Jud Dagnall Photography Blog

Photography, technology and occasional rants!

My new wedding site: www.dagnallphoto.com

Posted on January 13th, 2006 in , , by jud || No Comment

Wow! It’s been a long time since I posted anything! After quite a lot of time going back and forth, I have decided to create a separate site, http://www.dagnallphoto.com, devoted to my professional photography, and in particular, my wedding photography business, Jud Dagnall Photography . Although I may eventually move some of my fine art and nature images there, for now they will remain here on dagnall.net. In the end, a specifically targeted .com domain seemed like it would be easier to remember, particularly since another photographer already owns the dagnall.com domain!

New Images: Mono Lake Winter Wonderland

Posted on March 15th, 2005 in , , by jud || No Comment

I have posted a new collection of images, titled Mono Lake Winter Wonderland, which is also the title of one of the images.

Magda and I took the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day off, and turned out to be much more of an adventure than we’d planned. I should write a separate entry about everything that happened, but suffice it to say that it involved a car accident ($5000 worth of damage caused by a large rock), a tow truck driver from Deliverance, a separate rescue by the Mono County Sheriff, getting snowed in, and a number of really exciting photographs! Enjoy.

Site facelift

Posted on March 14th, 2005 in , by jud || No Comment

Inspired by the new wordpress templates, I’ve given the whole site a facelift. There’s now a relatively uniform look for all of the site, although it is still best when viewed with firefox. Major tweaks to the header and navigation, minor tweaks to the image gallery. CSS makes all of this so much easier. I deleted a few lines of PHP, and add 2 div tags in my html, and everything else was done via CSS. CSS ROCKS!

Powered by WordPress 1.5

Posted on March 11th, 2005 in by jud || 3 Comments

I’ve upgraded my blog software to wordpress 1.5. The upgrade process was completely painless, and so far everything looks good. I also like the new layouts (although the photo is mine!)

Simple forums with FUDforum and mailman

Posted on January 23rd, 2005 in , , by jud || No Comment

I set up an online forum and mailing list for a class I’m taking. I used FUDforum, which was easy to install and
configure (it’s php). One of the other things I wanted to do was to set up a mailing list that would serve as an alternate entry point for users: mailing list posts would be copied to the forum, and forum posts would be copied to the mailing list. Using mailman and procmail, this was relatively simple. After downloading and installing fudforum, I installed mailman from RPM using the yum package manager. Following the instructions in the docs, I created a mailing list and added some test names.

After setting up the mailing list, I configured FUDForum to post to the mailing list (using the mailing list options), and got it to remove the title of the mailing list when copying to forums. This was slightly tricky, since the regulur expression should be [ListName], not [ListName].

Then I added procmail entry that pipes any list mail into the FUDforum mailinst list script (scripts/maillinglist.php). I had to fiddle with the permissions a bit since the web owner wasn’t receiving the mail, but a set of directories with a special group, and group write/set permissions did the trick. I did have much more trouble with the procmail recipeit since it wasn’t clear when mail should be copied to the forum. Because mailling list mails are sent via BCC, the recipient doesn’t show up in the header all the time (I tried using a special mailing list email address). In the end, I had to for mail with the mailing list name as the recipient, which seems to work most of the time,. However, I just discovered that if someone BCCs the list, the mailing list doesn’t even show up in the To: field.

However, the forum is now up and working, and students can post to the list, or the forum, and everyone sees the messages.

WordPress – yet another blogging package

Posted on December 15th, 2004 in by jud || No Comment

I’ve very quickly given up on Movable Type. I was unable to install it on my ISP due to problems with the perl modules it requires. That, coupled with the fact that it is not open source, sent me searching for yet another solution.

[wordpress](http://wordpress.org) is what I’m trying now. Lets hope this works better than the previous three attempts. On the plus side, installation is straight forward, and once I solved my mysql compatability problems (I was trying to use mysql 4.1, but my PHP installation only supported 4.0x) it worked like a charm, I got up and running very quickly. The downside is that MySQL is now required, and I have to either use the mysql on my home system, or get my ISP [ultimanet](http://www.ultimanet.com) to give me MySQL access.

First impressions are that wordpess is a slick package. The UI isn’t perfect, but it is very usable and has a nice blend of flexibility and simplicity. It has the feature set that I’m interested in (templates, trackbacks, pings, archives and an API, and PHP is an improvement over perl since the rest of my site is in PHP)

Switching to MovableType: Atom and RSS available

Posted on December 8th, 2004 in by jud || No Comment

I’ve decided to use Movable Type to power my weblog. Although pyblosxom was nice, it wasn’t as fully-featured as other blogging software, adding those features took up too much time. I’d much rather just set it up and let it run. Also, I’m interested in TrackBacks and other blog featuers which I barely even understand, but which seem very useful. So hopefully MT will allow me to focus more on the content, and less on the software. This also means that the
atom and rss feeds should work now.

The RSS Feed is working

Posted on October 28th, 2004 in by jud || No Comment

I’ve fixed up the RSS feed, so it should be working. Still no
atom feed yet. :(

The RSS and Atom feeds are broken.

Posted on October 27th, 2004 in by jud || No Comment

Unfortunately, it looks like my RSS and Atom feeds are now broken.
I’ll work on getting them back up soon.

Switching from blosxom to pyblosxom

Posted on October 26th, 2004 in by jud || No Comment

That didn’t take long. 24 hours later and I’ve switched to using python and

I’d looked at pyblosxom originally, but decided to use the perl version
instead since it appeared to have more plugins. However, I’d much rather
be working on python code, and after a closer look, I saw that pyblosxom
appeared to have all the plugins I really need.

Unfortunately, the pyblosxom setup was much more complex. Fortunately, all
the data is compatible. Here’s what I did to switch from blosxom to pyblosxom:

  1. Download pyblosxom
  2. Download pyxml
  3. extract each of the tarballs e.g.:
        $ tar xzvf fn.gz        # replace fn.tgz with the appropriate filename
  4. Build each module. This was a little trickier because I run python2.4
    (pre-release) on my staging server, but my ISP provider only runs 2.3.4. So I
    need to force my local (staging) server to use python2.3:

        $ python2.3 setup.py build
  5. Now, because I don’t have root access on my ISP’s server, I need
    to install the python files in a local root. This is done using the –home
    option during module installation, which puts everything in a home directory:

        $ cd pyblosxom-1-0-0
        $ python2.3 setup.py install --home $HOME

    Now I have a ~/lib, and pehaps a ~/bin and ~/share directory. The
    share directory can be discarded, since I just install the files from
    the extracted tarball directory.

  6. Now I need to get python to use this new directory. My first thought was
    to set the PYTHONPATH environmental variable to use $HOME/lib/python.
    However, since my ISP is running an older apache that doesn’t support the
    SetEnv directive, I simply used the “codebase” config parameter in config.py.
    Unfortunately I’ll have hardcode the path into any other python cgi script.
    Hmmm. Perl is looking a little better :)

    So I set:

        py["codebase"] = "/path/to/my/home/lib/python"
  7. Now to install the executables, I basically followed the install
    instructions. Since my blog lives at /blog, and not in a cgi-bin directory, I
    install it into my $DOCROOT (e.g. ~/public_html)

        $ cp web/pyblosxom.cgi $DOCROOT/pyblosxom.cgi      
        $ cp web/config.cgi    $DOCROOT/public_html/config.py
  8. However, since my ISP has python 1.5.1 as python, I need to specifify
    that the script should use python2.3. I replace the first line of
    pyblosxom.cgi with “#!/usr/bin/env python.2.3”
  9. After moving the config and pyblosxom files, I modified the config file
    to use all the same settings as blosxom, except I created a pyplugin
    directory so I could keep both pyblosxom and blosxom active during testing
    and deployment.
  10. After some testing, things were working well. I installed the file
    plugin so that I could share page static page items between my php and
    pyblosxom, and I moved the primary blog over to pyblossom.

That’s it. I moved pyblog.cgi to blog.cgi, and now pyblosxom is the default
engine. Next on my todo list is to install the reStructuredText plugin,
because I HATE hand-coding xhtml.

My site got smarter!

Posted on October 25th, 2004 in by jud || No Comment

I have just released a new version of the site, based on the PHP templating
engine Smarty.

Smarty is co-authored by my
friend, core PHP devloper, and coworker at Yahoo!,
Andrei Zmievski.

I’ve also changed the design and layout a bit, and moved this blog
into the main site instead of my demo site.

I’m trying out blosxom

Posted on October 24th, 2004 in by jud || No Comment

As the first step in yet another site upgrade, I’m trying out the blosxom software. I’m not too happy about
using perl again on my site (I’m trying to use PHP and python for everything
these days), but I’m very happy about a simple plug and play setup. However,
since I’m already using PHP to generate my page layout, the hassle of
combining perl and php components may be too much.

www.dagnall.net gets a facelift.

Posted on February 1st, 2004 in by jud || No Comment

Unfortunately the old design, with all the graphics, was very slow and
difficult to maintain. The new site is better organized, the navigation has
been fixed, and it’s easy for me to add new content.

I’m also moving towards a 100% CSS based site, which will make future
enhancements much easier.

However, most of the old links should work.

Please let me know what you think.