APIs Good. Crappy Web Hosts Bad.

Standard

So I’ve been thinking a little more about Tumblr. While it’s interesting (to me, anyway) to see what has accumulated in my Tumblog without any effort on my part, I still want to play more actively with it.

Now as I noted a few weeks ago, even though most of my Tumblr content is just feeds from other stuff I’m doing (Twitter, Flickr, del.icio.us, last.fm), I don’t like the idea of including the feed from this blog in Tumblr…the “long form” character of it just seems wrong for how I’m viewing Tumblr right now. But I do want to get some reference to this blog in there, so what to do?

The obvious answer, of course, is to write a WordPress plugin that allows me to automatically submit a short-form excerpt from these blog posts as Tumblr “quote” posts; this is in keeping with the way I’m thinking about Tumblr (lifestreaming snippets that require little or no care and feeding of their own), and seems like a fun little project, anyway.

So the above represents where I was when Gwen started her nap about 45 minutes ago. Note that the “simple” answer above is only possible because:

  • WordPress is designed to be easily user-extensible
  • Tumblr is designed to accept submissions however users want to submit them (i.e. API available)

And those aspects of the tools are just there by default…this is a really good thing.

So now the good:

Big points go to both WordPress and Tumblr: halfassed programmer that I am, in half an hour I was able to make a functional (though crude) plugin that would take a designated snippet from a WordPress post and correctly submit it as a Tumblr quote, with a link back to the blog post. Both products are just designed to let you do what you want to do. Very nice.

And the bad:

No points go to the hosting company that is currently running seamonkeyrodeo. I wrote and tested the plugin on a dev installation of WordPress that I have set up on my primary Web hosting account, where it worked flawlessly. When I moved it over to the live version of SMR? Not so much. I can’t use the damn plugin on SMR, because (due to laziness and intertia) seamonkeyrodeo is hosted by a different company…a company that in two thousand fucking eight still hasn’t upgraded to PHP 5.

So, happy Sunday afternoon, everyone, and remember: APIs good. Crappy Web hosts bad. I have to go manually submit a quote from this post to Tumblr now, damn it…