supernaut wordpress

Six months ago, deliriously annoyed with Movable Type, and deeply envious of all those people using WordPress. I install WP, throw a theme framework on top and promptly run away, terrified of what harrowing coding ordeals would ensue when I tried to make new look like old.

I have an end of year list of things to do. Coding for some, editing for others, rsync, asr, and other delights of command line backups for still another. For me, one was to use the brilliant, entirely CSS 100% background image for That took all of 40 minutes or so, mostly in cleaning out my old junk from when I decided to code that version in an afternoon.

The other, of course, forced me to look at supernaut once more.

I’ve been using WordPress for all my projects lately, and the more I fall into it, the more I love it. A while ago, after much looking around, thinking, reading, and even a couple of trials, I decided on Blueprint CSS as the typographic CSS framework to build sites upon. Rather than lose time that could be spent sleeping…

Blueprint is a CSS framework, which aims to cut down on your development time. It gives you a solid foundation to build your project on top of, with an easy-to-use grid, sensible typography, useful plugins, and even a stylesheet for printing.

— Blueprint

… and a Photoshop layout to build designs upon that then can be transferred ridiculously quickly into a real site.

Of course the limitations are firstly of setting up a WordPress theme with all the necessary IDs and classes. Lucky someone else did that for me. Combining the Sandbox theme framework with the WSB Child Theme

WSB is a Sandbox child theme that provides tight integration with the Blueprint CSS. This is the conclusion of the method of integration discussed here. Using WordPress functions file, Sandbox template files, and Blueprint CSS files creates a excellent minimalist theme that is a very strong starting point for further theme development and customization


… I began this afternoon and lazily poked at some CSS, a little hackery in one or two of the functions.php, some shuffling of the Sandbox templates php (which I could have done in css and left all this untouched but I was feeling lazy – much cheese and chocolate). To be pedantic, I began around 18h and it’s now 2315-ish, and with a good hour or more break in that time, so perhaps 4 hours of actual conscious attention, supernaut went from before to after.



I have spent a lazy Saturday transferring supernaut over to WordPress (more on that there). The result of that for the moment is the old Movable Type site exists at and in the static archives while the new at the usual address.

This means also the RSS feed has changed, so for those of you who like feeds, I am now at:

I won’t be deleting the old version yet, as the new one needs a lot of construction I shall only have scant time for, but distinctly odd weirdness (like this feed showing garbled rubbish for instance) would make a good moment to email me with the offending instance.

Movable Type was good four years ago, but in the intervening time much has changed and it is too much of a hassle to work with any longer. I hope I spend the next few years enjoying WordPress as much as I have over the last while, and find maybe some new ways to blog.

from ecto 3 to wordpress 2.8


When I started finding odd stuff in my Movable Type install for supernaut I knew the end was near. I’ve been putting this off for a long time, especially doing projects for others using WordPress and thinking, “uuhhh… this is so much better…”.

Something made me decide to do it today… teaching myself about .htpasswd and so on, and crappy MT plaugins, I wondered… “If I install WordPress in its own directory then link it to supernaut’s SQL database, will that work?” Immediately before trying I realised it would/wouldn’t, so set up a new database (the bit that wouldn’t) installed WordPress (would) messed around for a bit…

… dumped a file called index.php in the root directory pointing to the WordPress install…

Hell-0 )))!!!

Funnily enough, that was all. Everything seems to be here, much is broken, obviously the old theme has yet to make the jump (shall wait on that…), but words and pictures!

So then I decided to get ecto, my looooong time trusty blog client to work. Messed around, lost 1400 entries. oops…, I thought, hope they come back… Found them again. More messing around, wondered if ecto 3 would be worth a try. More of the same…

Hello blogging from ecto 3 to supernaut on WordPress 2.8. Total time it took was about an hour.

I have no idea what might not be working, but shall continue like this.

Oh! RSS feed! supernaut RSS feed.

In the meantime, I shall mangle this theme a little to see if I can at least have the existing content… umm… re-exist.

Keywords? ecto doesn’t seem to support keywords with WordPress, instead using Tags, which still work, but not as fast for me as entering a string of words. But, contra that, the 1500 tags I have I can search and so perhaps shall be a bit more economic in inventing.

Aaaaanyway, I am rather impressed how simple it was to get this far with so little work, and shall thank Berlin for that.

oops teach me to be stupid…

That will teach me to brazenly copy-paste with no thought to the consequences. Wondering why new posts weren’t showing up, I discovered I’d replaced the index page template with the entire contents of my darling blog’s statically-generated page through some rather careless editing. Oops. Lucky I backed-up the templates, no?

It all looks… err… normal now, none-the-less, I stil get the delightful XHTML 1.0 Strict (oh yes it is), error that “there is no attribute ‘name'”. Well either I live with being invalid, or you live with no search function. Perhaps to entertain yourself by reading the stuff at the top of the right column? Yes, it’s coming along nicely.

(Meanwhile, thoroughly enjoying the feeling of being whipped from behind as I run for candy which is Things. I do love Merlin, but it’s a bit clobbering-ish for simple tasks like, ‘wax your legs’, and ‘fix the damage you did to your blog’.)

it degrades rather gracefully…

I noticed recently it’s been almost two years since I did this site design. That I’m not so bored with it yet, I guess speaks either of my limitless ability to avert said boredom, or that I managed to do something I still like. Yes, I would like to do something new, though I imagine i would be within the recognised set of possibilities springing from this, the previous design, and my love of monochrome.

More likely though, I’ll get serious about transferring over to WordPress. The search function on Movable Type (whatever archaic version I’m running) is abominable, the whole way it generates static pages is a throwback to align=centre and using tables to lay out content. But I’ve written so much by hand I’m not sure how easy it will be to carry this over to WordPress. My excuse therefore.

And a friend asked about the smart Flash titles I was using, courtesy of sIFR, and I said, “oh my version has probably been outdated”, which turned out to be prescient; version 3 is now current. The I noticed on Daniel’s laptop the titles were ‘degrading rather elegantly’ back to CSS. It was peculiar to see my site naked like this. And so I discovered Flash PlugIn 10 is not compatible. And so I need to upgrade sIFR3. uuuhhh… I’m wondering if I should just kick myself into transferring to WordPress?

(a slight addition)

I’ve spent a couple of hours working on upgrading to sIFR3, and… it wasn’t that difficult, so the title on the index page should be working, but…

Several things are obstacles I don’t want to attend to right now. The first is really my lack, at the time I first did this in keeping notes on the settings of the fonts I used, so I’m not sure for example if the date was done in Helvetica Neue or Helvetica Neue Light. There’s also a little weirdness in the date being displayed, which because of various other annoyances with my ftp I don’t feel like doing right now.

The biggest blah though is Movable Type. I forgot its delightful ‘rebuild’ function, which means to make the necessary changes, I need to rebuild every one of the couple of thousand of pages, and until it’s all working properly on one page, I’m not going to do this.

Actually it’s a good reason to change to WordPress, which does it dynamically, and the page templates split reuseable parts of pages, like the title and heading off into separate things, then combining them when the page is loaded.

Also might be a good reason to think about redesigning the site…

(a slight addition again)

More playing and finding it works but jumps around and breaks the formatting and other things that sIFR2 didn’t do, and well, it doesn’t seem worth fixing anymore on Movable Type when I plan to transfer to WordPress, so I’ll leave just the title working and delay on the rest until I a) make the move and b) do a site redesign. Something for winter…

comments are open … -ish

Does it look like I’m avoiding doing real work today, with a monster funding application due on Monday, what do I do? Muck around with Movable Type’s atrociously obtuse templates and horrendous css, all to try and get comments not just working, but looking ok-ish when they get published.

So, comments are open.

Still a bit of formatting weirdness going on, but I’ll start opening up old posts over the coming week once I’ve cleaned up the skankiness. The comments preview page is unformatted, and more importantly you have to wait for me to approve, so things don’t appear all by magic when you hit ‘post’. I’ll work on that too, but need an umbrella from spam.

just some blabbing about coding

During my rather pitiful self-help attempt at getting comments working, that quite possibly soon will be after a couple of people pointed out what I was missing, I also discovered I could easily fix a couple of the bugs hanging over from when I redid the site to this hell-vetica version.

So, the search page is finally formatted. OMG!!!

Actually this is just a test for the return of comments. Obviously I don’t have enough going on with three applications due tomorrow and another on Monday.

Ho hum … waiting for Movable Type to rebuild 1039 entries. Considering changing to WordPress in the meantime … idly wondering if I could do a full WP install and rewrite all the templates to this version of supernaut in the time it takes MT to rebuild … start to get excited/worried when I realise it could make a fun afternoon game this weekend.

Anyway for now, comments are semi-working. In that they show up and get published, but they take a while to appear on the site for you to read. Boringness. Adding some more code in … rebuilding … yawn …

Blahing around with css…

Comments are more-or-less working. (Which is to say, whatever isn’t working, I don’t know about.)

Only open on this post for now. And I closed them cos this is really a test post, not a vehicle for your self-aggrandizement.

Much formatting to be done…

Sleep and smutty dreams first though.

comments … help … geekery

I’ve been planning on turning on comments again for a while, but there is the issue of a sacrificed goat preventing me.

Around 2 1/2 years ago, I turned off comments on my blog, I think it was MT2.6-ish. I also went through the MT install and trashed all the files relating to comments. I’m fairly sure I followed some instructions I found on the MT forums for this.

I’ve been thinking about turning comments back on, but having updated to 3.34 and being such a long time, I can’t remember what I did, or how to undo it.

The only thing I have to go on is I have the warning, “Note: Commenting is currently disabled at the system level” in the feedback settings, and I haven’t been able to find any info on what this refers to.

I’m planning on putting the comments into the templates in the next week or so as a distraction from grant writing, but it’s the backend that has me completely mystified.

I’ve looked through my current mt install, and it looks like all the necessary files are there, in default_templates, lib/MT and lib/MT/app, PHP/lib, tmpl/cms. I did remove all the comment code from the index and individual templates though, and not sure about any javascript or cookies code that should be there.

I’m fairly ok-ish with mucking around in MT, but I have absolutely no idea where to start, and Movable Type’s search function is utter crap.

So …

Does anyone know either how to re-enable comments from such a state, or how to reinstall the comments part of MT (along with some good anti-spam plugins)?

Please email me if you can help, thanks.

three new categories

Finally I have added some new categories that have been eating at me like some rapacious tropical parasite. It a tussle between accuracy of categories, and keeping the category list short enough to be useful, and balancing all that with having keywords that don’t slop over into the categories and also give a somewhat useful reflection of what I write. (Sometime I’ll get around to putting all my works under one choreography category).

Americas is for all things across the two continents. For ages in a embarrassing fit of pre-Boston Tea Party old world colonialism, I’ve been dumping everything for this hemisphere into the Europe category. Ja, laziness and so on…

History is for duh! old stuff (mostly Leibniz I imagine) that I seem to write about more and more. I’ll get round to going through old posts and updating the categories when I get some time.

Reviews is for … I don’t think of myself in any way as a reviewer, I just like writing about stuff I see, performance, film, art, bands, books, somehow everything here is a review. Anyway, the more, er, formal stuff, where I think, “ach!, better hold my tongue on this, and be polite … don’t. insult. the. natives.”, that’s a review.



Twenty posts ago was my 1000th post. Celebration. Unfortunately the absinthe was only chocolate and the cheap sex was a solitary adventure. I thought, “Imagine when I get to post 10000!…” Then I realised that at 3 years per thousand it would take until around 2033 – minus a year cos it really took 2 years and 11 months to get this far. I conjecture the likely improbability of a blog such as this in 30 years time.


While the post count was 1000, the actual number of published posts was a few short, for whatever blah who-gives-a-fuck reason, mostly due to dropped network connections while posting and resulting double posts entailing deletion of offending twin and thus an absence where there should be something.

I think there is one post lurking here (being ecto) that hasn’t made it to here (being supernaut), because ecto says this is post 1001. Anyway, it’s like a marriage in a registry office all this sentimental anniversary-ising of post counts.

Nonetheless, CHAMPAGNE!!!

Oh and the title is 1000 in binary (god, no wonder I never get laid).