “traditional” blog.   On December 17th of that same year, this space was formally re-Christened as “Deonandia”.

Now, I was one of those 0.5% of Blogger.com clients who kept his files on his own FTP server.  I did this for security and control reasons, and because I need the blog to be seamlessly integrated with the rest of my content on Deonandan.com and her sister sites.  But, of course, earlier this year Google bought out Blogger and announced that they would be discontinuing FTP support.  So my quest was on to find a new home for Deonandia, one that could easily accept my complicated file structures and over 1000 posts.

WordPress was the obvious solution, but not the free blogs over at WordPress.com, but the even freer self-hosted blogs downloadable from WordPress.org.  After investing a day trying to start my own server, using both WAMP and XAMPP, I concluded that since Vista hates me, I should let the pros handle the hosting bit.  So I turned to my longtime webhost, Bravenet.  I’ve bitched about them a lot in the past,  but this time they came through for me with easy to use SQL and PHP services.

All done, right?  Not quite.  There are hundreds of bugs that still need fixing in this migration from Blogger to WordPress.  The two big ones are the location of my archived posts, which Blogger stored as HTML files, but which WordPress stores as SQL data.  This is important because existing links to many posts have been created over the past 11 years, and I don’t want to lose those linkages.  I finally found a solution by creating a series of PHP redirect commands.  This required me to invest a day in learning how to program in very basic PHP!

The other big bug still remains: how to get my user comments from Js-Kit (formerly haloscan) imported here.  You will notice that there are no comments on any of the blog posts.  This is a real bitch.  I should have turfed haloscan years ago, but kept putting it off.  Finally they merged with another company and formed the unwieldy beast called Js-Kit, whose exported comments refuse to place nice with any 3rd part commenting service that I’ve yet found.

This guy was on to something, but his solution didn’t quite work for me.

I do want to thank the following bloggers for having posted very useful tutorials for getting me this far:

The Devil’s Workshop

Ravi Dreams

Webweaver

PHP Editors

I am wayyyy behind in all my work, but at least the blog is somewhat salvaged.  We’ll see if it’s still here in the morning!