This site is now powered by WordPress.

It took a while but I have finally managed to convert my blog from Textpattern to WordPress. The conversion process was made easier by the import utility provided by WordPress, but a considerable amount of time and energy had to be expended  to tidy up and reformat the content.

Then there’s the usual search for a suitable WordPress theme, followed by the tweaking and tinkering to customise the look and feel of the website. While the site is still far from complete, the process has reached a stage whereby it is ready to go live.

Hence the old Textpattern driven blog has been laid to rest and with immediate effect this site is now powered by WordPress.

Testing out Windows Live Writer with Textpattern

I recently downloaded Windows Live Writer, which is still currently in beta. I was curious to know how Microsoft’s free desktop blogging application compares to w.bloggar, the popular free weblog client by Marcelo Cabral, which I have been using.

I had previously added xmlrpc extension for Textpattern, but as expected Live Writer did not come with built in support for Textpattern. However I was able to set it up to work fairly easily, thanks to this helpful post on kember.net. You will need to specify the movabletype api for it to work.

Live Writer works very much like w.bloggar in its function as a desktop blogging application but it does offer some additional features.

  • It offers native support for Windows Live Spaces.
  • It has a nifty web preview feature which allows the user to view how the post looks like using the actual blog style template, without actually having to publish the post. It is similar to the live preview feature which WordPress has but which is sorely lacking in Textpattern.
  • In web layout mode the draft post is formatted using the blog style template and live editing is possible.   

While the above features are nice to have, they are not compelling reasons to switch over to Windows Live Writer. I will have to test Live Writer for a longer period before making any decisions to adopt is as my default weblog client. Having said that I would recommend any blogger who is looking for a weblog client to at least try out this interesting application from Microsoft. To help you decide there’s a very good review of Windows Live Writer here.

Custom meta tags in Textpattern

Out of the box Textpattern does not provide the meta “description” tag for each article. Although there’s a keywords field available for each article under the “Advanced Options” link on the “write” page, the keywords tag is not included in the default template.

I wanted to implement custom meta tags such as description and keywords on an individual article basis, so I decided to do some research. It was definitely worth the while.

The information put forward by the Textpattern community was definitely sufficient enough for even a novice like me to implement.

Here’s a summary of the many informative articles and discussions which I found on the subject.

* “A tutorial by Graphic Push”:http://www.graphicpush.com/index.php?id=140
* “An item from the FAQ on custom fields”:http://textpattern.com/faq/111/how-do-i-use-custom-fields
* “meta keywords tag”:http://textpattern.net/wiki/index.php?title=Txp:meta_keywords_/
* “meta author tag”:http://textpattern.net/wiki/index.php?title=Txp:meta_author_/

Warren’s Playpen on Google Search

Google_Search_Screen_Grab

Warren’s Playpen is a website which I set up a few months ago for my son. Warren loves to scribble, so I thought I would encourage him by setting up a personal website to showcase his doodles.

Recently I tried to do a search on Google using the term “Warren Tam” and I was presently surprised to see that Warren’s Playpen was at the top of the list.

I would like to think that this is a powerful testimony to the elegant design of Textpattern which generates clean search engine friendly xhtml code.