Thinking about Planner/EmacsWiki versus WordPress

Posted: - Modified: | blogging, emacs, wordpress

Was it really only less than two years ago that I shifted from my venerable Planner-based wiki/blog to my WordPress-powered one after experimenting with syndicating my entries into WordPress?

I miss writing in wiki markup on Emacs and knowing that publishing would Just Work. I miss being able to dynamically expand entries from my address book in a way that automatically links to people’s blogs. (Or Twitter accounts, if I were going to do this now.) ScribeFire is a pain on my Eee (needs more horizontal screen space), and I have a hard time marking up the occasional bit of HTML in weblogger.el. Windows Live Writer is pretty slick (particularly with the SnagIt Screen Capture plugin and the Amazon Book Linker), but I can live without it. Or maybe I can resurrect that WordPress Emacs client Ashish mentioned.

Let me think about the differences in experiences.

  • I wanted to support comments, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of time hacking on some custom commenting system. This was a big issue for me. I found some commenting scripts, but dealing with spam was a pain, so I switched to WordPress. If I switched back to Emacs for my blog, I’d probably use something like Disqus to handle the conversation, and just find some way of backing up the comments regularly.
  • I wanted to make it easy to navigate posts. I modified Planner to generate a more browsable blog index, but it’s still not as slick as what you’d see with WordPress. On this WordPress blog, I like offering people random blog posts (good for me too – great way to rediscover old posts and make serendipitous connections!), related posts, and posts on the same day. I can do posts on the same day in Planner with a custom hook, but the others would require some hacking. Also, Planner is very much day-based, while WordPress lists N posts per page and has good category lists.
  • I wanted to make it easy to edit posts. In my Emacs-based system, I published to RSS when I saved a note in the Remember window. I had a hack that made it possible to propagate changes from an already-published post to my WordPress blog, but it wasn’t completely reliable.
  • Scheduling posts is handy, too. I hadn’t gotten around to figuring out how to build a post scheduler for Emacs. I suppose if I wasn’t picky about the time it went out, I could simply write posts on different days and then publish notes conditionally, plus have some kind of hook to notice if any of the current page’s posts should be published in the RSS feed, plus some way to handle previous days, plus maybe a server-friendly way to do this for the times when I’m not going to be online every day. Right.

That said, I miss automatically sharing some details of what I’m working on (with details deleted before publishing so that they’re available offline), publicly crossing off tasks, and other cool things.

Planner’s model for task planning isn’t quite compatible with Org’s model, and I’ve been using Org + Toodledo more these days.

What am I really looking for here?

  • A quick, reliable way to post from a text editor, so that I can do it from the Eee. Hmm, the WP Postie plugin will probably do the trick.
  • Easy way to share/review tasks: Toodledo export of week’s tasks?
  • And maybe a custom plugin for weekly displays, org agendas, that sort of thing.


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