this site is now secure (with https://)


You should barely notice any difference, but is now fully secure. At the moment, this doesn’t have any practical impact on you — because I was never asking for, say, your credit card information (subscription stuff went through Tinypass or PayPal, which have already been secure) — but there were some good technical reasons to make the change that aren’t really worth getting into. Mostly they’re about how secure sites are the wave of the Web future, and all sites will have to make this switchover eventually.

One thing you will notice has changed is the Latest Comments page. That had been relying on a very old widget that Disqus hadn’t been supporting for years, and it stopped working once the page was secure. The page now pulls in the RSS feed for Disqus comments at this site (which you can access yourself if you like, here). It’s not very pretty, I know; I’m trying to see if there’s a way I can pull in commenters’ gravatars to make it look nicer. It also cannot pull in more than the 25 most recent comments, because that’s all the Disqus feed offers. (I wish it were more.) Disqus is working on a new version of the plugin that handles comments for WordPress sites like this one, so perhaps they will offer better ways to engage soon too.

Securing a site requires changing every URL (from “http://” to “https://”), which, as far as entities such as Disqus and Google are concerned, means this is now an entirely different site. I believe I have migrated all the Disqus threads over, but if you come across a post that once had comments and doesn’t anymore, please feel free to let me know. Ditto any other oddities you may come across: internal links, such as those that display images, may have gotten broken in the attempt to update them. Or you may come across a page that does not show the “Secure” indicator in the title bar (sometimes just a padlock icon, depending on the browser you’re using), which will mean that some image link on the page didn’t get its new “s.”

Thank you, as always, for your readership and support.

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Wed, Jul 12, 2017 5:54pm

Hurrah! As you say, not a specially high priority compared with some sites, but it’s great to see it.

(Subscriber RSS feeds via feedburner are not automatically secured, but switching the feed URL to https works.)