Friday, September 05, 2003

GreyMatter provides easy install but RSS module problematic

I've been asked to present information on Blogging and Syndication
for the Instructional Technology Council in a few weeks. Although I have a
number of personal blogs on commercial provider Blogger (,
I wanted to search for software that provides the same functionality at a reduced
cost and came across this software from GreyMatter.
The installation instructions were very clear and I had no problem installing
it or configuring it. I particularly like the ability to censor Comments for
inappropriate language as I want my blog to be student-friendly for
all ages.

Although GreyMatter does not provide a built-in RSS conversion
process, I noticed there was an RSS Syndication module listed in the modules
section. The module requires PHP so first I had to check the version of PHP
running on my host server. The PHP script also choked on my weblog name -
"Mary's Technology Tips" - because it had an apostrophe in it. I had to correct that problem before I could get the script to run. I also had to make all paths absolute to ensure that the script would run properly. Then I was able to get
the script to run if I logged into my host server but could not get it to run
from the browser even when I placed it in the cgi-bin directory and set the
rights to 755. I had one of the perl experts look at it but he couldn't see
what the problem was either.

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