The day I got the WWdN database fixed, and had all the old WWdN entries rescued and readable was the day I found the path out of Exile.
Now that I know there are two ways out of this prison (in a pine box, or through that large opening over there that we all like to think of as "off limits, as a favor to me,") it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me to stay here.
Which brings me back to the Typepad vs. MT w/plugins issue. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I like about Typepad, that MT 3.2 doesn't have out of the box, and I came up with three things: Typepad has a great WYSIWYG editor, it easily and seamlessly handles uploading images and enclosures, like the RFB files, and all those little things on the right side are so easy to add and remove and update, I can't believe I ever did any hand-coding of tables and filled them with php includes (which I also had to create and edit by hand.)
But I miss WWdN, and all its lameness and non-W3C-compliance. I miss its out of date FAQ and musical suggestions. I miss its clunky archives and the sense that, even though it's a shitty house, it's my house, goddammit.
Redesigning issues aside, can I move back to WWdN and still have as much control as I have right now? And most important: will it be easy?
I've been playing around with three different editors that all have WYSIWYG editing, and various other features:
- Flock, which is a browser that is built on top of Firefox with integrated blogging tools.
- Performancing, which is a Firefox extension that puts a WYSISYG editor into your browser.
- ecto, which is an editor and publishing tool that lets you compose and edit entries outside of your browser.
Flock is pretty cool. It's got a nice editor, and I especially like how it seamlessly integrates Flickr images and del.icio.us bookmarks into your blogging experience. It integrates lots of tools and appears geared toward blogging and anything which involves a tag. If I was all about that sort of thing, I'd be really into flock, but since I'm not, I can't see myself using it.
Performancing is also really nice. I love that it easily inserts technorati tags and adds del.icio.us bookmarks whenever you update one of your blogs, (if you want it to), and I love that it lets you see a ton of information on the page you're viewing. It's a free Firefox extension, and free is good.
But I think ecto is the way to go for me. It does all of the things that the other two do, and adds in too many features for me to list here. I was introduced to ecto when Xeni told me she uses it to update boingboing, and even though I have to buy a license for it, if it's good enough for boingboing, it's totally good enough for me.
Last night, while I was goofing off with ecto, I ended up quasi-live-blogging part of an episode of TNG:
I'm watching one of my favorite (and most heartbreaking) episodes of TNG, The Offspring. It's one of the best episodes we ever did, and it nearly reaches --
UGH! There I am in the ugly grey space suit on Stage 9. I'm not acting very well right here, even though the scene is really about the Admiral. Nice package on Wesley, though. Eww. Gross.
Gods. Data has to say good bye to Lal now. This always makes me cry a little bit. Lal says, "I love you, father," and Data just looks at her and says, "I wish I could feel it, too."
It's such a testament to the writing in this episode (and the actors in the scene) that Data didn't end up doing a cheesy "I love you too," thing. It's so true to his character that he remains emotionally unattached, because Data doesn't have emotions. (I always thought it was an insanely stupid fucking move to give Data his emotion chip, like giving Geordi sight. Weak.)
Heh. I just said, "Course is set, sir." See? That's why I hated working on TNG in those days. Even though the episode is great, just saying those stupid lines bored me to. fucking. death.
Now G4 is running an ad for Star Trek 2.0, which I think is going to be the dumbest thing to happen to the original series in 40 years. And now, it's time for Futurama on [adult swim].
So I have three things left to do before I can return to WWdN (in this order):
- Find an editor that I like, that's easy to use and reliable. I'm pretty sure I've done that.
- Figure out a way to easily update modular content for the non-blog areas of the site. This feels like it should be fairly easy, but I haven't put all that much time into reading the MT forums or digging through the plug-ins. I suspect the answer is to use MT-Includes that are files linked to various MT Templates. Alternatively, I can figure out some sort of web-based php backend that will let me update all that information without having to go into an html editor offline, and ftp the damn thing whenever I want to make a chance. And don't even talk to me about ssh-ing into the server and using vi from a shell prompt. Those days are long behind me. This is, I think, the stickiest widget.
- Complete the re-design. We're working on this, and once we figure out a couple more things, it will go live very quickly.