Is there a book in your blog? Convert WordPress to Scrivener

I found this great post from Liz Strauss with a great idea: Look through the archives of your blog and see if there is a book in there. She suggests that if you have 200 posts, there’s probably a book. I have over 400 – maybe even two! But seriously, it’s a good idea.

I’ve just started using Scrivener, and that would be an awesome tool to pull this together. It has great features for managing chunks of text, including a corkboard for arranging them. But how to get the posts into Scrivener?

It was an interesting problem to solve and I figured it out. It brought the posts in just the way I wanted them: Separate files, with images intact.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Use the wp2epub plugin to get the posts out as an .htm file. This is a subtle feature, but the htm file comes in the .zip file that is created with the epub file.
  2. Edit the htm file to replace the <h1 class=”main”> tag at the start of each post with the same tag but with ### on its own line in front of it.
  3. Import the .htm file into Scrivener. It will come in as a web archive, and images should be intact.
  4. Use Documents->Convert->Web Archive to Text to convert the file to text within Scrivener.
  5. Export the newly created text file as RFTD, rich text in Apple’s format.
  6. Import the newly exported file, but use the Import and Split function, entering ### as the split string.
  7. You now have your posts in Scrivener, each as a separate file with images intact.

Wapple, we have a problem

I installed the impressive-looking Wapple Architect plugin to WordPress to add mobile capabilities, and found I have to register to receive a dev key to use the software. That was customer barrier #1.

Barrier number 2 came when I tried to register by following the link the plugin provided on my iPhone:


So I figured it was just a mobile thing, so I tried the desktop and was able to register. Then when I tried to use the confirmation link they sent me on the iPhone, I got the same page not found error. This time it was not just a mobile thing – my desktop gets a 500 Internal Server Error.

I guess so much for the Wapple plugin!

UPDATE #2: Hmmm…just got a Dev Key email, and the plugin now works. It’s really pretty darn complete, and well thought out.

WordPress is better than Drupal

WordPress is better than Drupal. At least for this blog.

Back in May I made the switch to Drupal. It has a lot of power, I felt more comfortable developing for it, and I was just sure I could leverage this power to huge benefit.

Instead I ended up with a very feature laden site that was hard to maintain. Drupal does have a ton of power and flexibility, but it comes at a price.

Drupal will tempt you. At first you’ll be giddy with the possibilities. However once you’ve started building things you’ll find you have a mountain of modules. Updates have gone from a quaintly archaic process of copying a few files to spending more than an hour documenting, disabling, checking, copying, enabling, and checking again. Even updating a module requires downloading, copying, taking the site offline to run database updates. After appropriate backups of course.

If you don’t mind learning some more shell commands, you can automate things with DRUSH, and it’s various add-ons. At this point you’ve nearly learned a new profession however.

My advice is if you’re a blogger who doesn’t want site maintenance as a hobby, there’s no choice. Use WordPress.

Switching to Drupal, I think.

I think I’m going to switch this blog from WordPress to Drupal.

I’ve got nothing against WordPress. It’s been a solid product since I first started using and really it’s only gotten better. In fact, if WP wasn’t so good, the title wouldn’t be “Swtiching to Drupal” it would be “Switched to Drupal.”

The reason I’m thinking about moving to Drupal is because I’ve done some other projects in it – a product development management system, and a market intelligence database – that got me into using it, and I enjoy it. It’s more versatile and flexible than WP, albeit at the expense of some learning curve. Last, with several sites to maintain, it would be nice to manage groups of them under a single code base, and that’s a bit easier under Drupal.

One thing in WP’s favor though is the ease of upgrading. In WP I basically push a button after doing some backups. In Drupal I have to make backups, take sites off-line, deactivate modules, copy the new files over, recopy any custom files I’ve created, reactivate modules, test, test, test and then put the sites back online again. Some of this can be automated, but some can’t and I’m trying to decide how crazy it’s going to make me to live with the system like this. Everything I’ve done previously was either very closed or behind a firewall, so spammers weren’t really an issue. Not so for a typical blog, so upgrades will be pretty mandatory.

Anyone have any experience to share?