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

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Mertner.Com Family Blogs – An Experiment In Multiple Blogs.

Filed under: — Carthik @ 10:42 pm

Over at mertner.com, I found an interesting solution to the problem of creating multiple WordPress blogs in the same Server, using the same codebase.

Allan uses symbolic links, a modified wp-config.php and a file with a few functions to create multiple WordPress blogs, presumably one each for his family members, running off of the same set of WordPress files. The simplicity of the solution is amazing.

Read more about his solution in his article on Choosing and configuring the engine for mertner.com. He explains the process in sufficient detail, and it should be possible to follow the instructions there to create multiple blogs on a server.

While at his site, please also read his article on creating static pages, which reads easy as a tutorial to use the Faked Folder plugin. It infact tells you how to do it for multiple sites. The Faked Folder plugin allows you to create static pages linked to your wordpress blog.

Ruben’s MultiSite hack is an alternative solution to the multiple WordPress blogs problem. To quote him :

The general idea is to make a directory named sites under the current wp install and then making both a multi-conf.ini file and the corresponding directories under it. This approach uses the host part of the HTTP request to figure out which sites/dir to use and parse the wp-config.php inside it. After it has parsed it, it silently include()s the main wp-config.php which will define the variables (host, db etc) only if they have not been defined already.

If you cannot wait till WordPress comes out with a version that supports multiple blogs, then you can use these hacks to acheive what you need.

WordPress is LinuxJournal’s Choice

Filed under: — Carthik @ 9:29 pm

LinuxJournal’s September 2004 issue features WordPress on the cover page , and starts off by saying :

If you want a Weblog package with minimal command-line setup and a full-featured Web-based administration system, WordPress may be for you.

Read the complete article on WordPress, which says, among other things that unlike other Open-Source applications, WordPress has a user friendly interface :

The authors of WordPress, to their credit, have spent a great deal of time on the user interface, trying to ensure that it is straightforward and unsurprising for nontechnical users.

In fact, LinuxJournal winds up by saying that WordPress is the blogging tool of choice :

It has a full list of features, many of which have to do with the clean, easy-to-use user interface. Even novice computer users and Webloggers can publish regularly with this software. Although the underlying code and technologies used—PHP and MySQL—are not my favorites, the set of features, growth of the platform and the large community all make WordPress a winning choice.

Kudos to WordPress’ developers for their ongoing efforts to make WordPress easy to setup and a pleasure to use.

WordPress is LJ famous! I couldn’t beleive it when I learned of this first through Matt.

Syntax highlighting in a box

Filed under: — Carthik @ 3:10 pm

A new, updated iG:Syntax Hiliter Plugin is available, complete with examples. It can highlight HTML, CSS, PHP, JAVA & SQL code in multi-color.

Readers might want to also read about another syntax highlight plugin I had previously mentioned.

reBlogging with WordPress

Filed under: — Carthik @ 3:07 pm

Yesterday in reBlog – An Interesting Idea, I talked about re-blogging using feeds from other sites, and I wondered how long it would be before someone came up with a WordPress plugin to use with reBlog.

Turns out you already have something that works on the same line as reBlog, specifically for WordPress. The WordPress RSS Aggregator automates the process of creating posts in your wordpress blog, each of which is a post in another weblog. So far, it can only handle one feed, or so it seems. So you can specify a feed, and each time there is a new article in the feed, your weblog will be automatically updated with that new post.

New Purple Links

Filed under: — Carthik @ 12:43 pm

DenkZEIT has made available a new client-side implementation of Purple Links for WordPress. The reason this implementation is “New” is that Stevarino has a purple links hack that does the same for you on the server-side.

So what are purple links?
Purple Links, or plinks as Simon Willison calls them, are a way to provide linkable anchors to all the paragraphs and other sub-elements on a page. Just so you can link to say, the third paragraph in a page. This can be quite useful when someone want’s to quote what you said in a long article. A link to the appropriate paragraph or sentence might be more appropriate than a link to just the article, as the reader who follows that link can see the context of the quoted statement more easily. An example might be in order here. Here’s one:

Simon Willison says that Javascript could have a bright future.

(Note: Notice how the link takes you to the last paragraph, which I linked-to using the URI http://simon.incutio.com/archive/2004/05/30/plinks#p-13)

More on Alternating Comment Backgrounds

Filed under: — Carthik @ 12:22 pm

In Comments with Alternating Background Color we looked at MooKitty’s solution to the problem of displaying alternate comments with different backgrounds, to make it easier for the reader to read and distinguish between comments.

GFMorris has a better solution that allows for better control over how the alternate comments are displayed, by giving the user two classes that can then be styled whichever way the user desires.

Personally I am a fan of LaughingLizard’s Threaded Comments Hack, which lets you reply to a particular comment among many comments, and threads the display too. It can be seen at work here.

Version Control for Posts

Filed under: — Carthik @ 7:09 am

If you edit your old articles like crazy, and then go crazy trying to figure out just what it was that you changed about the article, then you ought to use the Wp Version Control Plugin.

Now, if only we had a blog version control system that saves copies of all the core .php files over time, so you can restore the blog to the last-working-set-o-files after a night of hacking like crazy! Give me version control for the WordPress index.php to begin with.

Improving the Search Result Page

Filed under: — Carthik @ 1:51 am

WordPress has a good built in search function, and to use it to the fullest, all you have to do is use WordPress. If you want to adapt the way the search results are displayed, or if you want to deliver a better 404 page, using the search function, read on.

Providing a seperate page of Search Results with WordPress is a neat article explaining the long of short of how to make WordPress’ search results look like, well, search results using a seperate page to display the search results (WordPress, by default uses index.php for displaying the search results).

Raena’s solution, on the other hand, enables you to stop WordPress from redirecting the searcher to the matching post, without any explanation, and to add a friendlier note to head off the search results.

Finally, Mark Ghosh has a 404 page enhancement that redirects visitors to pages that may be similar to the ones they requested. I wish it was more user-friendly by including a note to the visitor saying that the exact page was not found, and that the page he/she is about to see might be the right match.

Stay Valid

Filed under: — Carthik @ 1:20 am

Every now and then I get an email, or an online comment saying my blog does not validate, and more often than not, it is a wayward comment, or an img tag that’s not closed. The only solution to avoid the embarassment was to occasionally check the validator to see if everything’s rosy and valid.

Not any more, first off we have LaughingLizard’s spankin’ new hack tovalidate your posts before publishing. Alright, so that is a hack, and not a plugin, so if you, like me are too lazy, then get Ben Hammersley’s XHTML Validator to RSS. It is as easy as adding a new feed URI to your favourite feed reader, and what’s better, it says nothing as long as your blog or webpage validates – a little less to read, a little less work.

Import Posts and Comments from LiveJournal to WordPress

Filed under: — Carthik @ 12:16 am

Kemetix.Net offers a new an improved way to import all your LiveJournal posts and the comments into your WordPress blog in one (actually three) fell swoop!

The instructions here are pretty self explanatory and so I will not dwell on them too long. It’s mostly perl at the LiveJournal side, but who cares as long as it runs “out-of-the-tarball”?

The last time someone imported posts and comments was something everyone could not complete between two successive baths. This solution should be possible to implement between two baths (unless you, like Douglas Adams, are fond of baths and bathing).


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