Fan Mail

Last week, Josh Fletcher wrote to me about the site, with a couple of queries. Since there may be more people than just him who’d benefit from hearing my response, I thought that I’d answer here.

Hi Neil,

My name is Josh. I happened across your site today while browsing for articles on changing XHTML mime types using PHP. I think your article covered the topic excellently.

I also really like your website. You have done a great job with it, though I can see you have just recently started it. Could I suggest perhaps adding an RSS feed in the future?

I would also like to know what you use to power your blog. Did you write PHP code for it, or use Movable Type or something similar?

Anywho, just wanted to tell you that you’ve done a good job with your site and well done.


Josh Fletcher

Thanks for the email Josh - it’s always nice to hear about the stuff I’ve written actually being useful to people. If it’s okay with you, I’ll answer your second question first, and your first second. Things will make more sense that way.

The blog is powered by LiveJournal, possibly one of the lesser known journalling websites. The reason that I chose to use LiveJournal was simple - I’d already been using it for 2 years for my own personal journal, so it seemed like the sensible choice for me. I was already emotionally invested in the project, and I felt that I knew my way around the styling system that it uses to make embedding a new blog into this site fairly easy.

Unfortunately, things were a little harder to get embedded than I’d hoped, as LJ doesn’t seem to a very nice interface for embedding individual journal entries into a site. Still, I managed to get it done. There were hurdles along the way with some of the automatic html generation that LJ creates whether you want it to or not, and various other bits and pieces, but the embedding was finally finished a couple of months ago. Some extra PHP manipulation was needed at this end as well, as the LJ end though. All in all, I wouldn’t advise using LJ as the power behind your embedded blog unless you already have a fair bit of experience with it.

However, there are advantages to using the LJ system - the biggest in this case being the automatic RSS and Atom feeds that it creates for you. Unfortunately, these do point to the versions of your posts, which isn’t quite what you want. So, I just need to write a little conversion programme that will change any LJ URLs to point to the relevant place on instead, and then I’ll add a nice link to the new feeds on here.

In the mean time, you can friend the LiveJournal version of the blog if you’re a Livejournal member.

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about wwm is a resource for web developers created by Neil Crosby, a web developer who lives and works in London, England. More about the site.

Neil Crosby now blogs at The Code Train and also runs, The Ten Word Review and Everything is Rubbish.