I’m currently reviewing my backup plans and decided it’s a good occasion to finally start backing up my Gmail account. Firstly, I didn’t seriously consider Desktop clients as the main backup tool, as they are hard to automate. The two main options are: OfflineIMAP and getamil. Both are available from Ubuntu’s repositories, so installation is easy with both and both have good tutorials, Matt Cutts’ getmail and EnigmaCurry’s OfflineIMAP.
OfflineIMAP claims to be faster, but I haven’t really checked it (and I’m not sure how important that is giving that it runs in the background). From what I saw configuring them is mainly a task of cut-and-paste, but getmail requires to list every label you want to backup, which I consider is a major downside. As both are able to save the mails to maildir format, it should be easy to back it up using duplicity.
Conclusion: This was a short comparison, mainly to guide me in choosing the right backup for me, you may have different opinions (which, of course, I would gladly hear). I finally chose OfflineIMAP, mainly due to the labels issue.
Note on desktop clients: It seems that every decent one can be configured to work with a local maildir, so you can use them to read the backups. As I prefer Gmail’s interface, I will only use desktop clients in case I’m offline, so read-only access from desktop client seems good enough for me.
Some time ago, as some of you noticed, the web server that hosts my blog went down. Unfortunately, some of the sites had no proper backup, so some thing had to be done in case the hard disk couldn’t be recovered. My efforts turned to Google’s cache. Google keeps a copy of the text of the web page in it’s cache, something that is usually useful when the website is temporarily unavailable. The basic idea is to retrieve a copy of all the pages of a certain site that Google has a cache of.
I started developing Google Gadgets for LabPixies, so one of the first thing I looked for was syntax highlighting. Vim recognized the gadgets’ code as XML file (which is correct), but I wanted also HTML syntax highlighting for the HTML part. So after searching a bit for some existing solution, I found one, but I didn’t like as it required me to wrap the HTML code with a specific comment. As I don’t like this kind of solution, I’ve decided to create my own syntax highlighting file for Vim.
When you track MediaWiki statistics, you usually track only internal page statistics, but tracking external links which leads out of your site is not some thing you can ignore. Unfortunately we probably can’t put actual tracking code in the pages linked to by our site’s external links. Fortunately we can track the actual clicks on those links that lead out of the site, and it’s quite easy to do when tracking statistics with Google Analytics. If you don’t already use Google Analytics with your MediaWiki site, open a new account in Google Analytics and see my previous post: Track MediaWiki Statistics using Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is one of the best free web-statistics services available. It’s also quite easy to use with MediaWiki. To install Google Analytics in you MediaWiki you should put the tracking code, which is something that looks like:
in every page, preferably just above the </body> tag. The best way to do so will be to put the tracking code inside the base skin php file. That means that unless you changed the default skin for MediaWiki you need to edit
/wiki/skins/MonoBook.php. In this file you will find the </body> tag towards the bottom of the file. Insert the tracking code just above it, save the file, and you’re done, as all pages will now show the script. Google Analytics will start gathering statistics usually in about 24-28 hours.
If you also want to track external links to files and other websites take a look at
Tracking Mediawiki External Links Statistics Using Google Analytics.