New code display plugin

kbdI took the opportunity to replace the code formatting plugin I was using. Previously I was using codesnippets, but was never 100% happy with it, for a couple of niggling reasons, but mainly due to the lack of horizontal scrollbars, which meant longer lines of code were truncated and messed up the layout when displayed.

I’d seen a couple of better looking ones in use on some of the tech sites I’ve come across, so, after pinging Pro Blog Design (thanks Michael) I’ve replaced my previous plugin with a new one – wp-syntax.

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Include count in search results

searchAnother little tweak to the blog today (my plan is to conquer WordPress one tweak at a time and maybe learn a bit about php in the process).

This time I’m including a count of search results in the search page. Thanks to Pro Blog Design and their article 3 codes for a far better WordPress search page for this.

I now realise the theme I’m using seems a little bit out of whack, when I looked in my search.php page only to find a single line to include the contents of archive.php, so need to have a proper dig sometmie and understand how it all hangs together.

So, in search.css or in my case, somewhat bizarrely, in archive.css, I replaced:

<h2 class="pagetitle">Search Results</h2>

…with:

<h2 class="pagetitle">Search Result for post_count; _e(''); _e('<span class="search-terms">'); echo $key; _e('</span>'); _e(' — '); echo $count . ' '; _e('articles'); wp_reset_query(); ?&gt;</h2>

Nice and easy and the results now come back with a count. Next up, make it a proper search results page, instead of full posts…

Twitter integration redux

Twitter** Note: This hack has subsequently been superceded by a plugin **

Another couple of new tweaks built in to the blog, to make it easy for readers to tweet about a post they are currently reading on the blog, with a handy link included.

Inspired by a very nice article on Wp Recipes (thanks catswhocode) that I found via one of may fave tech online magazines: Smashing Magazine.

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New site completed & launched

www.kayleighmccallum.comI’ve been working on developing a new website on and off for the last couple of weeks. It’s a site for my daughter, who is venturing out on her own as a Marketing Advisor.

It’s a fairly straight-forward site of half a dozen or so pages, and a chance to try out some of the nifty CSS techniques I’d learned from the previously mentioned CSS Mastery book.

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CSS Sensei

Bought myself a new book: “CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standards Solutions” by Andy Budd. It’s fab. I’ll do a proper review of it at some point, but suffice to say I learned a few good things from it (and some really good things too).

Weirdly, the Amazon ‘favourites’ widget doesn’t seem to like my WordPress template styles. Despite a straight cut-n-paste it displays with a strange padding and border thing going on. Looks like the as-provided widget is built up using sliced images in a table. The response from Amazon to my question about it was less than helpful. (Note: now fixed)

So, look out for better coded CSS stuff from me in the future. Although obviously if it’s that good, the end user won’t notice, but the techies will… 🙂

New Domains

domainsI got some new domains, for future projects.

  • www.kayleighmccallum.com – for my daughter’s start-up marketing site.
  • www.manicmorff.com – for my design/dev (and other things) site, and this blog, in a rejuvenated and organised state will end up there too.
  • www.stevemccallum.com – just because.

So that should keep me busy for a while.

Further progress

Now done most of the coding around musigami, a between-season lyrics quiz, to be published on bimbogami. And, as Scott’s kindly done all the images, including a taster, it’s all been glued together. So musigami is officially in ‘beta test’ now – thanks in advance Jeanne.

Still a few bits and bobs to fix (mainly IE spacing, surprise surprise) and also need to merge the CSS from the previous puzzle page since introducing the new layout changes and revising the navigation stuff.

So, fingers crossed for a launch this weekend, if we decide the puzzles are in the right sequence/level of difficulty.

Firefox evangelists++

firefox1OK, it’s official, I’m now a convert. I never thought I’d say it but I’m now officially a big fan of Firefox (version 3 of course, its predecessors I remain unconvinced of)

It’s great to develop for and the fantastic Firebug is a CSS developers dream. If you code, and use CSS, download it, now, and do it in FF.

I read in a few places a while ago that you should develop in FF and then hack for IE. For years I’ve been doing it the other way round and boy, do I feel stupid. If the stats from bimbogami are anything to go by, FF is catching and overtaking IE in terms of visitors to the site.

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Progress, here we go mk1

launchAs I posted at the end of last year, there had been no movement on the bimbogami front for some time, despite a growing list of tasks and ideas.

Well, the good news is that over the last few days, the proverbial finger has been extracted and some movement made on a couple of fronts.

I made live today a number of amendments to the site:
A new landing page, with a new look and feel (thanks Scott, for the suggestion).
Users can now log-in from the landing page (less clicks, yay).
Newly launched ‘puzzler tools’ section, accessible from the landing page.

  • Caesar Solver puzzler tool launched
  • Scrabble Helper puzzler tool launched
  • Random Word Generator puzzler tool launched
  • Nonogram Generator has not been formatted yet, so held back for now

So, a few ticks in the boxes from the previous post, and hopefully a bit of impetus to get some more stuff done.

Next on the list is, hmmm, I wonder, Musigami anyone?