MP-WP User Survey

After realizing that I may be using mp-wp differently from how others use the software I decided that in order to serve this market I would first have to pay off some research debt1. There are two surveys: one for mp-wp users, and one for users of any other blog software.

The survey is meant to be completed in the comments below this article. Feedback on the survey itself is also welcome.

Survey for mp-wp users

  1. Do you use the mp-wp admin interface (web UI)? If so, what actions do you perform via this interface?
  2. Have you modified any of the "settings" in the mp-wp mysql database (also found in the web UI under "Settings" in the left-hand nav)? If so, which ones? When/how often? Via mysql CLI or via the web UI?
  3. Do you run any custom plugins on top of what's included in the trunk of mp-wp?
  4. Have you modified an included theme or created a new theme that you actively use on one of your sites/properties? If so, why / what did you modify?
  5. Do you run mp-wp with any other code modifications (outside of themes and plugins)? If so, why / what did you modify?
  6. Describe your typical workflow when publishing an article to your blog (including any pre/post steps, and any other tools/scripts/etc. outside of mp-wp). Include details about working with images, code samples, etc.
  7. What do you find most tedious or annoying about using mp-wp? (can be related to any aspect of using mp-wp)
  8. What do you like most about using mp-wp?

Survey for users of other blog software

  1. What blog software do you currently use?
  2. How is the blog configured (any knobs to turn, theming, plugins/extensions, etc.)?
  3. Describe your workflow when publishing an article (including any pre/post steps, and any other tools/scripts/etc. outside of the blog software itself). Include details about working with images, code samples, etc.
  4. What do you find most tedious or annoying about using your current blog software?
  5. What do you like most about using your current blog software?
  6. Have you considered switching to mp-wp? What (if anything) would it take for you to switch?

Bonus question

  • What is your primary reason for maintaining a blog?

That's it. Each respondent who completes2 the survey will also receive 0.005 BTC from me via deedbot3.

———

  1. It also led me to pay off some personal debt, including becoming more literate with command line tools such as sed and awk, so win-win really. []
  2. Completeness here is subjective and I reserve the right to not honor any response that I judge to be intentionally half-assed or made in bad faith. []
  3. Limit 15 respondents. Good for two weeks from the publish date of this article. After taking the survey, send me an invoice via deedbot with a link to your comment as the memo. We needn't have interacted before but I have to have at least seen you talking in one of the channels at some point, and not in a way that got you kicked out. []

19 Responses to “MP-WP User Survey”

  1. Diana Coman says:

    1. Yes; mainly to publish new articles (this includes at times creating new categories) and moderate comments.
    2. I had to check what those were exactly, heh. I went through them *once* - when I deployed the new installation, mainly to *check* that nothing was weird/unexpected/not as I wanted it in there. I don't otherwise use it and moreover, there are already in there quite a few things that I have overwritten for sure from other parts (e.g. the number of items shown in archives - I had made my own changes to the php code so the archives show as I want them to; similarly for "first page" - it's neither last article nor a fixed page as the "settings" offer, but a random page so not even sure what this says re using those settings - tbh I'd say I'm *ignoring* this settings GUI, if anything). As a side note - the default url format with article id is not a great choice and it trips over many noobs really; the date/title option is in my opinion a much better default (even if it may require some setting of Apache to make sure it works, iirc).
    3. The footnotes plugin I had deployed at a time when it wasn't included in the trunk of mp-wp - not sure if this counts for your question there. I haven't deployed additional plugins (nor seen the need for any).
    4. Initially I had my own theme made from scratch. As it was clashing with some parts of some version of mp-wp, I just ported over the css and some custom php function + customised one of the existing themes (by customize I mean I went and changed the code, no idea if there's some gui for customizing it otherwise).
    5. Yes, though I can't say I have atm a full list at hand/easy to produce - the main parts though are related to showing a random article as "landing page", having archives show titles only (and otherwise full year/month depending on link), a custom function for some of the stuff in the side bar, some cleanups here and there at one point or another as I was trying to figure out my way around the whole code better (nothing systematic or aimed specifically, as I never really sunk the time into it).
    6. I write my articles in a text editor (html code included); I have a bunch of scripts for resizing images (relying on imagemagick installed locally), uploading them to the blog's server and generating the html code for them (that I just copy/paste in my text file where I want it in the article). So workflow would be: filter the images; process via scripts (resize, html, upload) those I want in; write article fully in text file; connect to blog's GUI and paste the article in, do a review of the "preview" version and change as needed, publish. There are a few other scripts that I might run as needed e.g. for escaping html characters but those are very rarely needed tbh (and otherwise all html code I just write in as I go, without any problem/not a big deal as it's usually rather little anyway).
    7. The size of the code; the still-not-quite-working parts such as the unreliable trackbacks (it sends them...just not ALL of them, more like 1 in 4 by the looks of it and I haven't found out either WHY or where /what is the culprit); the split of content between DB and disk (ie need to backup BOTH and even then I'm forever double checking if there isn't something I missed/forgot - iirc the categories do not survive a reinstall even); the overlap/several ways in which same thing is done from different places in different ways (drives me mad at times); partially related to the size of the code but going further - the fact that I don't know *clearly* what each bit of code does & where (ie if I want to change something, I'm in for a dig in yet unknown code.
    8. It reliably published my blog for quite a lot of years, it's easy to use/keeps out of the way of people really, it kept spam to a reasonable stream rather than the floods I used to get with vanilla wordpress, does NOT change/update/ffs, what's not to like?

  2. PeterL says:

    1. I do just about everything in the web interface, making new posts, approving comments, changing settings. The only times I have done things not in the web interface have been uploading files and, if I remember correctly, there were a couple files I changed to get the new section code working that were not editable in the web interface.

    2. I have not used the mysql CLI to change any settings (I didn't even know that was an option). I do all the setting changes through the web UI.

    3. I do not run any additional plugins other than what comes with MP-WP.

    4. I modified one of the themes that came with MP-WP. I changed the colors, some of the layout. I found that the date format is over-ridden in a couple places in the theme and so I took out the custom format so that it would show the format I chose in the settings. Another thing I changed was to simplify the header, it seemed to have a couple more layers than it needed, perhaps they would make sense if one was using an image in the header, but I don't. Whenever I edit the files I take out a few lines of blank space here or there or extra tabs, maybe I just don't understand php/html code formatting conventions, but these seem just as messy as anything I've ever seen. They get the job done, but they are not pretty to look at.

    5. The modifications I have made were mostly the things that were made in V-patches that were submitted after I started my blog.

    6. Sometimes I compose an article in a text editor, but usually I just compose the article directly in the web interface of MP-WP, using the "raw html" editor, not the WYSYWIG editor. Usually I use the "preview" feature and catch most of my typos when I read through it.

    7. I find the file upload portion less useful than I would like, it seems to want to put every file into the "uploads" directory, I wish I could select where in the file structure things get put.

    8. I like MP-WP because it has the blogging features I want (articles, categories, comments), it is fairly easy to use, and it is stable enough that I don't really worry about it doing anything wrong. I also like that it is a frozen version of WordPress, so I am not constantly being bothered to "upgrade", and I don't have to worry about upgrades wrecking things.

    Bonus: My blog is there so that I can go back to my thoughts in the future. It is there so that I can share things with others. I hope that others may find what I write useful, but it also gives others a place where they can critique what I do.

    Let me know if you want me to expand further on any of this, I hope this helps.

  3. billymg says:

    @Diana Coman: Thank you for the feedback. Based on your response to #6 it sounds like you should be to use mp-wp fine without javascript (the main thing I've seen it used for is the image upload popup). I know you generally have js disabled anyway, am I correct in assuming you are able to use mp-wp with it disabled as well?

    > the split of content between DB and disk

    Are there any items you can think of offhand that are currently stored on disk that should go into the db (and vice versa)?

  4. Diana Coman says:

    Totally fine without javascript, indeed (and yes, I generally have it disabled anyway so I don't quite notice what/if it does much for mpwp; now thinking about it, I think there's a few bits like maybe the word count shown with it but yeah, don't need it).

    Re db and disk, hm, it's been a while since I last had any time to even look at this in any reasonable detail so it's hard to say what /if there's still any low hanging fruit basically. For instance, I'd very much prefer to have the "theme" in db too (hence backup-ed with the content) but that would most likely require some reasonably small set of parameters that are set in there (and I never really needed a lot re theme(s) anyway).

  5. whaack says:

    1. Do you use the mp-wp admin interface (web UI)? If so, what actions do you perform via this interface?

    Unfortunately, yes. I wish I could have command line tools for all the actions I perform. Especially for uploading and saving drafts of articles.

    2. Have you modified any of the "settings" in the mp-wp mysql database (also found in the web UI under "Settings" in the left-hand nav)? If so, which ones? When/how often? Via mysql CLI or via the web UI?

    I used the webui to set the title to "whaack" and my tagline to my fingerprint.

    3. Do you run any custom plugins on top of what's included in the trunk of mp-wp?

    No.

    4. Have you modified an included theme or created a new theme that you actively use on one of your sites/properties? If so, why / what did you modify?

    Yes, I made the kubrick theme contain the sidebar when viewing single articles. IIRC I followed the instructions here: http://archive.is/OJqLI

    5. Do you run mp-wp with any other code modifications (outside of themes and plugins)? If so, why / what did you modify?

    Apart from the above css change to the kubrick theme, I run a slightly modified version of the selection tool that prevents tags from being broken: http://ztkfg.com/2019/11/proper-html-linking-a-battlefield-report/

    6. Describe your typical workflow when publishing an article to your blog (including any pre/post steps, and any other tools/scripts/etc. outside of mp-wp). Include details about working with images, code samples, etc.

    I use emacs as my editor. I create a new file in a folder that is filled with outlines and drafts of all my other articles. This folder is rather unorganized, it has no subfolders and all the files are randomly named (I do my best to name them the title of the article they will become, but usually I change my choice of article title as I'm writing.) I write my articles in .html files so that emacs uses the right mode for syntax highlighting. Once I'm done writing my article I use `xclip -sel clipboard < article_name.html` and then paste it into the web ui of the "Add New" Post page and save a draft. Then I preview the article in order to proofread it. I make edits to the local html file, paste the new article into the post page via the web ui, save the new draft, preview again. I rinse and repeat this step until I'm done with the article, and then I publish.

    For images I use a local script to upload images and then another script that sits on the server to "unload" the tarball once uploaded. The unload script puts the proper image html tags in an article.txt file. I then pick the tags of the images I want from the article.txt file. The painful point of this process is that I don't have an automatic way to auto-orient the portrait photos from my camera. Scripts are pasted below.

    For code, most recently I've used the new mpwp vpatch viewer.

    7. What do you find most tedious about using mp-wp? (can be related to any aspect of using mp-wp)

    When I refresh the preview page of a draft while the draft is being saved, I get redirected to the home page of my blog. This is a bizarre behavior that costs me some time. Also, as I mentioned before, having to use the x11 clipboard to paste my articles into the web ui is pretty annoying.

    8. What do you like most about using mp-wp?

    I like that it does not come with a plethora of shit I don't need.

    IMAGE SCRIPTS

    === LOCAL SCRIPT ===

    # ./ztkfg-image.sh output-name
    #
    #
    let cnt=0;
    for f in *.JPG;
    do
    ((cnt++));
    sips -Z 1024 $f --out "$1"-"$cnt".jpg;
    sips -Z 450 $f --out "$1"-"$cnt"-450px.jpg;
    done
    tar -zcvf "$1".tar.gz "$1"-*
    scp "$1".tar.gz mybloguser@123.123.123.123:~/images/

    === SERVER SCRIPT ===

    # originally in ~/images/
    # ./unloader.sh
    # After the script run mv *.jpg /var/www/html/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/ replacing with proper date.

    tar -zxvf "$1".tar.gz
    rm article.txt
    for cnt in {1..15};
    do
    echo '<a href="http://ztkfg.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/'$1'-'$cnt'.jpg" rel="nofollow"></a>' >> article.txt
    done

    echo "finished uploading images. make sure you switched the cnt number otherwise you may be missing images"
    echo "make sure you switched the date in unloader.sh otherwise article.txt may be incorrect"
    echo "now run mv *.jpg /var/www/html/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/ replacing 2020/01 with proper date"

  6. > What blog software do you currently use?

    On my WWW, I use a heavily stripped-down Wordpress, circa 2007.

    > How is the blog configured (any knobs to turn, theming, plugins/extensions, etc.)?

    I have a simple hand-written theme, and one self-written WPistic extension (A "Peh" colourizer, visible in e.g. this piece.) I also have a simple puzzle-based spammer-and-bozo repellent. Additionally, my WP is configured without disk-write permissions (i.e. it may only write to the DB.)

    > Describe your workflow when publishing an article (including any pre/post steps, and any other tools/scripts/etc. outside of the blog software itself). Include details about working with images, code samples, etc.

    I write articles via hand-sewn html in ordinary emacs. Any included photographs, vpatches, etc. I upload to the server via sftp.

    > What do you find most tedious or annoying about using your current blog software?

    The fact of the 'LAMP stack'. I despise PHP and all that it stands for. However, I do not have the time to write a satisfying, from my POV, replacement, today, just as I did not in '07.

    I also consider the DB-centric design of WP to be a mistake. IMHO an ideal 'blog engine' would rely entirely on the file system. Then it would be simple to dispense with the 'stateful login' kludge, among other annoyances. I would like to be able to upload articles as PGP-signed text.

    > What do you like most about using your current blog software?

    I like that it is entirely maintenance-free. I have never had any catastrophic issues with my setup. At one time I had a spam problem, which turned comment moderation into a daily chore. I then attempted to cure it through the use of third-party filtration plugins. This in fact broke my comment knob entirely. After this, I wrote a replacement: a simple idiot-trap which I am quite satisfied with.

    > Have you considered switching to mp-wp? What (if anything) would it take for you to switch?

    At one time I was interested in potentially switching to MP-WP. It was appealing on account of being maintained (and aggressively trimmed) by folks in my L1 WoT. However, I realized that some of the functionality I rely on in my WWW is missing from MP-WP (and in fact is contrary to its design.) In particular: I refuse to use MySQL (instead, Postgres); I continue to use the old-style selection highlighter (it works with colourized code blocks, and most of the selections I've used in my articles in fact consist of these, in the FFA series; I am quite satisfied with my spam trap and do not wish to trade it in for the one used in MP-WP; I like my search knob and want to keep it (as I understand, MP-WP has no search functionality) ; lastly, I am uninterested in features such as WWWistic photo-upload, which require giving WP write-access to the disk.)

    Presently I am satisfied (as much as could ever be with a PHP turdware) with my own WP, and do not see a reason to switch and to carry out the heavy and uninteresting work involved in tailoring it for compatibility with my WWW.

    > Bonus question. What is your primary reason for maintaining a blog?

    My WWW is a record of observations and experimental results, maintained primarily for my future self, and coincidentally made available to (hypothetical) like-minded readers.

  7. I don't use this mp-wp software.

    >What blog software do you currently use?

    I use none. I write all of my articles by hand and upload them by Emacs TRAMP.

    >How is the blog configured?

    I've made no changes to the HTTP server configuration. I also have a Gopher hole and I wrote the software it uses.

    >Describe your workflow when publishing an article.

    I prefer Gopher and prefer my articles be justified even when monospaced text, so I write the normal text version of the article first, adhering to this constraint and others. When I'm finished, I cannibalize the formatting of a recent HTML article to form the HTML of the new. I've used mplayer to record my screen for a demonstration; scrot for screenshots; and I write my SVGs by hand, using Inkscape to render PNG alternatives. I use optipng for optimizing the images for size and I used queer mplayer flags to omit keyframes so that would be small. Once an article is in the directory, I update the prime index, RSS, add any other files necessary to the article, and that's typically all needed.

    >What do you find most tedious or annoying about using your current blog software?

    It's not worth writing software to do it perfectly and it's not worth doing by hand. For the server software itself, I prefer numerical formats for logging, but haven't yet written another Gopher hole software for myself.

    >What do you like most about using your current blog software?

    I like the relative lack of dealing with software others have written. In general, I enjoy having ``my own domain'' and being reasonably free of the nonsense others are plagued by.

    >Have you considered switching to mp-wp? What (if anything) would it take for you to switch?

    I've no interest whatsoever in using PHP or other such things on my server. I would perhaps need to be paid to use the software.

    >What is your primary reason for maintaining a blog?

    Much of my work is borne of boredom. I found myself with plenty of thoughts and want to work, but little venue for this, and I decided I should publish my work under my own domain, for as close a value of ``my domain'' as I could get for now. My writing has improved my writing, programming, and other skills dramatically; I now work more, have related deadlines I enjoy setting for myself; and ultimately I've improved as an individual, in my eyes, by maintaining what I've. I also run my own email system, which allows me to generate useless but valid email addresses for purposes such as a required email field, amongst other niceties. In brief, it's good for me.

  8. billymg says:

    @PeterL

    > Whenever I edit the files I take out a few lines of blank space here or there or extra tabs, maybe I just don't understand php/html code formatting conventions, but these seem just as messy as anything I've ever seen.

    No, it's not just you, the formatting is terrible. The entire thing needs to be run through a formatting linter, but I plan to leave this for down the road after it's been trimmed down to at least half its current size.

    @whaack

    > Yes, I made the kubrick theme contain the sidebar when viewing single articles.

    It seems quite a few others are doing this on their blogs as well, thanks for pointing it out.

    > I run a slightly modified version of the selection tool that prevents tags from being broken

    Good to know.

    @Stanislav Datskovskiy

    > On my WWW, I use a heavily stripped-down Wordpress, circa 2007

    Cool, I didn't know this. For those curious, mp-wp is based off a stripped-down Wordpress 2.7 (late 2008)

    > one self-written WPistic extension (A "Peh" colourizer, visible in e.g. this piece.)

    I don't know if you saw the code embed tool I'm working on currently (still not complete) but it will allow for (extensible) custom syntax highlighting. I could see about adapting your "Peh" highlighter if you don't mind sharing it.

    > IMHO an ideal 'blog engine' would rely entirely on the file system.

    Something like a "Jekyll"?

    > I refuse to use MySQL (instead, Postgres)

    So your version does not use MySQL at all, only Postgres? Did you write the port yourself or were you able to find a version in '07 that was adapted to use Postgres?

    > I continue to use the old-style selection highlighter (it works with colourized code blocks, and most of the selections I've used in my articles in fact consist of these, in the FFA series)

    I take it this means you don't mind browsing loper-os.org with JS enabled? The point about working with code blocks is good to know and is perhaps something that can be fixed in mp-wp now that all of that is being (or will soon be) processed in a single place.

    > I am uninterested in features such as WWWistic photo-upload, which require giving WP write-access to the disk.

    Good to know, and based on other responses looks like it could be a candidate for removal in mp-wp.

    Thank you for writing all this up.

    @Verisimilitude: Thank you for your honest feedback.

    > My writing has improved my writing, programming, and other skills dramatically; I now work more, have related deadlines I enjoy setting for myself; and ultimately I've improved as an individual, in my eyes, by maintaining what I've.

    Well put and congrats on being able to get yourself there.

  9. shinohai says:

    1. What blog software do you currently use?
    I use a simple bash script with sed and awk of own design. Locally I call it "publi.sh"

    2. How is the blog configured (any knobs to turn, theming, plugins/extensions, etc.)?
    Not much configuration is required. It produces static pages using a single .css file. One could, in theory, adjust the css to their liking. The webserver it runs on is vanilla hunchentoot.

    3. Describe your workflow when publishing an article (including any pre/post steps, and any other tools/scripts/etc. outside of the blog software itself). Include details about working with images, code samples, etc.
    I simply run the publi.sh script and it opens a post template under vim. When I finish writing I close vim in the usual manner. The script prompts me whther I wish to publish the piece or save as a draft. If I choose publish, the piece is then immediately published to the blog. Images used in the post are automatically uploaded to the proper area as long as they are present in my `pwd` when fired off.

    4. What do you find most tedious or annoying about using your current blog software?
    I have no complaints outside of having not yet found a suitable comments script for use with static webpages. Anyone reading this is welcome to suggest one.

    5. What do you like most about using your current blog software?
    I like the simplicity and the fact that I can publish from anywhere as long as I have a terminal with ssh access.

    6. Have you considered switching to mp-wp? What (if anything) would it take for you to switch?
    I did at one time consider using it, but prefer something a bit less fiddly as I don't run a large blog. I likely would not switch unless some sort of cli interface was devised for it, as I do not like the "web interface" at all. I echo asciilifeform's sentiments regarding db-centric design, myself preferring static pages with no kludge.

  10. @billymg:

    > I don't know if you saw the code embed tool I'm working on currently (still not complete) but it will allow for (extensible) custom syntax highlighting. I could see about adapting your "Peh" highlighter if you don't mind sharing it.

    If you're interested, I will include it in the next chapter update. The item is a rather ugly kludge, however -- the colourizer system it was based on has severe trouble with nested modes (e.g. [...] inside comment marker (...) ) and it appears that all known similar systems, being based on regexp, have a similar problem. Will be interesting to try with yours (supposing it doesn't.)

    > I take it this means you don't mind browsing loper-os.org with JS enabled? The point about working with code blocks is good to know and is perhaps something that can be fixed in mp-wp now that all of that is being (or will soon be) processed in a single place.

    I don't particularly like JS (and if you recall, I originally suggested the algo MP ended up using for JS-less server-side colouring) but I also don't like the idea of losing the FFA links to individual equations etc. I would like an ecologically-clean replacement, but it would have to be 100% compatible with the old scheme somehow.

    > Good to know, and based on other responses looks like it could be a candidate for removal in mp-wp.

    IIRC it was actually a popular feature, and I was the only one who didn't use it. Could be mistaken.

  11. 1. Do you use the mp-wp admin interface (web UI)? If so, what actions do you perform via this interface?

    Yes, to post articles. I would rather do this via some other means than a web browser.

    2. Have you modified any of the "settings" in the mp-wp mysql database (also found in the web UI under "Settings" in the left-hand nav)? If so, which ones? When/how often? Via mysql CLI or via the web UI?

    Yes, IIRC the default URL format was not the one commonly used, i.e. $year/$month/$article-slug

    3. Do you run any custom plugins on top of what's included in the trunk of mp-wp?

    I currently use some antiquated selection plugin, and will probably move to the newer selection plugin at some point.

    4. Have you modified an included theme or created a new theme that you actively use on one of your sites/properties? If so, why / what did you modify?

    I modified the default theme, but could have (and would have rather) easily accomplished my theme with CSS alone.

    5. Do you run mp-wp with any other code modifications (outside of themes and plugins)? If so, why / what did you modify?

    Yes, I've patched the thing to support PHP 7.1, which took about an afternoon's worth of effort.

    6. Describe your typical workflow when publishing an article to your blog (including any pre/post steps, and any other tools/scripts/etc. outside of mp-wp). Include details about working with images, code samples, etc.

    I typically write in emacs, and then paste the final item into WP when ready. A simple command-line tool to create, update, and delete posts would remove my use-case for the WP admin.

    7. What do you find most tedious or annoying about using mp-wp? (can be related to any aspect of using mp-wp)

    It seems crazy to have an admin panel accessible to the world, and IP whitelisting is not a solution, as it's trivial to spoof IPs. The code is also a gnarled pile, and would benefit from a rewrite and 95% reduction in mass.

    8. What do you like most about using mp-wp?

    It's as little as I've found to solve the problem. I'd take less.

    By the way, thanks for the offer of BTC. I don't mind taking the time to respond to this; feel free to forgo the payment in my case.

  12. billymg says:

    @shinohai

    > I simply run the publi.sh script and it opens a post template under vim. When I finish writing I close vim in the usual manner. The script prompts me whther I wish to publish the piece or save as a draft. If I choose publish, the piece is then immediately published to the blog. Images used in the post are automatically uploaded to the proper area as long as they are present in my `pwd` when fired off.

    This sounds like a pretty elegant flow tbh.

    > I likely would not switch unless some sort of cli interface was devised for it, as I do not like the "web interface" at all. I echo asciilifeform's sentiments regarding db-centric design, myself preferring static pages with no kludge.

    Thank you for this perspective, it's more encouraging than I was expecting actually.

    @Stanislav Datskovskiy:

    > If you're interested, I will include it in the next chapter update.

    I would very much be interested, thank you.

    > I would like an ecologically-clean replacement, but it would have to be 100% compatible with the old scheme somehow.

    Gotcha, makes sense.

    > IIRC it was actually a popular feature, and I was the only one who didn't use it. Could be mistaken.

    That's what I thought as well but even MP seems to have worked something else out:

    With the exception of the multi-uploader (which as mentioned I'm curently bypassing through a set of cmdlines I'm rather satisfied with)

    And after reading responses here it sounds like the right script might obviate the need entirely.

    @Michael Trinque

    > Yes, IIRC the default URL format was not the one commonly used, i.e. $year/$month/$article-slug

    This seems almost unanimous now, probably worth making the new default as Diana suggested above.

    > Yes, I've patched the thing to support PHP 7.1, which took about an afternoon's worth of effort.

    What was the reason for supporting PHP 7.1? Do you happen to know if the patched version also still works on 5.6?

  13. bvt says:

    Do you use the mp-wp admin interface (web UI)? If so, what actions do you perform via this interface?

    Yes, to post articles and approve comments.

    Have you modified any of the "settings" in the mp-wp mysql database (also found in the web UI under "Settings" in the left-hand nav)? If so, which ones? When/how often? Via mysql CLI or via the web UI?

    Yes, time format, article url format, comments URL format+pagination, number of articles on the landing page. The contents/headers of sidebars as well.

    Do you run any custom plugins on top of what's included in the trunk of mp-wp?

    The footnotes -- at least originally they were not bundled.

    Have you modified an included theme or created a new theme that you actively use on one of your sites/properties? If so, why / what did you modify?

    I have modified the "default" theme to a different look via CSS.

    Do you run mp-wp with any other code modifications (outside of themes and plugins)? If so, why / what did you modify?

    The only thing I changed for usability myself was the per-comment header. The selection mechanisms (js and span-based), as well as not showing pingbacks in the comments sidebar were added as standard MPWP items/picked up on other blogs.

    Describe your typical workflow when publishing an article to your blog (including any pre/post steps, and any other tools/scripts/etc. outside of mp-wp). Include details about working with images, code samples, etc.

    I type the article in the text editor (Emacs). After that, I paste it in the MPWP editor and finish the editing there. For code, I just use "pre" tags in line with my Emacs configuration -- I don't use syntax highlighting there as well. I also have a small script for building 'curl url > name.vpatch' command html code.

    What do you find most tedious or annoying about using mp-wp? (can be related to any aspect of using mp-wp)

    IMO it needs the information on the full set of flags with which its dependencies must be compiled -- building the apache/mysql/php with all the necessary flags is a bit tedious.

    What do you like most about using mp-wp?

    That it is reliable and simply works.

    What is your primary reason for maintaining a blog?

    I find that blogging makes 'lying to yourself' impossible, because written down, sloppy thinking becomes apparent. I mostly use it to share code, apart from a few pieces on other topics.

  14. billymg says:

    @bvt: Thank you for the write-up, just one question:

    > Yes, time format, article url format, comments URL format+pagination, number of articles on the landing page. The contents/headers of sidebars as well.

    Did you edit the values directly in the db via the MySQL CLI or via the web admin UI?

  15. spyked says:

    1. Do you use the mp-wp admin interface (web UI)? If so, what actions do you perform via this interface?

    Yes, albeit rarely. I use it mainly to publish articles and to maintain the comment moderation queue.

    2. Have you modified any of the "settings" in the mp-wp mysql database (also found in the web UI under "Settings" in the left-hand nav)? If so, which ones? When/how often? Via mysql CLI or via the web UI?

    Yes, the blog title, URL, author name etc. I modified those once via the web UI, when I set up MP-WP.

    3. Do you run any custom plugins on top of what's included in the trunk of mp-wp?

    Yes, the Markdown plugin. It replaces the footnotes plugin, even.

    4. Have you modified an included theme or created a new theme that you actively use on one of your sites/properties? If so, why / what did you modify?

    Yes, I created The Tar Pit theme.

    5. Do you run mp-wp with any other code modifications (outside of themes and plugins)? If so, why / what did you modify?

    I've done some tweaking here and there. More importantly (for myself, at least), I loathe using the web interface for writing and editing, so I wrote my own interface into the post editor.

    6. Describe your typical workflow when publishing an article to your blog (including any pre/post steps, and any other tools/scripts/etc. outside of mp-wp). Include details about working with images, code samples, etc.

    It sorta goes like this:

    a. initial writing and proofing occurs in whatever text editor my system has available; then

    b. I use the scripts linked above to create a post, add it to the MP-WP database etc.; then

    c. I do a round of review on the MP-WP draft, after which I publish it.

    For code samples, tables and footnotes, the Markdown plugin does more than a decent job; this is incidentally why I decided to import it when I set up the blog, I had too much relying on it already and this stuff was working for me in the first place, so why not keep it.

    I upload my files on the box using SSH, I've never used the web interface for that. In particular, as far as photos are concerned, I process all of them outside of MP-WP using GIMP or whatever, then I upload them as described.

    7. What do you find most tedious or annoying about using mp-wp? (can be related to any aspect of using mp-wp)

    The lack of a CLI/TUI. I noticed other people are using MySQL as a drop-in replacement for that, somehow I never bothered, which is how I ended up hooking up directly in the MP-WP API functions. Now, that Wordpress comes with some pretty weird ad-hoc abstractions itself... well!

    8. What do you like most about using mp-wp?

    It gets the job done, really. I don't need anything more as far as functionality is concerned; if anything, I need a lot less.

  16. bvt says:

    I have edited the values via the web admin UI.

  17. billymg says:

    @spyked: Thank you for putting this together. The 3k lines for the markdown plugin seems trivial compared to the 140k lines currently in mp-wp. Assuming the latter can be reduced to < 20k then I personally wouldn't mind having a dormant markdown plugin sitting alongside the rest of it (especially since it's code signed by someone in my wot). The benefit being no extra fork needed for the markdown use case. Not sure how others would feel about this but I think it's at least worth considering in the future.

  18. [...] Coman, there's still use to me in recording my experiences on my blog). I also want to respond to billymg's survey on mp-wp usage since he is doing a lot of work on something I use quite a bit and I want to [...]

  19. Better late than never (I would have forgone the payment anyways; I use this software quite a bit so I don't mind answering a survey):

    1. I use it quite a bit for marking up an article (including footnotes), as well as approving comments, and managing categories.

    2. Usually when I move my blog to a new server I end up having to edit a few records in the [prefix]options table (via mysql CLI); the 'siteurl' and 'home' options.

    I also have futzed with various settings via the web UI; usually things like the permalink structure and the various options in the "Reading Settings".

    3. The only plugin I use is the footnotes plugin.

    4. Yes, I've modified the "WordPress_Default" theme. Mainly just changes to the formatting and layout.

    5. I altered the archives to show titles only.

    6. I tend to start writing and save my initial draft as just a plain text file on my local machine. Then
    once I get enough written I tend to move it to mp-wp.

    As far as images go, I've never actually used the upload feature in mp-wp. I usually just resize them in bulk (I use imagemagick) and then upload them directly via scp.

    7. I really hate wrestling with php and mysql conflicts and the various dependency issues that go along with it every time I migrate my blog to a new server environment (if the OS version doesn't change then there's no issue, of course). Most of the other pieces I can automate, but getting the LAMP ready for mp-wp is always a roll of the dice on how much time it will take.

    8. I like the potential for blog interconnectivity, specifically if pingbacks (trackbacks?) were sent 100% of the time (I still don't know why it doesn't always send them, though I did have the pleasure of poking around at the xmlrpc.php at one point and there seems to be tons of duck tape and hacks on top of hacks). But even right now it functions pretty well for blog to blog communication.

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