Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

31 Aug 2003, 17:51 p.m.

A Process Entry That Is Not Witty

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2003 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Finally, a real weblog page instead of one I hand-edit from a Google cache!

The technical story: a few weeks ago, the Open Computing Facility upgraded its install of Apache and prohibited the use of "exec cmd" SSIs (server-side includes) because, in the hands of inattentive scripters, they're a security risk. So now the preferred SSI is "include virtual". But "include virtual" doesn't play well with CGIs that take command-line arguments, e.g., "include virtual="last_n_entries 21 weblog", without a query string (e.g., "include virtual="last_n_entries?n=21&nb=weblog"). Which makes sense, but inconveniences me.

So Leonard upgraded me to the as-yet unreleased NewsBruiser 1.14, which can output, say, the last 21 entries to a static file (and update it with each new post), so I can use the "include file" SSI in my main weblog page. That way I still get the purple background and the pretty margins, and instead of the visitor having to wait on each visit as the server generates the page anew, the visitor gets a much faster load, with a tiny offset cost onto me each time I post.

The less technical story: Until we got this working, I was still posting to my weblog, but the posts didn't automatically make it to the main page, so I was copying and pasting. I did this in batches every few days, which is why you were suddenly seeing days-old posts for the first time.

Oh, and Today In History is momentarily down for related reasons, but it's on Leonard's to-do list. In Soviet Russia has run its course.