Just Moved to RackSpace Cloud Servers

Sorry for the down time, I just moved to RackSpace and got everything up and running.

I had some problems migrating WordPress and getting it working, which stemmed from the fact that it was using too much memory. I ended up doing a fresh install of WordPress with a fresh installation of each plugin I wanted to keep, but on some pages I still occasionally got an error saying too much memory was being allocated. After some searching I discovered that the “measly” 32MB max. memory allocation in my php.ini wasn’t enough for the latest version of WP, and I had to up it to 48MB. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever encountered this error before.

Over time I’ve noticed as WordPress has become heavier and more resource intensive, and I have a feeling that the plugin mechanism is slower than built-in functionality would be. I think WordPress is a great tool and it’s fantastic that it can (usually) be set up in 5 minutes, even by novice users. However, I’d like something more customized and with better performance, so once I have some spare time I think I’ll redevelop my blog using Django.

Anyways, in the next few days I’ll start to rebrand my site and add more community features, including project repositories and bug tracking. This should make it easier for users to report bugs for the Color Management Firefox Add-on, contribute code and add translations.

Color Management 0.5 Add-on Released

Sorry for the long delay everyone, I’ve been really busy at my new job. In about a month I plan on changing my website from a personal blog to an open source community, so hopefully I’ll get some volunteers to help out with development.

I’ve been having some problems with the Firefox Add-ons Site, so for now this will only be available here. Some new features are:

  • Changed target application to XUL 1.9.1, so it should work with any XUL 1.9.1 based app, including:
    • Firefox 3.5
    • Thunderbird 3
    • SeaMonkey 2.0
  • Updated for new options in XUL 1.9.1
  • Choose profile dialog now defaults to OS specific color profile folder on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Color Management 0.5 Add-on

DreamHost Account Upgrade

So, DreamHost is upgrading their infrastructure, to go green and save money. During this process there could be technical difficulties, so as a reward to customers who take a risk and volunteer to be migrated first they’re offering unlimited disk space and bandwidth for free, forever! I volunteered, and not only do I now have unlimited storage and bandwidth, but it turns out my account was already moved over, so I essentially got it for doing nothing. If you have a DreamHost account, it might be worth volunteering.

I Switched to Dreamhost

Sorry for the downtime last Monday. My virtual dedicated server plan for GoDaddy expired and I switched to Dreamhost.

GoDaddy’s customer service has really gone down the drain since I first went there. I only went with them in the first place since it was recommended by a professor I knew, and there’s a few things I never liked about it. For instance, why does a domain name registrar have spokesbabes? It seems kind of low brow, and as a man it feels demeaning. Another major problem I have with their site is the UI is a gorram cluster fudge; I’m trying to keep my site family friendly, but you get my meaning. And then there’s the automatic renewals that you don’t know exist until they’ve already charged your account.

Dreamhost is a lot better. Since it’s just hosting I can’t install my own software, but that wasn’t something I did a lot of anyway. It’s also a lot cheaper. I had multiple hosting accounts with GoDaddy and switched to a VDS since it was cheaper to put all my sites on there. At Dreamhost though, you can host multiple sites on one hosting plan. My GoDaddy VDS cost over $300 a year, but Dreamhost only costs me about $70 per year (I got $50 off with the coupon code “50Bones”). Network speed for Dreamhost appears to be faster too.

Also, Dreamhost offers free privacy when you register domains. At GoDaddy I had to pay about $13 per year per domain for that service.

Redirection WordPress Plugin

So when I first set up this blog I opted for the /archives/%post_id% permalink structure, which I liked because it was short, elegant, and used unique identifiers. I didn’t like the idea of date and slug based permalinks since they don’t use the hour, minute, and second you published your post; just the year, month, day, and title are used, none of which have to be unique. Although extremely unlikely, theoretically you could publish 2 posts with the same title on the same day and they would have the same URL, which doesn’t sit right with me.

As it turns out though, SEO calls for slug based permalinks since search engines strongly favor pages with keywords in the URL. I decided to switch to date and slug based permalinks, but what about all the numbered archive/%post_id% links that have been posted, linked, bookmarked, indexed, etc.? Well I found this great WordPress plugin called Redirection. It lets you specify URLs you want redirected and what HTTP response code (301, 302, 307, 404) to use. It also features a log of redirects and 404 errors, so you can look for common requested URLs that don’t exist and redirect them. It would be kind of hard to update a few hundred links to the new slug URLs, but for 5 posts it was very simple and just what I needed. Another great feature is, anytime you edit a post slug it automatically adds a redirection rule to the new URL.

WordPress Twitter Better Plugin

One great way I recently found to publicize new blog posts is with the Twitter Better WordPress Plugin. It serves 2 functions:

  • Shows your latest Twitter posts
  • Optionally updates your Twitter status when you save, publish, and/or edit a post, with a link to the post

It’s a really simple way to spread your URL around the internet, especially since Twitter is integrated with so many other web apps. For example, I have Twitter Better set to update my Twitter status when I publish a new post with the title and URL of the post. That new Twitter status is then used to automatically update my Facebook status with the title and URL of my new blog post, and the same can work for any other Twitter enabled web apps I use in the future.

Firefox 3 Launch Party at RIT/Download Day 2008

Tonight I’m hosting a launch party for Firefox 3 since the final version is being released today. Here’s some links for more info:

Today is also Download Day 2008. Mozilla is trying to set a Guiness World Record for the most software downloads in one day, and so far 1,599,887 have already pledged to download Firefox 3 today, Tuesday June 17th, 2008. Pledge on the site, download FF3, and help set the world record!

Planned Upcoming Features for Color Management

Here’s some planned features for future releases of my Color Management extension:

  • Prompt to restart after changing options
  • File selector defaults to OS specific color profile directory
  • Add filter to file selector for color profiles
  • Ability to extract color profiles from images on a webpage and save to local color profile directory

Also, if I’m not mistaken color management in Firefox 3 is only for images with embedded color profiles; if a color profile is referenced but not embedded in an image it’s not used. It would be nice to eventually allow referenced color profiles to be used, and maybe add a download feature for referenced color profiles that aren’t present on the user’s local machine.

If you have any other suggestions please comment below.

Color Management 0.4

Here’s a quick release for my Color Management extension that fixes a bug with the file selector on Linux. I’ll be updating it again later today or tomorrow, but I wanted to get this released so that I can get my extension out of the Firefox add-ons Sandbox before the release of Firefox 3 Final tomorrow. Thanks to Tim Rowley for finding the bug. He’s also the guy who wrote the color management feature for Firefox 3.

Download Color Management 0.4