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Archive: 2008

Eventful

I hope I’m not too late to say so, but the early bird registration deadline for An Event Apart Chicago is this coming Monday.  Last chance to save $100 on the last show of 2008!

Between now and the Chicago event, I’ll be back in lovely Destin, Florida for this year’s edition of the CIW conference at which I spoke last year.  This time around I’ll be doing a blend of beginner and advanced CSS, plus a more reflective talk on the state of the web as I see it bothj now and in the near future.

In a like vein, I’ll be taking much the same topics and messages to the stage of Web Directions East in Tokyo, Japan.  Thanks to both personal and professional obligations, overseas travel is a rarity for me these days, and furthermore this will be only my second appearance in Asia (the first having been WWW2005), so this is a rare opportunity to catch me away from the Americas.  I think everyone should go.  C’mon, we’ve had people come all the way to the U.S. from places as far away as Bulgaria, New Zealand, Japan, and Singapore (twice!) to attend AEA, so what’s your excuse?

MW Latest Tweet 1.1b1

There’s a new beta of MW Latest Tweet available.  It does four new things.  Four and a half if you count the new options setting as a half.

  1. All the files are in the mw_latest_tweet directory now, instead of having the plugin PHP outside of that directory like 1.0 did.  Yeah, I know, that should’ve been the case all along.  Sorry!  Learning on the job here.

    If you’re upgrading from 1.0, you should probably delete the 1.0 file and directory outright before uploading the 1.1b1 directory.  Alternatively, you should be able to upload 1.1b1, deactivate 1.0, activate 1.1b1, and then delete just the 1.0 PHP file.  I haven’t tried that, so I don’t know if it will actually work, but it seems like it should.

  2. URLs within a tweet are turned into hyperlinks for easy clickin’.  To go with this new feature, there’s a new option on the settings page to either shorten displayed URLs, like twitter.com does, or to not shorten them.  The default is to shorten, which means any URL 29 or more characters long gets shortened to 27 characters and gains a trailing ellipsis.  Again, like Twitter does it—although I used an ellipsis entity and not three periods.

    Note that if you upgrade from 1.0 to 1.1b1, this setting may default to “No” instead of “Yes”.  I’m not sure why, but it’s a pretty low-priority item right now.

  3. On a related note, @names are autolinked as well.  I’m using the pattern [A-Za-z0-9_] since that’s what Twitter says are valid characters for a username even though if you type in a grawlix on the signup page it will tell you, in nice bold green letters, that it’s available.

  4. If you want to see everything the plugin has cached, append &debug to the end of the plugin’s setting page URL and hit return.  You’ll get the settings page with a dump of the cached data at the end.  This is clumsy and will be much less so before 1.1 final.  I’m thinking click a link, enter debug mode.  Probably won’t go all AJAXy, though you never know.

So that’s the state of things.  Let me know if anything breaks.

Subverting WordPress

I’m going to get back to posting here in just a bit with word of conference appearances (some overseas), plugin updates, and a small elegy, but first I need a little help with WordPress and subversion, if someone could spare the cycles to assist a newb.  (Which would be me.)

So I have meyerweb’s WordPress install all subversion-managed.  The only problem is that there are three core files I’ve had to hack (reasons upon request) and that makes updating really icky.  I fire off…

svn sw http://svn.automattic.com/wordpress/tags/2.6.1/ .

…(where 2.6.1 is replaced with whatever the latest version is) and it updates everything.  For my custom-altered files, though, I get diff files and a .mine file that has my old copy and then a copy that’s littered with diff markers, which cause PHP error-crashes, which takes down the site.  At least until I go in and copy the .mine files over the diffed-up files.

So: how do I do some kind of local checkin of the altered files so that I don’t attempt to post them back to the WordPress codebase (these are very specialized hacks) but future WordPress updates don’t break my site?  For extra ideal points, it would be great if those files were updated with my changes merged into the files.  If it helps, the files thus affected are /wp-blog-header.php, /wp-includes/classes.php, and /wp-admin/edit-form-advanced.php.  Thanks for any help!

Survey Halfway

Okay, so yes, I posted about this two weeks ago and haven’t said anything since, but still: we’re halfway to the close of this year’s survey, so if you haven’t already done so, please devote ten minutes to taking it now!  You’ll make your voice heard along with literally thousands of fellow web professionals, hobbyists, and other people who make websites.  My copy of Excel is already weeping at the thought of having to crunch all that data, and I think that if there’s one thing on which we can all agree, it’s that anything which makes Excel cry is a good thing.

I TOOK IT! and so should you: The Survey for People Who Make Websites

Thank you.

I Took the 2008 ALA Survey

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s back, bigger and better than ever.  Please read Jeffrey’s wonderful introduction, and then start answering!  It shouldn’t take much more than 10 minutes to complete (it took me 6 minutes, 44 seconds, but who’s counting?).

I TOOK IT! and so should you: The Survey for People Who Make Websites

Last year, we had an astonishing 32,831 responses; I can only imagine where we’ll end up this year.  And just as with last year, we will report our findings and release an anonymized raw data set.

The more people who take the survey, the better the results will be, so please—post the link on any relevant sites, mailing lists, discussion boards, or other communities.  Print up flyers and post them around your town.  Anything we can do to get the word out!

Thank you.

Any-Element Linking Demo

In support of the still-to-be-finished proposal for allowing most HTML 5 elements to become hyperlinks, I’ve written a quick proof-of-concept demo for your perusal.  Basically, it’s a page with some JavaScript that captures the whole document tree, looks for any elements with an href attribute, and then sprinkles some events on those elements in order to make them act like hyperlinks.  There’s also some CSS that applies old-school link presentation to said elements (blue and underlined, baby!).  I’m using href because it was the easiest thing to do.

I’m sure I could have written a more elegant script (and yes, I know, your favorite JS framework would done it in half the lines and seventeen times the page weight) and I suspect there are some things I’m missing.  I’ll be interested to hear what those may be.  Meanwhile, if you want to try out your own arbitrary-element linking, grab a copy of the demo and edit the markup to your heart’s content.  Or you could suck out the JS and apply it to your own test pages.  Your call.

The demo works fine in Firefox 2, Camino 1.5, Safari 2, and Opera 9.2.  I didn’t test it in anything else.  It may well fail spectacularly in every other browser known to man and dog.  That’s not really an issue, though.  The goal here is to have a working demonstration, not a universal solution.  (The latter may come later.)  It’s a handy way to show people how browsers should behave in an arbitrary-link world.

The one thing that didn’t go right is the status-bar URL handling when hovering over a linked element (other than an a element) that descends from another linked element.  For some reason the descendant’s URL never shows up in the status bar.  I’m sure there’s an easy fix.  I regard this as a minor issue.  [Update 7/23: this has been fixed thanks to Allwyn Fernandez.]

The biggest thing that’s missing is simulating “visited” styles on non-a elements; in this case, turning them purple.  That would require mining the history and dynamically adding classes and, well, all kinds of stuff.  I’m sure it’s possible.  I’m also sure that I don’t have the time right now to figure out how to do it well.  Besides, ship early, ship often, right?

As I said before, I’m very interested to know what people think of the demonstrated behavior and how it might be improved.  And hey, if anyone wants to contribute improvements to the JS, I’ll do my best to keep up.

One more step toward a concrete proposal…

Phone for Direction

At one point during An Event Apart Boston—for which I finally uploaded my few pictures, to add to the much larger pool—I observed that Boston, like parts of New York City and most European cities, is a place where maintaining a relation to the cardinal compass points is almost impossible.  Thanks to its centuries-long Organic Growth Syndrome, finding one’s way can be next to impossible, even when you have Google Maps giving you directions on your iPhone.  (Not my iPhone; I don’t have one yet, which makes my posting of the perfect ringtone deliciously ironic.  But certainly on whoever around you has an iPhone, which is put-near ever’body, these days.)

Of course, the soon-to-be-released 3G iPhone will have true GPS capabilities, I said, and that’s when it hit me: someone should take the iPhone SDK and an insanely high-resolution copy of the Safari logo and put them together to create a 3G iPhone compass.  Hold it level and watch the needle find true north!  Genius.

So somebody get on that, okay?  Thanks much!

Welcome

Kat and I are now doubly parents.  Earlier this week, we welcomed Rebecca Alison Meyer into our home and our hearts.

We chose Rebecca in honor of Kat’s late grandmother, a grand old lady of enormous chutzpah who taught Kat her near-legendary bargaining skills.  The middle name, Alison, honors Kat’s mother, who we’re grateful has lived long enough to receive the honor.

I’m behind on posting this because not only do we have a newborn to handle, but there’s also Carolyn to consider.  Carolyn is an amazing big sister and more than eager to help us, but she has a schedule to keep and needs help with some things, as all children do.  That makes free time almost totally nonexistent, which means time to write posts is similarly at a premium.

As we gradually settle into a routine, I expect to get back to the things I had cooking, but for now it’s pretty much all in abeyance while I concentrate on our newly enriched family.

July 2014
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