News, Updates, etc.

Ok, first things first. I’ve upgraded to WordPress 2.7…have you?

For the most part, my plugins still work work without need for an upgrade, with the exception of my CMS plugin. It needs some adjustment to account for the new menu system in 2.7. It’ll still work as intended, it just doesn’t fit in with the rest of the new menu design. Right now I’m not sure when I’ll get a fix pushed out for it, but if you use the plugin, you should get an upgrade notification when I release the upgrade.

And while we’re on the subject of plugins, I’ve almost come to the conclusion that version 4.5 of CTC is the last one that will be released. It does more than I ever intended it to do as it stands, and it works without issue. I’m still going to try to get the tag exclusion feature to work, and that will probably incur a version bump, but as of now I have no timeline on when this might take place.

EDIT (12.16.08): The download links for my plugins are now working again. The download manager I use wasn’t quite ready for WP 2.7, but it has been upgraded, and is now functioning correctly.

Fun With Shell Scripts: autons

Being a freelance web developer, there are many times where I’m moving domains for clients (or more recently, myself), and need to know when the DNS entries change to point at the new version of a site. I could just keep submitting an nslookup request manually, but that requires me to stop whatever it is I’m doing, switch to my terminal app, and execute the command. After doing a few sites this way, I decided that there had to be a better way…and there is. I came up with the following bash script to automate this process.

#! /bin/bash
while [ 1 ]
echo Attempt $count
nslookup $1
sleep $2
count=`expr $count + 1`

Yes, it’s just that simple. As you can see, the script takes 2 parameters, the domain name to check, and a time (in seconds) to pause between each check. I don’t know if there’s a rule about the amount of time between requests for nslookup, but I usually don’t use anything lower than 5 minutes (300 seconds).

To use, just paste the code above into a file, save it (I named mine “autons”), and give it execute permissions (“chmod +x autons”). To test a site, use something like the following: “autons 300”. This would check the DNS address for every 5 minutes.

New WordPress Plugin: CMS-Like Admin Menu

Want to run a simple website using WordPress Pages as a CMS, but don’t want (or need) the Post functionality? Want to do the same thing, but have Posts secondary to pages? This is the plugin for you. This plugin rewrites the Admin menu links for Write and Manage to default to using Pages instead of posts, while leaving the ability to deal with posts intact.

You can find more information (and the download) on the CMS-Like Admin Menu page.

New WordPress plugin: Post Links Redux

I’m working on a theme for a well-known webcomic (sorry, can’t say which yet), and needed the post navigation template tags in WordPress to behave differently. No one could point to an easy way to get them to work the way I needed them to, so I whipped up a quick plugin that changes the way these tags work. For more information and to download a copy, please visit the Post Links Redux page.

Also, I added a new menu entry to the navigation links at the top of the page. If you’ll notice, there’s now an entry for “wordpress” up there. If you click on this link, it will take you to a page that lists all my publicly-released WordPress extensions (plugins, widgets, themes, etc). There are only two entries on that page at the present (CTC and PLR), but there are more to come (including my first public theme for WordPress)…stay tuned… 🙂

CTC – 1,000 Downloads and Counting!

Many thanks to the WordPress community for pushing my humble little widget/plugin past the 1,000 downloads mark since I added it to the official WordPress plugins browser. As of this morning, it has been downloaded 1,002 times since November 28th. YOU GUYS ROCK! 🙂

CTC – Version 3.0 Released!

I’m proud to announce the third major revision of my configurable tag cloud widget has been released this afternoon. The biggest change (and one of the most requested) is the ability to use the plugin without using widgets. It’s been a long time coming, and now it’s here. the other big addition is the ability to show the number of posts for a tag after the tag itself (similar to the archive and categories options).

As always, you can find more information and the download link on the CTC page.

CTC Update

Just wanted to give everyone a heads-up on the status of CTC. I’m still working on it when I can, but I gotta pay the bills. I’m hoping for a 3.0 release just after the first of the year. The big new feature in 3.0 is going to be (hopefully) implementing the tag cloud as a normal WordPress plugin, so it can be used by those who don’t use widgets.

In a bit of better news, I finally got confirmation for my entry at the WordPress Plugins browser, so you will be notified in the plugins menu when I update CTC…it’s something that a lot of people have asked for, and I’m happy to give it to you guys (and girls 🙂 ).

So yeah, that’s where I am. More news as it develops. As always, feel free to post comments on the CTC page.

CTC – Bugfix Version 2.51 Released

I posted a quickie update this morning to address the tag count function not working correctly. Turns out in doing some code cleanup, I inadvertently left one of the variable names that holds the count using the old name. It has been fixed, and you should get what you’re looking for.

As always, you can find the most recent version (and comments) on the CTC page.

CTC Widget – Version 2.5

Just a quickie update to fix a bug, and add a simple new feature.

Adding what has been the most-requested ability since color, there is now a div wrapped around the cloud so you can style it via CSS (with some exceptions, check the page for info). The bug was the result of me learning php as I go…if you left either of the font size fields blank in the config form, you’d end up with “divide by zero” errors in your output. This has been fixed.

I also made it possible to leave comments on the CTC page, so all comments regarding the widget will now be in one place (I’ll be moving all the old comments over, so the thread will be intact).

That being said, I’d like to start building a wish list for ver. 3.0 (and beyond). Please leave me a comment with what you’d like to see the plugin do in future versions. Already on the books are getting rid of the black default color and adding regular WordPress plugin (i.e., not relying on the widgets code) functionality.

More info on the CTC Page