Tag: programming

If you’ve been reading my website for a while, you’ll see that the footer at the bottom of each page keeps growing in size. When I first started the site, it contained the basic information like Powered by WordPress, but I have since added more. For those who may be interested, here is how the info is gathered/shared.

Numbers correspond to above picture.

  1. Akismet is the leading blocker of spam for WordPress websites, and it works well to repel spam. This is simply the Akismet function that outputs the total spam count since I enabled the plugin.
  2. I was curious about how fast my web host was serving my pages, and decided to figure how to incorporate this with WordPress. When I couldn’t find a good enough tutorial, I created my own solution.
  3. This is the output of my newest WordPress plugin, Cache Time. It displays the current time that the page was cached, or, if the page is never cached, the current time. It takes into account the time zone of the WordPress blog.
  4. This last piece of info is all my own. It uses a combination of an Applescript for Adium, Transmit FTP client, and Automator to tie it all together. Basically the process goes Applescript to find MacBook uptime -> print to text file -> use Transmit to upload text file to website -> use PHP to print that text file. Though I’m working on having it update automatically every hour, it is currently updated whenever I remember. So far my record is 15 days.

[tags]Wordpress, websites, blogs, MacBook, Apple, web hosting[/tags]

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Timing is important. We look at watches and clocks often throughout the day, as most of us have a busy schedule. With websites, it is often advantageous to know when the current page has been written or created.

That is why I have written this simple WordPress plugin for websites. At first glance it appears to be a basic plugin that displays the current time, but there is much more behind the scenes.

Cache Time displays the time that the current page was cached, or, if the page is not part of the caching system, it shows the current time. It is smart enough to take into consideration the time zone of the WordPress installation, and it checks the WP-Cache configuration file for any URLs that are not supposed to be cached. My website is currently displaying this information in the footer.

Tested up to the latest version of WordPress, 2.6.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please contact me or write a comment.

Download latest version of Cache Time

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Wordpress themes are some of the greatest pieces of software to come out of the open-source movement. Created by anyone for anyone else to use, they offer some terrific designs and can be an easy way to get a website online.

If you visit the WordPress theme viewer, you’ll see sample themes that you can download immediately, or even take a test drive of the theme itself. In each theme, the text is a Latin collection that is used in many other applications as placeholder text, and it showcases all the different elements of a WordPress blog, from ordered and unordered lists to blockquotes.

What I’ve done is collected this text and added it to an XML file that can now be downloaded and turned into a blog quickly to see the theme’s look. Once imported into your existing WordPress blog, you can browse the site and check the different elements.

Download the WordPress test site XML file


Before importing into WordPress, open the XML file in your favourite text editor (may I suggest Taco HTML Edit?) and search for all occurrences of *Wordpress URL* (including the *). This represents the WordPress URL of your blog and it keeps the permalink structure together. It needs to be replaced by the URL found in your WordPress admin panel under Settings (ie. http://www.example.com/wordpress). Then, copy the picture spectacles.gif to the WordPress uploads folder at /wp-content/uploads/. Once you do this, you can import the XML file and test drive your own theme.
[tags]Wordpress, blog, themes[/tags]

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It’s been an interesting few days since I released my first WordPress plugin, Comment Connection. I had no idea how many people mind find value in the plugin, but I was very happy when 18 people downloaded it in the first 24 hours. No GTAIV release to be sure, but there is something deeply satisfying about seeing other people take interest in something you’ve created.

So now it’s been 5 days, and I’ve released 3 new versions since 1.0. Each version has addressed some comments made after the initial release. I’ve been able to add support for colon detection, only replacing the first occurrence of a commenter, and processing comments with multiple references. Each represented a unique challenge for adding functionality that I had no idea people wanted, or would come up with.

That’s the thing with software: you can only include scenarios you can think of immediately, and have to be open to revisions when more ideas arrive. I hadn’t really thought about having comments with multiple references, but when I decided to add the functionality, it turned out to be a big challenge, and required me to rewrite all the code. After an afternoon of research, I was able to add all the features requested in the comments originally, and then I was pleasantly surprised when the plugin was downloaded another 18 times.

Comment Connection download stats from WordPress.org
It’s nice when people take an interest in something you’ve made, whether that is a tiny WordPress Plugin or an entire software suite. Based on this positive feedback, I will continue to work and improve Comment Connection.
[tags]software, programming, WordPress, plugins[/tags]

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Wordpress logoHave you ever had a lot of comments on a blog post and had trouble following the conversation? Now you can have no trouble at all, with my new WordPress Plugin – Comment Connection.

Comment Connection is a simple plugin that detects the @commenter reference in a comment and turns that name into a link to a previous comment. An example can be seen on this post. It works by filtering comments when they are printed, then retrieves the comment ID of the last comment made by the person being referenced. There is no modification necessary to make it work, and it will work with previous comments as well.

It has been tested with the most recent version of WordPress, 2.7. If you have problems with an earlier version, or even if it works properly, please contact me or post a comment.
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