Dave\’s Blog

Because my handwriting is awful

Test post with & ampersand 21 Jan 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — David House @ 6:45 pm

Just testing a bug: http://trac.wordpress.org/ticket/2322

 

Answered Prayers 11 Jan 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — David House @ 10:29 pm

We had cell tonight, and one of our members talked briefly about his dad: we’d been praying for a few months that God would help said member’s dad with his schizophrenia, and today we’ve heard news that those prayers have been answered: the case is a lot better, this guy can now drive and will soon be allowed to work.

Thank God for the amazing encouragement he gives us through answered prayers. Sometimes it seems like prayer is a real struggle, something that is just for show and doesn’t have any implications in the real world. Thank God for showing us wrong.

 

Bug Hunt Weekend Roundup 06 Nov 2005

Filed under: wordpress — David House @ 10:22 pm

Well, this weekend was Bug Hunt weekend! The WordPress community got together in #wordpress-bugs on Freenode, with the task of whittling down the list of bugs. It was a good opportunity for me, being someone with a knowledge enough of PHP to be able to do something like fix bugs, but not having done any real bug hunting in the past. You can view a list of the bugs squashed this weekend (88 at last count!).

Here’s a list of what I was involved in (in each case, the ‘ticket’ link is a link to the ticket on WordPress Trac, our bug tracking system):

  1. You can now view your Role in your Profile page, and also administrators can edit roles of users in the Edit User screen. Ticket.
  2. The option to enable or disable WYSIWYG isn’t shown to subscribers, who can’t post anything. Ticket.
  3. In a big enhancement which took a lot of Sunday, you can now save pages as drafts. Ticket.
  4. Just a minor thing, but something that’s annoyed me in the past: the categories on the post screen are now sorted alphabetically. Ticket.
  5. You can now customise other ‘bases’ in Options, Permalink (i.e., other than the category base). Ticket.

As it was actually quite a busy weekend (I had to fit in bug hunting around playing hockey on Saturday and going to church this morning), I think this was quite a success. Some small bugs, some pet peeves, and one big new feature.

Hopefully the devs/bug gardeners will catch up with all the new patches over the coming week, and before long we’ll see some of the fixes filter into wordpress.com.

 

Advanced Feeds in WordPress 18 Oct 2005

Filed under: feeds,how-tos,wordpress — David House @ 9:02 pm

WordPress has the capabilities to produce RSS feeds for any website it powers. Just head over to any WordPress blog (try this one!), and append /feed to the URL to get a nice RSS2 feed. (You could also try /feed/atom for an Atom 0.3 feed, or /feed/rss for a RSS 0.92 feed.) But you probably knew that already. But did you know WordPress has the capabilities to produce feeds for any archive page you can find? It’s an incredibly useful feature that few people take advantage of.

Let me give you a few examples. I read Ryan’s blog. He posts a lot of good stuff but normally I’m only interested when he’s talking about WordPress. No problem, I find the archive page for his WordPress category, append /feed to the URL and off I go: there’s an RSS feed containing just the posts in Ryan’s WordPress category.

Now, lets say I read a multi-author blog like Jalenack. Now, for some reason, I’m only interested in reading posts by Andrew. Right, so appending /feed to the archive page for Andrew’s posts will give me a feed of exactly what I want.

Finally, a mention about comment feeds. These are normally linked to, but appending /feed to a permalink gives you a feed for the comments on that post. Try using the comment feeds next time you want to keep up with a discussion.

Incidentally, this would also work for day, month and year archives. However, this is likely to be less helpful as feeds are normally used for seeing when content is updated. I can see however that if you’re building some software that could use the post detail in an easily parseable format, try using the RSS feeds for that archive page.

WordPress’ feeds can be extremely powerful. Try using the more advanced features to target what exactly comes through your feed reader.

 

Collected thoughts on Google Reader 08 Oct 2005

Filed under: notes,thoughts — David House @ 5:12 pm

Having already a Gmail account, it was no trouble to fire up Google Reader, so I thought I’d give it a try. It’s not really worthy of an entire essay, but here are my thoughts for improvement:

Speed

Yes. It’s slow. Lets get that out of the way, assume Google are working it, and analyse the actual potential of the software.

Experiences

I imported flawlessly my feeds from Bloglines, and had a go at labelling them. By the way, if you’re doing any serious feed editing, you want to check out the button with the little downward arrow, just to the left of the filter box. It expands the subscriptions box so that all the feeds fit in them.

Naturally, Google are sticking with their ‘persistent tags’ (labels) metaphor that Gmail pioneered. Good. They’re great. They give the spoteneity of tags a bit of permanence and rigour, while still overcoming the limitations of the file/folder paradigm.

Why can’t OPML be extended to mark up which items I’ve read and which ones I haven’t? I know it’s a generic outline language rather than a specific feed reader format, but that’s what it’s mostly used for. It’s extremely frustrating having to wait for people to publish before i can start using Reader.

Starring

Another feature imported from Gmail are Stars: if you like an entry by someone, you can give it a star. It then stays in your starred list. (Aside: I guess when you star an entry the text is copied to Google’s servers for permanence, otherwise when you star an entry it would just disappear when it drops off the end of that feed).

Stars at the post level are nice, but I’d like to add stars to specific feeds as well. They’re my priority, must-read-when-a-new-item-appears feeds. I’m making do with a ‘favs’ label, but stars should just be extended.

Secondly, this starring feature is a bit like del.icio.us but without the social side (I’ll come to that later). Why not just integrate with del.icio.us, and instead of internally starring an item, share it with the world?

Sociality

Social software is red-hot at the moment and yet I see nothing of it in Reader. I want lots of features here: how many people are subscribed to feed X, what people are labelling it, how many other people starred that entry I just starred, and so on. So much potential here, but Google seem to be turning a complete blind eye. We’ll see.

 

Admitting you’re a geek 07 Oct 2005

Filed under: quick-posts — David House @ 12:36 pm

It occurred to me the other day that I didn’t mind being called a geek. Indeed, I’d rather embraced my newfound title. That was kind of a weird realisation, but I know I’ve been in that state for a few months now. Now, let me clarify: I’m not a pocket-protector wearing comic-book lover who has their digital watch tuned to nanosecond accuracy. Hell, I don’t even have a digital watch :) It’s more along the lines of I understand things like abstraction and recursion and other such slightly scary computer science concepts.

I split my friends into two groups: ‘regular people’ and ‘people that actually understand what I’m talking about when I mention things that I’m really passionate about’. :) I don’t see that as a problem, I’m perfectly capable of having non-geeky conversations. For ranting about microformats and WordPress, there’s always blogging and IRC ;)

When did you get start admitting you were a geek? Or have you not yet?

 

Catching up

Filed under: blogs,quick-posts,screenshots — David House @ 10:26 am

What happens when you fire up Bloglines and find out you have nearly 40 decafbad posts to catch up on :)

Screenshot of my Tab bar, full of decafbad posts

 

 
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