Super-duper charged Gnus with Gwene!

You might have read my previous post about Yahoo! pipes. However, they weren’t working out as I thought they would. Gnus was still taking up a lot of time to start up. So, I thought, there must be some other way to boost the start up time. I looked around and tried to find out what other people were using. After reading this transcript a couple of days ago, and reading curious little mention of Gwene, I decided to check it out this on Saturday. And so I did.

There were a few RSS feeds that I wanted to get news about but weren’t on the Gwene list, but I just added them. In couple of minutes they were populated, and ready for me to subscribe via gnus. So I invoked command:

gnus-group-browse-foreign-server

And there it was. Staring at me, the long list of all the different feeds that are tracked(is that the right word?) by Gwene. I subscribed to the ones that I wanted using “u”, and then closed the server buffer. Then, I restarted my gnus to see how fast it starts. I must say it is definitely an improvement. A significant improvement.

I looked at a few feeds and to my surprise, now I can see images from inside emacs! Amazing, it must have something to do with the protocol. However, I’m very happy with Gwene and Gnus now!

Org2blog. Back to wordpress.

For past few months this website was running on drupal. And it was good. Drupal is an awesome system that can do anything. I love it. However when I switched from wordpress to drupal, I wasn’t sure what I was going to create of this website. However, now, I am sure. What I need is a blog. Noting less, nothing more. So, I have decided to move back to wordpress.

There are few reasons for this. First, drupal is very versatile. It can do anything. However, for my simple blogging needs, I don’t want a website that can do a thousand things and more. I want a blog that is easy to maintain and does it’s job well. Because of drupal’s versatility, it takes a lot of time to customize it the way I want to.

Another reason is the updates. In drupal, currently there isn’t any system that updates core automatically. You have to do it manually. On the other hand, in wordpress, updates are a click away. Even the major ones!

I could have lived with that too. I could have run the old drupal without core updates. As bad as it sounds. However, the real reason for the switch is, in the title. For past few months I’ve been writing more and more blogs. However, what I used to write the blogs was this: Org-mode.

I would write them in Org-mode and then export them as html. Then, I’d copy that html in drupal’s editor and post the blog. It’s not as bad as writing all the html by hand, however I needed something better. I wanted to post my blogs directly from emacs. So I went to the great googles fro help.

The great googles showed me a path. A path to enlightenment. They showed me weblogger.el. Which could help me post my blogs directly to drupal without leaving emacs. However, it needed blog API module. As of this writing, the state of the module is, “The module is in development and does not currently work”. So, I took all than, and threw it out of the window.

I was back again to the great googles for help. This time, I came across, org2blog. And I thought sounds delicious. Let me have a look into what it can do. And Voila! It does what I want. It can also handle categories and tags. Wow!

So, I decided to switch back to wordpress. Last night, I was up until 4:30 in the morning to do the switch. I did it without major headaches. Let me give you a little summary of how I did it.

  1. Export all the posts from drupal as an rss feed. (there weren’t may. A total of 26 to be exact. So, they all came in one single regular rss. I exported it)
  2. Sort out the rss. Remove the tags and categories from rss.
  3. Import the rss posts into wordpress. (Go to tools->import->rss in the admin)
  4. Install redirection in wordpress and redirect the old urls to new one. This way, you won’t loose the search engine rankings and inbound traffic from urls posted in external sources.
  5. Set up the categories and tags.

That’s what I did. Much of it I could have done via database migration, however, I did’t have much data to migrate. So, rather than spending few days to migrate all those categories and tags via database queries, I did it by hand in matter of a couple of hours.

One thing I lost was comments. However, there weren’t many. So, I see no big loss there and I’m pretty much content with what I have right now.

Also, wordpress 3 is awesome! And so is org2blog. This post is the test how this setup works. I have already logged into wordpress via emacs. Now, let’s try publishing…