Blogger to Serendipity importer script v2

I had occasion last night to revisit the Blogger to Serendipity importer script I wrote a few years ago, while helping someone move from Blogger to something that packs a bit more punch.

Serendipity has been carrying the script I wrote bundled as part of the importers available in its core package, thanks to Garvin Hicking (lead developer at the Serendipity project) who had done the dirty work of integrating my code into the project. Anyway, last night when I got about to importing the blog on Blogger into a fresh install of Serendipity, I found myself annoyed by the tediousness of the process required by the very importer I'd authored. Blogger didn't have any export feature back then nor did it provide API access. As a result, the (popular) method for exporting a blog from Blogger had involved setting a special template as the blog's layout and tweaking around a few other settings, after which the blog is published and the output parsed to extract what is needed.

Things have, of course, changed dramatically and for the good in the years since, as Google has continued to open up its services for developers via public APIs. Encouraged by the simplicity of the API, I ended up spending a little bit of time to rewrite the importer almost from scratch. The highly desirable "export blog" feature in the Blogger Data API allows obtaining an XML based dump of the entire blog, which can then be moulded however to fit ones needs.


- Download (3.3Kb)


- PHP 5


- Extract the contents of the Zip file.
- Upload (or copy) the file "" to the folder "include/admin/importers" under the main Serendipity installation path. Make sure the old file is replaced with the new.


The new importer script can transfer posts (both published and drafts), comments (including comment moderation settings) and authors, without breaking sweat. The process for importing a blog is simple:
1. Login to Blogger/Google and login to Serendipity Administration Suite.
2. Navigate to "Import data" using the menu and select as the type of import.
3. Click the "Go to Google" link to jump to a special authorization request page that allows the importer to access the blogs. [Image 1]
4. Click the "Grant access" button and wait to be taken back to Serendipity. [Image 2]
5. Select the blog to import from the list. [Image 3]
6. Optionally, select the category for the imported posts, set desired trackback behavior, select a charset. [Image 3]
7. Click "Import now!". (see Image 3]
8. Posts (and its comments) are processed and import results displayed.

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3


Update (17-Feb-2009): This has been adopted into the Serendipity code base and would be available bundled-in with future releases from the project.

Back from pause

It's been quite a while since I last made a post here on my blog - more than a month to be more precise - but the lack of posts wasn't all due to forgetful negligence or busy schedules. Rather, it was mostly due to deliberate inaction while I contemplated some things regarding blogging.

Simply said, I came to the decision to halt blogging because I was quite intimidated by the effects that my blog was having on my personal life lately. Never had I thought, when I started blogging over two years ago, that the things I publish in the virtual world would lead to alarming consequences for myself in the real world.

One important such consequence is one that is (and should be) reasonably expected: exposure. This is especially relevant for bloggers like me who are upfront about who they are and choose not to hide behind pseudonyms and veils of secrecy. What I say on the blog then becomes directly attributable to me as a person and I am held accountable for what I say rather than all of it being chalked up to some anonymous pseudonym. Further, blog posts - explicitly or implicitly - reveal a lot more about the intellectual dispositions of the author including ideological stances and beliefs. It is important to note that these tend have direct detrimental effects on the blogger's individual privacy and anonymity. I find it startling when random people whom I've never met or heard of strike conversation with a seeming air of supposed familiarity with myself or when people talk of me with a sort of conviction that I'm this or that - all based on my blog posts. Exposure is good for aspiring politicians and performance artists neither of which I have the slightest inclination towards becoming. The balance between anonymity and exposure is a tricky one, especially for someone who wants to stay pretty much under the radar.

Another important consequence of blogging relates to the response it evokes in readers. Personal blogs like mine often contain the ideas, thoughts and ramblings of the author - all of which have the potential of being controversial and disagreeable to some. Sadly, this sometimes goes to the extent that some choose to take extreme offence and retaliate with the vilest of language and threats. The comment system on my blog has been very open and mostly goes unmoderated, yet I had to switch to active comment moderation in the latter part of last year due to growing use of vile language, mindless insults and threats to myself and family. While I appreciate all types of comments and welcome disagreement and discussion, I don't think death threats and chants wishing ill things to me are really warranted. Freedom of expression is a great thing but not all people seem to appreciate it with civility and restraint...

These aren't things that would normally bother me and it hadn't until I met a couple of eager fanatics whose unreserved and unashamed drive to show their disagreement through violence - something that I had the (dis)pleasure of experiencing in the months I was in Male' last year - gave me cause for serious concern. Anyway, I hope to resume blogging regularly again - in spite of the above mentioned consequences...

Walk down my blogging lane

I realized today that there were quite a few of my blog posts with links and images that were broken, mostly as a result of the blog address changes I've gone through (starting from -> -> finally I had to go through my post archives in order to fix the dead URLs but it was nice to go back into my blogging history and reconnect with the various posts that I've made since I started blogging back in 2005. I've truly fallen in love with blogging as a means to express myself and I'd do it even at the risk of talking to a dead wall, only to get my own echoes...

Here's to the past, with a few of my posts that seems to have gotten the most attention by the visitors to the blog!

Messing about:
- Hacking a SE T610 camera for IR
- Dhiraagu WebSMS secrets
- I, Dhiraagu proxy server
- Dhiraagu E-Bill flaw!
- Maldives Police Service Wanted Person Notice Generator

- AJAX flavoured Radheef released!
- Dhiraagu Directory for PocketPC and Smartphone

- Quranic Faalu Belun
- For science and knowledge
- The Game of Life
- Wages of sin
- On the reality of Jinns

Toodles. - the new home to my blog!

I moved! My blog is going to be resident at this address from now on., named so after my firstname, is going to be my permanent personal portal on the internet or rather my digital playground as I like to call it. I operated under this domain back in 1999, just a few months after I first got my hands on a computer and developed an obsessive fascination for computing. Sadly, I had gotten the domain on a trial offer and when the trial expired a few months later so did my beloved domain. I have re-registered the domain with the intention of giving my internet presence some permanency.

My journey on the internet has been an interesting and fruitful one in my view. I have maintained a constant WWW presence through the years via the various projects I've spearheaded or been part of. I cherish the times spent on,, and, using them as an outlet of my thoughts and work, especially through the various software releases and internet based services that I had developed. You may even have used a few of the stuff I released under these projects: Messenger Plus Plus - plugin for MSN Messenger, MLS Converter, Accent Converter, Unicode converter for Dhivehi, Latin to Dhivehi converter, Radheef, bLoBsy - the MSN Messenger bot, Email2SMS gateway, SMS Sender...

I entered the world of blogging in Sept 2005, first operating at using the free blogging service from Blogger and made a jump in Oct the same year to a corner on the Technova Pvt Ltd website basing myself at I originally started blogging with much vigor but lately I find myself not the least bit arsed to blog. I hope to change that though, afterall blogging definitely has been fun and is a great way to express my thoughts and opinions. I've found it especially interesting that blogging enables me to engage in a sort conversation with people whom I do not even know. My blog currently has 162 posts and clocks around 500 unique visits per day on average- which isn't too bad since atleast someone seems to be reading what I blab about :-P

Sadly for me though, blogging has kicked out my projects and creations almost into oblivion - only existing in the realm of a random blog post. I intend to bring together both the projects/creations and thoughts/ideas by creating my happy little place on the net. A central outlet of and for myself, here to stay till I expire!!

PS: If you have links or bookmarks pointing to my old address, please do update them to this new one. Thanks.


Moving is tough. Not just in the real world but also in the virtual world. Technova is currently moving our sites to a new server. The old server just couldn't handle the load it was under! I hope the new one doesn't fizzle out and die every two days...

I just finished moving my blog. I had taken it offline while I was moving the stuff around. So, viola! :p to Serendipity Import script

Serendipity is extensively customisable and has quite a number of plugins available to enhance the basic feature set. It is developed in PHP, which being my favourite server-side programming language for web applications, has inspired me to study the code deeper and write code to help the Serendipity community. I shall begin my contribution to the Serendipity project by sharing a teeny weeny script I wrote to import all my posts (and comments) from service is the same thing as Blogspot blogs.

Just place this To Serendipity Import file in the Serendipity directory and access it from a browser. Follow the instructions it gives. There are a few steps you need to take to make sure it goes well, so be careful.

If you have comments or suggestions, feel free to drop me a line.

Update (29/11/2005): My code has since been integrated into the Serendipity distribution as an importer by the project developers and now comes standard as part of all their new releases!

Blog fixed!

OK! Finally, I am done switching to the new blog software. The technical issues with it has been solved for the most part. All of the content has been moved. All systems go for more blog posts and articles.

I took time last night to tinker with the blog theme templates to finally settle in on this current design. It is a customised/modified version of the Kubrick theme that is distributed with Serendipity. I am pretty satisfied with the look now - quite readable, clean and sufficiently lively. Drop a comment and let me know what you think.

I had minor problems moving the content from Blogger to here. Being the lazy bastard I am, I didn't want to copy-paste all of the content from Blogger to Serendipity. I had a quick look on the Serendipity forums and did a Google search for a solution that automates this process but ended up dry. I ended up taking out a few minutes to write some code which transferred all data smoothly into the new system. An hour or so later, I had everything running in tip top condition.

I hope to update the blog regularly from now on. So hit back here often and comment often!