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WordPress 2.7

Just a quick note to say that I’ve updated my personal blog here to WordPress 2.7.

This is also an excuse to test out the new QuickPress feature on the dashboard to write a post really really quickly.

QuickPress screenshot

XHTML 1.1 Compliant Feedburner Email Subscribe

Like many, I use FeedBurner to handle the RSS feeds for this blog, which gives me the benefit of all of FB’s special features, including detailed statistics on my feed’s usage.

I also make use of its email subscription service to allow people not familiar with feed technology to subscribe to the blog and have updates delivered to their inbox (Publicise > Email Subscriptions in your FeedBurner account).

My recent redesign means that my pages are now served as XHTML 1.1, rather than 1.0 Transitional*.

The code that I use in the sidebar to show the email subscription box (the code provided by FeedBurner) won’t validate under XHTML 1.1, though, which annoyed me. So, I fixed it.

You may wonder why anyone in their right mind would care if a little snippet of code doesn’t quite validate, since it doesn’t make any user-visible difference. Aesthetics are one reason and also some mobile browsers can be really fussy about validation.

So here’s how to use my fixed code if you want to have the email subscribe feature – but also have valid XHTML 1.1 markup.

First of all, log in to FeedBurner, click the relevant feed and go to Publicise > Email Subscriptions. Under Subscription Management, there should be a box with the default code, which should be something like this (line breaks added by me for readability):

» Read the rest of this post…

New Design

It’s been quite a long time since my site and blog have seen any major visual changes. I thought it was about time to give it a visual refresh, so over the past few days, I have put together this new design.

Hopefully, it retains much of the visual identity of its predecessor, while giving a welcome refresh, making things visually cleaner and making it a little less bland than previously.

I particularly like the new main navigation bar, which I think is more attractive and clearer than it used to be, while also removing the old hack I used to get the ‘button’ effect (there is no more ‘button’ effect)!

There are also a lot of changes behind the scenes to make the integration between the non-WordPress portions and the WordPress blog a lot easier.

Anyway, let me know what you think of the new design. Comments and suggestions for improvement very welcome!

New Beginner’s Linux Printable Guide – Installing Software on Ubuntu

Just a quick post to cross-post the fact that I’ve just put out a new printable guide, designed for Linux beginners which details installing software on Ubuntu.

It’s posted at FOSSwire – here’s where you’ll find it.

The idea is to bridge the knowledge gap for the person literally just starting out with Linux. Installing software is one of the big areas where there are differences, so this double sided guide covers that.

25 posts, 30 days

No, not 25 posts in 30 days here. That would be something.

Over on FOSSwire (where I write about all sorts of Linux and open source stuff for those who don’t know) we’ve hit a goal of bringing monthly posting frequency back up to 25 or more.

You can see the frequency of posting over every month of FOSSwire’s history on its archives page. As you can see, we’re back up to an impressive level compared to recent months, which have been difficult.

The major reason why we’ve managed to hit this goal has been my fellow writer and editor at FOSSwire, Jacob Peddicord. His increase in posting frequency (plus an extra two posts compared to last month from me) have allowed us to get back on top of things.

Also his articles always get the big traffic. 😉

I’m looking forward to hopefully being able to keep a solid posting frequency up on FOSSwire to make sure we’re always delivering fresh content.

When you have several thousand RSS subscribers and more than a thousand uniques a day, you have to stay fresh. Not that I’m boasting about numbers or anything… 😛

My PC-BSD review

OK, so cross-linking is bad and stuff, but it’s been a long time since I last did it, so it’s OK, right? 😛

Just finished a review of PC-BSD, a BSD distribution based on FreeBSD for desktop system.

I was really impressed at how easy it was when compared to the big bad FreeBSD install, which I seem to always mess up right at the last moment thanks to the far from intuitive menu system.

But I digress. PC-BSD is as slick as any desktop Linux, and I think it makes a fine general purpose desktop OS, as you can read more about in the full review.

And yes, I’m trying to post a bit more regularly here too. It’s working, so far. 😉

FOSSwire 2.0

Thanks to the extremely hard work of Jacob (coding and architecture) and Chris (design), and not really me (I did keep posting though), FOSSwire has just relaunched!

Well, FOSSwire, we’ve had some ups and downs, but overall it’s been a good year. We now have quite a reader base compared to when we started.

But now isn’t the time for reminiscing. (really, never is the time.)

You may have noticed some changes around here. Did FOSSwire get a haircut? You’ll have to figure that out for yourself. But we did add several new features:

  • Tabs: Now, instead of a bajillion categories, we now only have five, and they are shown as tabs at the top of the page. Who doesn’t like tabs?
  • Tags: This is where the mass amounts of categories were thrown. We didn’t really know what to do with this new feature in WordPress 2.3, so we’re just using it as our new category home.
  • The Metabar: Chris calls this the Ãœberbar. To each their own. The important thing is this is home to many more features, including:
    • GNOME vs KDE vs XFCE wars
    • FOSSwire Video: Yep, we finally support video. Expect many more posts to have this feature.
    • PkgBase Automatic Installers: This is what we were suggesting with this post. You can now enjoy a one-click style install feature for systems that support it. And for those that don’t, instructions are given.
    • Expertise Level: Know before you read a post how difficult it will be to do. Most commonly used in the Tips & Tutorials section.
  • Post Ratings: For anything that can be reviewed, such as a software or game release, we can now assign a rating out of 10 to it.
  • Caching: You won’t notice anything (other than comments being delayed) except for the site running a lot faster. We’re using a custom-built caching system that is by far faster than WP-Cache.

Those are most of the features, but we’ve made some cosmetic changes here and there. We think you’ll like it.

This relaunch marks one year of FOSSwire, and I’ve been extremely happy to be a founding contributor and hope we continue to enjoy as much success as we’ve had (and hopefully more)!

One year.

Wow.

It’s gone pretty quickly, and in the past year I’ve managed to push out 210 posts. It isn’t quite one a day, sadly, but still, I’m pretty happy with how much I’ve put into FOSSwire personally.

Of course, I must again point out that the overwhelming majority of the work for this new release was not done by me! I’m not taking credit at all – not until content I’ve produced arrives 😉 .

So, here’s to the next year!

Minor site updates

I’ve made some changes to the copy on the homepage and some other pages to keep it updated with new stuff I’m doing and to make it more concise.

This blog is suffering again, but the time I have to do it is virtually non-existent.

FOSSwire got pwned

Testing Twitter Tools

Just installed Twitter Tools on this blog and I’m quickly posting to see if it’s going to update my Twitter with the fact I’ve made a blog post.

UPDATE: it worked – woot.