New Gelato Atlas, Forthcoming Plans, Web bugs?

One of my favorite Italian advertising campaigns, the Batta shoe company’s “Difficult to Resist.”

Announcing a new page on Ex Urbe (in the Food section), an international Gelato Atlas, listing gelato locations in many cities and countries around the world.  It includes my own reviews and suggestions and reviews posted by Ex Urbe readers. Hopefully this will help everyone find good gelato near you!

Meanwhile, we have only a few days to go before the opening of the new Thor movie.  I will be sure to post a plot-so-far summary before the movie opens, so people who will enjoy it can have a refresher of my “unbiased” interpretation of what’s “really” going on in the Marvel movieverse, to enhance your viewing experiences.

My “unbiased” review of the new movie will follow, and after that I intend to start a new history and philosophy series comparable to the Machiavelli one, plus a couple more installments of Spot the Saint.

But first, some site updates to help things run more smoothly.

The Batta "Dificult to Resist" women's add.
The Batta “Difficult to Resist” women’s ad.

Also, I have noticed the site is loading slowly and having periodic errors where it says it’s unavailable, or that it has a database error.  I wanted to create a poll to ask readers how often this has affected you (so I could use that to decide whether to switch to a new hosting service) but attempting to create a poll made the website crash and shut down (not a good sign for my hosting service).  I would be grateful if readers could respond to this post to let me know if you have experienced bugs with Ex Urbe not loading properly, or other site issues, so I can know if the problem is a big one.  Also, please let me know if you have read regularly and not experienced any problems, since that too is helpful to know.  If the problem is causing people serious inconvenience then I will switch to a new hosting service soon – if it is not too bad, then I will wait until a few other deadlines are off my plate and then switch over.  Thank you.

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16 Responses to “New Gelato Atlas, Forthcoming Plans, Web bugs?”

  1. Sophia said:

    I do find your site extremely slow when I visit it – but as I read your new posts through my rss reader, this does not cause me any hassle unless I am in the mood to reread something from your archives.

    I’m looking forward to your upcoming posts!

  2. Brent Jackson said:

    I read all your posts through an RSS reader and have never noticed any problems.

    Thanks a lot for the Machiavelli series of posts, and the History of Rome. They are great.


  3. Andreas said:

    As I only recently stumbled over this treasure trove of a blog (although I have a vague memory of having visited years ago) I can’t speak to the persistency of the troubles you mention, I can however confirm that they do happen, quite frequently. No database errors or the like at this time, just really long loading times.

    I don’t know how helpful this was but I’d like to take the opportunity to segue into a profound praise of the work you do in one of my favourite genres, easily read scholarly outreach with a humorous flavour to it, keep it up!

    With that in mind, considering both the nature of the topic and the form, I wouldn’t mind waiting a while on a better hosting solution. The content is what’s important after all and a little inconvenience getting it seems like a trivial thing compared to “real world” deadlines though I might be biased as I have a decent sized backlog to go through and reading via RSS would work for me as well.

  4. Kat Slonaker said:

    Yes, brief issues (error page initially; reloaded; slow load, then fine), but nothing that is a ‘deal breaker’ for me.

    I’m looking forward to seeing your planned new features.

  5. Matthew Dixon Cowles said:

    I don’t recall running into any problems loading Ex Urbe.

  6. First of all, thanks so much for your advice on gelato, and for the game of Spot the Saint! Both made my recent trip to Italy a million times more fun.

    The website does load pretty slowly, but it won’t stop me from reading. Looking forward to future posts.

  7. Emily said:

    The website always loads slowly for me. As my RSS reader shows just a snippet of your posts and I have to click through to see the whole thing, I’m fairly aware of the slowness, but honestly it doesn’t bother me terribly since I’m just looking forward to reading the post!

  8. Telophase said:

    I find the site slow to load almost all of the time. I follow it through an RSS reader, but for some reason I’ve got a feed that only shows excerpts and not full posts.

  9. Like Emily, my RSS reader only shows the first few lines of your posts, so I have to load the original page, too.

    I occasionally run into the database error, and occasionally the pages load slowly (though this one didn’t, today – maybe your hosting service is reading your posts and trying not to lose your business!).

    But since yours are often long, content-rich posts that I take my time to savour, the slow loading thing doesn’t bother me – it sometimes takes me a few days to get through a longer post (a screen or two at a time), and by that time, the page has usually finished loading. ; )

  10. Jakob said:

    I read it in rss, and have had no problems. When I visit the site itself to see comments, or to get the url to send it to friends, I’ve not noticed any problems – but I don’t do that often.

  11. Ex Urbe said:

    Many thanks for the feedback so far. It sounds as if the bugs are, for most people, minor enough that I will wait a couple of months and then make the switch. If others have other experiences, please do report it. Thank you.

  12. Hi,

    First of all, you blog is the best thing I’ve found in 2013 (thanks to MeFi). Thank you and please, keep posting.
    Please, let me know if you need help with hosting change, will be really happy to help (can also provide free hosting)

  13. I read your fantastic blog regularly in Firefox and on iPad. Never had any problems.

  14. Jim Roberts said:

    I sometimes find that the site won’t load. Indeed, the last time I tried before today, sometime at the weekend, it said something like “Not enough memory to complete request”.

  15. Adeline said:

    I just encountered an error using the navigation button beneath the post to go from “How to Spot Good Gelato…” to this entry; I received the database error. It isn’t critical, since the RSS feed is working fine through commafeed, but it is another data point for your consideration.

  16. Adeline said:

    Addendum: Posting the previous comment was painfully slow to process, and reminded me of the slow load time to open the page in the first place.

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