Heading Into the Shop
I hope you can live without my input here for a day or so. As you may have noticed from postings on other washingtonpost.com blogs, we're upgrading the servers here and so that we can move thousands of posts and millions of comments to a new set of machines, we'll have to shut off blog publishing and commenting from noon today until, if all goes well, tomorrow afternoon.
To answer the first question you might have: No, I don't know why they picked this mid-week scheduling instead of a weekend switchover.
To answer the second question, we're doing this because the blogging software badly needs an update. As you may have noticed from my occasional kvetching on Twitter, I'm not the biggest fan of this software -- some common editing steps are not horrendously intuitive, it provides way too many ways for me to lose my work, and it frequently struggles to keep on top of comment spam.
(I'm told that in the next few weeks, we'll also start restricting blog commenting to registered washingtonpost.com users, which by itself should drastically cut down on the volume of spam that slips past the existing filter, and which I then have to junk myself.)
It would be dishonest of me not to note the risk of things going wrong during these server transitions. When a publishing-software upgrade melted down at the newspaper at the end of 1999, I wound up spending 15 or 16 hours in the office trying to get my copy to move from the text-editing software to the pagination system. (As I recall, columns of type kept changing length at random, eventually leading me to suggest that we fill the latest eruption of white space by padding out a headline with expletives).
I'm not writing this so I can say "I told you so" later on, just to ask that you wish us luck.
At this point in a blog post, I would say "talk amongst yourselves," but that's not an option until this switchover concludes. Instead, I'll offer this humble suggestion: The weather's uncharacteristically nice for August in the D.C. area, so get up from the computer, get out and enjoy it. Discover a new bike trail. Check out some indie rock (and scale D.C.'s highest point while you're at it). Or just take a long lunch at someplace outside the office.
The Internet, and this blog, will be waiting for you when you return.
Posted by: misschatter | August 6, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse
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