Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Speaking of Which

Yesterday, I posted about City Websites. Today, it's about this website. As some of you have noticed, I brought down my Planets, Planet NEO and Neohawk IT. I did this mostly for time and money reasons. The server they are running on is memory challenged and Planet NEO in particular was getting very large, memory consumption wise. It had over 50,000 posts archived. So it kept crashing, and I was spending more time trying to keep it up than I want.

Actually, no that's not true. I would restart it on the weekends, and any time during the week I remembered, or wasn't on a business trip. So my planets were down more than they were up.

The reality is that I'm paying for the server that they are run on. And I have not problems with that per se, but they started getting in the way. But probably more importantly, I decided to stop spending money on servers where possible. So I am making a concerted effort to move all my sites and services to google. Already as of last year, all my email was moved to google.

I have begun the process of getting ready to move sites. On my Neohawk Info blog I mentioned app engine site creator. This looks to be perfect for simple, relatively static web pages. This weekend I took a shot at trying to move the static pages of this site to Google App Engine. Take a look:

Not too bad, if you ask me. At least until you run it through a validator. Using xhtml 1.0, this thing spits out over 200 errors. Running the base html template, there aren't any errors. Well, actually they are, but that's because there are some django tags in there that the validator doesn't understand. I'll continue to dig around to see what, if anything can be done. The vast majority of the errors are "system" generated, not my html. I'm not sure whether it's google, app-engine-site-creator, or something else. It may take me a while to figure it out. But it's looking good enough to make the switch.

Ah, but wait. The blog. This is actually the most critical piece, and the one piece in which I'm most disappointed. I was expecting that there would be some pretty good ones out there. I had my eye on three or four in particular. Two of them wouldn't run, and two would but are not complete, and unfortunately, developed by Chinese developer so it's hard to read the documentation. Wonder if anyone in Japan has created one. I'll have to ask around.

You can see http://neoinfoblog.appspot.com, which it the closest of the four to being usable. But it needs some serious help for customizing look and feel. It's designed so that it's all point and click, but most of that didn't work for me. Hacking on the base templates made it a lot worse. Another one which I didn't put up, but am running on the local development server, was alot easier to customize the look and feel for, but it's missing some key functionality.

Actually, looking back on this effort, Byteflow which powers this blog is by far the best. It's the easiest to use so far, and has the most functionality. I wonder how much effort it would take to make a gae byteflow. That would be the perfect solution...

Don't know whether I can wait or not though.

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