May 21, 2004

And the winner is?

Yes, there have been no entries since I said I was thinking of moving to a different publishing platform :p And the reason is that I’ve been busy checking on each of the contenders I mentioned. Incidentally, I should mention that the folks over at pMachine were kind enough to give me a free copy of ExpressionEngine as part of their switch program 🙂 I didn’t really expect to win when I applied but I did and so I gave ExpressionEngine a try as well and while it is all they claim to be, it has a few things missing which made me decide not to go with it. Plus of course, there is the whole "commercial" thing – it’s a commercial app and while I got this release for free, I don’t know if all future upgrades will be free or not and so I’m a bit leery about it. The biggest thing that I missed in ExpressionEngine was the fact that it had no support for an external blogging API. So if I’d switched to EE, then I wouldn’t have been able to blog from BlogMan or Blog any longer.

As for the other contenders, I think I dropped Nucleus at the outset after discovering that their comment spam filtering features weren’t as good as I wanted them to be :p So that left just b2evolution and WordPress. My initial choice was actually b2evolution since it supported multiple blogs and WordPress didn’t but later I learnt that b2evolution’s multiple blogs weren’t really multiple blogs but some form of separating entries using categories – of course, I might be wrong here since it was something I read rather than know for sure due to firsthand experience :p However, it looked as if there was a lot more work being done on WP than on b2evolution and so I settled on WP.

Once I’d settled on WP however, the real work started :p It turned out that WP imported MT entries but first having the user export the MT entries in MT itself and then reading that exported file. However, that didn’t work for me since I’m on a really slow connection at the moment and the export would always fail before it completed. So I decided to write a script which would import the MT entries into WP on the server itself by transferring the records from the tables on the MT database to the tables on the WP database 🙂 It actually ended up being fairly simple to implement but I had to install Apache, PHP, mySQL and phpmyAdmin on my machine before I could get to work :p Once all that was done though, it took me one evening’s work to actually get the script to the working stage and a few more hours of tweaking saw all my MT entries transferred over without any problems (at least that I could see …) to my WP database. Of course, then began the task of converting my WP template to be as close to the MT original as possible but I think I’ve got that covered now as well. All that remains is to put a comments spam moderation system into place and I’m ready to go.

Here’s the kicker – WP has a lot of comment moderation options but I still like Jay Allen’s MT-Blacklist best of all 🙂 I want something like that! Now the thing is, I find I work really well with PHP since it seems to be an extremely intuitive language to me. So, I’m going to work on the code for an existing WP hack which actually works a lot like Jay Allen’s plugin and try to see if I can actually make it a plugin for WP. If I can (or once I decide I just can’t do it or it’s too much work :p) then I’ll do the final bit of switching over to WP. Till then bear with my comments on switching :p

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Posted by Fahim at 8:10 am  |  7 Comments