How I moved a blog from Serendipity to WordPress

I had a blog using the S9Y framework aka Serendipity but obviously since WordPress is THE blogging framework around I had to move to it.

Unfortunately S9Y is not one of the supported import modes of WordPress. Fortunately, a quick Google search pointed me to the following page, which gives one ! You just need to drop the file in the wp-admin/import directory of your wordpress installation, and use the standard import mechanism.

After that, I ran into the following error beause of my hosting provider (free.fr) : “failed to delete and flush buffer. No buffer to delete or flush”. After lots of goggle search which led nowhere since this is a classic PHP error happening on lots of blogs, I decided to tackle the problem myself. After some good old “echo debugging”, I found out, that the problem was the following line of the serendipity.php file :

$cats = $this->get_s9y_cat_assoc($ret_id);

I commented it out and replaced it by :

$cats = array();

Now, you might say “cool, but this has to have some side effects!”. And you’re right. Apparently with the posts category, but since there was none on the imported blogs… Who cares 😉

Don’t hesitate to post, if you know a better solution !

To WordPress or not ?

When I started this blog, I clearly did not search around for the various blogging platforms available out there. I followed Sebz instincts although I had a previous experience with Serendipity with my son’s blog.
Blogger seemed like a good platform (aren’t all Google tools one of the best ones ever ?), and I had previously chosen s9y only because it was easily installable on Free. And since I mainly use Google Reader to read my blog feeds, I do not often see the real platforms being the blogs I read.
However I have been quite disappointed with the platform. First of the preview is really lame since it does not take into account the template chosen for the blog, and so alignment and spacing often need some fixup once a message published. The HTML edition feature is nice although it seems that there always is some reprocessing once you edit the code. Another thing that troubles me is the lack of possibility to reference posts via meta keywords. This means that visibility of your blog is not really controllable and I would like to have better control over that.
As a result, I have been looking for other platforms available out there. WordPress seems to be plebiscited as one of the best ones. Vince has recently made this choice, and so did Guy ! (Vince you can thank me later for the comparison ;-)). So my question is simple : should I switch over to a WordPress platform ?
I already do like the multi-tab possibility which allows to go beyond blogging and add extra functionalities. This might be why WordPress defines itself as a “semantic personal publishing platform”, not only blogging platform ! It seems that on the edition side, it is more than OK. The missing thing might be the limit on the images (50Mb) although I’m not sure about the limit in Blogger. One deal breaker seems to be the impossibility to add flash content on the hosted platform wordpress.com 🙁
Anyhow I’ll continue to look into this… If you have any comment to make, do not hesitate ! And you might see some changes in the near future !

At last … A network enabled screensaver

I currently have a bunch of computers at home, including one directly connected to my TV in the living room.
I’ve always wanted to use this display as a photo frame during idle hours, party times, … But I never found a screensaver that would allow me to get pictures from my home network, and plus ! (Granted, I did not look too much around 😀 ).
Anyway, I just came across the Google Screensaver (Aaah Google !). This tools lets you display photo coming from your computer or your home network, your picasa account, or any other photo feed available out there !

Once you installed the software, just go to the standard place where you configure your screensaver, and select the one entitled “Gphotos”. You may also run the shortcut installed on your standard Windows programs. You may then configure the screensaver by configuring your Picasa account, the folders containing pictures, as well as RSS feeds containing images.

Unfortunately it seems that Google only provides this util as part of the Google Pack, but you may still download directly the screensaver from here or here (4,5Mb) although URLs may change in the future.