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Archive for March, 2008

iBegin Releases Two New Apps: iBox v2 and iBegin Share

iBegin has announced its latest web app releases: iBox v2 and iBegin Share. iBox is the second iteration of a popular open-source script that lets web publishers display image (or HTML) overlays using lightweight JavaScript code.

iBox is a lightweight script that lets you overlay images and documents in a small dialog without a page reload. It’s built to be easy to install and use, while offering great flexibility.

iBegin Share, meanwhile, is seen as an innovative way by which a publisher can help readers save or share content on any site. Users have the option to share it via some of the more popular social bookmarking (or networking) sites, or save it to his own computer in different formats. One can even print the content directly through the iBegin Share interface. WordPress users would be happy to learn that iBegin provides a ready-made WordPress plugin as well, for convenience.

[W]hile we originally started with email to spread and share, we have come a long way. Social bookmarking websites to keep things organized. Social news websites, where everyone collaborates to report on the news. Social networks to keep up to date with everyone else. Offline programs to keep our links and contacts organized. Printing out documents to pass to others.

So we went ahead and built a simple to use share tool. It can easily be expanded to include SMS, phone calls, IM, and so forth. We’ve done it ourselves. Since they are all pay services, and since we don’t want to pick one service over another, we opted not to include those. The code is easy to work with to add those.

Again, both are open-source, which means users are free to build on the software, or add services to it, as they see fit.

Categories: Blogger Tools

WordPress Podcasting Roundup for March 16, 2008

Both WordPress Weekly and the WordPress Podcast have pushed out new episodes this week, with each talking about very different things in the WordPress community.

WordPress Weekly put out their tenth episode, with talks of the WordPress 2.5 administration panel included colour sets, gravatars being added to the WordPress support forum, and some other great news worth checking out.

Over on the WordPress Podcast, episode 38, Charles and Jonathan talk about the continuing delay of WordPress 2.5, WordPress’ entry into the Google Summer of Code, followed up with some plugins and some answers to some questions.

Categories: Podcasting News, WordPress News

Mastering WordPress Theme Hacks and Techniques

Over on Noupe there is a great post that goes over some of the millions of ways you can effect major changes on your WordPress theme. Some are difficult, others are very easy, and almost all of them are powerful to bloggers looking to add customizations to their blogs.

It includes links to dozens of tutorials from all the great sites on the web that cover WordPress, and can help you answer some of those questions you’ve been interested in finding out more about. Covering things like the loop, conditional tags, post excerpts, and dozens of other things, the guide is a great starting point to those looking to dive deep into theme customization in WordPress.

This is the first article in the four-part series, “Powerful guide to master Your WordPress”. Throughout this article, we’ll be focus on many WordPress Theme hacks, ideas, tips and useful tutorials you need to have ready in hand when developing WordPress websites.

Check it out on Noupe.

Categories: WordPress Hacks, WordPress Themes

WordPress 2.5 Custom Admin Colors

Ozh has put up a tutorial on how everyone can change the colour schemes of the WordPress 2.5 administration panel. It seems to be relatively simple, if you understand how to make a plugin.

WordPress 2.5 introduces a neat option: per user Admin Color Scheme. This means that each user can select a stylesheet they like best for the whole admin area. Now onto the fun stuff: adding a per-user selectable custom stylesheet for your blog.

The new function behind this feature is wp_admin_css_color(),

I have to admit, I wish a build-a-colour-scheme tool was built right into WordPress 2.5. Here is hoping that someone comes up with a good plugin solution for it, but until then, this is a great tutorial on how to change the colours to your own preferences.

Categories: WordPress Hacks

Technosailor’s WordPress 2.5 Overview

Aaron Brazell has written up a great overview of what people can expect from WordPress 2.5, including some interesting things he has noticed. It will be interesting to see if his ideas are incorporated into WordPress 2.5 before the final version is released, and I look forward to seeing what he does with the plugin updating plugin he creates to make WordPress work more securely.

Here is a sample from his post:

An ambitious new feature that is being included in WordPress is a new autoupgrader. By default, it will try to upgrade plugins that are already in the WordPress plugin repository by writing the new files out to the existing plugins. however, this is an inherent security risk as it would require your plugin files be writable by the world. So the fallback is to upgrade plugins via FTP/FTP over SSL. Though your FTP username and password are stored in your database, it’s important to remember that FTP is inherently insecure. FTP/SSL is much more secure but is still not the best. Thanks to hooks in the filesystem functionality, I’ll be releasing a plugin that I’ve been working on for Secure FTP (FTP over SSH). It’s not ready yet, but hopefully will be soon and I’ll let you know when it is.

Check out the full post on Technosailor and start getting ready for WordPress 2.5.

Categories: WordPress News

WordPress 2.5 Release Candidate 1 Released

Itching to try out WordPress 2.5, but don’t want to use Subversion or the nightly builds? Well, the team has finally pushed out the first release candidate, bringing us one step closer to a final version of WordPress 2.5.

Matt has written up a nice post going over what you can expect from the new version on the WordPress development blog.

A customizable dashboard, multi-file upload, built-in galleries, one-click plugin upgrades, tag management, built-in Gravatars, full text feeds, and faster load times sound interesting? Then WordPress 2.5 might be the release for you. It’s been in the oven for a while, and we’re finally ready to open the doors a bit to give you a taste.

For the past few months, we’ve been working with our friends at Happy Cog — Jeffrey Zeldman, Jason Santa Maria, and Liz Danzico — to redesign WordPress from the ground-up. The result is a new way of interacting with WordPress that will remain familiar to seasoned users while improving the experience for everyone. This isn’t just a fresh coat of paint — we’ve re-thought the look of WordPress, as well as how it’s organized so that you can forget about the software and focus on your own creative pursuits.

The post includes some great screenshots of the new version, highlighting the features effectively. Check out the bottom of the post for the download link. Also, a quick reminder, this isn’t the final version of WordPress 2.5, and despite people saying it is “ready”, I wouldn’t suggest upgrading your production blog to this release candidate.

Categories: WordPress News

WordPress Plugins: TopLinks and FriendsRoll

I have two amazing plugins for everyone today called TopLinks and FriendsRoll.

TopLinks and FriendsRoll WordPress Plugins

TopLinks shows a list of the sites you link to the most in your posts in a really nice little widget while FriendsRoll allows readers to connect with you in an easy way and have their link shown on your site.

I know the developers of these plugins, so I might be a little more excited than I otherwise would be, but I hope you will all give them a good go, and let 76design know of any errors or issues with the plugins.

I am really excited to see these take off, especially TopLinks, as I think it could be a useful staple to some of my WordPress niche focused blogs, allowing me to show off the resources I use most often.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

WordPress 2.5 Release Day Again…

So WordPress 2.5 was supposed to be pushed back to today according to the schedule on Trac. So many people reported on the delay, but I don’t think enough people really thought about the fact that we haven’t seen a real beta release yet.

The chatter in the development mailing list seems to be very much slanted towards “when its done” as the response of the release date for the next version of WordPress.

I thought the super-amazing-all-powerful release cycle that wasn’t arbitrarily chosen would mean releases on the days that were set up in advance.

Is the WordPress development community so small, so focused on a key set of people that without them they can’t do a release because one of the excuses I have heard is that someone was sick and as such they couldn’t finish.

I am feeling more and more like WordPress 2.5 will have to be amazing to convince people that the wait was worth it. The good thing for me is that I haven’t had to update blogs in six weeks. A very welcome break in my opinion.

Categories: WordPress News

WordPress 2.5 Administration Theme: Fluency

WordPress 2.5 isn’t even out yet, and already we have a theme to replace the default WordPress administration panel theme that has taken a fair bit of flack.

The theme, Fluency, replaces many of the graphics and navigational item placements in the WordPress admin. It strips the colours back to a black, gray, and white mix, moving the main navigation over to the left hand side.

Despite the huge overhaul that the WordPress admin interface has received its still not quite what I would really like. I had grown quite attached to the Tiger Admin theme by Steve Smith and when I found that it didn’t work with WP2.5 I was a little disappointed. But this gave me the opportunity to do something different, my own admin theme. Fluency is the result.

Fluency WordPress 2.5 Admin Panel Theme

While this might make many people happy, I still believe that I will adjust to the upcoming WordPress administration panel, and am interested to see how long it will be before someone comes out with a “Retro” administration panel theme, reverting it back to looking closer to the WordPress 2.3 administration panel we have come to be familiar with.

Categories: WordPress Hacks, WordPress Plugins

WordPress 2.5 Delayed Until…

I bet you expected me to complete the sentence started in the title of this post, but it is unknown when WordPress 2.5 will be released. The WordPress trac has the due date pushed to the 17th, but some are scratching their heads if that will even happen.

The last full version of WordPress was released September 25th, which means if WordPress 2.5 is released March 25th it will have been a full six months between major releases. That, to me, seems like quite a long time.

While I am prepared to wait as long as it takes for a WordPress release, the one thing I hope is that they will get their timings more exact when it comes to scheduled releases as expectations have been hurt by quite a bit due to this delay.

There is even a whole thread in the support forum discussing the delay, as well as many bloggers expressing their unhappiness at the continued delays, talking about how WordPress 2.4 was skipped, and how WordPress 2.5 continually gets pushed back.

arickrol had this to say:

I do have a question to posit. This is going to come across as a snyde comment so I need to preface this by saying that I do not intend it as such. WP 2.5 has been delayed a week, thankfully it is only a week, but what will keep it from being delayed again?

WP 2.5 is a big release with a lot of work done on it and a lot to do. There are 406 active tickets left to complete according to Milestone 2.5 on Trac. Volunteers can only get so much done in any span of time no matter how dedicated they are. Can they really get 400+ tickets resolved in the remaining 6 days?

While Matt Mullenweg and others have made it clear that any incomplete tickets can just be pushed to the next release, he does pose a good question. How can we trust that WordPress 2.5 will only be delayed a week after the continued delays?

Honestly, we can’t. I guess that means the word for today is patience. At least that means I don’t have to run around upgrading blogs yet.

Categories: WordPress News

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