Wednesday, August 13, 2008

FJ!! Loves Chachi

I want to spin off a slice of my LJ as a more formal blog, out of this ghetto -- and yes, in the blogging world LJ is considered a mopey teenage ghetto instead of a place with proper trackbacks and blogrolls and ad placements and what not.

However, having learned my lesson from managing exonome over the years, I am just not very into managing my own box for this, not in my house where I do not have a fixed IP address, nor by having an actual box or a box image hosted somewhere. I want a managed solution where someone else is doing my back-ups and failovers and patching. Especially the security part, I am not in the mood to try to keep up, reading advisory after another to keep my whole stack up to date. The fact that the big blogging packages seem to be written in PHP is not helping. I simply do not trust PHP to be robust and secure. I know the web runs on it, but I look at its design goals and history, I look at the flaws that get uncovered every 5 months, and my mistrust gets confirmed again.

But when I look at the hosted offerings by SixApart, former parent company of LJ, and WordPress, I also go ugh. Barebones comments without threading. Imports from LJ that strip out avatars and user information and tags. Tag systems that are just not fully there. You can fix all of that by installing plugins, but it seems the hosted solutions do not allow you to install plugins, of course. I already did Blogger. That was enough, thank you.

So my choices are the hassle of hosting everything somewhere and have a headache but get an installation that feels like I want, or go with a paying option that is no more than a bare-bones blog. I am liking neither one, really.

Then I went software-weenie-insane and started thinking about using Django on some hosted box to create a view on my LJ that was this blog only showing entries tagged a certain way, but with Django doing the URL re-writing of the Next and Previous buttons to make it look like one continuous blog, and then realized it would be the worst solution of all: I get to have to manage the whole chain, do custom programming, and still my content lives on LiveJournal's servers with their uncertain future. Yet since that was a challenge I could handle, that is what I started thinking about.