Permalink Redirect 0.8.1 and Gravatar Cache 2.0

Sorry I have not been updating this blog. There are simply way too many commitments in life for me to maintain "yet-another-blog", so I think I might eventually fold after two years of on and off writing. I will continue to publish code snippets at our personal blog, Scott Yang's Playground, but even that has slowed down quite a bit over the last few months.

So what we have got here?

Gravatar Cache 0.2

On July 20 I have uploaded an updated version of Gravatar Cache. Something has been added, and something has been removed:

  • Add MySQL backend support for handling negative responses

    Personally I found that SQLite-based backend is just not scalable. It is perfectly fine for small websites, but when you have a site with thousands of page views a day, each page view generates multiple Gravatar requests, and majority of requests yield negative result -- you'll probably see lots of SQLite locking errors in your log files.

    Porting negative cache to a new backend is easy. Now Gravatar Cache can use MySQL as backend so hopefully cache misses can be better handled.

  • Remove fopen_url based HTTP request method

    That means we will never use fopen to grab Gravatar from, as fopen automatically follows 301/302 redirects. Gravatar cache can still download gravatars using either cURL or raw socket.

It has been running quite stably on one of my Drupal site doing 30,000+ gravatars per day.

Permalink Redirect 0.8.1

Also on July 20 I have released an updated version of Permalink Redirect WordPress plugin. There has been quite a few changes since 0.7.0:

  • Add FeedBurner branding support

    Thanks to Mesoconcepts for sponsoring this enhancement. Since Google purchased FeedBurner, FeedBurner has released this Pro feature for free. Now you can edit your hostname as well as the pathname to redirect the visitors to.

  • Add static page redirect

    Thanks to Sergey Menshikov for supplying the patch. You can now edit a list of [from] [to] and let WordPress to handle the redirection. Again, it is probably a feature best left for the web server to do. It is nice to have it in the plugin as well, for those who do not wish to touch their web server configuration files.

  • Fix front page as static page issue in WordPress 2.2

    Somehow is_home() is ambiguous in different versions of WordPress. Anyway, it is fixed now.

  • Fix 301 redirect issue with Lighttpd/Nginx + PHP FastCGI

    Permalink Redirect 0.8+ uses WordPress' wp_redirect function, which refuses to send back 301 when PHP is running as FastCGI. Now we are making an exception in the code so it by-pass wp_redirect if we are running FastCGI behind Lighttpd and Nginx.

Permalink Redirect and Beyond

There has been words that WordPress is going to integrate the functionality of Permalink Redirect into its core, and looks like it is going to be available in WP 2.3 (currently SVN trunk).

The function redirect_canonical does pretty much the same thing as Permalink Redirect plugin so I guess the question is -- what is happening to Permalink Redirect beyond WordPress 2.3?

Not much I guess. The primary goal for Permalink Redirect is redirecting visitors to the canonical URL for search engine's sake, and I think WP 2.3 has achieved that right inside the core. While there are lots of other functionality in Permalink Redirect that are not ported to WP 2.3 (Feedburner feeds, configurable rules, old to new permalink structure, etc), but honestly even I do not use these features much myself.

It is still possible to create a lite version of Permalink Redirect to hook these extra functionality into WordPress 2.3, and I might start working on that when WP 2.3 turns beta. Meanwhile, excuse my absence here as I have my "other life" to sort out. Don't bother with the bbPress support forum (it is down anyway). If you need any quick solutions, email me directly. You can find my email address in the contact page.