Chris Norton

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I have just finished upgrading the site to use the latest version of WordPress. Overall it was a pretty fast and painless upgrade. The new version most obviously (to me) brings a redesigned admin area and some extra convenience was managing a blog. A good upgrade and well worth the 5 minutes it took to install!

Well, I finally got off my arse and fixed the admin area for my blog. For the last couple weeks I haven’t been able to access it because of some interesting errors telling me that Allowed memory size of 8388608 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 19456 bytes) … which I thought was odd seeing as I hadn’t changed anything recently and the fact that it failed to allocate 0.2% of the total available and complained of running out of memory. It turned out that my web host had (finally) upgraded to PHP 5.2 which doesn’t actually explain the errors but it makes me feel better than things randomly stopping working.

So I upped the memory limit for PHP to 16Mb and all is now well. I hope.

I’ve been running version 2.3 of WordPress for a couple weeks now and I’m getting more accustomed to using tags with my posts. One thing that struck me about the default handling of tags is that, while free form, it’s a bit unwieldy for long term use. For example, you have to remember what you named various tags (“did I use web or internet?”). The Simple Tags plugin gets rid of most of the problems associated with tagging and makes it an absolute joy to use – I’ve been using for editing my posts for a few days now and I love it.

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I have just finished upgrading this blog to WordPress 2.3. As of now I have only completed the actual migration – I have yet to start taking advantage of any of the new features of version 2.3 (such as tags) so expect those to be slowly rolled out this week.

I have also started work on a completely revised theme for the site which I hope to get finished in the next week or so. I’m using The Morning After as a base and making some pretty heavy customisations as well as a bunch of cosmetic changes. The interesting thing is that many aspects of the theme are a step backwards for me in some ways, such as the CSS being far more complex than it needs to be and the semantics of the markup being all out of wack. Still, it’s a good base visually and structurally.

I added a very simple mod today that you might have noticed – there is now some text added dynamically to the search box that should give a better indication as to what that area is for.

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I have added in a modified version of Alex King’s Friendly Search URLs. What this basically does is add a rewrite rule and some JavaScript that changes http://www.chnorton.com.au/?s=friendly%20search into http://www.chnorton.com.au/search/friendly+search, which I think everyone can agree is much nicer (but both will work). It’s also easy enough to remember that you can type it into the address bar of a browser directly.

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