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WPGet 0.7 is taking shape quite nicely

Yep, yet more WPGet news. 😛

Most of the major features for 0.7 are now feature-complete, meaning that after a bit of cleaning up and just checking everything over before (internal) testing can begin.

Also, in parallel, I’ve been hacking away at the brand new, reworked WPGet Installer (née Config Tool). It’s going to be a much nicer and cleaner interface and not to break as many UI conventions. Plus, of course it will have the ability to graphically set up and use all the new brilliant advanced features.

So, here are some screenshots of what the new Installer looks like!

WPGet Installer SplashWPGet Installer Splash Hosted on Zooomr
WPGet Installer Step 1WPGet Installer Step 1 Hosted on Zooomr
WPGet Installer Step 2WPGet Installer Step 2 Hosted on Zooomr

It’s still a way off, but it’s getting along very nicely.

Flash Player 9 for Linux

It’s official – Flash Player 9 for Linux has gone gold as of today!

The Penguin.SWF blog post about it doesn’t tell you a lot more, but it’s where I heard about it. You can now download it from Adobe.

FOSSwire post on how to install it coming soon is here.

Once again, thank you Adobe for your cross-platform commitment (now we need Photoshop, heh).

WPGet’s Ajax comments now showing here

No, 0.7 is not released yet (believe me it is far too difficult to implement at the moment and only one feature is written), but I’ve put one of its new features into my WPGet installation here.

If you click on the comments link on any post (in the left-hand pane on the main site), you will get a little window containing the comments. You can click the close button on the left, which, obviously, closes the window and the expand button on the right to view the comments on the actual blog post.

Please note – this does not currently work properly in any version of Internet Explorer. IE6 panics and doesn’t render any style (it appears inline and very broken) and IE7 ‘features’ this annoying z-index bug, so the window appears ‘underneath’ the central content layer. Grrr. I’ve spent upwards of an hour attempting to debug and fix it just for IE, to no avail. I will endeavour to get it working soon, but not right now.

Ouch. I hate IE. Seriously, Microsoft should ditch the Trident rendering engine and rebuild it from scratch for IE 8. IE is broken.

I’ve tested it and it works in Firefox, Konqueror 3.5.5, Opera 9.10, Epiphany 2.6.12 (that should also cover all Gecko browsers). Confirmation for Safari support would be appreciated from anyone with a Mac (works in KHTML, though, so I imagine it will be fine).

WPGet 0.7 preview – Ajax comments

It’s completely devoid of any styles and probably very unstable and buggy, but here’s a quick preview of what the new Ajax comments feature will act like in WPGet 0.7.

See the preview

Any comments, suggestions, things I’ve forgotten and of course, pre-emptive bug reports are more than welcome. Note – 0.7 is still a long way away (depending on the level of development time it gets, which may vary), there’s lots of new features still to do and some stuff I’m going to change to make the code leaner and easier for me to manage and other people to read.

The current code isn’t available as it’s really messy, incomplete, buggy and subject to major changes until the release. If someone really really wants it despite all that, though, I might be convinced to hand it out…

WPGet – a question to all users

I’m working on the new inline Ajaxified comments thing in the next WPGet release (where you click the comments link, and theoretically a little box will pop up and show you the latest comments on that post). I have a question to ask as to how best achieve a solution to a problem I’m facing. If you don’t want to delve into the technical reasons behind this, skip a couple of paragraphs and rejoin. I really do need the users input here as to what the best way of fixing it is, so please please please tell me what I should do.

I’ve run into an interesting problem. In order to do this cool Ajax stuff, I need to pass some special information in the URL so that WPGet springs into action and delivers the Ajax content you requested (pulling out comments out for each and every post would be far too database intensive).

However, WPGet is included by another page, which means that the user doesn’t access the wpget.php file directly, all of that is be handled by the master script. That makes it a pain to get that special information passed in the URL, as I can’t control the master script invoking WPGet and change how it works.

Basically, if I cut the technical drivel, which of these solutions to this problem is better?

  1. At install time, you have to paste two bits of PHP into your file – one snippet of code at the top to handle Ajax stuff (this is the new bit) and one where you want the posts to appear as normal. This would only affect people wanting the Ajax functionality.
  2. Only one snippet to copy and paste, but we ask the users at install time which directory wpget.php will be located relative to the script calling it (index.php for example). In most cases, it’s the current directory (index.php and wpget.php in the same folder), so novices will leave it at that and there’s no problem. For people wanting to put it in /includes or whatever, they would have to remember to state this during the setup process.

    Technical talk – in this solution, when Ajaxing, we’d request the wpget.php script directly in the URL, along with our arguments, so therefore we need to know where it is relative to $_SERVER[‘PHP_SELF’]

Now, there’s clearly arguments for and against both and I don’t want to complicate the installation process too much. These measures probably won’t affect users not wanting the Ajax comments functionality, but I really want to keep installation simple.

I am relying on you to tell me which solution is best, as I’m not really sure. Particularly Lee, as you suggested this feature, what do you think is best?

Alternatively, I’m if (likely) being incredibly stupid, someone please tell me how to get the current file’s web-accessible filename from within PHP (not the filename of the file that calls wpget.php, but the wpget.php file itself).

MacWorld is from now on called AppleConsumerElectronicsWorld

I’m pretty disappointed about no news of Leopard and for the first time in a long time, no iLife/iWork updates at the Macworld 2007 San Fransisco keynote.

It was all iPhone, Apple TV and all that. Yeah, pretty cool – but not what I was really looking for. Apple may have just as well gone to CES, because there was literally no Mac stuff in the whole keynote (I didn’t watch it, but I was following the MacRumours live feed). And I wanted a 10.5 date…

I am pretty disappointed that we still only have the oh-so-slightly vague ‘Spring’ as Leopard’s release date. Oh well…

WordPress 2.0.6 upgrade

Just upgraded to WordPress 2.0.6, and all seems to have gone well!

As ever, it was as simple as merging the new files over the old ones and running the upgrade script! Well, and applying my custom error message hack (if anything goes wrong you see a friendlier message than the default), but that’s my hack and not part of WordPress.

If anyone does notice any problems though, let me know somehow.

PHP class for making HTML tabs – coming soon

Oh – forgot to mention this.

Reasonably soon, I will be releasing a new bit of code to the world. It was born out of some useful stuff from the Livelocity project – and it’s a PHP class that will automate the creation of tabs in a web page.

When I say tabs, I mean – the kind of tabs you would have inside a dialogue box in a desktop app to have lots of stuff in one window, whilst keeping everything organised. There’s currently no HTML widget which provides a tabbed interface out of the box, so you have to build the tabs yourself, with CSS, JavaScript and HTML.

This is where my code will come in – it’s some really easy to use PHP where you can simply call it and it will generate all the HTML, CSS and JavaScript needed to make a nice tabbed window (with Ajax capabilites and fallback for users without JavaScript).

I’m sorry if this makes no sense – it’s too late and I’ve been coding for too long. There’s a bit of cleaning up work to do on the code, so I’ll try and get it to you as soon as we’ve got the Livelocity Beta out the door and I have a bit of free time.

It’s likely (but not yet completely decided) that this will be released under a BSD-style licence (aka “take it and do what you want, but give me credit”).

(Subtle?) site updates and some miscellany

Since it’s now 2007, I’ve made a couple of changes to the main site and my homepage. I’ve updated a lot of information, changed some wording here and there to make it a bit more coherent and relevant.

Unfortunately for you, the worst change is you now have to look at a picture of me on the homepage. 😛

Also, I just want to reiterate – the blog content (everything in the /blog folder) is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0 UK licence. That means you can republish my stuff under certain conditions. Click through on that link to see what you’re allowed and not allowed to do (it’s reasonably permissive). If you want to use any of my blog content in a way that doesn’t fall under this licence, I’d appreciate it if you’d get in contact. In most cases I’ll let you do what you want without charge, so it’s definitely worth asking!

All the content on the main site (i.e. everything not in the /blog folder) is not affected by this licence and you’re not generally allowed to republish it. In fact, most of it would be pretty useless on another site. If, however, you want to use this anywhere (apart from fair use and all that), then contact me and we’ll work something out. Content made available under the /files folder might be subject to other licences, like the GPL, LGPL or the BSD Licence, so check that too.

Sorry to have to put you through that, but I need to just keep everyone informed as to what the situation is.

Anyway, Happy New Year everybody!

Quick disclaimer – I am not a lawyer. I have to say this.