WordLog

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

Friday, September 24, 2004

Link Click Counter Hack/Plugin

Filed under: — Carthik @ 1:14 pm

The Click Counter Plugin counts the number of clicks visitors to your websites have made, for each of the links you post.

You can use this to:

  1. Display how many times a link has been clicked (the popularity of links).
  2. Display a list of the most popular links on your blog.
  3. Track the number of ‘downloads’ of a particular file.

The documentation for the plugin is awesome! I am not surprised, therefore, when Ozh says:

It took me almost longer to write this doc than to write the plugin itself :)

Seen at WTC and ScriptyGoddess

Delete Comment Spam Automatically

Filed under: — Carthik @ 1:04 pm

I use thunderbird for reading my email. Most of the moderation notification, or even comment notifications for new comments which are spam are marked correctly as spam by the spamassassin on my mail server, and as junk mail by my Thunderbird.

Just this morning I was thinking of how neat it would be if I could use SpamAssassin, or something like Thunderbird’s Junk Mail Filter to deal with comment spam on my blogs.

Looks like someone’s heard my prayer after all. Mark releases the Three Strikes Plugin and explains the rationale behind it :

This plugin is designed to prevent comment spam from even hitting your system and leaving you with a flood of approval requests and a bunch of comments to be deleted. While dealing with some moderated comments on my system, I started to realize that most of the REAL Spam could easily be categorized as delete fodder by a “fuzzy” points system. In toying with the idea and testing the various scenarios, I have put together a plugin that keeps tracks of the “strikes” of a comment and then prevents the comment from ever getting into your database and making more work for you.

Kind of like how SpamAssassin assigns scores. Very neat, and of course, if I know Mark well enough, he won’t stop here – he’ll make it a lot better, if need be. I can see how a whitelist with trusted IPs, URLs and authors can be a useful addition.

The best spam filter would be one that makes sure you never get to see the spam, or know that someone spammed you, so you don’t waste any time dealing with spam.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Importing From Blogger to WordPress – A Detailed Tutorial.

Filed under: — Carthik @ 8:41 pm

BlueChronicles does it again! Earlier I had talked about some interesting tutorials at BlueChronicles.

Now BlueChronicles has a detailed step-by-step tutorial, complete with screen-captures and pictures on how to import your entries from blogger to WordPress. This will be very useful for anyone who wants to move from Blogger to WordPress. Welcome Bloggers!

Of Poker and Bison

Filed under: — Carthik @ 6:30 pm

Perhaps the most esoteric plugin I have ever come across is the WP PokerHand Plugin. With the arrival of this plugin, WP is now the greatest and bestest tool for poker players who like their hands to be seen :) I have no idea what the intended Bison Plugin would do, but I guess it must related to a card game. I am routinely amazed by the variety of plugins and hack that WordPress users come up with. The WordPress project is alive and kickin’, come get some!

I expect a few WordPress users to find use for this plugin, including MooKitty.

Any guesses as what the next plugin is going to be? Can you predict any plugins (those that you intend to write are not valid guesses – that is fore-knowledge :) ) that might be written in the future?

HeadSpace – Kurbick Based Custom Design

Filed under: — Carthik @ 1:45 am

I see the first of the Kubrick based designs.

This one’s called HeadSpace.

I hope there are more base themes, like Kubrick, and more customizations of the themes in the future. Designers should get a shot in the arm with the new template-based design option in the forthcoming release of WordPress.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Thank you, readers!

Filed under: — Carthik @ 11:21 am

..For helping me exceed my bandwidth limits thrice since I started writing here!

I am sorry if any of you were here earlier today, and saw a message saying the bandwidth limit had been exceeded. The bandwidth limit has been upped by another 1 GB now.

I have been trawling the web for news about WordPress, and today’s catch is dissapointing, as yet.

Here’s a snippet:
Airblogging has announced that you can now upload photos to your WordPress blog instead of storing them at the airblogging server, which is the way it worked before.

Monday, September 20, 2004

BlueChronicles Tutorials

Filed under: — Carthik @ 8:06 pm

I see two tutorials at bluechronicles. It’s great that WordPress users take the effort to explain things in a simple no-nonsense fashion to other users.

Right now, there are tutorials on how to post images to the blog, and how to create categories and sub categories.

I will be watching that blog for more tutorials in the future.

If you are interested in writing documentation for wordpress, and make it available for public consumption, post a note on the wp-docs mailing list, and your talent will be used to the maximum extent possible. :)

Beautiful Library Website

Filed under: — Carthik @ 3:42 pm

I came across a stunner of a WordPress powered weblog at the Cass County Public Library Website.

I love the colors, the backgrounds, and the way the header images are done. The typography is great too, I dig the titles. What makes this attractive in my eyes is that generally complex designs, with too many colors and busy backgrounds can so easily go wrong, but this one comes out with flying colors, with great cohesion between the backgrounds, colors and the small design elements.
I think what I am trying to describe is called harmony. Credit for the design is attributed to “pixelese design” but I haven’t been able to find the designer’s website. I would have loved to link to it.

So there’s another beauty for you!

Via : Education & Misc, which I suspect is The Shifted Librarian reblogged.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Interview with MooKitty

Filed under: — Carthik @ 5:56 pm

NuclearMoose does it again!

This time he interviews MooKitty.

MooKitty, or Kitten is a WordPress hacker, and a vital member of the WP community. While she is not helping out by squashing bugs, she runs GirlTech.net and she has some plans up here sleeve for the future!

Read the interview for more details.

I love it when the Moose interviews someone. It is, as yet, the best way of getting to know the people behind the product.

Of course, there already has been an interview with the interviewer. The Man Behind the Antlers is an old interview with Craig, aka NuclearMoose.

Styling and using the <ins> tag

Filed under: — Carthik @ 5:28 pm

There is a tag called ins. It has a companion called del. Both of them are not used too often, and it is not easy to find information about what they do, or how to use them and style them.

The Quicktags available in the WordPress “Write” menu has button for both these tags, ins and del.

In a previous post, I edited the content to reflect some changes. I wrapped the new text, which was “μ , where μ (MU) stands for Multi User. Hopefully, it will soon be available to the public.” within a set of <ins> tags. Now the question was as to how to style this to show my readers that this text had been inserted later, after the post had been originally published.

By default, everything within an ins tag pair is underlined (and for del, the text is struck out).

I did not want the text I inserted to be underlined, since that would look like a link. So I wanted it changed to an dotted underline. Also I wanted to say “(Updated)” after the text so people would know what there is a dotted line, and so that everyone notices that there has been an update.

To change the default underline and create a 1px dotted underline, I used the following in my css stylesheet:

ins {
text-decoration: none;
border-bottom: 1px dotted;
}

To insert the text (Updated) after the relevant portion, I used the following in my CSS stylesheet:

ins:after {
content: "(Updated)";
}

The CSS 2 specification says one can use :before or :after to insert the text before or after the relevant portion. The spec also mentions that several different values can be inserted. I inserted a string, i.e., (Updated).

What is remarkable is that when I first searched google for ins tag css text, I ended up at a WordPress Support page!

Adding rules for the del and ins tags in your stylesheet, and using the tags responsibly can make for a better experience for your readers.

Kubrick now for Expression Engine

Filed under: — Carthik @ 2:10 am

Kubrick Ported to EE

Kurbick is considered good enough to be ported to Expression Engine.

With 1.3’s inherent support for theming, I sure hope to see a lot many more themes, like Kubrick, that take the process of designing and customizing blogs to a whole new level. No doubt it will be a little challenging for designers, but for the end users, it will definitely lead to a better designed blog, with minimal effort. Present day methods of styling wordpress blogs will still be around, if you want to keep it simple, and only change the stylesheet.

WordLog Mirrored!

Filed under: — Carthik @ 1:44 am

goLdroW : Now that’s what I meant. Cool.

Friday, September 17, 2004

MultiUsers Smarty WordPress and blogs.linux.ie

Filed under: — Carthik @ 5:43 pm

blogs.linux.ie has this message today:

We’re moving to WordPress today. Please bear with us while the site is down. For updates, please look at Holy Shmoly.

The service is run by Donncha O Caoimh, one of WordPress’ contributing developers. The blogs used to run on another b2 fork.

So why did they switch over now? It’s because the forthcoming release of WordPress may have support for the Smarty Templating Engine. The version of WP used to run the service is called WordPress μ , where μ (MU) stands for Multi User. Hopefully, it will soon be available to the public.

Interesting developments, and to think it would have gone unnoticed!

Spread FireFox Gets Back at WordPress

Filed under: — Carthik @ 5:34 pm

Spread Firefox was an affiliate program to promote FireFox, the browser that makes for a better online life.

Notice the past tense in the above sentence. The site is now down, due to an overload, well not really down, but the affiliate linking thingy is down for now while they improve it.

The page that is up now says :

Other big name affiliates include Broadband Reports and WordPress, both of whom have been amazingly generous in spreading the word among their expansive clientele.

That should certainly send more bloggers and wannabes WordPress’ way. Thanks, Spread FireFox, for returning the favor! Before the affiliate program was taken off-line, WordPress was right up among the top five referrers.

WordPress, as a project, has always been gung-ho about promoting opensource initiatives that are clearly better than closed-source or pay-to-use software. WordPress actively promotes the use of FireFox, and in the future, there will be promotional links in the administrative pages. They are already in the admin interface, in the CVS version.

Also of note in the article is the fact that Kevin Karpenske gave up his domain, firefox.com, for use by the firefox team. Thanks Kevin, that’s the spirit!

Monday, September 13, 2004

Outsource your Mobile Phone Blogging

Filed under: — Carthik @ 12:19 am

The almost-perfect solution to moblogging using your Cellular or Mobile Phone and WordPress is here.

Airblogging provides a method for you to post to your WordPress blog using your mobile phone. You can send pictures (photos) or text to an address and have them appear on your WordPress blog, which makes AirBlogging the perfect outsourcing solution for moblogging.

It currently works with a host of Cellular providers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Cingular, NexTel, Sprint, Virgin and MetroPCS. You are required to provide a few details when you sign up, and the rest is taken care of.

You probably already use the Ping-o-matic service to ping update services, so outsourcing particular blog-related services is not new.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

WordLog Buttons

Filed under: — Carthik @ 5:10 am

Jean, the current sponsor of WordLog, wanted some buttons, so here they are :

  1. bigger 150 x 55 px
  2. small-font 80 x 15 px
  3. 88 x 30 px

I used to have a long line of buttons on my old website, until it got so long I had a tough time figuring out which ones to remove. I ended up removing them all.

Please feel free to use the above images to link to WordLog, if you please. I’d be most honored!

About Ryan

Filed under: — Carthik @ 4:40 am

Big Moose has interviewed Ryan Boren.

Ryan, or rboren, is probably the most elusive of the WP devs. His blog is a simple grey and brown affair with none of the bells and whistles that a wordpress blog can have. That it has comments disabled shows a little of how reserved he is. You will not find a link to his blog in a default WordPress blog’s index.php page, and it is quite possible that a lot of the users do not realize how prolific he is as a WordPress developer. For as long as I have been involved with WordPress, I have noticed Ryan tackling mundane, repetitive tasks, such as marking all of the source for the i18n and i10n effort – hours of boring, not-so-creative work. Ryan is also the resident rewrite guru, and along with Matt, generates a huge portion of the code commits in the CVS.
Thanks Ryan, for all the work, and for committing all our patches.

Read the interview for more details about what Cycling, Aerobics and WordPress have in common.

If you are wondering where he got the WordPress coffee mug from, you can get yours at the WordPress store. Oops! that was a typo! The store’s over here.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Wicked Comments and WordPress

Filed under: — Carthik @ 7:21 pm

I received a comment with the following in the body of the comment :
<meta HTTP-EQUIV="REFRESH" CONTENT="10;URL=http://www.----.---"> coool</meta>

This is an obvious attempt to force the page to re-load to show the intended URI (which I blanked out above).

WordPress displayed “<p>coool</p>” and that’s the end of the matter.

Just one of the few reasons why the html allowed in the comments in WordPress blogs is restricted to a few html tags. I love it when things work silently in the background, protecting from stupid evil people.

Eyetracking and better design

Filed under: — Carthik @ 7:01 pm

Eyetracking is a technical method of determining how humans process visual stimuli, especially on screens. There is this study about visitors’ eye movements at news web pages which provides some scientific information about how visitors read webpages, especially those of new sites.

Now blogs aren’t too different from webpages, so we all could probably use some of the information in the article.

What surprised me most was the following two results stated in the article

  1. Smaller type encourages focused viewing behavior (that is, reading the words), while larger type promotes lighter scanning.
  2. Underlined headlines discouraged testers from viewing blurbs on the homepage

The first one is really surprising since I have always thought that large font sizes cause readers to read more, and more attentively, since it takes less effort (for me at least) to read large text. I still can relate to the results, since I spend more time reading text that is smaller on webpages. This is due to the fact that it is more difficult to read it. The study measures the time a person spends reading a particular section and interprets more time spent in an area as a sign of more having been read. Not neccesarily – it just could be that the user read the same amount – only it took longer, because of the smaller font size. It is often surprising to find studies like this misinterpret results and invert facts, coming to counter-intuitive conclusions.

The second one is interesting. Maybe I should stop underlining headlines.

Hat tip: binarybonsai

P.S. Much as I try avoiding the words “Hat Tip”, they seem to be most appropriate. I used to say “Thanks” but somehow that excludes the possibility of writing out the name of the site/person. Do you know any alternatives to “Hat Tip”?

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

User Quote of the Day

Filed under: — Carthik @ 11:34 pm

It’s a work in progress, but so is the rest of the Internet.

Kara

Thanks Kara, you make me feel a little less guilty about all the unfinished work related to my weblogs and the other things I do online. LiveJournal, GreyMatter, B2, Drupal, and now WordPress. I hope Kara has found peace and her writings have found a home with WordPress.

It is interesting to read the things that new users have to say after installing WordPress. I did not have much to say when I came to WordPress.

I think the default title of the first post in a WordPress blog should be Goodbye World!, and not the uninspiring and clichéd “Hello World”. For one, my suggestion rings true — blogging is, in many ways, a gateway habit. It hooks you to the internet, to technology, geek-stuff to the point where it’s like you’ve bid the world good bye.

 

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