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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 17, 2006 2:48 AM. The previous post in this blog was What the.... The next post in this blog is Good eatin'. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

This week's tech stuff

Remember when I bragged last week that I was opening comments and trackbacks up all the way back to the inception of this blog? Well, I lied.

Having that many entries open (there are more than 3,000 here now) invites spammers to start blasting away with bogus comments and trackbacks. And while my blogging software, Movable Type, catches most of them, it uses up way too much memory on the server -- so much so that my new web host (who's been really great so far) has been growling at me.

And so it's farewell to trackbacks, again. What's more, pretty soon comments are going to have to get zipped up after a post has been around for 60 days or so -- more or less like in the old days. It's too bad, but hey, on these here internets, it is truly a jungle. Trust me on this one.

Comments (13)

Sounds fine to me.... Trackbacks have wound up being a disaster all around. 99% spam or better.

As for comments... it'd be nice to have 'em open forever, but blogging is a conversation - so comments on a post that's over 60 days old aren't likely to be meaningful. (Unless it's a correction, in which case email works just fine.)

We're using TypePad over at BlueOregon, and they couldn't deal with the trackback spam, so I just wiped all trackbacks out -- and I wish I could find a way to auto-close comments after 60 days.

Thinking about moving over to MT over the holidays....

There are plug-ins for auto-close. The old one for MT2 worked great. Still on the hunt for an MT3 version...

Wordpress coupled with the Akismet comment spam blocker are a nice combination in my experience.

Looks like Michael beat me to my thoughts: I don't have this problem with WordPress + Akismet.

I've already tried to sell Jack the WP + Akismet kool-aid; given his archive and deep history (4+ years of posts, no?), he's got some pretty compelling reasons to stay with MT.

He just needs to find an auto-comment closer, is all...

Trackbacks as a system are irreparably broken; there's just no way to stop the spam. I had them at OMI for about a month and gave up in disgust; one of my boxmates insists on using them and gets something like 100,000 spam hits in comments and trackback a week. No exaggeration.

Kari: Drupal has an automatic comments closing module, fyi.

For the record, there is now an Akismet plug-in for Movable Type, and I have installed it. There is also a plug-in called MT CloseComments that will do just that.

I have also changed the format of my Category archive page so that it mostly lists titles of old posts, rather than showing the entire posts themselves. Those pages rebuild every time somebody leaves a comment, apparently. Yikes!

We'll see what effect this has on the CPU and memory issues my blog is creating with my host. If things don't improve, more radical changes (WordPress?) may be on the way.

Just to keep the changelog going: Some of my fatter entry categories such as City of Portland, which had more than 1,100 entries, had become really nasty to rebuild. Thus, I have split that category (and some others) into City of Portland 1 and City of Portland 2. At least for a while, category 2 will be small enough that a routine rebuild of that category will be faster.

I'm thinking of setting a limit of 450 entries per category in the future. The archives won't be as easy to root around in, but at least I will still have a server!

I dont think you'll need to go through the effort of breaking up categories, just make them dynamic and the pages less complicated (just title links).

Secondly, as for getting rid of spam on MT, I use the following methods.

Third...I forgot my third, but I know I've got over 4100 entries and over 10,000 comments on my site (may be less or more than yours, I have no idea) and never have an issue with CPU/Memory usage, and a FULL rebuild of the site takes less than 5 minutes. I have my category archives set to publish dynamically, with just a list of headlines, as well as my daily archives and monthly archives built dynamically, just showing headlines (I don't build weekly or yearly archives, though I've been meaning to setup a yearly page so that this would actually work). The only index templates I have rebuilt when a comment is posted is my main index, my RSS/Atom feeds, my main archive page (as the calendar code I have in there doesn't have a dynamic equivalent), my archive sidebar that is used just on my archives page (used to include it in more places), and then a small index file that's used to create the stats (comment/entry count, etc...) that I include on every page.

Agree totally about trackbacks as well. They never work quite right and generally cause more hassle than they're worth. I still have them on, but 99.999% of what comes in gets junked anyway.

Again, you know how to get ahold of me if you need some help, and if I'm not totally slammed I'll see what I can do.

And BTW: Saw this entry the other day and thought of you:

http://underscorebleach.net/jotsheet/2005/07/movable-type-category-archive-template

(this is a follow up to my previous comment, which remains in moderation due to the fact that I probably had too many links in it)

Jake:

Great to hear from you. You are my hero on this stuff.

Category archive rebuilding was a major, major culprit, and MT does it every time a comment goes up. I had the archive pages displaying full text, which got crazy when the entry count for some of the categories hit 1,000.

Even with headline-only format, the category pages were rebuilding fairly slowly on the categories with that many entries. Breaking them up and closing comments on old entries has really sped things along.

I'm still waiting to talk my new web host to see if these "improvements" get me off their problem site list.

I'm still interested in dynamic publishing, but despite my newfound tech prowess, my first look at the subject, as my cousin Jim would put it, made my hair hurt. For now, I just can't face it.

I'm also having trouble getting my MT Akismet plug-in to run, but with the old comments closed, the default MT spam system is doing its job quite well. Which is why your comment indeed get delayed by "moderation."

Oh, I'm sure my previous comment was moderated because of the amount of links in it. But I do think all the fixes you've implemented will help, and I'm mostly posting this to see if things have improved.


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Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
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Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
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Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2
If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
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Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
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Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
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Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
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14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
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Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
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Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
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Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
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Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
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Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
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Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
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Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
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William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 315
At this date last year: 168
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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