I think most people are aware of the discussion group over at SmartGroups, where people talk about Pepys-related topics that don’t directly fit in to the daily annotations or any of the other sections of the site. I’ve now decided to start a new social group where anything goes.
After another batch of spam hit the annotations last night I’ve installed the new SpamLookup filter which, along with the existing MT-Blacklist will hopefully reduce the floods of spam about cruises and more dubious products to a few drops.
As promised, the server is moving, and I am about to switch off the ability to post annotations (it may have happened by the time you read this). This makes it easier for me to transfer the database without losing anyone’s contributions. The site should be back to normal in a matter of hours, although it’s possible these things can take a day or two. Thanks for your patience!
Last night a whole week of the diary appeared on the site… Apoologies if this has spoiled your enjoyment in any way. I updated Movable Type (the software used to run this site) but forgot to re-implement the customisation that copes with the automated posting of 343 year old diary entries. So it posted everything! I’ll try and remember this moment next time I upgrade…
I mentioned that I would be upgrading this site’s software so that a simple log-in would be required before posting annotations. This would hopefully help cut down on the large amount of spam appearing in annotations. Unfortunately, the software I was upgrading (Movable Type 3) seems to need a bit more work… rather than try and work round a few problems I’m going to hold off and wait for official fixes. I’ll post another message here whenever I next plan to do this. (If you’re really interested in the problems, there’s more here.)
On Monday I will be upgrading the software used to run the site, which will hopefully make it possible to stop the spam links to porn sites appearing in annotations (another few hundred appeared last night). Hopefully all will go smoothly, but this is an advanced warning that if you notice something broken on Monday, I’m probably already trying to fix it!
If you’ve been using the site over the past week you’re lucky if you’ve missed all the spam comments flooding the annotations. If the past four days are anything to go by we can expect around 500 of these to appear every night, even with the current safeguards in place. (For what it’s worth, I’m getting a similar number of spams appearing on my personal website.)
There were a couple of problems on the site over the past few days: a few error messages appearing and 18th April 1661 failed to appear. Unfortunately web server upgrades coincided with me being on holiday, so I wasn’t aware there was a problem until now.
It’s been a while and we’re probably due for a reminder about the content of annotations. There is a set of guidelines which you should be aware of before posting annotations, although I hope no one finds them so daunting as to be off-putting!
If you read Pepys’ Diary (or this recent news weblog) using an RSS reader, then you should note that the URLs of the feeds have changed. The new locations are all linked to from the other formats page. The old URLs should continue to work, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they break at some point over the next few years…
Those of you who have explored the Background Info section will have found the lists of ‘TrackBack’ links for each item; kind of an index that lists when each item has been mentioned in the diary. (See also this for how the lists are generated, and this for an attempt at explaining TrackBack.)
Many people have had problems accessing the site over the Christmas period. The web server was moved to a new (and temporary) location just before Christmas but it appears that many ISPs were very slow to update their DNS records, which point www.pepysdiary.com to the computer serving its pages. Anyone using those ISPs were therefore unable to reach the site, because their computers couldn’t find the new server.
The server Pepys’ Diary is hosted on may be moved and/or otherwise reconfigured at some point in the next week or two. If so, the site won’t be available for a short time — possibly several hours, hopefully no longer. If there’s any further news while the site is down, I’ll post it to the discussion list, as that’s hosted at SmartGroups.
As an update to the previous item… I’ve made a change that will hopefully stop at least some of the “spam” appearing amongst annotations. For a while… Hopefully I haven’t broken anything else, but let me know if you notice anything has stopped working!
I had a few emails recently about annotations posted where the users’ names linked to porn sites. These are “comment spam” and are an increasing problem on weblogs. I generally delete them when I check through all the annotations every few days, but this time they were apparently more noticeable!
I’ve noticed recently that annotations seem to be drifting “off-topic” quite frequently. This can be interesting and enlightening but please do be aware that annotations should enhance the particular diary entry, not just now but also in many years time. The annotations about pasties and MAs have tended to stray rather off the beaten track, as have some of the parallels between diary events and today’s politics.
One of the first links on the front page of this site is to the Story so far page. This is intended to be a brief introduction to Pepys and his world, for anyone who’s just joining us as we progress through the diary. The lower third of the page is supposed to be a summary of what’s happened since the diary began but, as you can tell, it’s rather out of date.