Archive for the ‘WordPress’ Category

TapComment Spam

19 May 2006 23:41 by Rick

In the last few days I have been hit by comment spam—rotten really as I don’t ordinarily get many comments at all. You won’t have seen them because there are two lines of defence. You first have to register an account and even then the comment is sent to me first for moderation. This probably puts legitimate comentators off but I see I was right in chosing this system.

The first of these bulwarks is not working. Somehow the spammers are getting comments into the system without first registering accounts. It seems to be a timely reminder that I need to upgrade to WordPress 2 so please excuse me if the blog is down for some of the time over the weekend.

A secondary benefit is that I am told that Akismet spam defence is built into the new version, so perhaps I may be able to relax the rules a bit, but one thing at a time.

TapInvalid RSS feed

16 Jan 2006 13:36 by Rick

An RSS feed is an XML document with an implicit DTD. Unlike XHTML, this DTD doesn’t specify any named character entities so the only ones allowed are &, ', ", <, and >. This means that feed generators, like the one in WordPress and other blog & content management systems should convert any other character entities into numeric form before serving the feed document. WordPress 1.5, at least, doesn’t.

As a result, the feed received by the reader may generate a syntax error. In practice, most don’t seem to notice entities in the description text and pass them straight through for rendering but some, including Feedreader, choke if there are any in the title.

Conclusion—don’t use named entities in your blog titles.

TapWordPress is secure?

2 Dec 2005 09:02 by Rick

My Dashboard tells me Don’t Panic! WordPress Is Secure (24 Days ago). This is talking about BugTraq 14088 29-Jun-2005 which only affected version 1.5.1 and earlier. There have of course been others and will be in the future (no software is immune) but there was a new one a few days ago that is a false alarm. The problem arises because of the confusion of names (a familiar story). The alert is BugTraq 15582 which refers to phpWordPress. This is a commercial publishing management system and they clearly state at the bottom of their home page that they are not affiliated with the open-source program WordPress in any way. Perhaps needs a similar disclaimer.

TapFirst Draft

4 Oct 2005 22:50 by Rick

Well, that was hard work; but I’m quite pleased with the result. The apparent simplicity hides some rather complex stuff going on underneath. I can’t imagine any non-geek being able to customise their blog but perhaps they use a simpler but less flexible system. Even I’m glad that PHP is a pretty obvious programming language—not a huge step from sh or perl. The tricky bit is the CSS—it is still very much a black art to me.

I have just commented out the unwanted stuff from the default template for the moment but once I am happy with it I will cut out the redundant stuff which should speed it up a bit.

TapFirst Post

3 Oct 2005 21:07 by Rick

Well, what’s all this blogging about then. I hope that it will make it a bit easier to get some of my random thoughts down so that they don’t disappear forever. It’s the age you know; the memory is not what it was.

My prime thinking time is when soaking in the bath, hence the title; fewer distractions there. The drawback is that I have often forgotten them by the time I get out, rather like last night’s dream.

The subjects will vary wildly—Web creation to Family History, Naive Politics to C programming etc. It doesn’t have to be interesting as I don’t expect any readers, it is largely for my own benefit, but if others enjoy it then all the better. Some of my earlier material has attracted some interest via the search engines.

It will quickly become apparent that I can’t spell.

One thing that is immediately obvious is that the time on this server is over an hour slow!

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