Goodbye “Get SignOff”

Headscape, the Web design and development company of BoagWorld’s Paul Boag, announced today that their design proofing and approval service Get SignOff will be closing its virtual doors as of May 31, 2011.

Unfortunately, I never really got a chance to test out the service, as I don’t perform an extreme amount of design work; but it seemed like a nice option.

If they really are closing the service for the reasons cited in the message below, I must say that I respect them for the decision. I understand how tough it can be to provide the dedicated service and support that something like Get SignOff may require; and I wholeheartedly believe it’s better to shutter the service – while directing your users to another similar service – than it is to let a service continue floundering with no real support.

Read More
Using Google’s CDN for WordPress JavaScript

As you probably know by now, Google hosts most of the major JavaScript libraries on its own content distribution/delivery network (CDN) for everyone to use. However, WordPress actually comes bundled with many of the same JavaScript libraries. So, what are you to do when you want to use Google’s copy? Sure, you could simply include the call to the Google JavaScript library of your choice in your theme files, but that would cause the library to load twice in many cases (potentially causing conflicts all over the place).

The way to handle this, quite simply, is to tell WordPress not to use its local copy of the library; but to use Google’s copy instead. To do so, you simply “deregister” the WordPress copy (for these examples, I will be showing how to use Google’s jQuery library), then register (and potentially enqueue) the Google copy.

Read More
jQuery Fundamentals Training – Free for Next 36 Hours

The Plural Sight training group has launched a new course around jQuery.  The course is listed as a beginner class and apparently is available for free for the next 36 hours. I haven’t watched any sections of the course yet but plan to this evening. I wanted to get the link out to ya’all now in case you want to participate you will have the maximum free time to participate.

Here’s part of the topics that will be covered:

  • jQuery Fundamentals: Introduction, Referencing a jQuery Script, Using Content Delivery Networks, Using the jQuery Ready Function, Getting to Know the jQuery Documentation
  • Using jQuery Selectors: What are Selectors?, Selecting Nodes by Tag Name, Selecting Nodes by ID, Selecting Input Nodes
  • Interacting with the DOM: Iterating Through Nodes, Modifying Properties and Attributes, Adding and Removing Nodes, Modifying Styles
  • Handling Events: jQuery Event Model Benefits, Handling Events, Binding to Events, Handling Hover Events
  • Working with Ajax Features: jQuery Ajax Functions, Loading HTML Content from the Server, Making GET Requests, Making POST Requests

Update – the free period is now over, if you want to watch the videos you will need to buy a subscription.

Read More
WordPress 3.1 Available Now!

The long-awaited WordPress 3.1 was officially released as the new stable version of WP sometime last night. This new version of WordPress brings with it quite a few major changes. It is highly recommended that you backup your entire WordPress installation (your files and your database) before performing the upgrade, as I suspect there will be quite a few plugins that won’t work the way you would expect with this new version (especially if you are a WordPress multi-site user).

Read More
WordPress: Import Images From Another Website

WordPressWithin WordPress, it’s actually extremely simple to grab images from another website, and import them into your own installation. It takes just a handful of functions to do so. This can be extremely handy when trying to move content into WordPress from another system.

For instance, on most organizational websites, you’ll find an employee directory; and in a lot of those directories you’ll find photographs of the employees. Should you ever choose to move your employee directory into WordPress, you can easily import the information as posts (most likely a custom post type) and then pull the employee images and add them to WordPress, too.

Read More
Disney Sued Over Website Accessibility

Another major corporation is feeling the sting of a lawsuit over the accessibility of its websites. A news release posted on Feb. 15, 2011 indicates that three visually-impaired patrons of Disney have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company.

According to the press release, the main concerns of the suit include the fact that the websites include audio and video (presumably auto-played) that interferes with screen-reading software and is not keyboard-accessible, as well as the fact that the websites include Flash content with no text alternative.

Read More
Importing Posts From Custom Sources Into WordPress

WordPressOver the past few days, I have been working on some custom scripts to import information from an older system into WordPress as a custom post type with a great deal of custom meta information. I quickly found the key to doing so is to use the wp_insert_post() function.

In my case, I am importing information from XML files into PHP arrays. I am then using an array_map() callback to pull the information out of the imported array, format it the way I want it, assign the appropriate keys to it and more. From there, I am using the wp_insert_post() function and the add_post_meta() function to push that information into the WordPress database.

Read More
A Few UX Suggestions for Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7Having used my HTC Surround Windows Phone 7 handset for a few months, now, I’ve come up with a few items to add to a user experience wishlist. If you have any other serious suggestions (i.e. not “make it an iPhone” or something like that), I’d be glad to hear them.

Read More
Retrieving Information from the WordPress Codex

While working on the Extended Super Admins plugin for WordPress, I decided to try to pull information out of the WordPress Codex and use it in the plugin. I did a little Googling, but didn’t come up with much.

Then, I decided to look for API information about MediaWiki (the script used to present the WordPress Codex). After a bit more Googling, I discovered that there is, in fact, an API built into MediaWiki installations. The API is the same on the WordPress codex as it is on WikiPedia (and most other MediaWiki installations, I’m sure). Thankfully, much of the documentation is built right into the API file itself, so loading it up in your browser gives you pretty good instructions on how to use it.

Read More
Another Virgin Mobile Data Outage

Virgin Mobile appears to be experiencing another semi-major data service outage. Just before 3 p.m. EST, both of my Virgin Mobile MiFi 2200 devices stopped working. They reported that they were not activated. After several attempts to reactivate the devices, I called the technical support phone line as instructed by the device control panel.

Read More