Technology Weblogging

Survival guide to LAMP: who says you gotta be dynamic?

This is just a quick tease not a full essay.

Want to see a static HTML page from WordPress? Take a peek. (You can see static rendering of the Atom syndication feed here. Burningbird hereProgram modified to grab all content in page and reproduce.)

I logged into the #wordpress IRC today, and the issue of static rendering of pages came up. A valid concern about dynamic systems such as WordPress, which use PHP and a database to generate content, is that sometimes this can be a burden on the system–not to mention the pages not displaying if something happens to the database.

For the most part, PHP/MySQL applications run without any problems, even with large numbers of people accessing the site. Currently the WordPress site is under load with all the sudden, new interest in this weblogging tool, not to mention being slashdotted, and it’s holding up just fine. However, if you have a page that is relatively stable and unchanging, such as a syndication feed, you might want to generate a static page just for the sake of added efficiency. In addition, things happen, and even a stable MySQL database can fail at times.

So, I played around with PHP source I found online and came up with a rendering routine that hopefully will render my main page and feeds each time I publish. Then with a little tweak or two in the .htaccess file, if something happens to my main feed or page, you’ll see the static pages instead. Or for feeds, you can have people link directly to the static feed to prevent extra burden on the system if you have a lot of subscribers.

Still playing with the code, and file permissions and PHP are an issue that deserves some in-depth writing –but I wanted to quickly point the result out, as another tease for LAMP essays for this week (writing the code is easy; writing the how-tos and documentation and creating procedure for non-techs, now that’s hard). I also wanted to mention how fun this is.

I Can’t remember the last time I had this much fun working with technology. I feel like a young, eager programmer again, ready to swig my Dew (or double strong caramel macchiatos), as I work into the wee hours of the morning, hacking line after line of code. Gone is the tired old woman who has written one too many semi-colons; burned out on bugs, tired of the latest new tech buzz, not to mention program managers who should have been drowned at birth. I have caught my second wind, if one can catch a second wind when it comes to software development.

Playing around with WordPress and the LAMP series has become a face lift for my soul. Now, if it only did breasts….

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