As I said earlier today on both Twitter and Facebook, I’ve done just about everything I can to get this site going again. Unfortunately, this doesn’t include getting the comment system to actually work. And the kludges I’ve added to Making Light’s ancient Movable Type templates in order to prod the site back to life aren’t really sustainable in the long (or even medium) run.
We need someone with real technical chops who can migrate Making Light from Movable Type 4.34 to (probably) WordPress for us. The full archive, posts, images, comments, the front page, the four sideblogs, and so forth. Ideally this would include replicating the “look” of the current site as closely as possible. We know that a job like this will entail a fair amount of skill and handwork and we’re prepared to pay professional rates.
Google shows us a number of individuals and firms that offer this kind of service, but before we make a decision, we’d like to hear any specific recommendations that anyone reading this might have. Recommendations of particular people or firms, that is, not suggestions that entail us becoming experts at PHP or server config files. My email address is, as ever, pnh at panix dot com.
The door creaks softly as I push it wide.
It’s not complaining, really, just surprised
That anyone would come. I, mesmerized,
Breathe deeply, lift my chin, and step inside.
The house is still ineffably itself.
The places where we talked, or laughed, or wept,
Abide (albeit cobwebbed and unswept).
And written there atop the mantle-shelf:
Say what you mean. Bear witness. Iterate.
Ah. This is why I came. It’s getting dark.
It’s time to light the world up with this spark.
To shine. To make some light. Illuminate.
For what has been, and what is yet to come,
Again the door is open. Welcome home.
Today, Patrick surprised no one more than himself by resurrecting the Making Light front page, archives, and CSS. He was deep in it for 6+ hours. Comments worked for a while, then stopped, which is not terribly surprising; but old ML is readable.
If you’re having trouble loading something you know is here/there, amend your link so that it ends in “/index.html”.
Pass it on. Hello hello hello.
We’re working on bringing this place back. We miss the fluorosphere, and many of its regulars have emphatically said the same to us.
For most of the last couple of years Making Light has existed in a dimly lit half-life. The CSS didn’t load, and the front page didn’t load, but if you happened to know the specific URL of a particular old post, you could view a text-only version of it and its comments. Occasionally someone commented — most recently, Tom Whitmore on 28 Dec 2021. Making Light’s problems are probably due to the many incompatibilities between a 14-year-old version of Movable Type and the default configurations of a modern web server, but not being that technical, I was reluctant to personally get into water that deep.
Right now I’m working on fixing some of the big obvious stuff. The right-hand sidebar is a historical museum; we’ll deal with that eventually. Today I figured out how to fix the “include” statements on our front-page template, thus bringing back to life the sideblog links, the archive links, and the commonplaces. The type-size selector still doesn’t work. And God only knows what bugs lurk in the comment system or the RSS feed. Ultimately, the real solution is almost certainly going to include hiring a technically-competent person or persons to move the whole thing into a modern CMS, like WordPress or something similar. Ideally this will include such distinctively Making Light-ish features as the long-broken and much-missed “View All By.”
Currently unsolved: None of our old site URLs work, including the monthly archives, the individual archives, and the root URL of “nielsenhayden.com/makinglight”, unless you append “/index.html”. Yes, we’ve tried the solution you’re about to suggest. The struggle continues.
And while all this renovation is going on, we’re thinking of starting a fluorospheric Discord…