WordPress Notes

I posted an article in my Notes earlier this morning called “Schr√∂dinger’s Cat and Less Famous Felines“. This is not so much a shameless plug for my article as an observation that we do not really have a WordPress home for articles of a scientific orientation. Articles on cosmology end up, naturally enough, in Astronomy, while articles on computers and Silicon Valley type technologies go here. Most of everything else touching on scientific progress goes into My Notes.

I’m really jazzed about WordPress. It appears I first switched to it (from MoveableType) in June of 2004. I know a lot more about it now, of course, and I like it even more, and have it running eight major departments at Summitlake.com. The downside is that it takes eight separate WP installations to run those departments, and eight databases, and that takes a lot of maintenance – especially for the frequent but desirable upgrades.¬† I’m loathe to add a ninth department.

The upside is separation of all the eggs in the basket. If something goes wrong with one database or installation, I don’t have to fix all eight of them. There is a WP version that supports multiple installations with one code install, but it’s a side branch of the main product, and upgrades for bug fixes and anti-spam are infrequent from what I can tell. My take is that we need to stay on the cutting edge of anti-spam just to stay even, so I’ll live with the multiple installs.

I haven’t found any new spam comments in my departments since the installation of version 2.3.1 a month ago. However, my Spam Karma 2 hasn’t registered any new detections to kill, either – not sure what that means.

Counters: I also note that my page counters, installed in the right hand menu of each department, often increment two or three at a time, inflating the page hit count. My Notes just celebrated its 100,000th visitor, but it sounds like that’s really more like 30-40,000 visitors. Not bad, nonetheless.

The future: most new content seems to go into WordPress. It is still a lot easier to compose pages that are really content-rich (images, tables, forms and such) in old-fashioned HTML. The Writing department may remain primarily HTML for years. I have learned how to load content-rich pages into custom WordPress page templates. The conversion to mySQL/WordPress could take years, unless I write automated conversion routines, but we’re at least getting closer to the day when the confusing dichotomy between the HTML and WordPress worlds at Summitlake.com may finally be resolved.

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