So, I finally upgraded my blog software this weekend.
RobWorley.com had been running b2evolution for the past five years. It’s a swell bit of software. When I settled on it back in the day it was one of two projects that grew up from the remains of the previous open source blogging favorite cafelog’s b2. The other project was WordPress.
Since then WordPress has caught fire. An amazing support community sprung up around it. It has a huge repository of plugins, widgets and themes. I had occasion to install WP on another blog I was setting up and I was hooked pretty quickly.
In addition to the great community, it has the best back office interface I’ve ever seen in a CMS, and I’ve toyed with a lot of Content Management Systems: Joomla, Drupal, Silverstripe, Typad, Typo not to mention a number of custom coded ones. The back end is clean, easy to navigate, easy to understand without the need for instructions.
One nice feature is a automatic upgrade mechanism. Upgrading open source web software is the bane of any website’s existence. With my site running a tag team of b2evo and ZenPhoto.org I was in a constant cycle of downloading updates, tweaking config files, backing up, uploading, reinstalling, blah blah blah. With WordPress you can update the core software and any plugins you might be running by clicking through a couple of screens and it’s done.
There was no clear path to migrate from b2evo to WordPress. WordPress supports numerous imports, but b2evo isn’t one of them. I did find solutions described elsewhere online though. If you’re interested in moving, here’s the process I used:
- Find a skin for your version of b2evo that makes it output Moveable Type format. I found such a skin here, although I think it is for pre version 2.0 installs. I didn’t work for me because I was on version 2.3. However I was able to modify it so it worked fine with version 2.3. If you’re on 2.x it may work for you as well. If you’re on 3.x it probably won’t. Download the Movable Type Skin for b2evolution…
- If you’re using my MT skin, you’ll then have to put it on your b2evo install under the /skins folder.
- Run your blog with the MT skin. You can use a URL like: http://www.yourdomain.com/index.php?tempskin=mt&posts=9999999999999 – which should bring up all your posts and comments in an ugly looking format. Save the results to a text file.
- Install WordPress on your server.
- Use Tools->Import and follow the steps for importing a Moveable Type blog. It works amazingly well.
One HUGE mistake I made was to install the Tweetly plugin before doing the import. Tweetly posts a tweet on Twitter every time you post a new blog. It ended up tweeting for every single entry I imported. It’s a wonder I still have a Twitter account.
I’ve decided to do away with ZenPhoto as well. It’s a cool, lightweight gallery but I’m moving my stuff to Flickr mainly to avoid the upgrade cycle, and also because I couldn’t get the one good ZenPhoto plugin for WordPress to work.
There are numerous nice Flickr plugins available. The move was pretty painless as Flickr has nice uploading tools.
So there you go…RobWorley.com is all pimped out with WordPress and automatically hooked into twitter, facebook and flickr.
Which is cool, because I’ll have some interesting info about an upcoming project to blog about soon.Read More
…to Microsoft alternatives.Read More
Looks like there’s a spiffy new incremental upgrade to b2evolution as well.
Important improvements include better spam controls and optimized performance.
Other things involve wiki and wacko and I don’t really know what all that’s about.
The upgrade path isn’t as simple as we’d like it to be, but anyone who installed b2evolution on their server once and can still read and follow directions should have no problems.Read More
Windows XP’s help system has suddenly stopped working. Attempts to open a help topic give you the error message “Cannot Open the File: mk:@MSITStore”. What can you do?
So…less than two months of usage on my new computer and Windows XP Home edition is already starting to self-destruct.
I noticed that the Windows Help system failed to function most of the time. If requested, Windows would occasionally bring up a help file. However, in most cases it would give me a quick hourglass cursor, and then offer no further response (save the barely audible, gloating chuckle deep in the bowels of the computer).
After a worthless hour-long chat session with my Computer Vendor’s support (he recommended re-installing Windows XP) I decided the only recourse I had was to ignore the problem. After all, those Windows Help files are pretty useless anyhow. Right?
Two months later…I installed some new software and, it turns out, this new software uses Windows’ help system as an integral part of its interface. Specifically, it uses the Windows HTML help engine, which is designed to process .CHM (compiled HTML help) files.
Without CHM processing, my new software wasn’t gonna work.
Now, I’ve spent several hours trying to figure out how to repair this. Of course the Knowledge Base on Microsoft.com offered no knowledge. I did have one unexpected close shave. Searching for the error message “Cannot Open the File: mk:@MSITStore” returned one article that described my problem pretty exactly. However, the article was for Windows 98 and the prescribed steps couldn’t be completed in XP (where “regsrv” is apparently meaningless).
More time was spent copying files I felt were important (windows/hh.exe, windows/hhctrl.ocx, etc.) from my backup computer to the new computer. This still didn’t fix things.
Finally, I stumbled on this advice on Usenet. It fixed my problem and got things working for me again. I pass this tip in case this issue frustrates you too:
1) Use MJ’s Help Diagnostics to ensure that all the help viewer components are properly installed and registered.
(This turned out to be key as the software discovered the ocx file I’d copied wasn’t “registered” and did that for me.)
2) Delete the file “hh.dat”, which you should find in this subdirectory:
\Documents and Settings\%username%\Application Data\Microsoft\HTML Help
This file stores information about all the HTML Help files on your system (Favorites, window size and position, etc.), and can cause the files to misbehave if it has somehow been corrupted.
I actually did the second step first and it didn’t ultimately solve the problem. It might have if I hadn’t copied the OCX file from the backup system first.
So there you are. Hopefully this will help some frustrated Windows XP user out there solve things faster than I can.
Next PC is a Mac.Read More