Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Using your own blog domain with BlogSpot

Having just started this blog, I want to give it its own domain. I've registered (and, just for completeness; I prefer the separated form), and now need to connect them up. In this post, I'll explain what I did, in the hope that it may be of some help to someone else.

I have actually done this process before, with my other BlogSpotted blog, STLSoft Musings, but, being a programmer and programming consultant, I have forgotten how. So, I'll do it again, and, in the spirit of Skegging It Out, will record it for posterity. Here goes:

  1. Register your domain name, in this case
  2. Read the BlogSpot help on this subject
  3. Add a CNAME record to the DNS settings for the domain. I like the blog to appear in the sub-domain blog, so this will be So, specify (done via entering blog in the requisite field with my registrar), and enter for the canonical name.
  4. [OPTIONAL] If, like, your domain is used solely for the blog, you will probably want to come to BlogSpot. To do this, add another CNAME record named www again specifying for the canonical name.
  5. You'll want add URL forwarding from your registrar (to whom arbitrary accesses to your domain will go) to, using standard URL forwarding. (Don't use stealth forwarding, if that's available.)
  6. Finally, you need to let BlogSpot know to start servicing requests for From you blog's main page, click Customize, then Settings, then Publishing, then Custom Domain, then Switch to Advanced Settings, and enter your domain, in my case Then save your settings, and cross your legs - because it takes time for the DNS settings and whatnot to propagate, you will likely find, as I have both times, that your blog will be unavailable for several hours. During this time, you will doubtless worry that you've not executed the previous steps correctly, and may even flip your blog settings back to a few times in your panic. If, after a day, you've not got a nicely hosted custom domain for your blog, you've made a mistake, and you're up the creek, and it's time to call a sysadmin.
I may have written that with the seeming authority of someone who understands it intimately. That's not an entirely accurate picture of reality. Nonetheless, it works for me. If you have any insights to add, please let me know. If it doesn't work for you, by all means let me know about that, after you've worked out how to make it work, and I will add that information.



Welcome to "Skegging It Out"

AFAIK, I introduced the phrase "Skegging It Out" to the world in the preface of my first book, Imperfect C++. I learnt it from my first commercial mentor, the redoubtable Andy Thurling, who gave me my first great insight, which is that no one in software engineering knows everything. Having now done 15+ years in the industry, and written 3 (well, 2.6, to be precise) books, I can certainly attest to this truth. I know that I don't know everything - don't ask me any questions on floating-point types! - and I know that a lot of other people don't know everything. (Some of the horrors I've seen in my consulting lead me to ponder whether 80+% of the programmers of the world would be far better suited to some other pursuit.)

Anywhat, this blog will be a place to record miscellaneous, non-portentous, things learned. Examples would be:
If you're after information on what's going on with my open-source libraries, check out my STLSoft Musings blog.

If you're after philosophical insights into the programming world, check out my occasional Artima blog.

If you want to learn about all the tricks and pitfalls of extending the C++ Standard Template Library (STL), including many of the issues its original designers (and most current practitioners and authors) didn't consider, then you should purchase and wade your way through my latest book, Extended STL, volume 1: Collections and Iterators.

If you want to learn the dark, complex secrets how to write the world's most robust, most flexible and fastest formatting and logging C++ libraries, you'll have to wait until I'm up to 3.0 books, and the latest, Breaking Up The Monolith: Advanced C++ Design without Compromise, has been published, hopefully later this year.

If you want to write mean things about the arrogant, autarchic, red-headed step-child of the C++ world, you could adulterate the Wiki page that's been started about me.

If, however, you want to just borrow some hard-won lessons from someone who knows just enough to get by in the majority of technology areas in which he's not expert, then this blog is for you. I make no promises about subject matter, focus, frequency, gravity, or quality. All I will endeavour to do is share the knowledge any time I learn something useful.

Can't say fairer 'n that, can ah?


P.S. If anyone knows where Andy Thurling is, or if, Bob-permitting, Andy reads this, please let me know!