WordLog

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

Friday, May 11, 2007

Can’t Find My Glasses (…but they are on your nose)

Filed under: — Carthik @ 1:34 am

I sure can’t be the first to notice this.

If you go to a feed url, say http://wordlog.com/feed/ and then click on the Google Reader Subscribe Bookmraklet, the poor thing can’t find the feed!
Oops - Can’t Find the Feed.

What do you mean you can’t find it? You’re at it!

I am talking about the authentic Google “Subscribe as you surf” bookmarklet which is available in the “Goodies” store at your reader settings page. Things closest to the eye are the easiest to overlook – even for a team of very competent engineers and developers.

Oh, and by the way, when you visit my feed, feel free to subscribe to it.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Back in Action…

Filed under: — Carthik @ 1:56 pm

First off – sorry for the really, really old posts from this blog that are all over the WordPress Planet. I (finally) upgraded this blog to the latest and greatest WordPress from version 1.5.x-beta. Yeah, you heard me right.

So here’s a quick recap for all interested. I am carthik, and I used to very active in the WordPress world until somehwere around January 2006, first as a support forum volunteer, back when Matt was “allusion” and Mark was “Podz”, and the other Mark was single :) , then as a documentor and then a little bit of development, which never really took off.

I am grad student, and at any point in the past two years, I swear I haven’t been more than 6 months from graduating :) Unfortunately I have had to stick around in school for a little longer than I expected. I did not like that one bit, and so I came up with a plan to graduate – reduce all other activities drastically. That has, variously, made me unhappy, frustrated, bored and cut-off so I gave up on that.

Yesterday I passed a significant landmark – completed a major portion of work, and I had promised myself that as soon as I get that done, I will try and make an effort to at least upgrade my blogs and think about their future. So here I am.

The last post on this blog was made in September 2005. Yup, almost two years ago – so many of you who read this might not know about this blog, or me. This was the first WordPress-powered blog about WordPress. There are so many of these around now that keeping track of them all is difficult. Some pander to professional bloggers (back in 2005 there were no professional bloggers), some to theme hunters, some deliver WP-related news and gossip etc. I have read all of them, and have enjoyed reading some of them. I now have to figure out what WordLog can do in the coming future. The audience I used to address has upped and left – or perhaps not. If everything goes according to plan, I will post here infrequently, maybe once or twice a week, with stuff that deserves attention. That equation has worked out quite well in the past at the other Ubuntu blog I write.

Lots of things have changed around WordPress – in fact I wanted the first new post here to be a summary of the changes around the WordPress family – but then I had to write this one now to explain the sudden planet-flooding. So see you around the planet, but no so much as some of the other regulars! If you are an old WP-friend, or someone who remembers me, drop by and say hi!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Now in google

Filed under: — Carthik @ 6:31 pm

June 11th was the first time I noticed WordLog in google’s search results. After soliciting your help, I had written an email to the folks at google, with the subject “Inclusion request”, since it was not really a re-inclusion, having never been included in the first place. This would have been pretty much the last one I would have written, and this time, some kind soul read it and forwarded it to the technical support folks, who then should have sent the bot this way.

Thanks to all of my readers who had helpful tips and leads. I followed through on most of the tips, almost superstitiously. Enough time wasted on the sidelines. I thought I owed this note of thanks to all readers, despite being in a situation that feels like working at a startup, I’m told.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Happy Birthday, Podz!

Filed under: — Carthik @ 7:31 pm

Here’s wishing you all happiness and joy, Podz!.

Thanks for everything, too.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Help Needed with Google

Filed under: — Carthik @ 12:02 pm

Please think of this as a public appeal for help.

Wordlog.com is not indexed by google, almost a year after I started publishing this blog. You might have seen me going slow around these parts every once in a while. The reason for this is google. I figure, since this site is not indexed, the posts I make here will not show up when someone is searching for the relevant information. So why bother? All the visitors I get to the blog are from links from other blogs, and I cannot thank you all enough for that.

Vis-a-vis google, I have contacted their support department many times, without ever getting a favorable response. When I wrote the first time, the response I got was that google thinks that this website is a link farm, or something of that sort, and that I have to follow the webmaster guidelines. I took the effort to check that there are no hidden links, or any violations of their suggestions. There are none – this is a just a normal WordPress weblog, with minimal modifications, if any.

The motive for starting this blog was two-fold: inform WordPress users of the latest developments, through informative articles and news, beyond the “here’s a new plugin/theme” information, and, to make money, through advertising. Looks like I am failing both ways.

So, if any of you kind readers would have any influence on this subject, and can help me sort out this issue with google at the soonest, I would greatly appreciate it. Please leave me a comment if you can help. Like I said, I have already tried emailing google’s support team, and that did not help. Please suggest alternative, honest, methods of resolution, or if you work at google and can do something to help me, please let me know through a comment.

If nothing works out and I am still as hopeless at the end of two weeks, I will make this content available at WebLog Tools Collection, since I have already discussed it with Mark. That way, at least you, the WordPress users, win!

Update:

I thought I might answer the few questions and reply to some of the suggestions here in the post, so future visitors can read them, too :

Validate your meta keys dude. Validating it would help (Mostly, make all letters CAPITAL and add / before the ending >.

I beleive I have validated the pages here. Did so again today. Google was never too serious about XHTML validation, now was it?

REMOVE ALL FRAMES you have running on this site.

I do not use frames.

Keep spamming http://www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl (Just kidding :P )

Right!

If you use ASP, Your in bad luck. Googlebot hates ASP.

This site proudly uses WordPress (PHP).

Maybe try removing the commented RSS feed stuff from your template as they add up to a lot of links that could be described as cloaked and even though they are just links to RSS feeds on your own site it could be enough to upset Google.

I rather like providing RSS feeds for comments – I for one, use comment feeds to track conversations. I shouldn’t have to do this – there is nothing spooky about the poor feeds :)

DO NO EVIL. There are some sharks in these waters that can get away with it, but Google spends alot of time trying to weed these PageRank spammers out. One you get blacklisted, that is IT.

I am not evil. I do no evil either.

Put up great content

One can only try :)

Do not ‘link farm’.

Never did add a link without it having some purpose. I do not link farm, if a blogroll is not a link farm, and mine isn’t even really long.

Forget google. I know ‘google’ is now a verb, but you also get traffic from yahoo, MSN, etc. Get listed there, wait a while, and goole will list you too.

The other search engines have had me from the third day since starting. One cannot overlook the fact that google is by far the most popular, though.

Start fresh with a new domain. Keep the current one working, but do NOT cross-post. The spiders see that and remove the duplicated sites, and also :
one “potential” solution is to change your sites main url to www.wordlog.com instead of just wordlog?

I refuse to. I mean, I get to choose the domain name, so this is not an option.

Well, I guess it’s not lack of linkage …, and also :
you might want to get a lot of people to lonk to you.

No it is not a lack of linkage. Photomatt was the first to link to me, and on the same day, scores of others linked to this site. Articles from this site appear on the WordPress Planet and in the dashboards of thousands of WordPress-driven blogs.

Did you used to have a huge ammount of links on here?

No, never did.

You wrote that you want to make money from ads. I don’t see any. Any good reason?

Anyone can advertise on this blog if they are interested. There are the blogads ad spots, in the right menu, where you can start, if you are interested in helping me make my first million.

Do you have any htaccess/ip bans in place?
Also fix up your css. http://wordlog.com/print.css returns a file not found. Normally I wouldn’t think it’d be a huge issue, but it couldn’t hurt to fix.
Was the site ever listed in google? Was it previously owned before you had it?

No, I am not trying to block anyone, in fact. The print.css was there until yesterday. I upgraded yesterday. I will restored it, and the robots.txt shortly, not that it seems to matter. This site has never been listed on google. I even tried submitting the site to dmoz.org (the google directory) without success.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Specify a random order for your links

Filed under: — Carthik @ 2:28 am

This is an old trick – Podz reminds users of it whenever someone asks the question at the forums.

The question is “How do I order category links that are displayed on my weblog just the way I want them to – in some order that is is not alphabetic, or in any sort of organized order, really?”

That sure was difficult to frame! Well, point it, you want some category link to be the first, some other one to be second, and so on and so forth.

The way you do it is, add underscores to the beginning of the name of the category. so, say I want the category called “Noticed!” to be the first in the list of categories displayed, no matter what, then I rename it to “_Noticed!” through the admin interface, and set the display order to alphabetical, in the template tag I use to display the categories. I can also use multiple underscores to extend this “effect”. Ugly, but it works!

And the top 10% thing – I was about to call the category “Cool Tips”, and then I started thinking about alternate names. I repeated “tip” a bunch of times in my mind, and up popped “tip of the iceberg”, from no where. Iceberg are cool, and only the top 10% of icebergs (the tip) shows above the water. All said, I liked the idea, and since I couldn’t call the category “tip of the iceberg” as it sounds stupid and cliched, I picked “Ten Percent for the Day”.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Bounties for WordPress Development

Filed under: — Carthik @ 11:49 pm

There’s a bounty of $1000 for WordPress that’s wedged on whether WordPress gets released before, or on Valentine’s Day.

Towards that end, we are offering a BOUNTY for the release of WordPress 1.5 .That’s right – we will pay CASH (paypal donations) towards the development of specific milestones and special initiatives taken on by the WP dev team and individual WP users.

We will donate up to $1000.00 to WordPress.Org if WP 1.5 is finished by Valentine’s Day.

Bounties are welcome, and will help the project, but Multi-blogging in 1.5 ? That’s pushing it too far. Remember, WordPress 1.5 is already beta, and it’s not too long before it is released. There are a few kinks and bugs to be resolved, and some more testing needs to take place.

It’s great that people seem to have a lot of plans to make money using/for WordPress, but let’s not lose the spirit here. WordPress is in a strange situation – being a Open Source project, along the lines of other *nix based projects, and a truly global cross-platform application which is popular in it’s niche. A lot of the users and the community members are not essentially committed to open source software as a way of lifeuse a non-free Operating System and the concomitant tools. Even if they were, they may not be too familiar with what can usually be expected of such projects, how things work, etc. Sometimes when I read about the problems associated with beta testing, and some of the complaints, I am given to thinking that it is a case of gross over-reaction – but then when I remember that the profile of the average WordPress user is not that of a Linux/FreeBSD user, I understand why the complaints arise. The WordPress project is very personal and intimate to many of it’s users, and that’s what makes the community special. The project is responsive to users and there seems to be less of a “gap” between users and developers. One only needs to look at other such projects to find some to compare WordPress to (Azureus?, FireFox?, others?).

It would help us all to remember that this is a voluntary project still, and no amount of money or complaining will make it otherwise. Pressuring the developers, or the community at large, will have little effect. That said, I am confident that the developers are concerned about releasing 1.5. One only needs to look at the changelog at the bugtracker, or subscribe to the CVS mailing list to see the number of bug-fixes that are being committed daily.

I will not trackback that post here, and I think not many members of the community would do that either – not because we don’t need the money, but because there always seems to be someone else in the community who seems to have put it so much more effort than one’s self, for so little, that it would seem immodest to stake a claim as being an important contributor. In my eyes, no one person invovled in a project like this is more important than the others – speaking in an absolute sense. In a relative, subjective sense, yes, there are people that I respect more than others. I have my favourite developers, users, documentors and #wordpress hang-outers. If I had a thousand dollars, I would gladly send gifts to these individuals, without advertising it, perhaps.

Since they are looking for suggestions – the best way to influence the development of WordPress in the future is to not try too hard to influence the direction and leave it to the collective wisdom of the users and the developers. Huge bounties such as this one may work, but then again (more likely) will not work, since money is not the primary motivator. Smaller bounties for specific plugins, directed at the normal plugin-author, or cash or gifts to some of the best known supporters at the Forums, the bug tracker, the Codex, or even some of the better known plugin writers would be a great way to provide an incentive to members of the community who help the community in whatever way they choose to. Who’s to say a support volunteer is not as important as a developer?

If it’s not clear by now – we* don’t it for the money – nor do we do it for the fame, though recognition is nice. It is not entirely clear why people contribute to open source projects – but let me hazard a guess here — It’s because all of us are free, most of us are good**, and some of us want what is good to be free.

*Not just me – me and some of my friends.
**The rest of us work for <insert evil spamming company here>

Monday, January 24, 2005

Kubrick’s Typeface

Filed under: — Carthik @ 8:34 pm

The Kubrick theme should perhaps have made use of the Futura typeface, or something close, seeing as it’s mentioned that it was Kubrick’s favourite font.
Wikipedia amazes me, all the time.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

free.fr Free WP

Filed under: — Carthik @ 9:22 am

Thanks to Fleurus, we now know that free.fr provides free WordPress installs.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Free Advertisement

Filed under: — Carthik @ 6:34 pm

If you run a website for a non-profit, or one that deals with some Open-Source project, using WordPress, and if you want free advertisement here at wordlog.com in the sidebar, let me know. I will let it run whenever I can’t find any paid ads for this website. Leave me a comment if you are interested, stating the page, or URL that will be linked to from the ad.

This is only a public service, and this is not a contract or agreement. In other words, you can’t complain if I pull the ads. That’s Carthik-worried-about-legalities speaking.

A news aggregator for WordPress?

Filed under: — Carthik @ 4:30 am

Have you seen Drupal.org’s News Aggregator?

All it does is list the articles that ping http://drupal.org by means of including that URL in the article. That is really cool. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an aggregator that collected and displayed posts that link to http://wordpress.org ?

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Documenting a Documentor

Filed under: — Carthik @ 8:33 pm

Kafkaesqui jots down his thoughts about documenting WordPress. It is an interesting read, and he has done an excellent job at Codex lately. My most sincere thanks to him, and all the volunteers involved in the painful, unnoticed task.

Think you have it in you to help an Open Source project improve? Help at the Codex, and start now!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

LJ Sale -Finding Old Friends

Filed under: — Carthik @ 6:29 pm

Looks like Brad’s old friend found him, because of the sale. I hope Brad finds Brian’s blog, in return.

I have a thin excuse for posting this on WordLog (which is supposed to be exclusively about WordPress) — Brian uses WordPress.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

WP code in Lilina

Filed under: — Carthik @ 12:15 am

I installed Lilina after hearing about it from Skippy on #wordpress.

Lilina is a server-based feed aggregator powered by PHP and magpie. I was trying to dig into the code to see what’s going on, when I ran into a file called link-parse-opml.php, with the comment:

This file is based on link-parse-opml.php which is part of WordPress

blog uses WordPress.

It is good to see code being re-used.

Now that the WP core has the magpie library in it, how long will it be before someone writes a feed-reader plugin to display updates from blogs in a blog’s link-manager?

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Learn From the Other Camp

Filed under: — Carthik @ 4:40 pm

Brad Choate has created a new plugin for MovableType, called MT-DSBL, which is a port of a WordPress trick, as published at the Daily Irrelevant. That’s the kind of stuff my monkeys like to see — more interaction, and more blogging tools talking to each other, through users and developers. The hack checks to see if the IP address is present in a list of servers which can be abused to send mail on behalf of spammers, of the kind usually used by email and now comment spammers. If the comment seems to be coming from such a server, it is not posted.

By the way, a new plugin, called DNS-anti-spam by the Daily Irrelevant is available. This one checks the URIs in the comment against the Spam URI Realtime Blocklist. That SURBL contains URIs linked-to in email spam messages. These are often the same URLs left behind by comment spammers in comments.

Also, in a comment to Brad’s post, Jacques suggests using the opm.blitzed.org list of open proxies for checking.

Why not do all three?
Check against the lists at:

  • opm.blitzed.org
  • dsbl.org
  • SURBL.org

Such a neato idea! Really.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Bring your troubles to the forums

Filed under: — Carthik @ 12:08 am

I felt I was in a surreal dream as I read this support forum post:

can anyone please recommend an architect in bangkok. i have an architect designed house, but he’s not interested in doing a working drawing and i’m having a lot of problems trying to get someone here to do it. they all seem to be too busy throwing up ‘resorts’. i’m going up tomorrow on a wing and a prayer anyway, so hoping someone will be able to enlighten me at the airport internet shop. thanks.

There! another gem from the backwaters, saved for posterity.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

WordPress is Pro-Nudity!

Filed under: — Carthik @ 8:46 pm

Found on Burningbird :

…I found the following CVS check in comment attached to a file: Don’t forget to strip. So, don’t forget to strip when you use Wordpress.

I’m sure you’d have heard a “Shake Well Before Use” joke or two before.

This one made my day. I laughed out loud.

There are real gems in the source code. You can even find Michel’s birthday if you look hard enough.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Bug #404

Filed under: — Carthik @ 8:12 pm

Guess what Bug Number 404 at the WordPress Bug Tracker was? I am guessing the bug produced 404s, instead of 500s or some such.

Reminded me of Brad’s MySQL Support Ticket.

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.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

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.

 

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