So, I fully migrated to a self-hosted WordPress blog from my LiveJournal. In the process, I reconfigured WordPress to accommodate the features that I had on LJ.

Replication my LiveJournal in WordPress
Migrating from LJ to WP
Crossposting back into LJ

And that is where we are today. It works to my satisfaction, it’s self-hosted, and it crossposts the entries as if they were written on LJ instead on WordPress.

I’ve been following along with the #rpgaday questions, and linking the posts in my ‘gaming’ Twitter account. At work, I clicked on the link in that post to check something, and it opened in a browser without an ad blocker and where I am not logged in on LiveJournal.
What I saw, shocked me: advertisements and more than 50 trackers (as determined by Ghostery) on the single page! And mind you: I have a permanent account. But the way things are, I can’t in good conscience link to an entry on my LJ because of this — I don’t wish to inflict this on my visitors.

I decided I would migrate to a WordPress installation on my own domain — but I wanted to take ‘all’ of my content with me, to keep a continuous stream of my posts in a single place. In order to do that, I used ljdump to download all my entries in an XML format, and then used a Python script to transform those XMLs into a PHP file that programatically creates the entries by using WordPress functions. User icon, mood and music were set as ‘meta fields’, and I’ve created my own child theme to display that information in the entry. Now I have something that’s pretty close to LJ — except now I have full control over it!

I’ll be cross-posting (and if everything goes well, then this entry will be the first to be cross-posted), so you do not have to adjust your settings to keep reading my entries. Still, I’m kind of sad that it had to come to this, after 14 years.

Everybody knows it now: Putin and his cronies cheated in the Russian election. Now that particular cat is out of the bag, I hope his supporters stop DDoS’ing LJ so that we can get on with our lives — no reason to try to suppress this news coming out anyway.

LJ has introduced games some time ago. To me, they looked like Farmville clones, but then again I never played that either (because I’m not on Facebook).

Has anyone played these games? Are they worthwhile, or are they merely an endless grinding deathmarch with absolute time requirements?

You can say about LJ what you want — but when a new feature (such as the cross-posting of comments to Facebook and Twitter) gets rolled out and there’s a shitstorm of dissent, they fix it. I’m still happy with my Permanent Account.

LiveJournalversary

Today is my LiveJournalversary — my first entry was seven years ago, just after I bought an invite code (which were still de rigeur those days).

LJ has been used as the vector for a cross-site scripting attack through embedded media. The hack was only effective for two hours, and there’s no danger of computers being infected through this.

Read all about it here, and see if you were affected.

Why this matters: if you use a hotmail or other free webmail account as your LJ mail account, and the mail-account has been cleaned up because of inactivity, a smart attacker could re-enable the account and take control of your Journal through the ‘mail me my new password’-functionality.
Otherwise, the worst that could happen is an increase in spam.

Wanna escape?

When LiveJournal Inc. laid off ten people recently, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth — once again, the End of LJ was imminent! (Just like it was when it was bought by 6A and SUP and when ‘Strikethrough’ happened…)

Of course you need to keep a backed-up copy of your Journal somewhere (just because!), but if you feel trapped at LJ, you can now use Google’s Blog Converter to migrate from one blog-system to the other!

The two main open source LJ clients on Linux are LogJam and Drivel. Both use GTK, which means they have a graphical user interface. And both are dead.

LogJam’s latest release was three years ago (minus two weeks). Drivel’s latest release was two and a half years ago. Both exhibit almost no activity in their source repositories after that time. They’re not actively maintained, and no-one took up the baton after the project originator lost interest. For LogJam, there’s still a community where people post patches, but if you want your copy all patched up, you’ll have to manually apply all the patches yourself — there’s no way for new or improved code to flow back into the source repository. For Drivel, there’s not even that.

Which means the ‘state of the art’ for LJ clients on Linux is behind the times, so to say. And I have some things I want in an LJ client that neither of those does. Sure, I added tag support to the code of the stable release of Drivel (which I got 0 reactions on, so far), but there’s more I want to do. But if I try to resurrect Drivel, I’ll be facing an uphill battle, because there is no current maintainer who will vouch for the quality of my code, and it’s not like I’m already an active Gnome contributor. And I’d inherit a huge buglist which also includes things for Blogger and WordPress blogs — for which I have no interest.

I could, of course, create a fork of Drivel: remove all the non-LJ stuff and continue on with that. I would inherit some bugs that I would need to fix, some of which I don’t even know how to parse the bug description… The advantage would be that there’s already lots of code available.
Alternatively, I could take only part of the code, and use that. But the coding quality of Drivel (which I have seen the most of) is just not very good. To add tag support for LiveJournal, I had to also modify a certain function call in all the other blogging protocols. There’s no clean API implemented to communicate with LJ, so even a small change in the interface works through to the deepest code levels. Let’s just say that that’s not what I learned in my programming classes — and it makes me less than enthusiastic to run with that code. I would also inherit some ‘bugs’ that Drivel uses the wrong version of a certain library and stuff like that. I’d have to fix that too.

Still alternatively, I could create my own project. First implement a clean and well-documented module (in Python, of course) to communicate with LJ and Scrapbook. Then build a GTK client on top of that… But that would mean a lot of work — work that has already been done in the other clients…

Changes to LJ

If you’re not keeping up with lj_biz, you’re missing out.

Specifically, you are missing out on the announcement that SixApart (parent company to LJ) has a new CEO. Exit barakb25.

Also, you would have missed out on the news that LJ is now using some sort of logging code. The logs will be mined for suggestions on how to improve the design of the site. But a dilligent scrutiniser will probably be able to correlate the trace of a certain logging cookie to your account (if you are selected to participate — only about 5% of users will be assigned a logging cookie).
LJ has provided a way to opt out of the logging thing. The post has details on how to do that.