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2006 05 18

Patience et Longueur de temps sont morts pendus

C’est le (sous-)titre de mon autre blog, francophone, lancé le jour de mes six ans de blog.

Et c’est là bas : intraordinaire.com.

Il manque un vrai layout, mais aussi les commentaires, les trackbacks/pingbacks, les tags, des fils Atom partout. Mais c’est du codé main, très peu de temps passé dessus jusque là, et pour l’ouverture je voulais un truc roots.
Comme du temps où personne n’avait de commentaires ni de fils de nouvelles, et qu’il fallait regarder nos stats (ah, le petit carré de SiteMeter, un meme visuel malgré lui) pour trouver qui faisait un lien vers un de nos posts. Malgré ces limitations, les conversations entre blogs arrivaient, preuve qu’une conversation qui veut s’établir n’attend pas de solution miracle.

Mais je digresse, je radote.
Revenons en à la raison d’être de ce post : vous venez de lire le (probable) dernier billet en français sur ce blog. Vous pouvez mettre à jour vos liens et vos aggrégateurs : je ne posterai plus qu’en anglais ici, et en français sur intraordinaire.

2005 10 18

black, white, and primary colors

So last week a brand new Canon replaced my aging Ricoh camera, and since then I’ve felt some guilt whenever I wasn’t outside shooting stuff — or maybe it’s my stomach crying for mercy, since I’m left with a fistful of euros to finish the month.

black, white

I took the 350d for a test ride this saturday (my first time with an SLR), shot more than 200 pics, out of which less than a dozen I deem viewable.
Those are in the brand new photolog, powered by flickr (and a very tailored version of the FAlbum plugin). (Yes, there is a 500 error on a picture, it’s caused by corrupted Exif data. A workaround is coming soon.)

primary colors

This domain’s root dir used to only be a link to the weblog; not anymore. It now prefigures the next redesign (and degrades awfully in IE6, but the links are functional, which is all that really matters.), and it’s red, very red. Comments, suggestions for improvements?

2005 10 10

transatlantic move

If you can read this, then you’re reading a page served by a lighttpd instance in Paris.
More on the migration later…

Update : the whole thing. Hopefully this serves as a guide of sorts to whoever runs through the troubles I’ve faced.

Part I : fetching files

Using rsync over ssh, it was a no-brainer.
I just made sure that I had the same /home/$username on both hosts, in order to avoid editing some web apps’ config files to correct absolute paths.

Part II : setting up lighttpd

It was only after I was done that I noticed the lighttpd wiki has a cheat sheet to help you migrate from Apache.

Since I serve multiple sites, I went for a vhost setup using conditionnals, and then set each site’s accesslog, errorlog, and so on (so that my hostees could see their own access logs).

Mod_rewrite rules were another problem. You basically have to understand the rewrite rules that your apps generate (I can only hope you understand those you manually typed in), in order to simplify them and put them in the right order in lighttpd’s config file.
Also, since I didn’t care to remove .htaccess and .htpasswd files, I denied their access. They’re still useful for when an app (think WordPress or another CMS) wants to regenerate rules.

Part III : setting up PHP

Easy as pie with fastcgi in lighttpd. I took the occasion to harden its settings, and add stuff.
Each vhost runs PHP as suexec.

Part IV : struggling with tildas, aka using real utf-8 with MySQL

Here comes the part that took me ages to figure out. I made a dump of my databases, then when I loaded the dump on the new host I had double-encoded utf8. Both hosts are running MySQL 4.1, so I was rightly puzzled.
Turns out that, to have a future-proof MySQL setup I let it use utf-8 by default, while on most webhosts (including TextDrive) the default encoding is iso-8859-1, which leads to what I would call “fake utf-8” content.
There were multiple solutions to this problem: I could set MySQL’s encoding to iso-8859-1 (no!), I could set the database with the problem to use iso-8859-1 (no!), or I could tell whichever app depended on “fake utf-8” in utf-8 tables to use iso-8859-1 for its communication with MySQL.
This can be done with the SQL command SET NAMES 'latin1' at the beginning of the app’s execution.

In my case, WordPress was the app that used fake utf-8, so in order not to modify the code everytime I would upgrade WP, I made a simple plugin (latin1-fix.php), activated it, and voilà!, my text was readable again!

Part V : sleeping

Thank $DEITY there was no part V!

2005 08 20


  • 1886 posts
  • very few titles
  • tons of dead links
  • terrible English

I have finally imported my old b2 archives, more than two years of short titleless (and often pointless, really) posts and dead links (where art thou, great backup of the intarweb?) from May 2000 to December 2002.

The backup .sql file had been sitting in a directory for years, and it was in my projects to import it back online ever since I resumed blogging on January 1st, 2004.
Tonight it only took me a grand total of two hours to upgrade the SQL schema (basically, run import-b2.php, ignore the many SQL errors, then run upgrade.php), sort out the possible ID conflicts (bumping post ids, comment ids up and so on), run test imports, debug the problems, test again and then do the import dance on the production database.
In the end while the real import was going on, I was biting whatever remained of my nails.

Trouble and all, but at least now all my posts are back online… This blog just turned five years and three months old!

2005 08 05

incremental updates #2

  • Upgraded to the latest stable WP. It was as easy as copying new files over old ones.
  • Fixed Tagadam to work with this version of WP. Tagadam is the name of my still-not-ready-for-a-release tags plugin, it’s been primarily coded with my CVS checkout of February in mind, so no wonder it needed some fixing.
  • Ditched categories in feeds. I’ll only have tags from now on (they’re already using the <category> element anyway).
  • Added Google ads on archives, tags, single posts. I’m not sure of the format.

2005 07 31

a telegram in #FF5532

New layout STOP
Parts powered by del.icio.us STOP
Work in progress STOP
Suggestions welcome STOP

2005 06 26

il venait de voir dix huit tantes

C’était un post sur l’homosensualité, l’enfance, la peau bronzée d’un toscan et une foultitude de clichés aussi plats que les aplats de mers et de ciels bleux de Rimini sur les photos de vacances.
Et puis pouf. Un manque d’adverbes (cinq), un manque d’envie de remplacer ce post partiellement autobiographique (comme le précédent) mais so adverb challenged par un texte bateau that wouldn’t float, un manque d’envie de pondre un post qui ne tiendrait pas debout si le contexte du jeu disparaissait.
Ciao amore, ciao. Peut-être jouerai-je la troisième épreuve.

2005 02 21

incremental updates

  • Switched to the Kubrick theme because 1.5’s Classic wouldn’t load comments on mini posts (surely an issue with the MiniPosts plugin).
  • Found out wp_title() misses a filter hook for everything but titles, that is why category pages sport unlovely [fr]titres[/fr][en]titles[/en].
  • Fixed the site’s content-type.
  • Installed Referrer Karma. If you ever have to click through to get to this blog, please notify me so I can whitelist you.
  • Added RewriteRules so that old old old permalinks work again.
  • Activated my soon to be released tags plugin. That’s where the “Tags:” lines and the Tags list on the right are from. I still need to make tags appear in the feeds, and support tags additions in URIs.


2004 12 08

ma feuille de style va très bien, merci

Puhleeze stop e-mailing/telling me that there’s a problem with my stylesheet. There just is no stylesheet here anymore for the time being.
The reason is quite absurd: weeks ago I promised I would get back to blogging once I’d redesign this blog, so when I blogged again and the blog still had the same face, it felt like a broken promise. So there’s no stylesheet anymore until I actually get the time and inspiration to write a new one.

In other news, I’m just back from a mini-conference about blogs and journalism organised by Six Apart.
I feared it would be a “buy some Typepad” fest geared towards journalists who don’t know better, but it turned out alright. Nothing ground-breaking for the few veteran bloggers in the room, but a fine way to show journalists that they needn’t fear The Blog (they will be eventually assimilated anyway).
Heck, it even turned out bloggable. Or at least the conversations we had around drinks after the talks, did.

2004 08 20

oh, the mess

If you’re reading this then the move to zengun.org has been completed.
Excuse the mess, I’m going to fix all the gizmos (today) and redesign (tonight or later).

2004 03 03

redesign #1

I’m not done with it yet, but I was really getting fed up with the bland grey look.
So fed up with it, that it had made me unwilling to blog.

Edit: It looks like poo in IE 5.5 and below. Too bad.
If that page was for a client, it would have degraded graciously, but since it’s my personal page it will have to wait for a workaround.

2004 02 14

so hmm, yeah it’s opened

So, I figured that I wouldn’t really get motivated to work on this weblog until I actually blog publicly on it. Consider this weblog opened, then.
For more information, say “Hello World” and push the star key: *.

2004 01 20

news from the frontlines

Still got some modifications to do on my local WordPress, and I’ll be ready to blog.
About the photolog, since it won’t be ready just yet, you’ll find three thumbnail links to some of my realisations hosted on DeviantArt. Every other day I’ll freshen the links to make them point to new (or old) realisations.

2004 01 01

Hello, world.

“One small step for a blogger, one giant step for the blogosphere.”

Hello, readers.
I am Michel Valdrighi, both an ex-blogger and new blogger, and the only Corsican blogger (that I know of).
The website’s not done yet, obviously. There were supposed to be marvellous CSS, a photolog, a whole set of witty blog posts to get you in the mood, and then some. Blame procrastination.
Consider this weblog not officially opened yet, like a beta. I hope to be done with the basic features next monday… so you’ll have the benefit to see a design and work in progress. Until then, check back often or subscribe to my RSS feed for updates.

Oh, and happy new year. :)