Weaving the Safety Net
The next series of activities for creation of this blog involve creation of a safety net against my own slip-ups and as a defense in case the blog becomes corrupted at some point.
This work takes up where Ramping Up has now left off. Compulsive knot-hole peepers will find a Construction Zone and Construction Notes on "Pursuing Harmony" Blog Operation.
1. First steps 2008-08-13T23:10Z. The first step is to capture the blog template and keep it in a form that is available under version control any time it is necessary to restore an earlier template:
- I have switched from FTP to SFTP one more time, just to see if it is now working along with FTP (which took a while before it succeeded).
- After accessing the Blogger dashboard for this blog, the original template is copied into the UTF-8 file default.htm.template.txt. That file is checked into the development folder for http://nfoWorks/diary and placed under version control there.
- Once we have this much we are ready for the next step.
2. Template Cleanup 2008-08-14T00:11Z. The next step is to clean up the template a slight amount in preparation for further customization:
- The SFTP transfer is definitely not working. I reverted to FTP from Blogger to the http://nfoWorks.com/diary directory on the hosted site.
- The template is backed up. If viewed in a browser, it may render as HTML rather than as text. Using the browser feature for viewing the page's source code will reveal the coded-HTML of the template.
- The template is edited to add the following features:
- A !DOCTYPE directive is added to the top of the template, specifying HTML 4.01 Transitional, the prevailing format on this site.
- An HTML comment with version-control label is embedded in the page.
- A comment with up-to-date revision history is added to the end of the file.
- The text of the cleaned-up template is added to the Blogger account for use in all further posts (including the current version of this one).
3. Safety Net Incorporation 2008-08-13T01:23Z. With a maintainable template backed-up and versioned, there are many improvements called for. Those are cosmetic and not urgent, however desirable. Instead, provisions for locking down the blog, repairing/recovering it, and restoring it to operation will be put in place. The arrangement depends on the site being accessible by the administrator even though the blog is not working properly for some reason.
- default.firedrill.htm is a replacement for the blog default page when a fire-drill is being carried out (such as one we will have shortly, much like a boat drill carried out before leaving port).
- default.quarantine.htm is a replacement for any page that is effectively quarantined until a remedy is available in its place. This is typically done as a new version of a blog archive page rather than as a replacement for the default page, although anything is possible.
- default.standby.htm is a replacement for the blog default page when the blog is made inaccessible for some reason. This is usually put up very quickly, without further details provided until later when there is some assessment of the situation.
- harmony-atom.standby.xml is a substitute for the blog's harmony-atom.xml and rss.xml Atom feed files when there is need to quarantines until a problem can be resolved.
- harmony-atom.testing.xml is a substitute for the two Atom feed files when the feed is blocked for a fire drill or other testing.
These pages are developed as part of the "Pursuing Harmony" Blog Operations material. That's the next step. Then we can have our first fire drill.
[update 2008-08-14T14:24Z added an important omitted word. I'm now back on the out-of-sight work needed in order to perform a successful fire drill. I forgot how tedious this is. The previous setup on Orcmid's Lair is old and stale and needs to be refreshed as part of that site's eventual repaving. Meanwhile, onward ... .]
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