Thursday, 19 July 2012

Moving Substance Website to Blogger

It has been several years, since my substance.org.lv website has become outdated and I've been looking for alternative platform to move it to.

There were several attempts to find some suitable platform. The most recent candidate was the Google Blogger, formerly, BlogSpot. At first I set up my own blog there. After few months of evaluating it, I found that it provides basically everything I was looking for.

Last week I noticed, that they now allow disabling the Blogger's navigation bar at the top of a page, which was the last turn-off for me, so I took another try at moving the 85 posts and 57 comments collected through the years there.

I quickly discovered that there is a Java API for accessing Blogger's data, and after little hacking it was possible to actually add posts and comments programmatically, they all shared the same author, though. Not a problem with posts, as they are all mine anyways, but commentaries would need to be fixed up.

It took me one evening to put together small migration code, embedded in the old Substance website itself, that would transfer all the data.

I stumbled upon a problem, that Blogger only allows 50 posts per day, after which it starts asking for captcha, so I had to do migration in a couple of chunks. Also all the posts needed to be fixed up a little bit manually, as they contained some unnecessary html tags.

As expected, the commentary authors could be changed by exporting blog to Bloggers Atom format, carefully editing the xml and importing it all back.

In the end, it took about a week to do all the migration, without even touching it on weekend.

New website is located at www.substance.org.lv, as Google does not really support naked domains.

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