WordPress Quirk

WordPress still has some odd little quirks for a mature product. For example, they still have their own code inside /wp-includes/theme-compat/comments.php to alter the look and feel of your comment section.

It can be edited of course, in fact they have a comment inside that code encouraging you to do just that <!-- You can start editing here. -->. But upon each WP update, that file is clobbered with the default and all your changes are gone. So that's fun.

I don't want to have to remember to copy my version back so I just have a cronjob check if the file has changed and it all gets fixed up 🤷🏻‍♂️

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Spent a bit of time hacking on lastweekly today to rip out Twitter integration. It's been busted since Elon broke the API last year; that and I'm not really that interested in Twitter these days. Slowly replacing all that with WordPress integration so the weekly cron job will now post last.fm stats here automagically instead.

It's that time of the year where we get our Olive trees sprayed to prevent the fruit from growing. Dear reader, why would anyone ever do that? The trees look pretty, but the actual olives themselves are a bit of a pain in the ass. They fall on the driveway and if you step on them they stain the concrete and then you walk that lovely olive splatter into the house. Plus they're a Pigeon magnet and no one wants to host a Pigeon party.

Because there are more TV shows to watch than hours left in my life, I decided to add yet one more watching project to the list. As you do. Last night was the start of the big X-Files re-watch extravaganza. All 11 seasons of it. One episode down, 217 left to go!

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Today marks the end of an era. Pour one out for the old Movable Type install I still had laying around. I kept it up purely for Action Streams support. Which, at the time, was a kinda cool aggregator of "the things you do elsewhere on the internets". Not something I've had on the site for a while now so decided it was time for MT to retire up state.

I had a pang of nostalgia for the good old days of blogging as I typed cd cgi-bin && rm -rf mt 🥲

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RSS Is Still A Thing

As a RSS refugee from the olden times, I've used more aggregators than I can possibly remember. Most recently Reeder on top of feedbin and have been pretty happy with that setup for a few years.

But I got a bit bored with all that and wanted to give something else a try. Enter Tiny Tiny RSS.

Open source, self hosted web app with community themes. As long as you have a host and a DB, you point the installer at it, import your OPML file, add the cron job to crawl for updates and then it "just works".

Hey @kapgar, look what I'm reading.

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Andre Torrez wrote a blog post about creating a feeds.txt.

My friend Adam Mathes posted an idea called 'feeds.txt' back in August where he decided to publish his current subscriptions to a human readable text file.

Intrigued by the idea I was inspired to write my own generator. It runs nightly in cron and generates both a feeds.txt and a feeds.html file.

Turns out I still have a lot of cruft in my subscription list that I should clear out. Lots of blogs have disappeared into the ether. Shame that.

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You And Me We Go Wayback

The Archive Team are doing the lord's work downloading all Tumblr content before it goes away. I wish them every success.

I've long used the wayback machine to look at old sites of yore so wondered how far down the rabbit hole of my own storied past I could go? All the way it seems. For many moons and domain names ago I started what was known as "updating your website frequently".

The very first ever "blog post" I did was on a long defunct site on October 31st 2001. The wayback machine has it. I'm not linking to it. Interesting from a personal growth angle, my head was in a different place 17 years ago. The cringe factor is high.

I wonder how all this will sound 17 years from now?

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On Gutenberg

After a month of using it, I've deleted the WordPress Gutenberg plugin.

Editing tools shouldn't get in your way. Editing tools shouldn't make you fight them. Editing tools shouldn't make the process frustrating. Editing tools shouldn't make the process take longer. Editing tools shouldn't make you have to roll the dice on whether that paragraph has the right amount of whitespace under a photo.

But Gutenberg did all those things. And now I'm back to the old familiar intuitive interface. Posting is a breeze and easy and quick. Which makes me happy, albeit temporarily. For I know it's only a matter of time before this is forced in WordPress core. Perhaps by then a lot of the bugs will have been worked out?

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I switched to the new Gutenberg editor in WordPress this week.  I kinda like it.  The first real change to the default editor in just about forever.  Right off the bat it's obvious they're focusing on a lot more than just blogging.  Now we have more of a first class full on content editor.

Instead of one free form text area you now insert blocks.  Blocks can be made up of text, images, media, quotes.  Wanna write a straight blog post, just add blocks of text.  Wanna embed media, blocks make it super easy to do that.  And in my testing it all 'just worked'.  Not bad for something that isn't 'production' per-se.  It won't ship officially until WP 5.0 and early birds can use it by installing the plugin.

There is a bit of a "kinda solves a problem I didn't have" feel to it.  Adding images and media wasn't something I was having all that much bother with?  But I can see this being super appealing to a wider audience.  About the only thing I didn't immediately like is that it decided to hijack the Flickr link I used for the previous post.  Adding additional CSS and alignment wasn't really the help I was after. I hope I can figure out how to turn that off as having 3 extra manual steps per photo post doesn't seem appealing.

Oh and with forced tooltips on for my first 'onboarding' of Gutenberg my Mac became lava and the fans were all a spinning like little supersonic jet fighters. You go javascript in 2018!

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