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OMG, they killed! You bastards! //at 01:15 //by abe

from the dept.

Yeah, it happened already a while ago, but I still get angry about it, so I need to rant about it in my blog:

Yahoo!, the owner of, recently renamed the cool old to the no more cool and two bytes longer WTF? Part of’ popularity was its cool host name, why drop that? And even if a few dumbasses don’t understand the wordplay on the perfect host name, they could have offered as a second domain name which works in parallel.

But no, they dropped the good old in a way so that all old bookmarklets, bookmarks, plugins, etc. don’t work right anymore and I need to login each time I want to save a bookmark on all browsers where I once was logged in on the old site even if I’m already logged in at the new site in the same browser session. sucks.

And no, I don’t let count Gabor’s argument that people have difficulties with domains like, since many sites are well known or can be easily remembered because of their creative host or domain name:,,,,,,,, (Swiss German),,,, (German),,, etc.

No wonder, Montenegro sells many second level domains under their top level domain .me as “premium domains”.


Dear Aunt Google, //at 23:45 //by abe

from the light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel dept.

this is “Do no evil”—urchin.js isn’t.

For luck, urchin.js and friends can be easily blocked using e.g. Firefox plugins like AdBlocker or NoScript, or with filtering proxies like Privoxy. And a line like

in the dnsmasq.conf of your home router works like a charm, too.

SCNR, via Symlink


Blosxom 2.1.0 released //at 02:03 //by abe

from the Just-in-time-for-Lenny dept.

Today I had the honour to prepare and announce the first Blosxom release after exactly two years and six days.

The primary cause for the Blosxom 2.1.0 release date this week was to get our development efforts of the last two year into Debian Lenny with a nice version number (i.e. one without snapshot dates in the package version ;-). The second biggest cause was that it just was time. But Debian Freezes always give you a good kick in the ass. ;-)

Rhonda plans to prepare an updated blosxom package for Debian during the day. (Update 25-Jul-2008: Packages are available.) So if Planet Debian is broken in a few days, you know whom to blame: Me and my last minute bug fixes. ;-)

But since you seem to be able to read this, the release shouldn’t be too broken – because of course my blog already runs the very fresh Blosxom 2.1.0 release. ;-)

Thursday·01·May·2008 became even more better //at 16:07 //by abe

from the pure dept.

nion argued about the new website now using flash instead of GIFs and I responded that it’s not as bad since now also officially offers RSS feeds — without Flash.

It looks as if Scott Adams got more responses from nion type people since he divides the feedback to the new site into three groups: Those who are angry about flash and bloat (mostly techies and linuxers), those who are fine with the design and features, but angry about the slowness due to overload and those who are fine with the design and features and ignore the speed. I’m in none of these groups.

But Scott Adams valued the feedback and responded especially to the first two groups of critics with something for which he couldn’t have found a better URL:

With this pure Dilbert, nion should now be happy again. I still prefer the RSS feeds though.

Friday·18·April·2008 changed - to the better //at 13:04 //by abe

from the feeds dept.

nion argues about the new website now using flash instead of GIFs.

Well, he hasn’t looked right: offers now flash and static images. And the last ones are now much easier than ever to view or fetch, because now has RSS feeds. Ok, at the moment, the feed seems broken respectively empty, but I have the last week of Dilbert comics in my feed reader. In colour!

Additionally is opening its archive. (The link to the blog post currently broken, too.) Back to 2001 is said to be available now, the reminder is in the works

The new site worked fine yesterday but seems to have some problems today. But I expect that they will fix that soon. :-)

Noticed it btw. because the inofficial Dilbert feed from tapestry included a broken image yesterday. (Works fine now, but no new comic in that feed today…)


Is ikiwiki a Website Meta Language killer? //at 03:03 //by abe

from the there-was-nothing-better-—-until-now dept.

On this year’s Chemitzer Linux-Tage (CLT, engl. “Chemnitz Linux Days’) I attended a few talks of which especially formorer’s ikiwiki talk was very interesting.

I attended his talk since I found out that ikiwiki is command line wiki compiler in contrary to the thousands of solely web based wikis out there. As a big fan of statically generated content this idea sounded very interesting to me.

But just having a short look at ikiwiki’s web page didn’t help to get started and it seemed as if I had not the right idea of how ikiwiki works to get started. So formorer’s talk seemed to be a good possibility to get an idea of how ikiwiki works without much effort.

During the talk I noticed that ikiwiki can many things I do with the Website Meta Language (WML), but can do some more things WML can’t do out of the box:

  1. It’s not only a framework to generate web pages, it’s more like a content management system (CMS).
  2. Versioning is intergal part of ikiwiki without reinventing the wheel: It works out of the box with — beyond others — Subversion, Git and Mercurical (Hg).

And when formorer showed that even Tobi Oetiker uses ikiwiki, I noticed that ikiwiki probably could be a WML killer, since I knew Tobi as a WML fan. And ikiwiki looks very appealing for the WML fan inside me, too…

OTOH: Intergrating WML as a backend to ikiwiki could be an interesting idea, though.

Hearing what kind of input files ikiwiki can process, I also got the idea of using hnb (Hierachical Notebook) files as input for ikiwiki. hnb files are already XML and so a conversion to XHTML shouldn’t be that hard.

But when searching the web for “ikiwiki hnb” I found the blog postings of a few people switching away from hnb, e.g. to vimoutliner. Since I’m an Emacs addict and don’t like vim very much (if I use a vi, I use nvi or elvis), I searched for “emacs hnb” and indeed found someone who switched from hnb to org-mode – of which I never heard before. Unfortunately org-mode doesn’t seem to be in Debian (Update 00:23: Yeah, yeah, I now know it’s included in emacs22, but emacs22 hasn’t made it into kfreebsd-i386 yet, so I didn’t notice. See the comments. :-) but I’ll play around with it a little bit. Unfortunately a first test wasn’t that promising. But we’ll see.

Now playing: Men at Work — Down Under


WTF per minutes and yet another popular Blosxom-alike I didn’t know about //at 02:44 //by abe

from the muse-of-many dept.

Today while reading Planet Webtuesday, I stumbled upon a nice cartoon about the one and only measurement of code quality: WTF per minute.

Somehow I noticed that the blog in which this cartoon was posted in is powered by Blojsom, a Blosxom derivative written in Java (and nowadays database powered). I already have heard of a lot of blogging software which works similar to Blosxom and often is also named similar, e.g. Pyblosxom or Blosxonomy, but Blosjom hasn’t been noticed by yet although it is mentioned in Children of Blosxom where I first noticed Blosxonomy.

So far, so good, but what really surprised me is that a blog engine developed after Blosxom’s ideas officially made into MacOS X 10.4 Server. (BTW at a time, I neither had a blog nor knew about Blosxom. :-)

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Hackergotchi of Axel Beckert


This is the blog or weblog of Axel Stefan Beckert (aka abe or XTaran) who thought, he would never start blogging... (He also once thought, that there is no reason to switch to this new ugly Netscape thing because Mosaïc works fine. That was about 1996.) Well, times change...

He was born 1975 at Villingen-Schwenningen, made his Abitur at Schwäbisch Hall, studied Computer Science with minor Biology at University of Saarland at Saarbrücken (Germany) and now lives in Zürich (Switzerland), working at the Network Security Group (NSG) of the Central IT Services (Informatikdienste) at ETH Zurich.

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  • Bastian Sick: Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod (Teile 1-3)
  • Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett: Good Omens (borrowed from Ermel)

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  • Douglas R. Hofstadter: Gödel, Escher, Bach
  • Neil Gaiman: Keine Panik (borrowed from Ermel)

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  • Neil Stephenson: Cryptonomicon (borrowed from Ermel)

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  • Wolfgang Stoffels: Lokomotivbau und Dampftechnik (borrowed from Ermel)
  • Beverly Cole: Trains — The Early Years (getty images)