Alea iacta est. The dice has been cast. I’m giving up on WPMU. Definitely. I will be using Virtual Multiblog instead. Definitely.
I am absolutely delighted by Virtual Multiblog (VMB). It’s the kind of brilliant, synergetic solution that leverages existing features in novel, unusual ways, to achieve wonderful new things.
And man, works it smoothly? I mean, when some software package (VMB) is up to change another software package (WP) in such fundamental ways that it switches the very paradigm from single to multi-blog, I expect at least some problems. But nope! Whatever I thought of doing with and on top of VMB, it worked flawlessly.
I’m not sure if I am in any way a “statistically representative” person regarding intuition, but operating VMB was ultimately intuitive to me. Absolutely straight. Actually, so straight, that I partially automated the process of creating new blogs. Currently, the automation is implemented in Python, and must be run from a shell. I’ll be porting it to a WP plugin soon.
To me, the best thing about VMB is: It doesn’t enforce any up-front decisions, unlike WPMU. It allows your blog family to evolve in a very organic way, by allowing for any combination of domains, sub-domains and sub-directories to be added at any time with ease. You don’t even have to start with VMB installed in the first place. You can add it at the moment you need your second blog.1
Another cool thing is that you don’t risk any incompatibilities with existing WP themes and plugins. Unlike WPMU, which is almost, but not entirely, compatible with WP, VMB boosts WP itself to a multi-blog engine. No surprises.
One more thing I love about VMB is the future-proof way it achieves its objectives. It doesn’t change or rely on something in the depths of WP. Instead, it behaves like a caller to WP. In a way, VMB is to WP what a shell is to a program. The shell may call a program with different parameters, and with environment variables set to different values, but it doesn’t change how the program works. Conversely, new versions of the program don’t break the shell.2
As a consequence, your blogs always run on the latest and greatest WP version. No lurking security holes that aren’t fixed in WPMU yet. I imagine it may come close to a nightmare to know there is a serious security breach in WPMU that’s already fixed in WP. Wouldn’t that drive you crazy?
At this point, I would like to list some “con’s” about VMB. It’s just that I can’t think of any.3
I’m rarely so exalted about a piece of software. I have pretty high standards about quality, conceptual clarity and elegance of software solutions. On average, the best I can tell about any piece of code is that it is solid. Not this time. My highest compliments to Stephen Rider, the author of VMB, and Allan Mertner, on who’s original idea VMB is based.
Well, as it stands, with VMB there is no real need to change anything about my blog. I could defer installing it until I’ve designed a new blog locally and purchased a new domain. I will do the switch now, though. Because (a) I should eat my own dog food, and (b) I want to take the chance and re-install WP in the hope to get rid of some weird effects I’m having with it lately.4 It is that latter part that’s cumbersome, and my main activity focus right now.5 When I’m through with that, and the “repaired” blog is online, I’ll post a tutorial how to set up multiple blogs with VMB, and probably blog about the reparation process, too.
So see you later, visitator. 🙂
- Big Changes To Hackadelic.com Ahead
- WPMU Blues
- WPMU is out, Virtual Multiblog is in
- This Blog Is Now Proudly Powered By Virtual MultiBlog
- Multiblogging Terminology For Dummies
- Multiblog Data Files Sharing Problem
- There is a name for this operation principle: Just-in-time . It is one outstanding feature of good usability not to enforce things, but ensure things are available when they are needed. [↩]
- In reality, there is a small chance that a future version of WP could break VMB, but it is highly unlikely. [↩]
- I won’t complain about the fact that it doesn’t have a UI for adding blogs. It gives me the chance to implement one. [↩]
- For some reason, the widget admin page behaves very strange. [↩]
- It seems as if the wp_options table is slightly damaged, so I can’t just copy the data. I’ll have to re-apply every setting manually. [↩]