Archive for the ‘WordPress’ Category

Our Feeds, Ourselves

January 19, 2006

On January 5, Nikolas Coukouma made what appeared to be the final adjustments to a patch for WordPress that would allow it to generate Atom 1.0.

The experience drove him insane.

Or, more accurately, Coukouma was so disgusted that he summed up all his hard work with the sentence, “I never want to look at WordPress again.”

By the way, what happened to his hard work? According to Trac, Coukouma’s patch is sitting right where he left it, with no discussion or integration with any future version of WordPress.

That’s a shame, because the patch addresses all the shortcomings I could spot, not that a non-programmer playwright/blogger is someone you want auditing your code. If the patch works as advertised, what’s the hold-up? Do the WordPress developers not like their XHTML sent as escaped HTML in the feed? Do they not like that the patch removes Atom 0.3?

Or is it something else entirely? Some in the WordPress community are looking at the tool’s other feeds, and think it might be time for RSS 1.0 and RSS 0.92 to walk the plank. Lording over the fates of two feed formats is a lot more fun than making sure another one works as expected.

Luckily Owen Winkler is trying to pull back from this feed deathmatch. WordPress needs to handle comments, categories, and permanent links in a consistent way, regardless of the feeds it produces. Winkler is talking about the next generation of WordPress, while Coukouma’s patch only updates the existing Atom 0.3 template (for example, the patch does not create an Atom Comments Feed).

So, should WordPress’s Atom template be updated now? Or should everything feed related be completely redone later? Why can’t we do both?

Talking ’Bout URIs

January 4, 2006

Consistent web identification seems to be the topic of the day; observe posts by Gordon Weakliem and Christian Stocker. By chance my own experiences allow me to contribute to this discussion.

Late last night on our usual weblog I mocked The Village Voice in an entry titled Shaw ’Nuff, complete with that copied-and-pasted right single quote (doubling here as an apostrophe). I finished the entry, hit publish, then ambled over to the main page and hovered over some links. That’s when I saw this permanent link:

mikemariano.com/weblog/2006/01/04/shaw-%e2%80%99nuff/

Gyah!

Rather than stripping the apostrophe, WordPress had masticated it into an undigested, percent-encoded nightmare!

There’s nothing cool about that URI, so I immediately committed a web no-no and changed the Post Slug to shaw-nuff. As far as I know, though, the dark magic of Ping-o-matic (or is it now Ping-o-mattic?) had already sent the mangled link far across the Web, so I added a permanent redirect in .htaccess.

I was surprised; we no longer live in the WordPress dark ages. Authors can no longer fall into the same trap Eric Meyer did fifteen months ago. I use cites, ems, and apostrophes in my titles all the time, and WordPress 1.5.2 never lets me down.

But contracting “enough? as “’nuff? was too much for the program to handle. And barring my emergency surgery, George Bernard Shaw would have one ugly link.

Do you think WordPress MU/2.0 has corrected this problem? Only one way to find out….

Atom 1.0: Low Priority

November 16, 2005

Did anyone else see what happened Sunday on the WordPress Atom 1.0 ticket?

Ticket #1526: Have wp-atom.php generate Atom 1.0

Sun Nov 13 02:33:32 2005: Modified by matt

  • milestone changed from 1.6 to 2.1
  • priority changed from high to low

Atom 1.0, meet the back burner.

Back in July, Mullenweg said, “It looks like WordPress is going to continue supporting 0.3 while adding 1.0 support.” That’s not what it looks like now. It’s a shame when you consider Sam Ruby’s wishes….

By the time Longhorn comes out, I have every intent to make Atom 0.3 feeds as rare as Atom 0.2 feeds are now; which is to say, practically non-existent.

Instead Sam’s worst fears are coming true. When hungry baby Longhorn finally emerges from the shell, WordPress 1.6 will be cramming Atom 0.3 feeds down its throat. Microsoft is going to have to let it digest them.

In the meantime I’ll keep watching Atom/WordPress mavericks such as Ben de Groot and Matthew Gertner, who both have valid Atom 1.0 feeds—as long as you don’t look at them sideways. (The feed level IDs and rel="self"s are hard-wired to the main feed, making category feeds and others slightly incorrect.) I’d also like to see what the dissatisfied Phil Ringnalda comes up with.

But any maverick solutions will only help out our own mikemariano dot com. Here at mikemariano dot WordPress dot com, it’s Atom 0.3 until 2007!

Static Homepages On A WordPress Site

October 24, 2005

NOTE! Due to a change in WordPress’s .htaccess commands, the following procedure does not work in WordPress 2 and above. The advice below seems to work in WordPress 1.5.x only.

Mikemariano.com runs WordPress from the root directory, meaning all of the feeds, blog entries, and pages get passed through http://mikemariano.com/index.php. Left alone, this would make the front page of my site my weblog, but I didn’t want it that way. I wanted a static introductory page, underneath which would be my weblog and my work. Getting this static page was easy: I wrote a webpage, named it index.html, and uploaded it to the main directory. I can’t vouch for everyone’s server, but on mine, index.html overrules index.php: type in http://mikemariano.com/ and my static homepage appears.

That takes care of the homepage; next I changed a few WordPress options to get my weblog where I wanted it.

In Options → General, my WordPress Address and Blog Address are both http://mikemariano.com (by default it has no slash; I don’t know why, but I’ve left it alone).

Why is the Blog Address not http://mikemariano.com/weblog? Because this would also effect the Pages WordPress creates, putting them as well as everything else in the weblog directory. Since I want my plays to be listed at mikemariano.com/plays/, I did not change the Blog Address.

But what about the archives, single entries, and categories? Things that are supposed to be within the weblog? These can be changed in the Permalinks menu.

In Options → Permalinks, my Permalink Structure has been entered as /weblog/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/. My Category base is /weblog/category.

Now individual entries, yearly/monthly/daily archives, and categories all fall within the weblog. Feeds and pages remain at the root level, which is fine with me. Only one thing is missing:

There is still no such thing as http://mikemariano.com/weblog/!

This requires changes outside of WordPress. I have added the following three lines to the .htaccess file on my server after WordPress’s automatic additions:


RewriteRule ^weblog/$ /index.php
RewriteRule ^weblog$ /index.php
RewriteRule ^weblog/page/?([0-9]{1,})/?$ /index.php?&paged=$1 [QSA,L]

Briefly, here is what those three lines are saying:

  1. When someone asks for /weblog/, send them to /index.php
  2. When someone asks for /weblog (no trailing slash), send them to /index.php
  3. When someone asks for a previous weblog page, send them there.

For a final touch, I have allowed my index.html file to be editable by WordPress. Using Manage → Files, I can edit my static homepage without ever leaving WordPress.

Equix

October 23, 2005

Here at Mike Mariano dot WordPress dot com, we will dedicate ourselves to the behind the scenes operations at Mike Mariano dot com, my site for theatre and playwriting.

The current theme at my site is a heavily modified version of equiX by Marcos Sader. I chose Sader’s theme for one main reason:

equiX respects the single entry.

What I loved the most about the Kubrick theme is that it recognized how simple a single, permalinked weblog entry should be. On it is the entry, its metadata and comments, and navigation to only the next and previous entries. No monthly calendar, no brief biography, nothing. We readers have seen it already. And even if we have never been to the site and want to plunder the archives, we will start with the main weblog page, to which there is always a link. equiX continued this understanding started by Kubrick.

This may not seem like much, but countless other themes make their single entry pages look just like the main weblog. This is far too busy; it drowns readers in information they’ve already read. Nearly all of the current WordPress.com themes make this mistake.

I chose equiX over Kubrick because of the color scheme and the top navigation. Then I added a new picture, increased the font size, and gutted a lot of the code. I like the look, but lingering doubts make me want to redesign again. Horray!

PS: These WordPress.com themes are really really sloppy work! The Green Marinée theme is the worst offender. It has hard-coded the word “the” to the beginning of the date. If you keep the default date display in your Options, you get awful phrases like “Posted by Mike on the October 23nd, 2005.” Unacceptable!