Jonas Stawski

Everything .NET and More

New Server, New Blog

The previous server I had was getting too small for the payload so I decided to get a dedicated server with much more horsepower. One of the things that was making my old server slow was Community Server (CS). Don't get me wrong Community Server is a great tool, but was too much for hosting one blog only. So I decided to use SubText instead.

New Look

One of the things I've been meaning to do for a while was change the look and feel of my blog and now with this huge change of new server and new blog engine it was the perfect excuse to also change the look. I have been following the Go Green initiative for a while now so I decided to use a nice green theme. One of the things I was looking for was for a theme that expanded 100% of the width, that looked nice, and that was easy to read. The current theme had it all.


Please note that there is a small menu on the top, which is not very visible and I might change later on, where you can personalize the look based on your needs. For example you can change the layout to "Jello" (Min 770px / Max 1200px), "Fluid" (100%), "Fixed" (760px). You can also change the font size to Medium, large, or X-Large and lastly, but not least you can place the menu on the right (default) or the left.













The Move

The migration from CS 2007.1 to SubText 1.9.5b was not as smooth as I wanted to be, but it was not bad at all. Both engines conform to BlogML standards. CS 2007 doesn't have the support for BlogML right out of the box, but you can use Keyvan Nayyeri's, a CS MVP and Architect and Team Lead of the BlogML project, CS BlogML Converter. SubText 1.9.5b has support for BlogML right out of the box by loging into the admin site and going to the import/export section.

I installed the BlogML converter for CS 2007 and when I was exporting the content of my blog I was getting a Page Cannot be Displayed in Internet Explorer and something about a Malformed XML in FireFox. I tried to change the code of the converter to write the XML to a file in the web server instead of writing it to the response and found out that the XML file was blank. I re read the readme.txt file 20 times and figured out that the problem was that all the posts were written by my user who is an admin, but that user was not the owner of the blog. To tell you the truth it was not very intuitive. You have to go to the Administration tab and view all blogs. Select the blog you want to modify and in the Owner field you have to enter the username of the user who wrote all the posts. The weird part is that field is optional and CS doesn't check for a valid username. Since I never knew what it was I had my name "Jonas Stawski" in there. Anyway, I changed my name with my username, ran the export again and all worked perfectly.

Now I had a BlogML file (XML) I uploaded the file to the web server, used RDC to connect to the web server, browsed the blog locally and imported the file. I did all this because the file was too big and didn't want to have to deal with other possible issues. Please note that this is not necessary as you can import the file from your local PC.

Of course the import was blowing up with an Illegal Character exception which I discovered was that I had JavaScript in the content of my posts (SubText doesn't allow it). I got rid of all the JS and was able to import correctly.

I also tried to set Gmail as my MailProvider, but I was unable to do so because the connection needed to be secured and SubText was not prepared for that. Like the forum posts mentions I had to change the source code and recompile it.

The last thing I needed to do was set up Windows Live Writer (WLW) with SubText so a simple search yield me to this post. I just discovered that you can't add categories from within WLW because SubText doesn't contain that functionality within the MetWeblog. New feature request anyone?

The Reward

I am very happy with SubText so far. It is very intuitive, straightforward, and easy to use. I can find things within seconds, while with CS I had to spend anywhere from 5 minutes to hours when I wanted to set something up. Don't get me wrong I don't think CS is a bad product, as a matter of fact it is a great product and that is why companies like Microsoft use it for their blogs, but I just think it was my fault for picking the wrong tool for the job. All I needed was a single blog and nothing else.

So hopefully you guys are also rewarded with a nicer and more readable look, a faster blog engine, and an even faster server.

Stay tune for my next post on how to use with SubText.

Happy Reading!

Comments (1) -

Hey Now Jonas,
Looks good. It's fun to make adjustments on the server end & you learn a lot by doing it. The end results looks really good & functional with the post categories & archives.
Thx 4 the info,


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