If you have been following this site for any length of time, you will no doubt be aware of the migration from Squarespace. In general, I’m really happy I went through with it. There is a lot more to take care of with a self-hosted WordPress site, and a whole lot more learning. Neither of those things bother me, but there have been some hiccups. If you’re ever weighing up a choice between the platforms, Squarespace has its annoyances, but WordPress comes with potential headaches. Over time these things will balance out as the power and flexibility of WordPress come to the fore. Good things take time, however.
Downtime, Mea Culpa
The past couple of weeks the site has met with some frustrations. For reasons too boring to cover in any detail, the site has been knocked offline on consecutive weekends. Not a good look, I know. I could have said nothing, resumed normal service, and hoped that nobody cared too much. That’s not my style. There is a personal aspect to writing a blog, and I tend to respect blogs that don't lose site of that. So if you came by during that intermission to be greeted by a giant error message, I apologise for that. Thank you for coming back again. This is to say, I’m aware, and I’m on it. The monitoring has been sorted.
One of the well-known pitfalls of the migration from Squarespace to WordPress is that some of the images come across all funky. One day I will document the chicanery involved in mitigating, and how to address the problems. I would look pretty silly if I did it at the moment. I have been working through the leftover issues as I come across them. Occasionally something crops up that doesn’t look great. 1
Something else a WordPress blog has to consider that comes pre-loaded with Squarespace, is how to handle images for retina displays. I’m not suggesting a conspiracy, but the quality of images I was able to pull from my Squarespace database were not great. To improve the way this site looks on retina, I have been combing through and replacing images as necessary. Added to this, the site was behaving weirdly on some mobile browsers. It should be significantly improved now on both fronts, but there are still a few things to address. I’m getting there.
Caching and Other General Weirdness
Since the server migration there have been some caching issues. If you have seen posts with strange footnotes, or strange spaces that might indicate invisible content. Ok, so that last one might not be obvious, but seemingly half written paragraphs, incomplete numbered lists and black boxes where images should be; the kind of thing that looks like it was proofed by a drunk, a child, or a drunken child. The shiny new server should have that covered now, but please, if you do see anything drop me a line.
There is a small chance the local cache on your device is holding onto some daft looking version of the site. If you suspect that to be the case, you don’t need to do anything drastic, like clear out your entire history. If you don’t know already, you can delete the individual site data on any iOS device. You really shouldn’t have to, but hey, call it a bonus quick tip.
What’s Coming Up…
This site started out as something of a hobby, at least it was supposed to be. Not that I don’t take it seriously, but the content is meant to be supplementary to actual academic work. Finding the balance is not easy, but anyone interested enough in this stuff to be reading along will be well versed in that. With balance in mind, and the need to do enough testing to be satisfied the site has stopped falling over, you might see a small drop-off in the content going up this week. However….
I suspect working on the mechanics of the site could be time consuming 2. In between times I intend to start publishing content on DEVONthink apps. Starting with DEVONthink to go. There is also some excellent news on that front. The kind folks at DEVON technologies have given me a few copies of DEVONthink to Go, to give away. Details for how to grab one of those copies will go up with a review of DEVONthink to go within the next couple of days.
The Appademic Mailer
There is also the Appademic newsletter, which is almost ready to go out for the first time. It’s behind schedule due to the aforementioned issues, but it will be out some time this week. Remember, sign up for the mailing list before Friday, and you'll be in the running for a year’s subscription to Setapp
The newsletter will also include updates to my experiments with Workflow and Web API’s for bibliographic searches, and formatting citations. The new workflows are not only useful, but will be a helpful case study for anyone wanting to learn more about getting started with iOS automation.
An email inbox is a crowded and messy place these days, unless you are incredibly disciplined. It should be protected real estate, I know I’m super picky about what I let through the filter. That means it’s on me to create something worthy of your inbox. With that in mind, certain elements will be available via the newsletter, and it will include advance reading for subscribers. Where this all ends up depends on the level on interest. Again, that’s on me.
This post is not only an update on the situation here, it is also intended as a thank-you. To all of you who seem to keep coming back regardless. If you came by while the site was temporarily unavailable, mea culpa, I’m learning — thank-you for checking in again. Everything going to plan, in future you shouldn’t ever see an error message where a website should be. I’m very grateful to the growing base of loyal readers, the least I can do is make sure the site is up an running when you drop in.
Finally, a quick reminder that the Setapp subscription will be drawn at the end of this week. The odds are still pretty good.