Getting Spammed

Got a ton of spam here with the comment Google is the best search engine. I hope everything is fine at Akismet. We cannot depend on anything else more!

Moved

I have put down my experience of moving from WordPress.com to my new home. Overall it was not very difficult, at most irritating sometimes. The WordPress exporters and importers do most of the work, you have to follow it up with some cleaning.

I am going to keep writing on this blog, less frequently though. I will also change the sidebar content a bit to reflect fresh content from my new blog. If you have sill not update all your bookmarks using this information. I am still not getting used to not seeing WordPress.com top posts in the dashboard. I will try and see if I can hack it to do it. I realise the importance of being part of a community!

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Copyright Abhijit Nadgouda.

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Moved, But Still Unpacking

So this blog has found its new home! It is hosted on BlueHost, selected out of three that I was considering.

Basic setup of the blog is done – posts, pages and comments imported, and functional theme is set. However, it is just that – functional right now. I still have to import links. I will need some more time to fix some things and make sure that the CSS is not bulky or bundled up. I will write a detailed post on things I had to do to move things from here.

That being said, you can take a look at the blog today and see if you like it. Feel free to throw brickbats or if you feel, bouquets at it.

Please update your bookmarks, blogrolls and feeds to the following addresses:

Blog address: http://ifacethoughts.net/
Blog posts feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/ifacethoughts/entries
Blog comments feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/ifacethoughts/comments

I know it is too much trouble to update these thing and I sincerely wish that I could automate this for you. But it is not happening, please take the trouble of updating the information. I will writing at the new blog. I plan to keep writing on this blog to write specifically about wordpress.com, and keep using the excellent and first-to-be-updated blog system here.

I will do one more post when the new home is completely setup and will include a reminder in that. Thanks for reading.

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Copyright Abhijit Nadgouda.

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To Move Or Not To Move

I am contemplating moving to a self-hosted blog. Not because WordPress.com falls short of anything, just that I have become greedier. I want to control more and want to experiment more.

I will definitely continue with WordPress. It has achieved the privileged milestone of one million downloads and is coming up with some dynamic features. WordPress.com too has seen massive growth, it hosts 310 thousand blogs on its first birthday. WordPress.com has time and again shown that it is one of the highest quality blogging sites, with lot of high traffic and slashdottable blogs.

I want to dig deeper now, get more control and start some experiments. The new avataar will also host some projects and some personal stuff. After some research I have narrowed down to bluehost.com, dreamhost.com and mediatemple.net for hosting with a bias towards bluehost. Feel free to suggest if you have any information regarding this. I am looking at PHP, Ruby and Python support. Any kind of guidance will be appreciated.

I am trying to evaluate the costs of moving, some are apparent and I am sure some will raise their head later. Right now though, none of the disadvantages are heavy enough to outweigh the basic advantage of being able to do more with self-hosted WordPress for me.

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Copyright Abhijit Nadgouda.

Merging Blogs

I had started a separate blogcode::gallery dedicated to my love for coding. I wanted to keep this blog for an higher perspective of the software development field, without getting into the implementation, hence a separate blog. I had started it on the blogsome.com service so that I could get the benefits of WordPress and get to create my own theme there. However, recently I have started having troubles and I don’t have enough time to troubleshoot and pursue the matters. I still want to write about coding, so it will happen here under the category programming. I don’t have many posts there, so I will move them here over next week, with a message that they have been already published.

I cannot say I have had a bad experience with blogsome.com, but having this blog on wordpress.com has spoilt me and reduced my tolerance :-).

If you feel that you don’t want to read about the programming posts, you can subscribe to this feed which does not include the posts under programming category. Head over here for more customization.

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Copyright Abhijit Nadgouda.

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What I Know

This is a little late, but here it is, as a part of the blogging challenge set by Lorelle. In my case it is very simple to answer this question – software. This is my area of work, expertise and passion, and I feel most confident blogging about it.

Blog What I Know

As the challenge demands here I am bragging shamelessly about myself. I am good at understanding software, understanding its place in the real world. I am an expert at finding out what you need, recommending what you should use and providing what you can use. Software development is not only about the technology, it is about solving a problem, within given constraints and limits, with expected performance and results. I am good at achieving this delicate balance and providing the optimal solution.

I think the Web is unnecessarily and overly hyped and fitted in every single opportunity which has 2 millimeters of space free. I am good at finding out if it fits the bill, if it is required, if it is justified. If not, neither is the cost for it. I think the desktop is extremely complicated for the common man, it should be simpler and still simpler. The right applications of the web and desktop or web+desktop can make life easier. I think usability is underrated in software development whereas it should sit there right on the top along with the jewel in the crown. I am good at identifying this.

I think software should be used right to be useful. However great and usable the software is, it is rendered useless if not used in the right way. I understand this and make sure that the users understand this too.

It is important to understand and accept software as a solution closer to the real life, that we live. Only then will it be able to impact and improve our everyday life. I had read somewhere that technology is something that has not worked yet, anything else that works breaks the barrier of being a technology. Software is still a technology, but it is important for you, the user to participate and contribute in breaking the barrier.

And I am going to blog about all this here.

However, blogging has introduced me to new things, which I cannot brag about today but I feel it should be mentioned here.

Know What I Blog

As days have passed I have realised that blogging itself has become a source of knowledge for me. I try to do my personal research and gather facts and figures before I write. I have started keeping a tab on lot many things which has improved my perception and understanding. That is why in addition to blog what I know I have started abiding by the rule know what I blog. The subject of software is so dynamic and vast that blogging is quite a refreshing way of staying uptodate as well as keeping in touch with the basics. The ability to communicate with other peers in the same field and start discussions with them, without the physical boundaries of countries or industries, will probably give me more chances of bragging in future.

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Copyright Abhijit Nadgouda.

I Am Now A SOB!

Don’t frown, it is not the offensive abbreviation, it means Successful and Outstanding Blogs. Thanks Liz, for adding my blog to the SOB list and from now on I will be displaying the SOB badge on this blog.

So let me elaborate a bit on what is a SOB. Liz says:

When the SOB program started, I was looking for a way to encourage the sense of community that Successful-Blog stood for. The conversations were fun, fast, and sometimes irreverent. Discussions on the blog often brought up good ideas, and I wanted to make sure those ideas continued and become more out in the blogosphere–everyone making everyone a little bit better. It’s the only way that we can make ourselves strong here in what they call “The Magic Middle.” We talk to each other.

I know the SOB program will help increase visibility of this blog and will extend its reach. My part now is to continue blogging and the SOB program makes it easier for me as it also puts me in touch with so many other blogs and provides me with new topics and ideas to write about. I am glad that I am a SOB!

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Copyright Abhijit Nadgouda.

My First Ever Post On Someone Else’s Blog

Look at this! Well, not much, a post by me, about me, but on The Blog Herald. Thanks Matt for the opportunity, it felt good!

I am sure, for many of you this might not be something novel, but for me – a newbie blogger – it is a very satisfying feeling. A feeling that more people will read what I write, and of course that I will get more exposure. I have learnt a lot from the How I Blog series. It provided a chance to read about how others write, how they motivate themselves to write. Some of the posts have even seeded some ideas in my mind.

Since this piece I have expanded my reading list and have started using coComment to track my conversations. As I have mentioned in the post, I want to start blogs on a lot more topics but cannot fully commit to all of them. For now, I have started two blogs for now, however they are in beta, as I have not been able to define a schedule or pattern for them.

code::gallery

code::gallery is for my love of coding and programming. This blog is looks at the bigger picture of software development, but coding is still a dear topic to me. Lot of times the code design is not acknowledged and implemented. The posts on this blog will highlight the importance of code design in writing good software. I created this on Blogsome.com because I wanted some control on the theme to make it more appropriate for reading code. Currently it is sporting a theme designed by yours truly.

This is my other weblog. My main weblog is Abhijit Nadgouda @ iface. Starting this blog was really an impulsive decision. I love coding, I think it is not just a mechanical task. It is the aspect of software engineering that is closest to art. Coding is not only about syntax, a good code requires much wider knowledgescape. I will try to portrait it here in this blog.

I am also a language (of course programming language!) lover, I love learning new languages. I also like to analyze and come up with scenarios when ceratin languages are applicable. This has come from my understanding that programming language should never be the hindrance, rather the right programming language should be chosen for the job. I personally think, that a good programmer should always know more than one language, it brings in the other perspective.

The Two Bay Areas

The Two Bay Areas is about Mumbai and San Francisco. My experiences in both the places, comparisons between them will come out of this blog as an effort to improve Mumbai – to make it a better place. Mumbai should not be San Francisco, every city has its own color and value, but it can definitely adapt some of the ideas. This blog is hosted on Blogger for no specific reason – just because! But it is definitely fun to use more than one blogging tools, makes you appreciate the finer things.

Todate, I have lived my life in the two most popular bay areas in the world – Mumbai (Bombay) and San Francisco. I know the latter is called the bay area, Mumbai is not much different in what nature has given. The difference is how we humans have treated them. As naive as I am, I cannot help but compare the two. Through this comparison I want to bring out the good and bad in both the places, adopt the goods that we can and change aamchi Mumbai for better. I would like to know your opinions; and your contributions are welcome.

I have been blabbering about this to a lot of people, but haven’t been able to reach many yet. This is my second attempt at it, this time through writings instead of mouth. Hopefully the result will be different!

One more thing I want from this exercise is more feedback from the readers about my blogs. That is the only way I can improve myself. So, feel free to opine/comment/analyze/suggest/recommend (or any form of expression), I’ll be looking forward.

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Copyright Abhijit Nadgouda.

What’s On Your Blogshelf?

Admittedly, my paper reading has reduced quite a bit since I have started reading weblogs and online forums. There are no regrets, the blogs have provided the niche information which sometimes even books miss out on. In fact, nowadays, I come to know about books through my reading of blogs. Additionally, the discussoins about books through blogs have provided a new dimension to the reading.

Sometimes, blogs by book authors (Malcolm Gladwell, Freakonomics blog) continue to provide more post-book insight. Then there are Literary blogs, Creative Writing blogs, blogs about books, the news blogs and various more types. I have a lot of blogs on software engineering subjects in my blogroll.

The list of my blogs has increased dramatically over last few months. The list has grown not only because I have come across good blogs, but also because I am reading blogs in the blogroll of those good blogs. I would have appreciated if there was a feed available for blogrolls. Ofcourse, ther is the OPML format and BlogRolling web service, but feeds are really comfortable.

My reading list has grown so much that it is now pretty close to the size of my bookshelf, so I have removed it from my sidebar and dedicated a page to it, called blogshelf. WordPress provides feeds for pages, so feed from this page can be used to keep a track of my blogshelf :-).

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Copyright Abhijit Nadgouda.

Ultimate WordPress RSS Feed Customization

Updated this post to reflect Matt’s comments and replace /wp-inst/wp-rss2.php by /feed/.

Just extending on Lorelle’s Customozing RSS Feed Links for WordPress.com and WordPress Sidebar Widgets which provides useful suggestions for customizing WordPress feeds, even for searches. Reading that article made me delve into more ways of syndicating specific content. Feed templates can also be modified for more granular control. If feeds are still Greek to you, Introduction to Syndication and WordPress Feeds will bring you up to speed.

Now, more customization for RSS feeds in WordPress! WordPress executes the WordPress Loop and the associated queries for producing the feeds. This implies that rules that apply for creating index, archive, searchor custom queries can be used for creating the feeds. It is kind of single-source publishing, same queries to be used for same content, irrespective of whether it displayed on the web or syndicated via the feed.

Let us see what this means for us. In addition to the default feeds, now we can provide additional partial feeds for posts created using WordPress queries, e.g., posts for last two days or order posts alphabetically or posts by a specific author in a multi-author blog. Say, one of your visitors is interested only in two categories and not all of them. Using this blog as an example, lets create a feed for categories blogging and wordpress.

All the examples given below are relative URLs with respect to the root of the blog, i.e., the URLs displayed below are appended to http://iface.wordpress.com/.

feed/?category_name=blogging
&category_name=wordpress

We have specified the category names as arguments to the file wp-rss2.php which produces the RSS feeds. If you are not afraid of handling IDs, the same result can be obtained using:

feed/?cat=91+33

Here, 91 is the category ID of the category blogging and 33 that of wordpress. This is so convenient for my reader who would otherwise had to subscribe to the entire feed and filter through the posts or subscribe to two feeds, one per category. This would be intolerable if the reader was interested in 10 categories out of 20.

Now consider a case where your visitor is interested in 9 out of 10 categories, that is you want to eliminate posts for one category from the feed. I am trying document all WordPress global variables on this blog, and all of them are filed under the wordpress global variables category. A reader, not interested in the WordPress plugins or theme development, might not interested in the wordpress global variables category posts. Here is how it can be done:

feed/?cat=-80413

will remove the posts under wordpress global variables in this blog.

Techniques mentioned in Alphabetizing Posts can be used on the query, e.g.,

feed/?cat=91+33&orderby=title&order=asc

will result in the feed having alphabetically ordered posts.

feed/?authorname=anadgouda

will produce a feed for posts by me, even if there were more authors writing on this blog.

If it is useful, feeds can also be produced for pages, following are multiple ways:

about/feed

feed/?pagename=about

feed/?page_id=2

While all the above examples can be used for a WordPress.com blog, they are applicable even to an independent blog. As a blog owner, you can probably create such feeds for specific readers of your blog.

WordPress gives you the ability to customize the RSS feeds by letting you run customized queries, this gives the ultimate power to the blog owner and the reader.

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Copyright Abhijit Nadgouda.

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