WordLog

A weblog authored by Carthik about the latest in the WordPress world.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Synergy – WordPress and LiveJournal

Filed under: — Carthik @ 1:26 am

lj usercrschmidt uses LiveJournal, but he regrets the fact that LiveJournal does not support trackbacks. So what does he do?

He installs WordPress, and figures a way to use it to power trackbacks for LiveJournal. If you clicked that link, and thought you were looking at a WordPress powered blog, look again. Though that page looks like the Rubric style for WordPress blogs, that is a LiveJournal blog. His WordPress blog is here.

He has since disabled the trackbacks, but I find the idea interesting, nevertheless. Synergy is when you add one and one and get more than two. Maybe he can try unteins’ excellent LivePress plugin to cross-post to LiveJournal from WordPress.

crschmidt can also help you with importing your LJ entries into WordPress in one go. Livejournal by default exports entries month-wise, an XML file for a month’s worth of entries, but if you want them all at once, follow the instructions.

I am constantly amazed at the ways WordPress is used, in this case as a TrackBack tool, but considering the fact that it is an Open Source product, it shouldn’t be surprising, really.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Importing large MovableType text files.

Filed under: — Carthik @ 12:38 pm

A fewof those who came over to WordPress from MovableType recently have faced problems with importing huge MT export files (we are talking about import.txt files the size of an mp3 file – approx 5MB). The problem is that the server runs out of memory allocated for php processes when processing so large a file. Server admins usually set the memory limit to a reasonably low value, especially on shared servers, to prevent resource hogging.

One solution for the problem where the MT importer times out before completing its task, is to break up your import.txt file into smaller files. Another is to use a custom template to export entries by the month, or year, and then import those files into WordPress.

This Library Planet article has tips, and MT templates to try both these methods.

For more help regarding moving from MT to WordPress, refer to the moving guide.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Comments with alternating background colors

Filed under: — Carthik @ 9:08 pm

Kitten has documented a sweet little trick at her Project Blog which will enable you to display comments with alternating background colors.

While you are at her Project Blog, do check out her plugins, and if you want a plugin or a hack that you think might also be useful to others, you can request her too.

A WordPress Video Blog

Filed under: — Carthik @ 5:25 pm

What’s cooler, WordPress, or its users?

Brice has an interesting Video Blogging Script that enables him to post Videos from his Sony-Ericsson P900 over GPRS to his WordPress blog. How cool is that?

My first video post… World First ?

Good question, we don’t know the definitive answer to that!

A preliminary search of the premises did not reveal any downloadable scripts for the use of WordLog readers, and I hope Brice will oblige us all soon.

Alternate templates and stylesheets

Filed under: — Carthik @ 2:28 pm

Root has come out with a couple of alternate template+stylesheet (index.php + wp-layout.css) packages for WordPress 1.2.

I like to think that it started with his comment/question, which goes :

How does someone convert their default layout to a two column, centred layout, with a footer, and using float from CSS 1?

At that time, I thought it was too detailed a question to be included in the FAQ, as I beleived the chances of someone actually voicing that question would be rather low. Kudos to Root for having gone ahead and answered that question now.
Two designs are available,

  1. Two column – Gemini
  2. Three column – Trident

He has a detailed explanation of why he thinks the changes are neccesary at the pages I have linked to. Read them and use the templates if you like. I agree with him about that fact that for new users who require a template with a header, a footer and two or three columns, those templates are good to get started with. If you decide to use them, know that you also have to get the index.php provided , along with the stylesheets.

WordLog uses a modified version of Root’s creation. So if you need to create a two column design, with a header and a footer, and with an Image Banner, you could use the WordLog stylesheet. In addition to the header, or banner, image, a change I made was to increase the width of #rap, #content and #menu to about 800, 600 and 200 pixels respectively.

In other WordPress design news, with regard to the anticipated release of Kubrick, Michael has made it known that it should be available by Saturday evening (CET).

Admin Color Contest

Filed under: — Carthik @ 11:00 am

Hop on over to PhotoMatt and get your entry in for new WordPress admin pages color schemes.
A little bit of money, fame and glory awaits winners.
Entries are accepted till it’s Friday night in Texas.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Introducing the BreadCrumbs Plugin

Filed under: — Carthik @ 9:35 pm

There is a neat BreadCrumbs Plugin available for WordPress, and it’s been recently updated. It is a plugin that can make your site more “usable” or user-friendly.

But, first, what are breadcrumbs doing on websites, and why are they called just that?

The search for a comprehensive answer took me to the usability glossary, which says the following about breadcrumbs :

on websites, a form of navigation where the current location within the website is indicated by a list of pages above this page in the hierarchy, up to the main page. For example, if you were browsing the products at a department store, you might see the following hierarchy when you’re on the Sneakers page:

Home > Products > Clothes > Shoes > Sneakers

Each of the categories above the current page is usually a link to the corresponding category page.

The term “breadcrumbs” is a reference to the Hansel and Gretel tale where they leave breadcrumbs as they wander the forest so they can find their way home. The metaphor is imperfect because the breadcrumbs do not represent the actual path the user took, but instead the optimal path from the home page to the current page in the hierarchy.

So, the idea is, you give the user a way of knowing where she is, in the virtual hierachy of the blog.

This plugin handles posts assigned to multiple categories very gracefully. The plugin’s output can be customized too.

Making Relative Links Work

Filed under: — Carthik @ 3:51 pm

If you use the Permalinks feature in WordPress, and you use relative links to link to files or images on your server, as follows:

<a href="images/foo.png"> in your index.php template, or your posts, then it will not work properly, since it will automatically become something like
<a href="http://example.com/archives/post/images/foo.png">

The usual work around is not to use relative links in your template, or posts.

But in case you want to, you can use the w3 org recommendation and add a base URI to your index.php, which looks like :
<base href="http://www.youwebsite.com/">
to the index.php file, in the “head” section. This should prevent the relative links from getting botched.

Originally seen at the Support Forums.

Thanks to chiensavant for posting the solution and Ali_ix for bringing it to my notice.

Title Images Plugin

Filed under: — Carthik @ 1:41 pm

You might have seen the post titles at photomatt, which are actually png images. Here’s an example (since most of his recent posts are “asides” without titles).
A lot of people have asked, over the ages, as to how to create such “dynamic” titles.
Matt’s code is available here.
Later, WeblogToolsCollection had an article about a different approach to Creating dynamic PNGs from text using PHP

Well now we have a plugin to do the grunt work. The title images plugin can do this for you.

Blurb:

The Title Images plugin is made to show post titles as an image with a font of your choice, with your choice of colors, shadows, and size.

The original WordLog

Filed under: — Carthik @ 11:54 am

I just found that there is another WordLog, which, not surprisingly, is a log with some interesting words and their meaning(s). There seems to be no way to put together two sensible, relevant English words and get a domain name + identity that is unique. I played with all possible combination of “word”, “press”, “log”, and a few other words, like “watch”, “user” and even “mate”.

Now we know why new companies adopt names like “Celix” and “Dumbent” :)

New England Press Consortium

Filed under: — Carthik @ 2:56 am

Just by looking at the New England Press Consortium website, one wouldn’t guess there’s WordPress behind all of it.

The creator says :

The New England Press Consortium website is live and powered by WordPress. The site content is mostly temporary until real stories start being posted tomorrow during the Democratic National Convention. Lots of MPEG-4 video is coming this week.

Most of the development work centered around the front page and back end. Custom queries were used to call the appropriate entries. The back end had to be friendly enough for even an XHTML-ignorant broadcast journalist to use. Excerpt text boxes were enlarged, quick edit buttons were changed to more understandable terms and to allow easy video segment linking, file upload displays the code for video and flash content (not just img), and the upload automatically resizes the images.

Goes to say how easy it is to hack wordpress to do your bidding, and how, to start with it is quite user friendly.

Nifty!

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Dumb Comments Link Plugin

Filed under: — Carthik @ 11:47 pm

Fernando comes up with a new plugin to display “Comments Off” when comments are disabled, and the regular comments link when they are not disabled. It’s all at Dumb Comments Link Plugin – go take a look, use it and spread the word!

He says :

What is a person who is new to PHP to do when they have a vision for WordPress, but lack the skills to accomplish it? Keep trying until they are on the verge of destroying their computer, of course!

Right on! Fernando, that’s the spirit.

gnuker Free WordPress Weblogs

Filed under: — Carthik @ 10:26 pm

Gnuker invites you to try out the free wordpress weblogs before deciding to use their free hosted service.
blogs.gnuker.com seems to be ad free (now, seems like it is not), and the installation comes with some plugins pre-installed. You get :

50 meg disk space
1 gig transfer/bandwidth
1 Database
1 Email Address
(Space and Bandwidth can be adjusted – Terms Apply – Other plans available for domain name owners)

Ali’s Thumbnail Plugin

Filed under: — Carthik @ 11:19 am

Ali’s Thumb-in-post plugin allows you to include some fancy tag+info and the GD library to create thumbnails for a picture, when the thumbnails does not already exist.
<thumb>fullsizeimage.jpg?cap=This is a caption.</thumb>
in your post will create a thumbnail of fullsizeimage.jpg complete with the caption “This is a caption”.
It resizes gifs, jpegs and pngs, as it uses GD (GD’s resizing looks kind of ugly at times, I should say). I do not know if lets you decide the size of the resized image.
Neat, eh?

Neil Turner WordPress Styles

Filed under: — Carthik @ 9:59 am

Neil Turner makes a few templates and shares them.

Converting db entries to UTF-8

Filed under: — Carthik @ 9:49 am

Stephanie writes a how to convert mysql database contents to utf-8, but in general this method of using iconv should work for most char encoding conversions. It was awfully nice of her to write it all down, me thinks.

Google pagerank anyone?

Filed under: — Carthik @ 9:31 am

pagerank

Using WordPress as a CMS

Filed under: — Carthik @ 8:03 am

I should have said “Tutorials”, ’cause there’s two parts to this one by Chris.

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2

He does a good job of explaining things, and though the article is long, I think it explains what is a non-trivial task to the proper level to detail.

Free Blogthing WordPress Blogs

Filed under: — Carthik @ 7:52 am

Blogthing offers free, hosted WP blogs. I guess the google ads on the blogs will pay for them.
Jamie explains more.

Syntax highlighting in Posts

Filed under: — Carthik @ 7:48 am

Scott Yang’s syntax highlight plugin, uses GNU Enscript to highlight code from a variety of languages, including, of course, php. Now you can display your code-fu in technicolor.

 

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