The cobbler’s children

I decided it was way, way past time I got my web site in better order. It was getting embarrassing that my ‘content management system’ (CMS) was a bunch of text files in folders, and that whenever I wanted to find something I’d written I had to resort to find . -exec grep. For a while I entertained the idea of building my own CMS. However, I finally decided that there were much more creative and enjoyable things I could be doing than bringing work home, so I went with something someone else wrote.

The trouble with LiveJournal

[For more cases of LiveJournal Abuse Team behaving abusively, check out http://ljabuse.blogspot.com/.]

For several years I was a paying user of LiveJournal. Now I pay for web hosting and run my own content management system. It’s not by choice; this is the story.

In a nutshell, following an altercation with a racist troll, LiveJournal suspended my account without warning, even though I had not breached their Terms Of Service. They didn’t suspend the troll’s account–instead, they announced that (contrary to their written terms of service) racist comments were in fact perfectly acceptable on LiveJournal.

Attempts at compromise to resolve the issue were ignored and rejected, even when I offered to delete offending comments. The money I had paid for the service they were refusing to provide was not refunded.

Bringing clarity

As part of my mission to bring clarity to the world, let me explain the so-called “302 exploit” you may have heard scare stories about. Background HTTP, the protocol used to serve web pages, has two numeric codes that can be returned by the web server to direct the client (browser) to a new URL: 301 and 302. A 301 redirection means “The page you requested has moved permanently. Please go to the new address I am providing you with, and update your bookmarks.

Zope, Tomcat

Wasted a few hours yesterday trying to install Zope and CMF, as lots of people have raved about CMF as a content management system for web site construction. Unfortunately, Zope relies on Python… and it seems that the current version of Python is incompatible with Zope, and the previous version doesn’t build on Mac OS X. (Or rather, it eventually built after some hacking, but bad things happened when it tried to find any of its standard libraries.