TITLE: Meta-Blog AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: September 23, 2004 5:09 PM DESC: some technical notes on comments, categories, and feeds ----- BODY: A few items about the blog itself... Comments A few folks have asked why Knowing and Doing doesn't support comments. I've been thinking about adding comments since July. Several blogs I read don't support comments, and a few that have supported comments in the past are disabling them. I have two reasons. One is comment spam. Many bloggers (e.g., Michael Nielsen) find that keeping their comment sections neat and tidy is difficult in these days of spambots. I don't have time to monitor comments and eliminate the ones that waste space or (worse) offend readers. The second comes down to another form of laziness. I'm using NanoBlogger to power my blog, and adding comments requires a small but non-trivial amount of work. I tried it once, couldn't get it to work right away, and so dropped the idea for a while. Then school happened, and I've just been too busy to get back to it. To a certain part of the blogging community, not supporting comments is a huge faux pas. To these folks, comments are an essential part of the blogging experience. I hope that I have not lost many potential readers for this reason, but it's a risk I have to take until I have more time to mess with the software and monitor the comments. On the other hand, I've always thought the prospect of seeing "Comments(0)" at the bottom of every entry would be rather depressing, so maybe this is a case of "what you don't know can't hurt you". :-) The fact that I receive occasional responses lets me know that someone is reading. (And I even had my first spotted at reference today!) Categories I recently changed the name of the Elementary Patterns category to just plain Patterns. I realized that all of my patterns posts thus far had been more general, and I didn't want to mislead folks. I expect that Elementary Patterns will return as a category some day soon, when I have more material specific to that issue to write on. Category Feeds I wish I had them. According to the doc, NanoBlogger supports them, and I have the config flag set to 'on', but they don't seem to be there. One of these days, I'll fix it. Personal Blogging So far, my blog has been almost exclusively about matters of professional interest, with one broad exception: Running. I don't expect that I'll begin blogging in a confessional or stream-of-consciousness mode any time soon, because those sorts of posts can go off course into self-indulgence pretty quick, and I don't trust myself. I'll keep posting on running because (1) some folks have expressed interest, (2) sometimes those posts interact with professional threads, such as agile software development, and (3) I like it. Hey, even I can indulge myself some of the time. That said, I must admit that when I blog on running, it almost feels like a day off. There's a lot less pressure on me to get those posts "right". Wrap-Up That's all for now. I am surprised that I've been able to keep up a steady pace blogging after the academic year started. It takes time, and with two new preps plus all of my regular duties, time isn't exactly in surplus. But I enjoy the sort of thinking I have to do when I write for a public audience, and so I've made time. But pretty soon I have to grade some assignments, or the students will revolt. And I do have some other writing to do... so don't be surprised to see some of that material show up here! -----