The blog will be down for maintenance some amount of time Wednesday evening. IF all goes well, we won’t have to do it more than once, for an hour or two.
This is the first of a series of renovations designed to fix stuff under the hood.
Step one is to move the blog to a different directory. That’s what’s due to happen Wednesday night. If all goes well everything will look the same after it’s done.
Step two is to alter the URL structure to something more standard in the hopes that various caching and mirroring things will stop being so temperamental. With of course some auto-forwarding of the old structure so links (we hope) don’t break
Step three is try to figure out what is the best combination of cloudflare (provided free by my hosting company), Amazon S3 (not free, but so far just costing peanuts for the low level of usage I have), and WP Super-Cache (free, but ornery) to serve up the blog. That could get ugly.
When it’s all over, things should look much the same, just work better.
Update: That didn’t work. We’ll have to try again.
For reasons unknown to me, the blog is sometimes showing Pentagon Whitewash Watch (posted Dec. 24, 2011) as the lead item.
I’m working on it….
Today’s fad in citation counts was set off by The Volokh Conspiracy » 790 Westlaw Documents Citing the Blog, which celebrates what it sounds like (database: TP-ALL). I know it’s a trend because Prawfsblog touts its 237 in TP-All and two is a trend in journalism, so it ought to do for blogs.
I figured what the heck, let’s look at discourse.net. I predicted to myself that I would find three citations to “discourse.net” in TP-ALL. Whoa! 100? How did that happen. But wait, it’s a mirage: 86 of them are to my article Habermas@discourse.net: Toward a Critical Theory of Cyberspace. So those don’t count. Even so, 14 >> 3, so I think I’m happy.
The site has been down for most of the day, and is still unreachable from some parts of the Internet as I wait for the latest DNS change to propagate.
Suffice it to say that I’ve relearned the value of the old programmer’s adage: never change more than one thing at a time.
I changed two.
An outfit calling itself “the world’s premier online directory of education” has sent me an email announcing that I am on their list of “the most influential Law professors on Twitter”.
(Twitter tells me I have more than 900 followers. Is that good?)
I’ve just made a big change to the blog’s configuration. In theory this should not be noticeable to anyone (except that the blog will be down less frequently).
If, however, you notice anything different — faster or slower response time, for example — please post a comment letting me know.
For those who may care, what I’ve done is switched from PHP 5.2x with fastCGI to plain vanilla PHP 5.3. Supposedly using fastCGI speeds up WordPress, allowing more pages to be served at once, but I have come to think at least on a Dreamhost VPS it may be the source of random episodes of the server running out of memory. My plan is to run without it for a few days, and then start setting my cache back to more aggressive settings than the very limited ones now in use.
President Obama is coming here today. I believe I may have scored a press pass (in my capacity as a local political blogger) to go see him — the email from the White House press office was oddly ambiguous as to whether I actually will get credentials when I turn up and show my ID. Maybe my file is too thick and takes time to read. I will report on his talk if I get in. Maybe even live, if the wifi is able to handle the strain.
The law school’s press office tells me it’s going to be standing room only, in the sense that there won’t be chairs, which is why they didn’t invite faculty. I guess someone somewhere in the University figures we old geezers are not up to it. I was not aware that most of the chairs in what we now are calling the “BankUnited Center Fieldhouse” (it was the “Convocation Center” last time I went in there) were removable. Maybe they just mean we’ll be in some sort of mosh pit in the floor area?
Then again, maybe the press gets chairs. Could be tough to type on my laptop standing up. I might be reduced to phone tweets. That could be comic. (My Twitter handle is @mfroomkin. My brother, the full-time reporter, grabbed @froomkin.)
Whatever we are calling the place this week, I have to walk over there very far in advance of the alleged 2:30 start. If I get in, do I interview my fellow reporters, or bring some work to do?