Minor Issues Approaching the Finish
Posted on October 28, 2016
Yesterday I finally decided to make my next blog post on GW-Blog as opposed to Wordpress, but I ran into some difficulties. The main problem I encountered was actually because I hadn't yet tested GW-Blog in a production environment. Specifically, GW-BASIC has a limit on string length: 255 characters. That limit, of which I was unaware, caused significant issues with GW-Blog. It broke the templating engine and, for long-ish paragraphs, the Textile markup parser.
I ended up having to make two rather large modifications. First, the template engine, similar to the Textile processor, now writes directly to a file. For GW-Blog, it writes to temporary files that are later removed. Second, I had to fix how the Textile processor manages its own stack. The processor no longer combines strings on the stack if it can avoid it; rather, once the proper HTML element is known, it writes out each stack entry to the output file bounded by said element. The change makes for some pretty horiffic looking HTML, but it does work.
I spent a lot of time today attempting to configure the network route to the Rainbow. Passing through a VPS, over a VPN, through a Raspberry Pi, over a SLIP connection, and into the Rainbow's server is quite the task. Furthermore, I wanted to make sure that the legacy blog continued to work. After some trial and error, I finally got everything set up properly.
This server will almost certainly fail on a regular basis. Today's failure was actually hardware-related: the Rainbow memory expansion option died. Perhaps in the future I'll move this blog, still generated on a Rainbow, to a more modern machine. But for Retrochallenge this month, I think it's appropriate to keep the Rainbow as the server.