Yesterday and today I’ve been cleaning out my server, including my weblog installation. I also brought Practical RDF back online, as a new WordPress weblog. I borrowed heavily from the Burningbird redesign for this new weblog; basically copying Deep Thoughts with the addition of the book cover and the muted background.
I used an old trick to try to eliminate seams when the pattern repeats with the new background image. However, if you scroll up and down, very fast, the words, “Paul is dead” show up. Very strange.
One reason for the code cleanup is that I’m documenting all the changes I’ve made to my WP installation for the new group of boys and girls coming over to the Force. I’m also providing a zipped file of the code and if anyone is interested, they can grab it and modify the code or use as is. To help me in what is becoming a fairly major documentation project, I used a PHP document generator to generate source documentation of both the unmodified and modified WP files I’m using. Mine, of course, are in the package labeled “modified_wordpress”.
Among the changes I’ve made:
1. Blog Switcher for multiple WP weblogs. I also modified the CSS for each weblog installation, using a delicate violet for the Burningbird WP administration files, and a pale blue for RDF weblog’s admin files – to help differentiate when I go back and forth in a frenzy of posting.
2. Self-policing comments. When a comment is made, the code checks the database to see the status for comments for the specific post and its creation date. If the post is wide open to comments and over 20 days old, the comment program changes the status for that particular post to ‘moderated’ and then sends an email about the comment to me, to approve or not. With this, you need never have any form of automated application to close comments or moderate them after a certain time has passed.
You can try this yourself at Practical RDF with one of the older posts if you’re curious.
3. Spam flood protection. You can only post so many comment in a specific time period.
4. Static page generation. I statically generate my RDF/RSS and Atom feeds now when a post is published or edited. I also have a form that I’ve dropped into WordPress administration that allows me to create a static version of any of the pages.
4. The new linklog, b-link,Pithy Bar addition.
5. The older Category and Recent Comment lists in the sidebar. Yes, there are other plug-ins for these, but not at the time I wrote them. Besides, I like my Recent Comments implementation.
6. The category icon listing in the title bar for each posting.
7. Full page preview. I also removed the in-page preview from the existing WP edit page, as it was causing some performance problems when I created larger posts.
8. Per-post moderation. Being able to set moderation on a post-by-post basis – this has been a lifesaver. Comment spam problems are a thing of the past, now.
9. A new post status called ‘insert’, for those times when I want to create a page, but not have it show up in the regular lists of posts. There’s an associated file that will display these posts.
10. The full text option to display the full text of a post that has been split into sections through the use of the WP newpage tag. The code changes also prevent comments from showing on any page but the last page of a split page document.
Some other odds and ends, such as functions to return comment type, and so on.
Aside from the excitement of all this coding stuff, we’ve been hit with several major storms, one right after another. I was at the right place at the right time yesterday to see a storm unlike any I’d ever seen before. I’ll write more on this later in the week once I get this coding stuff out of the way. It was…something. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me, but luckily others captured some photos of the event.
Last night I stayed up all night: sitting, thinking, and just watching the lightning. At one point there was so much lightning that it created a strobe effect bright enough to light the surroundings–like a drug-induced midday.
However, my time was not all storm and code: I also watched a couple of movies, including Lost in Translation and Big Fish. Reviews on these later.
Someone should do Andrew Orlowski a kindness and ask him which is the sadder: the person who writes to a weblog, or the person who writes about the person who writes to a weblog.