Pretty Much Done

 General, Technology  Comments Off on Pretty Much Done
Mar 142006
 

You might have noticed that posting appears to be lite lately. Actually, I’ve been adding some posts related to my movie collection, and I’ve been doing lots of updates to the blog. In fact, I think I pretty much have it complete in terms of functionality. This included an upgrade to the most recent version of the WordPress software to Version 2.0.2.

I’ve enjoyed learning more about PHP and CSS as I’ve tweaked the files that drive this blog. I’ve done some fairly extensive customization, but mostly it’s some very small things. As an example, if you select a category and get the category archive page, there’s a tag that displays the description of the category. When you display an archive page, it will show only an excerpt from each article.

I have also placed all my photos on the Flickr website service in albums, and have configured a plugin in WordPress that will display those photos here on the blog. As I mentioned above, I also got all the movies from my movie collection posted here. One friend asked me why I’d do that. Mostly, I was making use of a very cool structured blogging plugin that connects to the?Internet Movie Database (IMDB). I also did some extensive customization to control how that category is displayed.

This final run at getting the “back end” of the site the way I wanted including writing a page about the technology that runs the site. I got that completed last night, with some finally design tweaks finished up this evening.

So, I have to admit the blog is mainly for me as a place to express ideas and thoughts, but I hope that, sometimes, you enjoy what goes on here, and I remind you that I leave comments open on all the articles so that you can express your own ideas about a particular topic. I wish more of you would take advantage of that aspect of the blog.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a great week.

Blog Upgrades

 Business, Family, Friends, Technology  Comments Off on Blog Upgrades
Feb 282006
 

Work was busy last week, and there wasn’t anything exciting going on this weekend. That’s why I haven’t posted much lately.

Another thing I’ve been doing is testing out a new version of the blog software. It is open source software called WordPress, and it is really pretty cool. You wouldn’t believe all the plugins people have written to extend the capabilities of the software. I use quiet a few here on Deep Sand. There is the random quote plugin that generates the quotes at the top of the sidebar. The weather report near the bottom of the sidebar is the result of a plugin. Many of the ones I run you don’t see. One of my plans is to create a page that elaborates on the program that drives this blog.

A recently released version was a pretty major re-write. I built a new blog for a friend as a way to test the software and the plugins. Much of the re-write is “under the hood.” As a result a few of the plugins had to be updated as well. I worked through those, and really liked the results. So, I ran through the upgrade process on my Mother’s blog. That went very well, but I was holding my breath as I upgraded the Deep Sand blog. It is a significantly more complex site. However, the upgrade went very smoothly. There are one or two minor problems that will have to be corrected. I think I know how to resolve these fairly quickly tomorrow. There is?a file up-loader that I use for the photo gallery that isn’t working, so I’ll have to do some research on that. There is an option to it using the Flickr photo system, and there are plugins for that too.

The main differences in this version are the tighter integration of some anti-spam tools for comments. Those are implemented on this site, and already capturing a ton of track-back spam. The other main difference is in the flexibility of the interface, and there is a built in WYSIWYG editor that includes access to a spell checker system and direct access to a plugin I use for collecting the information I use in the movie reviews.

So, that has been my evening tonight, upgrading this blog.