Bending over backwards

Most bloggers — I’m willing to bet the vast majority, in fact — update their sites by doing exactly what I’m doing right now: Feeding text into a form on a Web page and then banging the “submit” button at the bottom of the page. This is how Blogger, Blogspot, Moveable Type, and the rest of them work by default. Effective and available everywhere.

I don’t use a content management system at my other place. The entire site is maintained by hand with the One True Editor. It’s gotten bad enough that I have serious problems working in non-emacs editors. I don’t particularly like writing inside a Web browser; I’d much rather compose text in emacs and then import/export as necessary. And, true, you can get elisp modules to allow XML-RPC publishing of blog entries, but I could never get them to work properly (probably demonstrating that my m4d hax0r sk1llz are sorrily overrated).

I update my blog using emacs’ “edit locally, save globally” strategy. emacs has a nice built-in FTP client that will pull files off remote filesystems, allow you to edit them on your machine, and then dump them back to the server when you’re finished. It’s not perfect, but it works pretty well, and I’m only moderately paranoid about the security implications. Unfortunately, it only works when I can get an IP connection to my laptop — which is surprisingly frequently, but isn’t always guaranteed. I’ve been stuck in places before where I could get Internet access, but it wasn’t direct IP (i.e., “here’s a Web browser, don’t unplug the computer”).

Why does this matter? Because I’ll be in Japan for most of October. I’d like to blog the trip/keep a journal while I’m on the road, but while I’m reasonably confident of my ability to find Web access most days, I’m not at all cofident of my ability to find IP access, wired or wireless. (This won’t stop me from trying, of course, but you know how this works.) So the emacs update trick won’t work.

I think the plan for the moment is to use this LJ as a holding pool for those updates I manage to post while on the road, then back-hack the entries into the main blog when I get home — kind of like what Beth did on her vacation (except I’m not writing them by hand, that’s stupid).