Twitoaster Has Been Unplugged

Last week on the official Twitoaster blog, it was announced that the service would be shutting down almost immediately (as of March 20). Sadly, I have used the Twitoaster plugin on multiple WordPress installations because of its ease of use. It was  great tool allowing WordPress posts to be pushed to Twitter automatically, and came with the added benefit of tracking when a blog post was tweeted (it even went as far as to allow you to automatically publish those tweets as comments on your posts).

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WordPress: Adding a Proper Visual Editor to Your Plugin

When developing a new plugin for WordPress, sometimes you want to add a visual/WYSIWYG editor to one of your plugin’s settings fields. Unfortunately, most of the tutorials you’ll find online only explain part of what needs to be done in order to get that working. The main problem I have encountered when looking at these tutorials and example plugins is the fact that they only invoke the visual editor; they don’t offer any way for the user to use the editor in HTML mode.

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Internet Explorer 9

Internet Explorer 9 logoI’ve had a little bit of an opportunity to play around with Internet Explorer 9, and I’m still not sure if I like it or hate it. I am excited about the possibility of natively using some CSS3 and HTML5 in Internet Explorer, but I’m also disappointed by the lack of specific CSS3 elements.

On the plus side, IE9 does support almost all of the new CSS3 pseudo-classes (nth-child(), nth-of-type(), etc.), 2D transforms, almost the entire background module (multiple background images, background-clip, background-size, etc.), border-radius (rounded corners), box-shadow and RGBA colors.

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The Evolution of the Sneaker Net

Since I got my new netbook, I’ve been thinking a lot about the somewhat cyclical nature of computing. Today, I was thinking about the fact that, when computers first started out, the majority of peripherals were external devices. Then, towers got larger, components got smaller and everyone started packing all kinds of internal peripheral devices into their computers. At one point in time, it looked almost as though external peripherals (optical drives, hard drives, disk drives, modems, equalizers and all kinds of other crazy stuff) would disappear forever.

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Dell Mini 1012 – My New Toy

It is with great sadness that I share the fact that there are now more Dell computers in our house than HP computers; but I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity I had over the weekend. I was able to pick up a brand new Dell Mini 1012 for a good price. I’ve been wanting a netbook to carry around for quite a while; but just hadn’t found the right one for the right price.

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WordPress: Storing Temporary Information

When developing plugins for WordPress, most of the time I deal with semi-permanent settings with my plugins. A user goes to the “Settings” page for the plugin, they set things up the way they want them, and they expect those settings to remain that way until they decide to change them again.

However, there are times when you need to store temporary information that needs to either expire or be updated on a regular basis. There are functions within WordPress to help you with that, too. They are part of the “transient API” in WordPress. Basically, transient options are options that have an expiration date.

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IE6 Usage Below 5% in the U.S.

According to a new website Microsoft launched last week; currently only 2.9% of Internet users in the United States are using Internet Explorer 6. Worldwide, IE6 usage is still at 12.0%. However, only 10 of the 43 countries displayed on the chart have higher than 5% IE6 usage. Of those 10 countries, 8 are Asian nations.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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