Posts Tagged ‘WordPress’

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Theme updates

Made some adjustments to my blog theme.

Old

New

  • search box graphic and placeholder text
  • added jetpack subscriptions module and some css to handle it
  • gave page a max width so it doesn’t look ridiculous on wide screen monitors.
  • sidebar: removed dotted borders added white space, toned down colours – reduced noise
  • Removed grey post-meta-content (categories, tags) boxes. Put all post meta data in TOP, with comments repeated at bottom. (Similar to when I started this theme!)
  • Added hover highlight to gallery images (now consistent with image links not in a gallery). Cleaned up some of the code (to not generate HTML comments) and random fixes here and there.
  • Removed lots of black. Too harsh.

You might have to click refresh. And you might not even notice any changes. 😛

Feel free to leave a comment or use Markup to make suggestions. Markup’s a pretty cool tool.

It’s interesting to compare the progression of my themes. Well, interesting for me, at least. 🙂

I think the next time I decide to work on a theme, I will start from scratch. Clean slate. Make it more consistent with my root page.

On a related note, the latest version of WordPress, 3.3.2, is really nice.

WordPress 2.7

I just upgraded from 2.6.3 (using my “wp-upgrade” script), and It’s fantastic! Go watch a video about the biggest features. It even includes an “automatic upgrade!!” This pretty much deprecates my script, unless you want to maintain snapshots of each version. (I’m not sure if anyone other than me was using it to begin with… but anyhow….) 🙂

Screenshot: wp-upgrade Snapshots

WiiWare and WordPress Update

It was a nice fall day a couple days ago. I really enjoyed this sight, in my backyard. 🙂 Quite overcast and dull, the last couple of days, though.

Games

I updated my About page with my Tetris Party friend code. (Add me!!) It’s pretty fun, but I say that as someone who has never owned a Tetris game before, so I’m not a Tetris vet… (unlike Shirley and Alex, who think the DS game is far superior, apparently). My only real complaint with the game so far is the music – they could have done AWESOME things with it. I want a hoppin 8bit remix of these classic tunes… the included midi, even the classic stuff, is pretty dry and slow. Need something with a faster pace. The computer moves at seemingly impossible speeds at levels above 12, but I suspect that some people out there can play like that, as well. Scary. (Especially the top ranked in the Americas, Java AI … hmmm…) Anyway, I can’t beat level 13 yet. And I think I still like Dr Mario for VS more… so fun. … but Tetris Party offers tonnes of modes, including 4-player vs! That’s pretty cool. Maybe I’ll become a Tetris snob, yet.

While on the topic of Wii(Ware), I also got World of Goo. It’s a really great physics based puzzle title. I really love the dark and comical graphic design (reminds me of Tim Burton’s stuff). The music in Goo is epic, as well. I can’t believe everything was made by two guys (+1 for Wii optimizations); two guys in debt! They’re my heroes. Seriously. Both Tetris Party and World of Goo are the most expensive games on WiiWare ($12 US, $15 US, respectively), but I haven’t been disappointed. And with Goo especially, I don’t have any problem supporting the little guys making great stuff. That’s where I’d like to be. 🙂

WordPress

I updated my wp-upgrade script to display a big warning to deactivate all your plugins before continuing (wouldn’t want to damage your database!). Then I used it to update to WordPress 2.6.3. I think that makes me largely up-to-date.

Blog Updates

After heavily updating some things on my blog, someone on my shared host server caused the server to die repeatedly. My blog was pretty much gone all of yesterday and part of the day before. Hopefully it’s all been resolved. Anyway, I’ve recently added a Contact page, updated the About page, added OpenID login option to commenting, added option to have comment followups emailed, added syntax highlighting for code chunks, and made some theme updates to accommodate all these changes. And I added avatars to the comments. So I’ve made a lot of updates, but I haven’t really tested everything. Let me know if there are any problems.

WordPress Upgrade Script

Even though the WordPress upgrade is easy, it’s troublesome. So I wrote a script to do it for me. Yep. There’s lots of these out there. And a lot of hosts (including mine) have a one-click install/update thing. But for some reason, I decided to write my own script. In python. Got to use a bunch of modules I’ve never used before, so it was a good experience.

How to Use

Run this script from the directory that contains your wordpress directory, on your server. I think it requires Python version 2.3. I ran it with 2.3.5. Use python -V to check the version. There’s two methods to run it.

With Prompts

1: Be prompted to push the Enter key to continue at each major step. Nice for the first time.

python wp-upgrade.py

Example output:

python ../src/wp-upgrade/wp-upgrade.py 
Current WordPress Version: '2.5'
Newest WordPress Version:  2.6.1
Downloading wordpress-2.6.1.tar.gz ...
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
Create working wordpress directory... 
			[[Press Enter to Continue]]
 
Update Wordpress root contents...  
			[[Press Enter to Continue]]
 
'/tmp/tmprpJTKu/wordpress' -> 'wordpress.working'
wp-trackback.php,  wp-config-sample.php,  wp-settings.php,  wp-rss2.php,  readme.html,  index.php,  wp-links-opml.php,  wp-pass.php,  wp-feed.php,  wp-register.php,  wp-rdf.php,  wp-rss.php,  wp-commentsrss2.php,  license.txt,  wp-comments-post.php,  wp-blog-header.php,  wp-load.php,  wp-mail.php,  wp-atom.php,  wp-cron.php,  wp-app.php,  xmlrpc.php,  wp-login.php,  
Replace wp-admin and wp-includes... 
			[[Press Enter to Continue]]
 
 
Update default themes and plugins...  
			[[Press Enter to Continue]]
 
'/tmp/tmprpJTKu/wordpress/wp-content' -> 'wordpress.working/wp-content'
index.php,  
'/tmp/tmprpJTKu/wordpress/wp-content/plugins' -> 'wordpress.working/wp-content/plugins'
akismet,  hello.php,  
'/tmp/tmprpJTKu/wordpress/wp-content/themes' -> 'wordpress.working/wp-content/themes'
default,  classic,  
 
Backup original, Rename working....
			[[Press Enter to Continue]]
 
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
### VISIT 'http://stevenbrown.ca/blog/wordpress/wp-admin/upgrade.php' in your browser. ###
After that, you're All Done!
Go re-enable all your plugins and make sure everything works.
If you need to, you can always roll back by renaming the backup to 'wordpress'.
 
 
			[[Press Enter to Continue]]

Without Prompts

2. Do everything without a prompt. Do this by passing the -q option. The -q is for quiet and prints the same messages, but doesn’t wait for the user to press Enter. Blasts through the whole upgrade in one step.

python wp-upgrade.py -q

Example output would be the same as the above, minus the “[[Push Enter to Continue]]” bits.

What’s it do?

If you look at the above output, which is from my own site, you can see what it does. It will compare your installed wordpress version and to the latest available from http://www.wordpress.org. If your version is older, it will download the new one, extract it, perform the appropriate steps to update the old one. Note that the default themes and plugins will be overwritten, which is fine as long as you didn’t customize them. After it’s done, your wordpress directory should be up-to-date (you just have to visit the upgrade page), and you should have a wordpress 2.5 backup containing the directory as it was before running the script (and 2.5 would be the appropriate version). Also, there’s two variables you will (probably) want to customize: wpsite and wpdir. That’s it, basically.

Download

Browse the source and download the script here.

Tweet

I signed up for Twitter. If you ever wanted to know what I had for breakfast, now you can! Yay. I also updated my blog’s sidebar with custom widgets; something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I broke up the standard “Meta” widget into a Subscribe and an Admin/Login widget, and shoved the admin/login right below the Pages. I also made a replacement tag cloud widget that can specify the maximum number of tags to include… I’m not sure why the standard widget (which defaults to 45, and gets quite big) wasn’t created with that option. Also, taking Twitter’s motto to heart, I added my new Twitter feed as “Sutff I’m Doing” using a standard RSS widget. I might have to modify that widget to strip off my username from every post, though… it bothers me. And I should do something with the search….. I just haven’t figured out what. Anyway, I think it looks much nicer now.

I’m sure widgets probably already exist to do what I want, but I wanted to play around with WordPress and PHP a little. ^.^ Being neither a WordPress nor a PHP person, How to Create WordPress Widgets and WordPress Widgets with Control Panels were very helpful.

Free Software to Look Forward to

  • WordPress 2.5 is out! This one makes me overly excited because it comes with a built-in gallery!!! FINALLY! And with multi-file upload!! I was just playing with it and It looks like it will suit my purposes just fine. I guess I will continue avoiding the Flickrs and other such community-based photo sites, for now. I’ll probably have to update my theme a little, however… and see if there’s a way to set a maximum photo size.
  • OpenOffice.org 2.4 is out and comes with quite a lot of improvements, including OpenGL transitions (perdy) and performance gains. OpenOffice.org 3.0 looks like it will be quite a massive release, aiming to sing and dance. Also see here (Thanks, Andrew).
  • Ubuntu 8.04, Hardy Heron, is nearly out. Less than a month away! It comes with the recently released GNOME 2.22, Firefox 3.0b4, PulseAudio, and a bunch of other goodies, like using the excellent Transmission as the default Bitorrent client. I’m also really looking forward to the World Clock Applet – then I won’t have to think about Japan’s and Brazil’s timezones ever again. 🙂 Beta’s available now.

Stuff that looks good, but I have no experience with…

  • Pencil – Open source, cross-platform 2D drawing/animation application.
  • Hotwire – Smart shell.
  • GNOME Do – Like quicksilver from OSX.
  • ReInteract – Super python console.
  • Faces Project Management – PM is something that’s lacking on Linux.
  • Tracks GTD – If you’re willing to install it on a RoR supported server to help get things done.

Finally

I’ve been meaning to mention this incredibly well designed (because it’s simple) program to edit subtitles (for those totally legal foreign videos you’re downloading/transcribing): gaupol. Very slick.

New Theme Update

I’ve removed a lot of the noise from the theme. This includes all of the gradients and many of those nasty, sharp lines. Put Categories and Time at the top of each post, with Tags and Comments at the bottom. Made both smaller. Put everything on search results page. Added links to Technorati and del.icio.us from Tags and Categories pages. Changed the gradient images for header and footer (reminds me of rust).

Screenshots of some of the changes:

Original and loud:
Original and loud

Removed gradients:
Removed gradients

Added solids:
Added solids

Changed colours:
Changed colours

Some more touch-ups:
some more touchups

What you should be seeing now:
what you should be seeing now

Comments / suggestions?

New Theme

I finally updated the theme on my blog. Please take a look and try various things (in different browsers, if possible) and report any bugs in the comments section. Suggestions welcome, as well. Demands can go elsewhere… (you know who you are!) 🙂

This theme isn’t 100% done, but it’s functional and I wanted to get it up. The only thing I really miss is the turtle. But he could come back. Or something else….

If I was just writing a theme for Gecko-based browsers (Firefox, Mozilla, Epiphany, etc) I would have been done ages ago. And if I do more wordpress theme stuff in the future, I vow to follow the KISS principle at all times. Would have saved me much time! Rather than try and figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it, just do something simpler! Maybe my next theme will be plain text. 😛 Probably not, though… I’m a sucker for tinkering.

Update: I forgot to mention, my goal with the theme on IE was simply getting it to display reasonably well (no giant bugs, and can be viewed). It will, in fact, look and feel better on Firefox. (I have been using ies4linux to test it for IE 6 on on my computer.) 🙂

Blogging with images and WordPress

One things that WordPress is sorely missing is basic image handling. Blogging with images should be fast. Previously, I had gone as far as writing a script that would take all images in a directory, resize them, create thumbnails, and output the required html that I would then paste into the editor. Before that, I used a plugin that would would automatically generate thumbs, and it was great for a while. Until I upgraded, and didn’t enable the plugin… if you go see those old pages, you’ll notice they’re broken. So WP either needs a plugin that doesn’t break when you don’t have it installed, or a default will-always-be-supported image plugin. Since the latter doesn’t exist, I looked for the former. I’ve been using Flexible Upload for a while now, and it’s made posting pictures WAY less painful. Un-installing the plugin won’t affect any pages, because it just generates static content. So that’s what I use and recommend for uploading a couple pictures to a personal WordPress blog. Any other suggestions?

Screenshots follow:

This plugin sits in the Upload area….

This plugin sits in the Upload area….
After uploading an image…

After uploading an image…
Clicking Send to editor

Clicking Send to editor