Welcome to stu.mp

Whoa! What happend to the old site?! Well, after many years of rolling my own code, design, HTML, CSS, etc. I finally gave up and had some professionals take care of the hard parts. I’ve gave up rolling my own code in favor of using WordPress a while ago and am now using the Lifestream plugin for this site, which I hacked to bits.

The more exciting part, I think, though is the design. It’s been in my head for years, but never could figure a way to convert itself into bits and bytes. Thankfully, the highly skilled Jake Mix was able to take care of the gorgeous illustrations. Once I had the illustrations in hand, I had the young protégé Julian Targowski put the various bits together into the amazing design you see now.

There are still a few bits and bytes that are not aligned properly and I’m 99% sure that the site is totally broken in Internet Explorer (a fact I care little about). If you like what you see I highly recommend contacting Jake and/or Julian.

Migration to WordPress

I’ve begun the progress of moving to WordPress. The process began by migrating data from my old blog into the WordPress tables. After that I had to create a plugin that would adequately translate my old posts into the new WordPress posts. Now that that is all done I’ve started working on a new design for my site. It’s been about two years since I last refreshed the design so it’s definitely time for a change around here.

WordPress, so far, isn’t difficult to work with per se, but the code is painful to look at. Not that there aren’t good things about WordPress. The following is a list of things I both like and dislike about my new home.

  • The code, as I already mentioned, is painful. There’s barely a trace of any kind of coding standards within the core code. Some of it is OOP, while other parts are procedural. To top this off; none of it appears to be documented.
  • The plugins and theme engines are fairly well laid out, documented and seamless. Within minutes I had created, activated and started using my own plugin. Very little programming knowledge is needed to get started, which would explain why there are thousands of WordPress plugins.
  • The database layout doesn’t use InnoDB, hence no foreign key constraints, nor does some of the field layout make much sense. That being said, it’s not horrible. The most annoying thing I found while migrating my old entries was that WordPress caches comment and post counts for posts and categories. So, despite a post have 3 comments, WordPress would show 0 comments.
  • Making WordPress sing with mod_rewrite was a snap.
  • Tags aren’t build in. What the hell?
  • The administrative part of the site is, quite simply, a work of art. I love it.
  • I’m currently using three plugins: the one that translates old joestump.net content into WordPress content, wp-recent-links and Spam Karma 2.2.
  • What you are looking at is not the final design.

So why did I convert to WordPress from my home grown code? Well, to put it simply, WordPress has all the bells and whistles that I simply don’t have the time to program. Another issue was that maintaining the old blog was a huge pain and I’m hoping by converting to WordPress it will directly lead to me blogging more frequently.

RDF, RSS by Category, etc.

I’ve made a number of updates to the site. Probably the biggest addition is the fact that you can now subscribe via RDF 1.0, which includes the text for the entire posts. Below is a list of other changes to the site.

  1. The RSS 1.0 feed has been updated to include a dc:creator tag. I also changed references to josephstump.com.
  2. Category pages now include the name of the category at the top of the page as well as a link to that category’s RSS feed. This means you can subscribe to a specific category instead of the entire site.
  3. I have updated the links to the right to include links to the RDF feed as well as a validation link for the feed.
  4. The archive page now includes links to the RSS feeds for each category.
  5. You can subscribe to search results! Each search result page has a link to the RSS feed. Any time a new post matches your search term it will show up in your feed.
  6. I also added a few links in the “Publications” section to an unfinished book of mine and a few other articles.

Also, you can subscribe to search/category feeds in RDF, instead of RSS, if you change rss/2.0 with rdf/1.0. I plan on adding a link when I get the chance. You can also hack the feeds to crawl my entire site via RDF or RSS by passing ?start=$x where $x is an increment of 10 to the various feeds (ie. ?start=0, ?start=10, etc.).

Since there were major updates to the feeds please let me know if you have problems. All of the feeds validate without issues so they should work.

Retooled, Refurbished and Redesigned

As you might have noticed I launched a completely redesigned website. This design is about a week in the making. It took a whole lot of CSS love, learning how to layout stuff using XHTML and a little coding to add and shift features as needed. I hope that you’ll find the many new features and the new design both easier to look at and easier to use. Below are is a list of things that have been changed, added or removed.

  1. This design works great in Internet Explorer on Windows, Mozilla, Firebird and Safari. This design, however, is most likely broken in Internet Explorer under OS X (and earlier) and early versions of Netscape.
  2. This design uses almost four times as much CSS as it does HTML, which I find kind of funny. The design uses absolutely no tables, which I’m quite proud of.
  3. I’ve added a comprehensive archives section and the ability to trackback my entries.
  4. If you are using Internet Explorer then you’re viewing a slightly less beautiful site than you would if you were to use Mozilla or Safari. Upgrade your browser because it doesn’t support alpha blending PNG’s nor does it have the best CSS support.

As one can expect I have a few people that I should thank for tips, ideas and contributions.

  1. I’d like to thank Dan Cederholm from Simplebits.com for the great icons. It was the best $45 I ever spent.
  2. Cameron Barrett gave me tons of tips on CSS, Photoshop and where to find tiles.
  3. Jason Kottke to whom I used as a somewhat guide to my redesign. I also use his Silkscreen font extensively.
  4. A List Apart for providing me with some CSS knowledge from some of the best in the industry.
  5. Jeremy Brand for providing the utility image_create.php, which allows me to create images based on Kottke’s TTF font on the fly.

Per Jeremy’s request, I have posted screen shots of my site in Mozilla, Safari and IE for Windows XP.

  1. Mozilla Firefox 0.9.1
  2. Safari 1.2.2
  3. Internet Explorer 6.0 (under Windows XP)

If you look closely the IE version uses GIF images for the header stuff, which makes for a somewhat pixelated version of the website. Layout-wise, font-wise and over all feel remain the same across all major browsers, which is a good thing. Though I won’t speak for older versions of Netscape, the current version of IE on Mac or any version of Opera.

For those of you wondering, yes that is me in the upper right corner. All of the icons are © Dan Cederholm – so no you can’t have them. The rest of the images, content, CSS, code, etc. are all © Joe Stump.

Copyright

Content License

 

The content of this site, except the noted exceptions below, are © Joseph C. Stump and are licensed under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Creative Commons License. In short, this means that you can pretty much do what you want with the content on my site, except the noted exceptions below, as long as you do the following:

  1. You must give the original author credit.
  2. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.

Exceptions to Content License

 

As previously noted, there are a few exceptions to the above license and copyright.

  1. All comments, but those posted by Joseph C. Stump, are copyright their respective author. Joseph C. Stump, JCS Solutions and their derivatives will not be held responsible for the content of comments posted to this site by third parties. Please contact me if you have concerns regarding comments posted to this site.
  2. I often quote copyrighted articles or books to criticize or comment on the original works. I try to always cite such quotes with both visual cues, titles of the articles or books and, if possible, a link to the article or book.
  3. The icons on this site are © Dan Cederholm. You can purchase your own copy if you wish to use them on your own site legally.
  4. This site makes use of image_create, which is © Jeremy Brand.
  5. Silkscreen is currently © 2000-2004 Jason Kottke.

Other

 

When in doubt please think with your head or consult Stanford’s fair use article.

Miester.org Up and Running

For those of you out there that actually read this site I’d like to offer an explanation as to why the site has been down for almsot a week (ack!). It seems zebulon died a firey death after being up almost a year. I ended up going to pick him up and then brought him to our new NOC. All seems to be running smoothly now.

Hurricane Electric vs. Miester

As many of you know I used to host miester.org at HE.net (no link – they don’t deserve one). Even while I was a customer there they were nothing but trouble. Read on to learn why NOT to host there.

First off while I was a customer there they modified files of mine without my permission.

Second off when I moved my server into NMO I emailed support and billing to cancel my account. Well that was in January and I just now found out that they are STILL charging me for the service. I’ve since sent many flames to support, info, billing and anyone else who might listen. The last straw came today when I found out the overcharged one of my credit cards. A quick trip to the Better Business Bureau of California and many flames later I might get my money back and should definately get my account canceled.

I’ll keep you guys posted.

New stuff

I’ve been updating the site here and there. You’ll notice a few new things. The first is the “Read More” ability and the track how many reads a certain story has recieved. Also, I’ve put my custom tags into effect. Finally I imported all of my old news articles from the old version of miester code. The next thing to come is importing the old articles.

How'd you do it?

Some people may be asking how I created my site. Well for the top banner I used a combination of gimp and photoshop (my fonts are screwed in gimp), I used CSS for the first time, PHP Convert was used to make the thumbnails, Image Create to make the headings on the fly, and my own 31337 hacker skills for the rest. Soon to come is my DVD archive (not the DVD’s – just titles and my own ratings) and also a rants section.

New site design

As many of you may have noticed, I have changed the site design. What I did was go around and look at personal sites that I thought were cool and had a nice interface and then brought together what I liked into one page. Hope you like it.