Blogging about blogging is boring, and if you agree (or disagree because you like meta posts) feel free to chime in via the comments. Which are now working, after more than what I consider a reasonable amount of effort and many consultations with my ISP’s technical support tag-team.
Why is this so hard? I hand-coded my first web page in 1994. It had a lovely gray background, a long list of boring links, and was old school Web 1.0 about a decade before anybody started talking about Web 2.0. But the thing was, I understood everything that went into that page, and for good or ill it looked the way I wanted it to look. If you’ve seen the cover for the first edition of Two-Fisted Science, you’ll know it was more ill than good.
But even though I wasn’t a good book designer, I used to be a pretty good programmer. I’ve written complicated and useful code in Basic, LISP, Perl, PL-1, Pascal, Fortran, and probably a few others that I can’t remember, using punch cards, dumb terminals, Cray supercomputers, and dedicated mainframes at nuclear power facilities. So formatting a blog should be easy (and basic functionality like commenting should just work, right out of the box.) But beyond not working, right out of the box, when I try to do something simple like change the message at the top of the comment form so it doesn’t mislead you into thinking you’re going to comment completely anonymously…I can’t do it. The text you’ll see (“Sign in to comment, or comment anonymously.” even though you have to enter a name, made-up or otherwise) lives somewhere, but your guess is better than mine where that is.** It’s no doubt embedded within a module embedded inside a widget embedded inside a template embedded inside a page or an entry or maybe even a comment preference (nope…looked there), and I can’t find it. Movable Type is offered by a company called Six Apart, and the irony of that name smacks me upside the head when I try to navigate the degrees of separation between what a page looks like and the code that controls it.
If there’s a MT wizard out there who knows where to look, comments are open. And I promise the next post will be about something less boring.
** This phenomenon is not confined to the web, of course. I could actually identify almost everything I saw under the hood of my 1980 Dodge Omni, and most everything in the 1994 Saturn. The 2007 Civic Hybrid? It might as well be powered by unicorns and elves cleverly disguised to look like metal and plastic thingees, as technology continues its march towards magic.