WordLog

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

Monday, August 30, 2004

Dougal’s Text Filter Suite

Filed under: — Carthik @ 10:11 pm

The Text Filter Suite (”TFS”, hereafter) is a WordPress plugin which adds some new text filtering functions. In a sense, the core TFS functions could be considered a “meta filter”, because they actually provide a framework that let you construct new filters fairly easily. They also provide an easy way to apply filters to post content and comments on a per-post basis.

– From the Readme file.

Dougal announces a Text Filter Suite, something that should be an essential plugin for every blog. It is the answer to the question, “how do I control text formatting plugins or filters on a per-post basis?”, and that alone makes it worthwhile.

If that were not enough you can apply fudd, chef, jive, kraut, pirate, or acronymit to any page, just like that. :)

What Do New Users Need?

Filed under: — Carthik @ 9:26 pm

What resources do you think new users need to help them modify their designs — what appears in index.php and how?

I am not looking for links here. Please post what you think makes a complete set of helpful documents for someone customizing the default WordPress template?

I have some ideas of my own, but I’d like to hear what you have to say, and then put together the links, and create any essential documents that might be missing.

Thank you.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Old Versions of WordPress

Filed under: — Carthik @ 8:49 pm

Old versions of WordPress are archived for those that want them. Someone was asking where to find the old original b2, at the forums.
I had no clue, even after searching a bit. So I thought I should save a link to the old WordPress editions for the future.
Update:I have an old b2.zip tucked away in case someone needs it

How to Display Links in Your Link Roll in the Order Updated

Filed under: — Carthik @ 3:35 am

Today, your’s truly brings to you a guide to showing links in your link manager ordered by the most recently updated weblogs. This is useful when you have a lot of blogs in your link roll, and you want to show the links in the order of “freshness” of the blogs, that is, with the most recently updated blog appearing first in the list.

Ok, I am bored. No one has anything interesting to say about WordPress today. Today being a Saturday (early Sunday already, actually), and all that. So I thought I will write a long tutorial for you.

You can see this in action at Molly’s blog, where the links in her Blogroll are in the order updated — “freshest to mustiest“, as she so eloquently puts it. Matt’s Portal page is also a good example of this.

Steps:
1) Get a plugin and update it.
2) chmod a file.
3) Set the right options.
4) Add the right template tag.

Now, for a detailed blow-by-blow account :

Step 1:
a) Save the Update Linkroll plugin which was Carthik’s first ever plugin ;) .
b) Rename the file as updatelinkroll.php
c) Upload it to your wp-content/plugins folder.
d) Activate the plugin from the plugins page visible at the administration interface after you log in.

Step 2:

a) CHMOD the links-update-cache.xml file in the wp-content folder to 766 (so that it is writable by wordpress)
b) Notice the existence of a file called link-update-cache.xml (link, not links) in wp-content and pat yourself on your back for not getting confused between this imposter and the real file that does all the work, which you CHMOD’ed. You don’t need the link-update-cache.xml file at all, so go ahead and delete it, if you like. Helps avoid confusion, you know.

Step 3:

a) Tweak the options in wp-admin/options.php?option_group_id=8 (The link manager options)

The following options are the ones related to displaying updated links:

  • weblogs_xml_url – You won’t need to change this. This specifies the URL of the xml file with the list of recently changed weblogs.
  • weblogs_cacheminutes – Specify the number of minutes WP waits before it updates the cached list of recently updated blogs it got from weblogs.com (something like 30 or 60 should be fine, really)
  • links_updated_date_format – The date format for the updated tooltip, leave it the way it is, if you are not too particular about minutae.
  • links_recently_updated_prepend – The text to prepend to a recently updated link
  • links_recently_updated_append – The text to append to a recently updated link
  • links_recently_updated_time - The time in minutes to consider a link recently updated

Step 4:
Add a suitable template tag to your index.php where you want the list of links to appear. The following template tag works, so it’s a good place to start, when in doubt:
<?php get_links('-1','<li>','</li>',' ','true','_updated','false','false','-1','1','true'); ?>
More details about that template tag are available at the get_links wiki page.

Or, you can use wp_get_links()
to display the links. You can order the list by “recently updated” by clicking the “Links” tab in the admin interface, and then link-categories (wp-admin/link-categories.php). There, for each category, you can decide the order of display of links. The whole idea is that you use the wp_get_links to display the list of links, and you use the “Links” menu in the admin interface to adjust everything about how the links are displayed.
The link manager in WordPress is largely the effort of Mike. He was extremely helpful in understanding how the links manager works. Thanks, Mike :)

Saturday, August 28, 2004

About Blogging Successfully

Filed under: — Carthik @ 3:49 pm

Simon’s Everything You Wanted to Know But Were Afraid To Ask attempts to be a complete round up of essential and practical blogging knowledge.

There are obvious contradictions: Be Original(#19) Vs. Plagiarism is Encouraged(#22), but he probably does not expect to be taken seriously(#4).

I wish he extended (#49) to include padding between items of the list. The current format of the article makes for difficult reading, thus emphasizing (#29)

All said, I spent a long time following the links at the end of the post. Just what you need for a perfect weekend — a long article, and a lot of links that lets you waste more of your time reading up on how to waste time efficiently and effectively :)

Happy reading!

How to Add a Paypal Donate Link

Filed under: — Carthik @ 3:35 am

After searching, I found this Guide to Paypal donations (.pdf), which turns out to be all you need to know about how to put a “Make a Donation” button on your weblog or website.

I haven’t got paid in a month, and the pocket is feeling the pinch. Then I got renewal notices for two old domain names I had registered, which is when I thought I probably should help you help me, if you so desire. So this site now has a Paypal “make a donation” button in the menu.

I have made a sum total of Zero dollars through my website and all this work so far, so let’s see if we can change that. On a side note, I tried to donate myself some money, just to test if everything is working fine, and also to see if I can give myself 2 cents ;) , but Paypal told me,”You cannot email money to yourself. Please enter another user’s email address if you would like to send money to someone.

10 Subversion Tips for CVS Users

Filed under: — Carthik @ 1:59 am

Now that Matt is talking about moving to subversion, The Top Ten Subversion Tips for CVS Users will be useful for many WordPress users who develop plugins and like to see what’s new in the source, first hand. The article’s author Brian Fitzpatrick is the author of Version Control with Subversion

Thanks

Friday, August 27, 2004

The One About Seriocomic’s Collapsible Menus

Filed under: — Carthik @ 2:58 am

Seriocomic is one of the better designed WordPress weblogs in town. (No, you do _not_ click on the tab called “intercourse” on the horizontal menu. :) )

If you find the collapsible menu items in the menu on the right in his weblog, he provides details on how to implement the collapsible items. You have his permission and his stylesheet too.

Slow Down Spammer Boy!

Filed under: — Carthik @ 1:52 am

Spam Comments come in waves. Dougal helps you slow them down a bit, and then give them a piece of your mind.

Spammer Tar Pit is a plugin that checks whether comments are from known spammer IPs in the list in your comment moderation keys, along with the spam words you have. If there is a match, the plugin waits for some time and then gives the spammer an “access denied” message. You can change the wait time, as well as the message.

AdSense for Blogs

Filed under: — Carthik @ 1:26 am

Apparently,

chocolate is to peanut butter like AdSense is to blogs

Don’t worry if you can’t make too much sense of that. What matters is :

…set up your own Bloggerized AdSense account so that you make the money. What’s the catch? We’re going to take some of the action. Based on what we have learned from AdSense so far, this will work out very nicely for both of us. Please note that this program is optional and that it is not required for you to have a Blogger powered blog—all bloggers are invited.

So go ahead, read “There’s AdSense in My Blog!”, and start serving some ads, if you’d like to.

My blog got accepted though it had been rejected earlier.

BloGTK Blogs Using WordPress

Filed under: — Carthik @ 1:05 am

BloGTK is a weblog client that allows you to post to your weblog from Linux without the need for a separate browser window. BloGTK allows you to connect with many weblog systems such as Blogger, Movable Type, pMachine, and more. BloGTK is written using Python and PyGTK , and is designed to be fast and simple to use.

BloGTK at sourceforge

I was wondering if BloGTK works with WordPress, until I found the BloGTK Blog, which runs on WordPress. So WordPress is now the blog software of choice for a blogging tool.

Opera – WordPress Bug Fix

Filed under: — Carthik @ 12:40 am

WordPress’ operamaniac, Sushubh, tells us there is a fix for the fieldset float fix bug Opera has when it deals with WordPress’ admin pages.

Opera users, rejoice!

RAWDOG

Filed under: — Carthik @ 12:30 am

Some readers may be interested in this RSS Aggregator Without Delusions Of Grandeur (RAWDOG).

It’s not just the name that’s interesting. It is a way to create an html page with the entries from you favourite blogs. I found a rawdog in my referrers, and I went looking, which is how I found this tool. RAWDOG has been around for more than a year, in one way or the other.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

WordPress Permalinks and Google – An Experiment

Filed under: — Carthik @ 7:37 pm

I confess. I have been laying the ground to stage a small experiment involving WordPress and Google, without telling you, my precious readers.

WordLog.com does not appear to have been crawled and indexed by google yet. A search for wordlog.com, returns nothing. I even saved the following screenshot for future reference :
Wordlog not on google yet
This is inspite of the fact that several pages, with high PageRanks link to WordLog and send approx. 600-900 unique visitors this way. I am guessing that google is shy because the URIs here are not neat — they are in a query-string form.

I know that a lot of folks have talked about how query string make for bad search-engine PR. There is a Google Answers Answer on How to get Google to Spider Dynamically Gererated ASP Pages, and dynamic php pages, like the one WordLog is currently serving are similar to ASP pages in the eyes of the bot, I guess.

I have not submitted this site to google, nor do I intend to, for the next month, for the sake of this experiment, since it’s been a little over a month since I made the first post on WordLog.

Now what’s the experiment, you ask?
I am going to start using WordPress’ nicer URIs option, by turning on the Permalink Options. Let us see if turning it on makes any difference with respect to whether google wants to index and archive my pages or not.

Update: An interesting side-effect of my switching this blog to use permalinks is that the RSS feed now has new URLs for the posts, and so feed (news) readers show duplicate posts. Mine does, for one. Pretty obvious, but some subscribers might get irritated. If you are one of them, please accept my apologies.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

WordPress Template Tag Quick Reference

Filed under: — Carthik @ 2:44 am

Arvind has created a useful tool for all of us WordPress users. Thank you, Arvind!

The WP Template Tag Quick Reference is a tool you can add to your browser, as a bookmark that opens in your sidebar, with links to the documentation for WordPress’ Template Tags. Add it to your browser now!

This will be a handy reference for design blogs using WordPress. I hope this leads to more folks using WordPress’ template tags to adapt and modify their WordPress blogs’ designs.

Movalog was inspired by WordLog, and the WP Tag reference came after the MT tag reference. I hope this sense of camaraderie between the WordPress and MovableType user communities grows to make all of our lives better . :)

Monday, August 23, 2004

Free Conversion of Blog from MT or GM to WP

Filed under: — Carthik @ 11:06 am

If you want to switch from MovableType or Greymatter, but didn’t know how, or wanted to see how it will go, take this offer to convert your blog. It’s free, so give it a shot.
Also, Podz is the most active support volunteer, and an experienced hand, so he’s the best you can get.

Edited for accuracy at Podz’ behest

Cellphones, Email and WordPress

Filed under: — Carthik @ 8:25 am

Dr. Dave has released Wp-keitai-mail* , a hack for posting articles to your WordPress powered blog using a cellphone (keitai == cellphone in Japanese). He calls it a plugin, but I think it’s not one, since it can be installed outside of your WordPress directory. A plugin is something that plugs in like a plug plugs into a socket. Excuse me if that sounds obvious, but a lot of the “plugins” out there are more like Appliances. You probably have to plug them in, but that alone will not get them to work. You have to read the manuals that come with the Appliance and probably add/tweak a few things. That said, wp-keitai-mail has a few cool features, and once you get it working, posting using a cellphone, or through email should be easier.

I wrote a tutorial on how to blog by email a while ago. Of course, if there is something wrong with the tutorial, you can can edit it quite easily, at the wiki. The WordPress way of blogging by email is very simple, but requires a cron job to check for new mails periodically. wp-keitai-mail does not need a cron job. It does need a few extra things though, but if you can’t do without moblogging, then go get it.

One of the other blog-by-email developments I have noticed is the improved wp-mail.php from John Blade.

It has all the abilities of the current wp-mail.php plus:

* Allows image attachments (posts inline)
* Checks if user email address is in the database (otherwise discards message)
* Allows other file attachments (zip’s, exe’s, etc)
* Fairly good cleaner for removing excessive line breaks

I should say that if it does all that it says, John Blade’s enhancement to wp-mail.php should be an useful addition to a WordPress blog.

Also of note is this fix for an error that seems to be quite common when using the blog by email feature.

* seen at BloggingPro

Friday, August 20, 2004

WordPress CVS Access Restored

Filed under: — Carthik @ 8:32 pm

The Sourceforge.net Status Page reports:

( 2004-08-20 10:03:14 – Project CVS Service ) pserver-based CVS access and ViewCVS access to repositories for projects starting with a, c, d, g, u, w, and x has been restored as of 2004-08-20. This completes our resolution of the 2004-08-12 hardware failure that impacted this service. No data has been lost in this hardware outage; data has been reloaded to this host from the developer CVS server. Developer CVS service access, and non-developer CVS services for all other project letters, was not impacted by this outage.

So all of you who run or use cutting-edge CVS code, can get back to using the CVS server.
I find it useful to browse the CVS when I have to check to see what’s in and what’s not.

WordPress’ lead developer, Matt has been taking an interest in Subversion lately. It’s anybody’s guess if and when WordPress will start using Subversion instead of CVS.

Nucleus to WordPress Import Utility

Filed under: — Carthik @ 12:05 pm

I see a Nucleus to WordPress importer at the forums. May some google searcher find this page some day, and find the importer useful.

Displaying Titles on Category Pages

Filed under: — Carthik @ 12:58 am

Stuart again.

This time, he writes a neat little tutorial to explain how to display the name of the category as the title on category pages.

He writes :

There are a few “functions” that already exist in WordPress which can be put to good use if you know about them.

Oh yes. There are are quite a few Template Tags that I have rarely, if ever, seen used. The reason could be that most users, including your’s truly, are, for the most, satisfied with what’s in the default WordPress weblog, in terms of template tags.

This tutorial, by Stuart, does a good job of explaining how to check if the page displayed is of a kind (a category page in this case) and to display something only on those pages. The forthcoming version of WordPress will have more “markers” like $cat, for pages, to help in the identification of the kind, or type of page being displayed. Just so you can customize your pages all you want.

 

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