Blog Reloaded

Yesterday marked the start of both Holidailies 2007 and my new blog. Yesterday I talked about Holidailies. Today, it's the blog.

In an unrelated coincidence (as opposed to those other kinds of coincidences), my five year blog anniversary just passed. My enthusiasm for blogging remains as high as ever—in the theoretical sense. In practice, my web site was growing crufty and so to was my posting.

Holidailies 2007 gives me an opportunity to address both.

First, I hope the "one post every day" goal of Holidailies will rekindle the regular posting habit. I'm a firm believer in not saying anything when you have nothing to say, but I think I've got more than one or two posts a month in me. I hope Holidailies will reintroduce me to the blogging habit.

Second, the last major change to my web site was five years ago, when I added a Movable Type blog to my static site. The blog opened up my web site to a torrent of new content. The pace, however, has slackened this past year. I hope that modernizing my site by moving to a complete content management system (CMS) will have a similar effect.

As of this weekend, my web site is running on the Drupal content management system. I currently run or help maintain eight different Drupal sites. My day job includes some custom development on the Drupal platform. It was only natural I select Drupal for my personal site.

I have a well planned migration strategy that goes something like this: throw everything over the transom and pick up the pieces on the other side. The site is running a stock, barebones theme (more in a sec). Most of the navigation tabs link to static content on the legacy site. The only thing that's really fully transitioned is the weblog you are reading now.

Fortunately, I was able to migrate all of my old weblog content (including comments, yay!) over to Drupal. The good news is there is an import_typepad module that will import a Movable Type export file into Drupal nodes. The bad news is that it's designed for Drupal version 4.7 and I'm running 5.3. Fortunately, I was able to hack around the problem. (The main issue is changes in the drupal_get_form() function.)

I don't want to break existing links, so I'm maintaining the legacy content (example) for now. I'll migrate the legacy content at my convenience.

The static legacy content will get loaded into the CMS.

The old blog URLs continue to function, for now. Eventually, I want to redirect them to entries imported to the new blog. I think I can automatically generate the redirects. I should be able to correlate Movable Type article ids (used in legacy blog entry URLs) to Drupal node ids by doing a join on article title across databases.

The old RSS URL is now a redirect to the new RSS feed. I hope all of my existing readers have followed me over. (If you've seen otherwise, please let me know.)

The template I'm using is an unreleased (beta) theme called Nirvana, developed by Four Kitchen Studios. These are the local (Austin) folks who have done a number of significant Drupal projects and sites, such as That Other Paper. (Hard to believe that's a Drupal site, isn't it?)

The Nirvana them is not intended to be run straight up as I am doing. It's designed to be a starting point for customization. That's why it looks so bare right now. Rather than wait for everything to be built and perfected, I figured I'd roll out the site with a stock theme and work on improving everything over the coming weeks.

So, welcome to my new site. Let me know if you encounter any problems. Hope you enjoy it.

More importantly, hope I enjoy it and respark my blogging interest.