I am BARRY HESS > Blog

TextMate, Blogging, Wordpress, and Dreamhost

Did I mention that I love TextMate? If not, let’s just say I want to have its elegant and feature-rich baby. I could spend several weeks learning numerous ways TextMate can make my life easier and still not crack the surface of its features.

When I saw that TextMate had powerful blogging features baked in I had to give it a try. Naturally it wasn’t as easy as I had hoped.

First I had to setup blogging through the TextMate Bundles:Blogging:Setup Blogs menu. Setup for a wordpress blog looks something like this:

Blog Name   URL
bjhess      http://username@blog.com/url/xmlrpc.php

When you first hit your blog, you will be prompted for a password which will be saved in your keyring going forward. To test that you’re up and running, try Bundles:Blogging:Fetch to grab an old blog post.

Following the screencast provided by the TextMate people, I tried uploading a blog post written in Markdown. That was an utter failure. The snazzy, helpful Markdown syntax was not translated to HTML for me and things looked ugly. Enter the wonderful PHP Markdown plugin. Install that puppy and activate it in your Wordpress blog and now you’re cooking with fire.

Yet my experience was still negative. As is often the case, Dreamhost got in the way of my assumed happiness. See, whenever I’d send a post from TextMate to my blog at Dreamhost, I’d get a nasty timeout error. The post would be visible when I refreshed my blog, but the timeout meant that other cool TextMate features aborted before they could happen. (The cool features are updating the TextMate version of the post with new headers and automatically showing your new post in a browser.)

I opened a support ticket with the good people at Macromates and waited for a response. The discussion was quick and to the point (did I mention I love TextMate?). After a few iterations it was recommended that I turn off automatic pingbacks, which occur at post time. These were probably a part of the reason my posting activity was soooo sloooow causing a timeout on the TextMate side of things.

Finding this option within Wordpress was surprisingly confusing. It wasn’t available in Options:General, Options:Writing, or Options:Miscellaneous. It ended up being in Options:Discussion, I imagine because pingbacks facilitate intercommunication between blogs. So I unticked that option:

Disable Pingbacks in Wordpress

Now blaming Dreamhost for this slowness probably isn’t the best idea. But even without the pingback option checked, posting a blog entry is painfully slow with Dreamhost. TextMate no longer experienced a timeout error, at least on my test posts, but it really wouldn’t surprise me if I do hit a timeout now and again even with the pingback option out of the picture.

Now if only TextMate would lightboxify images for me…

Update: When I posted this entry through TextMate I experienced the same timeout failure described here.