Journal is back to normal!

Or at least at the perigee of its eccentric orbit around normalcy, in any event.

The comments have been restored, and the zillions of messages that got inadvertently splattered all over everyone’s friends page have been removed. Thanks to a considerable effort on the part of LJ support, the blog is more or less back where it was.

Here’s the status of the move to WordPress:

– The WordPress importer absolutely does not work, full stop. It will import posts, but it will not import comments correctly; roughly one in every 20 comments is imported to the wrong post. Since I have about 22,000 comments, that makes quite a mess of things.
– I have found a Perl script which exports an entire LiveJournal into a WordPress backup file. However, it’s quite buggy and finicky. Among other things, it removes formatting from posts which contain lj-cut tags.
– The blog is up and running in its new home, but about 2/3 of the posts have bad formatting. I am currently debating which would take less time–going through and reformatting every post by hand, or attempting to fix the bugs in the Perl export script. Right now, “hitting myself in the face with a hammer” sounds better than either one.

I have a lengthy list of posts I want to make, and I’m still stalled on working on any of them. Between this head cold and the blog getting scrambled, it’s been a frustrating few weeks.

Trying to move…

I’ve been a LiveJournal paid member since 2001, and now I think the time has come to move my blog.

I’ve been working on this project behind the scenes for several weeks, which is why I haven’t been posting lately. My goal is to move to a self-hosted blog, probably running WordPress, and to have posts over there automatically be crossposted here (for those of you who still use LiveJournal).

In theory, that would make the move seamless. The entire blog would be on and also here at LiveJournal, and comments would be synced so that people could comment here or there.

In practice, it’s turning out to be a problem. The LiveJournal WordPress importer is buggy; when you move a large blog like mine, it tends to import comments attached to the wrong posts. There seems to be a subtle bug in the regex that parses the LiveJournal XML feed, and I suck at regex, so I can’t fix their bug myself.

So for now I will continue to blog here, while I work on getting the blog copied over there.

Why am I moving?

LiveJournal has, increasingly, been creating problems for me. They have a really difficult time getting the spam problem under control (for a while, I was averaging more than two hundred spam comments per day, though that has slowed). Paid accounts are expensive for what you get. And worse, there is now some question about what it even means to have a “paid account” any more–the devs are apparently moving to a model where the friends feed is radically different and the notion of “paid accounts” will give way to a model where users pay for specific features of LiveJournal.

So, I think it’s time to move. I’ve allowed my paid account to expire, and I’ll keep you posted on what happens as I sort out how to transplant eleven and a half years’ worth of blogging to a new home.