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Scientific Psychic
2009-06-22
 

Comparing Blosxom and Wordpress weblogs

The old adage that "necessity is the mother of invention" is so true. When we are frustrated, or our current approach to a problem does not produce satisfactory results, we often try something else, and in the process we may discover something new.

I have had a WordPress blog since May of 2007. At the time, I did not know much about how blogs worked, and used the cookie-cutter approach provided by my web hosting service. I started learning about WordPress themes, syndication, database backups, MySQL databases, phpMyAdmin, and many technical details that were necessary to interface the blog with my website seamlessly and reliably.

All was well until, one day, I noticed that the RSS subscription to my own blog had not been updated. When I investigated, I found that my WordPress blog had been hacked. Someone had modified the WordPress wp-blog-header.php file and added some code that would divert search engine requests to a variety of casino and porno sites. The code was clever enough to avoid diverting direct accesses to the blog, thus reducing the chance of detection of the hack by someone who accessed the blog directly. I restored the original code, and determined that the hack had been made possible by a buffer overflow through the blog comments. I modified the WordPress code to prevent further changes. I described the technique here.

My original WordPress database was in Latin-1 code page and I wanted to convert it to UTF-8 to make internationalization easier. At the same time, I decided to upgrade the original version of WordPress that I had been using to the latest and greatest version. Disaster! The intelligible permanent links stopped working because the permalinks plugin from my host was not compatible with the new version of WordPress. The solution required being able to modify the .htaccess file, which I was not allowed to do on my host system. Disappointed, I decided to use an ugly default link format, and I had to modify my 404 processing (for pages not found) so that requests for pages from "permanent" links to my blog would be converted to blog searches to try to find the blog post.

It was at this time that I started looking for blogging alternatives to WordPress that did not involve a database, and I found Blosxom. Comparing WordPress to Blosxom is like comparing a modern automobile to a horse and buggy. They both can get you to the same place, but the ride in the horse carriage requires a lot more tending. So it is with Blosxom, but after a couple of days, I was able to convert my WordPress blog for use by Blosxom. The real strength of Blosxom becomes evident if you want to create static web pages and remove the dependency on PHP and MySQL. The dynamic version of Blosxom also works well, but unless you are a good Perl programmer, you better stick with WordPress. If you are still interested, click on the following link.

Learn how to convert a WordPress Blog to Blosxom




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