March On

Well, it’s the end of March, which was the deadline that I gave myself for getting version Six.0 of this site all put together and ready for public consumption. The last major chunk of work that needed to be taken care of was importing the 200-plus remaining posts from 2002. This was probably more difficult than it needed to be.

Below: FileMaker Pro’s elegance and power hard at work: this database, which I set up in about fifteen minutes, saved me hours in manual typing and editing by allowing me to add tag information, write quick excerpts and re-order fields in the final output.

For some reason, my Blogger account has been all screwed up for months, and requests for help that I posted to their help boards yielded no answers. So, rather than being able to export the Blogger data cleanly as per Movable Type’s instructions, I was forced to massage the text by hand using the powerful search and replace function in BBEdit.

This was a painstaking process, but it was kind of a fun to get my head around the various text patterns that my previous writing and blogging code had taken, and it even taught me a little about using grep searches. I also recruited FileMaker Pro — an application roughly as powerful as Photoshop or Flash and yet somehow several orders more elegant to use — to help me assign tags to posts, to add excerpts, and to re-order fields to match Movable Type’s importing format. Nerdy fun.

A FileMaker Pro Database at Work

With this entry you’re reading, this site now contains all 416 posts I’ve blogged to since December 2000. Whew! This is a big win for my somewhat perverse dream of every bit of my life existing within a database. With all of it managed by Movable Type, I can now feasibly redesign with significantly greater ease than ever before. In fact, with everything I’ve been learning about CSS, I already have some plans for a version Six.5 that I hope to launch pretty soon.