WordLog

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

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Add an image to your RSS 2.0 feed

Filed under: — Carthik @ 8:00 pm

Reader of this weblog who use a feed reader should now be seeing a small image in their readers.
The RSS 2.0 specification allows for each “channel” or feed to have an image associated with it.

Adding an image to your RSS 2.0 feed is known to be perfectly harmless, and can add some color and jazz to your feeds in the feed-readers’ display. Of course, the effect is entirely cosmetic, but heck, if you can spend hours modifying the design of your blog, why not spend a few minutes modifying how your feed is displayed in readers, considering the fact that a lot of your regular readers might be using a feed reader?

To add an image to the RSS 2.0 feed created by your WordPress weblog, create an image (the maximum value for the width and height for RSS 2.0 feeds are 144 and 400 respectively), upload it to your wp-content folder, which is intended to hold all user-content, and edit your wp-rss2.php file/template to include the image. Change the permissions of the wp-rss2.php file to 666, and you can use WordPress’ in-built template editor to do the editing.

Here is the relevant portion from WordLog’s RSS 2.0 feed :
.
.

<channel>
<title><?php bloginfo_rss('name') ?></title>
<link><?php bloginfo_rss('url') ?></link>
<description><?php bloginfo_rss("description") ?></description>
<image>
<link>http://wordlog.com/</link>
<url>http://wordlog.com/wp-content/feedlogo.jpg</url>
<title>wordlog.com</title>
</image>
<copyright>Copyright <?php echo mysql2date('Y', get_lastpostdate()); ?></copyright>
.
.

WordPress IIS Setup

Filed under: — Carthik @ 6:59 pm

Frank has written a detailed article about setting up WordPress on a windows-based platform. The article WordPress Permalink formatting and WIMP, by DA Williams suggests some improvements to the ISAPI RewriteRules. While we are it, John’s article on the same subject is also worth noting.

A minor debate

Filed under: — Carthik @ 5:02 pm

So MovableType’s latest catch-up-with-WordPress edition is coming soon, and I could not resist mentioning that it is only still catching up with WordPress, with regards to features. The idea is interesting, isn’t it? The market leader catching up with the upstart, but in terms of features, WordPress is a step or two ahead of MovableType, when it comes to managing all things related to a single weblog (notice how I nimbly step around the multiple weblog feature MovableType has, that WordPress does not :) ), and making sure that your content is accessible in several ways, according to the readers’ preferences.

In short, if I had to chose a Manager for the content of my weblog, I would hire WordPress. For one, the manager is slimmer (download file: 310 KB versus 1.29 MB + lower usage of server space), will work for free, and then also takes care to get the message across effectively, with minimal loss-in-transit, which is most important. Conforming to standards and providing the content in different formats and feeds sure helps with all this.

Neil responds to a comment I left, and he says :

Indeed, MT doesn’t have this (RSS feeds for comments to a post) by default, but it’s trivial to add – you just need to create another Individual Entry Archive that displays comments in RSS format.

With WordPress, you don’t have to create another archive (with the associated cost of webspace for storing the archive pages), and your readers can keep track of comments to specific posts, or all the posts on your weblog, by default. There are links for the RSS feed for comments to specific posts, as well as the whole blog, available on the default template. Just one example where WordPress outshines MovableType. I am sure there may be some cases where MovableType upstages WordPress, and i wish to state that I don’t mean to say that WordPress is better than MovableType in all aspects. Some folks might just find MovableType a better tool, with good reason.

Statistics packages

Filed under: — Carthik @ 4:14 pm

This article introduces two GPL licensed website statistics packages that can work with WordPress.

The first is ShortStat. It looks very neat, as you can see from the WordLog Shortstat page (you may have to type in the URL http://wordlog.com/shortstat in teh browser address field, since linking to the shortstat URL is disabled), and the less the clutter, the better, right? I find ShortStat to be a good substitute for Reinvigorate, which incidentally, is also released under the GPL.

The relative advantages of ShortStat are :
1. It is all on your server, and easier to setup to run off of your server than reinvigorate.
2. It gives you a list of repeat offenders referrers, so it’s easier to see how many times a particular site has referred folks to your site.
3. It uses php, and does not mess with Java or Flash or anything else.

To install the latest ShortStat, get Version 0.3b running, and then upgrade to Version 0.34b. Version 0.34b is only an upgrade, and so does not include the files required to install ShortStat, hence the need to install v0.3b first. You can use information in the wp-config.php file from your WordPress install to configure the database variables for ShortStat.
Chris says ShortStat takes up some space in the database, but that should be okay, now that v0.34b includes a way to empty the tables.

The second statistics package is BBClone and Ollie provides some instructions for making it work with WordPress.

These stand-alone applications supplement the list of Statistics Plugins available for WordPress.

Binary Bonsai Releases the Kubrick Theme

Filed under: — Carthik @ 2:37 pm

Many a time I have wished I could get Michael Heilemann, owner of the beautiful, nay drop-dead gorgeous Binary Bonsai (isn’t the name beautiful too?) to design my WordPress blog for me.

Now, the wish has come true! You can have Michael’s design for your blog too.
Kubrick for WordPress

Kubrick for WordPress is his attempt to

create a theme which is simple to setup and use, while remaining powerful and versatile.

I am not linking to the download file directly since I would like you to visit his site, read the readme, and download the theme.

Joen, Brian and of course Michael are WordPress users from Denmark, who have, at some point of time, been colleagues. It is good to seem them all interested in improving WordPress.

 

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