Posted on November 27, 2005
I don’t know if you noticed, but I’ve switched weblog engines. I was using Radio UserLand for this blog, and I liked it very much. But: my ability to blog here depended on my laptop (which Radio runs on) being up and running, and of course being in a place where I can reach it, either physically or using a remote connection. That has been annoying me for a while, and this week Radio crashed while reading RSS feeds. It didn’t come back again. That was the limit.
I’m used to Radio being unstable. Every now and then, it crashes and I just have to start it again. Of coure that’s not good behaviour for any piece of software, but after using Radio for a few years I don’t mind anymore. This time though, it’s different. I don’t know why the thing crashed, but it does so a few moments after starting the application, over and over again. I can’t use it anymore.
Now, I am smart enough to fix Radio, that’s not the problem. The problem is that I have to go through a process of digging in the object database, reading and setting variables, tweaking here and there to find out what caused the crash and then disable it. All the data and scripts are stored in Radio’s object database and I know how to work with it.
But: I just don’t feel like going through all that. I have to get another application that can read the database (the open sourced Frontier will do), dig, tweak, retry, tweak a little more, etcetera. I don’t want to do that. I want to read my RSS feeds. I want to blog.
So, I decided to phase out Radio as my weblog engine of choice. I installed WordPress in between the Radio files on this server, and redirected both the home page and my RSS feed from Radio to WordPress. If everything went well, RSS subscribers didn’t notice anything. People who actually visit this site will notice the slight change in website design, but that’s very minimal.
I won’t say goodbye to Radio. I still have all the weblog data on my server, including the categories and OPML-generated pages. Someday I will fix it and I will use it to blog again, but it won’t be on the main location of this blog.
Until I fixed it, though, I will have to find a replacement RSS aggregator. I like the one-pane style Radio uses, and all the other aggregators seem to use the e-mail approach: three panes which requires a lot of clicking. I don’t like that.
So, if anyone knows of a good one-pane “river of news” style aggregator, I’d be happy to try it. If it runs on Linux, it’s twice as good. Any suggestions are very welcome.