I’ve known about Serendipity for a while, just never had a chance to get around to trying it. What a fantastic piece of software, not only as a blog but as something that excels in many areas – templating, coding style, plugin integration, documentation, ease of installation to name a few. What a contrast – after spending the last few months fixing really low quality but ‘popular’ PHP apps, I have to say Serendipity really shines.
In the last few weeks, I got stuck between a rock and a hard place – the Seagull project now relies on some features that can only be implemented with PEAR_Server, a new PEAR package that is PHP5 only, and I was unable to switch as my existing blog was running on Geeklog, something I chose 5 years ago when PHPkitchen started, which to be fair, has been fine until now, but that does not support PHP5 in any shape, way or form.
I searched the web high and low for Geeklog converters, nothing of any note to be found, and then just started experimenting with Serendipity by fluke, after being left with rather a bad taste in my mouth having gone through the source for the trendy WordPress package.
Scanning through the mess of options I discovered the ‘Import Data’ section, and to my amazement, ‘Geeklog 1.3.11’ was an option. Even though I was running 1.3.7sr4, I thought I’d give it a whirl. Things hummed, purred, some heavy data munching was clearly going on behind the scenes. Then lo and behold, about 20 seconds later, the whole whack of 5 years worth of users, stories and comments had been flawlessly imported into Serendipity! I don’t need to describe my astonishment at the event, or the fact my socks were blown off clean across the room – this kind of feat was unheard of in PHP circles, I’d just had the Geeklog 1.3.7 to 1.3.11 upgrade script fail on me and even the latest fresh install came nowhere near to running on PHP5. What a pleasant surprise – my faith is fully restored in the capacity for PHP excellence, and PHPkitchen’s 742 users will be glad to know all 668 entries spanning the last 5 years have been flawlessly imported, including all 341 comments.
Hats off to Serendipity!
As a side note, the small downside to the changeover is none of PHPkitchen’s google indexed links will now work, and things like polls don’t seem to be implemented yet in Serendipity – but I hope readers find the new format less cluttered, easier to read, and more importantly, more fun to interact with.