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My big problem with WordPress May 13, 2006

Posted by curtmonash in Uncategorized.

Every piece of software has its glitches, but on the whole WordPress is a great system. Even so, there's one single reason that I look forward eagerly to the day I muster up the energy to port most or all of my sites away from WordPress: Single-parent category hierarchies.

I write a lot, and I don't really expect very many people to read my output in its entirety. Rather, I think they'd prefer to choose to take feeds in particular subject areas, hopefully broad ones.

Organizing my posts into such categories is really hard with a strictly hierarchical ontology. I need the multiple-parent ontology of Drupal.

Unfortunately, there's a lot else that seems to be missing or over-hard in Drupal. And it doesn't help that every stupid technical non-feature of the Computerworld blogs, when I blogged there, was blamed by the developers on "Drupal," deservedly or not.

I can’t make Pages work May 13, 2006

Posted by curtmonash in Uncategorized.
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On my main blogs, I can't create a Page. I apparently create one, but the URL doesn't work, even in the preview panel.

I can do it here, but not in those. So I imagine it has something to do with the theme, Sharepoint-like. I distinctly recall having this problem even before I ever hacked around with any customization of the theme.

Akismet lag May 13, 2006

Posted by curtmonash in Uncategorized.
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I had a case today in which Akismet let through several copies of the same spam, and blocked several other copies of the same spam on the same blog.

My guess (and I should have confirmed this by looking carefully at any available timestamps) is that it takes time to recognize a particular spam that's being sent out arouind the world, and I had the misfortune to be one of the "early adopters".

EDIT:  Nope.  Occasional copies of the same spam continue to get through, on the same blog and others.  Weird … 

A workaround that helps identify future spam May 7, 2006

Posted by curtmonash in Uncategorized.
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In a previous post I complained that if Akisment and my other filters let a bunch of spam comments through, I could mass delete them, but I couldn't mass-identify them as spam for Akismet's edification. (Uh, I'm assuming that I recall correctly that Akismet depends on being trained …)

Well, I've found a workaround that doesn't take too many steps.

1. Notice a common word to a set of spam that got through (there will usually be one; today's example was "vimax")

2. Add the word to the list of keywords triggering comment moderation in Options/Discussion. Update options. Then select the choice to refilter comments.

3. Move the word from the moderation list to the blacklist list. Update options again.

4. Go to Manage/Comments and classify all the newly moderated items as spam.

There are a few more clicks than I indicated above, but the whole process isn't too terrible. It would be a lot easier just to have a "Mark as spam" option separate from the "Delete" option in mass comment editing, of course, but this is something of a workaround.

54 more spam caught by Akismet May 4, 2006

Posted by curtmonash in Uncategorized.
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On DBMS2.com. That 150 comment limit for review really needs a workaround.

But accuracy was 100%.

Of course, there only were about three different spams in the bunch; the rest was a lot of repetition.

I hope the technology switch to Akismet isn't somehow making spammers MORE likely to hit me.  It's probably just coincidence; I don't have a clear mechanism in mind as to how the connection would work.

Early Akismet results May 3, 2006

Posted by curtmonash in Uncategorized.
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Over the past few days, Akismet caught 128 pieces of alleged comment spam on monashreport.com. One was a false positive — a trackback from my own blog, which is odd. The rest were real, generally lots of copies of the same thing.

It also let 7 copies of one spam through, but it's tough to fault it for that. It was a spam without a "call to action." Just the word "redrum" (read that backwards) a LOT. Maybe the bot posting it came from somebody unhappy that other spam was stopped? Who knows … Ironically, the post hit was my latest, which is one about spam. 🙂

On DBMS2.com, the figure is 187 alleged spam caught. The first 150 were indeed spam. I DON'T KNOW WHETHER THE OTHERS WERE, however, and to delete them blind.

The 150 item limit on reviewing spam — i.e., the lack of a "next page" — REALLY needs to be fixed.