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Now that a week has passed since the new year has begun, it has only been now that I start thinking of what has happened in the past year and what I will do with this new one. It may be a little late to do a recap of what has transpired since, but who’s checking anyway? A previous conversation with Death, the Righteous Babe, sorted me out. That’s what I’d like to think.
And should I even start making a list of what I want to accomplish this year, even if I know that I won’t even remember less than half of it, and even less of it I’ll be able to accomplish, deliberately or accidentally? I can feel my shoulders start rising in anticipation of a big shrug. What the heck, right? Anyway…
The past year has been kind to me. I was given a chance to help out in the development of WordPress 2.7, testing-wise. And because of this, in some small way, I am a WordPress developer, I like to think, at least for a fleeting moment. As for blogging, I would like to think I have helped, in some way, WordPress users trying to integrate the new threaded comments feature thru a post I wrote based on somebody else’s work and on my experiences trying to do so with mine. I believe I amused a lot of people by posting a couple of puzzles that I was able to solve. Not a big feat, but at least it provided some entertainment while waiting for my downloads to finish.
My professional life has been pretty stable, to say the least, and I couldn’t want anything more than where I am today, except for a bigger paycheck, which is considered by most to be a pipe dream, but dream, I shall continue.
I have nothing but kind words and praises for my webhost, 1&1 Internet Hosting, as they have been an excellent host and I’m proud to say that after about two years with them (I lost count after the first 6 months), I’ve had no problems whatsoever. Well, nothing I couldn’t fix on my own.
I learned and re-learned a great deal also when I switched to Ubuntu as my main operating system. I have not yet switched my computing entirely to Linux as the iPhone prevented me to do so. And no, the iPhone wasn’t mine, but my wife’s. It’s hers and I can not complain about it. I do play with it sometimes. So does my two-year-old son, whom finished a level of Labyrinth in 2.232 seconds. Accidentally, of course, but he was able to repeat it in 2.365 seconds. Go figure. And I admit, I sometimes miss the old Redmond beast that is XP. At least I’m using the lesser of two evils.
A quick look at a previous post listing my resolutions for 2008 made me realize I accomplished 3 out of 6 goals, with another one pegged as debatable. I was able to buy a flash, a lens, and a camera bag for Cap, my Canon EOS 350D, which spawned a very neglected photoblog.The debatable goal was the last: me being a better provider for my family. I was able to hold down a couple of regular moonlighting gigs, but stress took its toll and I opted out in return for some quality time with and without my family. But as the new year looms, I have been considering, for quite some time now, if I should sell all, and I mean ALL my camera gear. Anyway.
The past year also gave me the chance to go out and admire Mother Nature again, as I was able to go hiking and do some mountaineering. It made me appreciate what the earth has been providing us, and guilty at the same time at how much waste we throw back. The goal for this year is to be green, to conserve more, to recycle more, to do everything BUT waste more. And that would be one of my resolutions for this year. Which means I would have to revive my other resolution to quit smoking, which is my Kryptonite whenever I feel stressed.
And since I started off my list with being green, I’m going to have to cut back in my lifestyle. What does this entail? Well, let’s see.
Reduce the number of sticks of cigarette I smoke, if I can not quit smoking. And be aware of it.
Avoid unnecessary purchases, and have the wisdom to know which is and which isn’t. And also be aware of it.
Reward myself, frequently if it’s a very, very cheap (read: free) thrill, or one big reward for the whole year. Life will surely suck if I don’t get a chance to enjoy it.
Remember always to find simpler ways to do things, and make sure it doesn’t complicate anything. The new motto: measure twice, cut once.
I will not cross my fingers, but instead, brace for impact. This way, I’m prepared for the worst, and then be surprised, and gladly, if it turns out for the best. It’s better if you lower your expectations.
I’ve been waiting for a long time to get access to the final destination of WordPress Themes. Unfortunately, the site is still not able to open up its doors due to some major house cleaning. What are they cleaning that takes a very long time (read: 5 months)? Well, some Theme developers, to make ends meet, sell their designs. And in selling them, they also add some links to their benefactors that are quite not WordPress‘ cup-of-tea. Some benefactors are spammy. Some are legit. Some are penalized by Google. Some not. However, PR is nothing when the site is only after hits, not ranking.
I’ve been using the Random Quotes plugin by Dustin Barnes since before WordPress 2.0 and it has worked quite well for me. Adding, editing, and managing those quotes in the Wits Bits section of my front page has been quite easy.
However, when WordPress 2.1 came out, that’s when I noticed something that shouldn’t happen. You see, exporting posts, comments, etc. from WordPress has been integrated in version 2.1, but I never noticed it until I turned off the Random Quotes plugin. And this was in WordPress 2.2 already.
I re-downloaded the latest version of Random Quotes and re-installed it but it still gave me the same problem. Well, actually, there was no problem with managing quotes, whatsoever. It’s just that when the plugin is turned on, the Export feature of WordPress is hidden, or as I would say, stomped out into oblivion, and that the Random Quotes management page took over its place. Not that I mind because I rarely export my blog anyway. Its just that my OCD kicked in and I knew I have to do something about it.
…so I applied the fix for a bug that I didn’t think is one. I first noticed this bug when I wrote instructions for my plugins. The instructions included the symbols < and >. At first, I thought it was just Exec-PHP clashing with whatever I wrote on my page. So I used HTML character codes. This style worked. However, when editing the page with the HTML character codes, I found the symbols to be just that, symbols, when it’s supposed to be HTML character codes. It parses the code when it’s not supposed to. But I didn’t know that. I thought it was always that way. And that this is the first time I had to do it so it was just recently that I found out about it. A moment of Zen, if I may.
I guess it was just a matter of time before someone creates something like this. Might as well do it myself. Technorati Tag Cloud Widget for WordPress 2.3 is now available for download.
This plugin, when activated, adds a widget in your Widgets page that when used, displays a tag cloud linking to Technorati in your sidebar. The widget is fully configurable but entirely optional.
After releasing plugins for WordPress 2.3, that is. I have reached a point in my blog life that I am clueless as to what I can actually share in my posts other than WordPress stuff that might be Greek to most of the visitors. Then again, visitors might be looking for WordPress stuff. But, little has been going on with the development of my plugins, and themes, for that matter. I feel that the plugins are doing what it’s supposed to be doing, and my themes are showing what it’s meant to be showing.
Why did I release those things in the first place, anyway? Well, I was hoping to inspire future bloggers to learn a thing or two about PHP, Cascading Style Sheets, and how WordPress works. And to also show them that if a noob like me can do it, so can they. However, the documentation of my plugins and themes are somewhat insufficient, if not non-existent. When I say documentation, I mean a detailed explanation of how the plugin or theme was developed from scratch.
Pro Blog Design’s article about how to separate trackbacks and comments is a must-read for theme developers.
Alex Walker’s article offers a script-less solution for rendering PNG transparency in IE6 and below using Adobe Fireworks.
And I thought I was finished with my plugins. I now realize that as long as WordPress keeps evolving, my plugins need to do the same too.
However, the update to my plugins Technorati Tags and Technorati Tag Cloud, both for WordPress 2.3+ are not related to WordPress evolving once again. These updates are more related to me being a noob and not realizing that although tag search results may seem to be similar, it is, in fact, VERY different from each other.