Making the Move to Jekyll

I’ve officially made the change from Habari to Jekyll. I will certainly have more to share on the move, both a post-mortem on Habari, as well as the process I’m using currently for using Jekyll.

My basic workflow currently is serving the page from GitHub pages, however I’m using Travis CI to build the site and publish to master branch1 , there by bypassing the restrictions of gh-pages (specifically, their need for using –safe mode and not up-to-date version of Jekyll). Currently my use case would probably work within their parameters, however I had already started using 3.x and at the time of writing GitHub is using 2.x.

More importantly to me, I want to be able to blog from my phone. It something that I feel has limited me in sharing interesting items I come across as well as stopping me from making time to put thoughts down as they come. I had originally wrote up some thoughts on using iOS and Jekyll, but later came across a better workflow2.

Finally, there are still some wonkiness around, I’m sure my Atom feed is broken and am not sure how to redirect that yet using GitHub. I doubt I had many subscribers, so if you stumble on this and previously read my random posts, you may need to update while I investigate options. Certainly there are some styling issues that I want to address as well as some under the hood improvements.

  1. This tutorial was an invaluable starting point. A follow up tutorial from the comments has great information as well.
  2. Since I already own Drafts, Workflow and Working Copy integrating all 3 makes sense.

Note Taking Nirvana?

notebook collectionLike most, I’ve struggled with note taking and mind dumping solutions. I’m easily caught up in chasing the productivity pr0n, looking for the perfect system (hell, I gues by writing this post, I’m still doing that). At first glance however, with the discovery of my most recent set of tools, I believe I’ve found the most streamlined, cohesive solution yet.

My most recent excursion in a single note taking solution was EverNote. Certainly versatile, perhaps too so, and it never felt like the right fit. It was just too something. I wanted a no frills solution that I could easily access my notes from my desktop, laptop and on the go (currently using an iPhone). Certainly EverNote fits that bill, but again, too cumbersome and too busy.

A little while ago, I stumbled on a Habari plugin, SimplyNoted, which interfaced with an iPhone app SimpleNote. Quite an elegant little app/plugin, I could take notes on my phone and be able to pull them up in a Habari Silo, and turn them into a blog post, etc. Nice, but my iPhone isn’t the only place I take notes or want to do a brain dump. So it’s lingered on the second page of my phone, starring at me, taunting me to use it. Then the other day, the always with a great idea Merlin Mann, resurrecting his invaluable 43folders website, posted a screenshot and short post about his workflow.

Wait, did I just read about something syncing with SimpleNote? Sure enough, Merlin was espousing the virtues of an app he’d been using, and how it now syncs with SimpleNote. Notational Velocity is a no frills, desktop application (is there a mobile, I didn’t look) that snycs with SimpleNote, quietly saving behind the scenes,with plenty of keyboard shortcuts but no fluff. It gets out of the way and makes it easy to just jot notes, brain dump, or I’m sure in the hands of someone like Merlin, far, far more. But for this simple guy, it was the missing link to being able to have an app on my Macs that did all the things that SimpleNote could do.

So far in two days of using it, it’s been more usable than any other system I’ve tried. I was able to bang out some thoughts before bed on my laptop, both gather links for this post as well as some outlined thoughts (yeah, this was actually thought out), as well as some ideas for some work I had to do today. I was able to grab those notes when I hit the desktop this morning without doing anything, add to them, and then pick them back up on the laptop later in the day to finish up the writing I needed to do for my new job. After dinner, I was able to then login to the admin of the blog, start a new post, open the SimplyNoted silo, and bang, all of my links and notes were there to write a post. I can’t count how many events I’ve been to the past year that I took notes at either in EverNote or with TiddlyWiki, but never got around to copying them over to writing a post. I look forward to this being the missing link between thinking about blogging, and blogging. Time will tell.

Mzingi Ported

I was pleasantly surprised this afternoon by a comment left here on the site that my first Habari theme, Mzingi, had been ported to another CMS, WolfCMS. Though I’ve since passed Mzingi off to the official Habari project, and is now owned by the community and part of the official download, it’s a bit rewarding to see it deemed worthy of porting. You can see a demo of it in action as a WolfCMS theme.

It’s also nice they gave attribution on the official site. I’d not heard of the project before, seems like a young project that is a fork of another CMS project, but their site describes the project as something akin to Habari.

Happy 2010

resolution
Perhaps I’m just a sucker for a reason to say things are going to change, but this little flash site to create your 2010 resolution spun one my way that dove tails into the last post I made on this site.

Speaking of the site, to ring in the new year I finally updated Habari, as it was oh, 300+ revisions behind latest commit. Aside from having to upgrade a bunch of plugins from before the XML file as added and the info function removed, it went off without a hitch. I also had to swap out a little code in the tweet template, but otherwise, for a script running off of trunk that hadn’t been svn upped since May, it was pretty damn painless, and a testimony to how stable it really is.

I do have some ideas for my cooking site, inspired by Christian and his 365 days of photos in ‘09. Congrats again for seeing it all the way through!

Perhaps not a dish a day, but maybe one new thing from scratch a week with a post would be a good and realistic goal.

Anyway, may MMX be a shining path of peace and enlightenment paved with prosperity a…I mean, may it fucking suck less than 2009 did, and hopefully we’ll get through it a little less scarred than the last.

Special thanks to Mike Lietz for talking me down from the ledge I was on after I started the upgrade, and especially for showing me the handy svn wildcard command. Most of the plugins I had were already trunk version from the Habari-Extra’s repository, but I thought I was going to have to cd into each one and svn up, he showed me I could do

svn up user/plugins/*

and it would step through the directories and svn them up. Handy!

I’d also like to take a second to thank Rick Cockrum for keeping the ball moving this past summer/fall on the development side of things, I’m really looking forward to digging into the new taxonomy system, especially as I build out the cooking site.

URL Shorteners, HTTP Referers and 301 Redirects

I’ll start by saying I don’t know much about the subject, but am posting this in the hopes that someone who does can elucidate the issue. My basic dilemma is that I have a short bit of code on my single page templates that checks to see if a visitor is from Twitter, and if so, show a little message. (Not an original idea, I think I saw it on a post at Smashing Magazine). The code they used didn’t work, but with the help of BigJibby in the Habari IRC channel, I was able to get it working with Habari.

I more or less forgot about it, until a few people noticed it and asked if it was a plugin. When I replied it wasn’t, they asked if I could make it into one. So it went into a to-do list I keep of Habari related ideas. This evening I began working on it, and while troubleshooting how to actually output something to the entry single template (that’s a whole other can of worms), I discovered the code snippet wasn’t working. With the help of Michael, we discovered the problem wasn’t with the code snippet, rather it was with the URL shorteners. Twitter recently started defaulting to Bit.ly, and I recently began experimenting with Tr.im, both of which weren’t sending twitter.com as the referrer. Rather, due to their 301 redirect they return NULL. Which in a nut shell sucks.

Somehow Google Analytics is able to track referrals from Twitter, as last week when I had a huge upsurge in traffic from the popularity of the Infinite Summer Bookmarks, I’m seeing 50 visitors from Twitter the first day (of the 785, by far a record for this little weblog).

At this point, finishing the plugin seems moot, as the only way to be sure that visitors will actually see the message would be to use a URL shortener that doesn’t return NULL, of which, the only one we found that to not be the case was Owen’s Pastoid. I didn’t test Tinyurl, nor was I interested in looking for others. The disappointment had already set in. Besides that, if you are auto posting to Twitter with a plugin, you wouldn’t have the option to use a different shortener.

So kind readers/stumble-uponers, if anyone has a solution to this problem, please enlighten me. Meanwhile, I’ll work out the issue with Habari and my desire to output content on a single entry template within the content output, not above the body tag.

For anyone interested in the snippet of code I am using:

if ( parse_url($_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'], PHP_URL_HOST) == 'twitter.com' ) {
echo "

Welcome, Twitter visitor! If this post is useful, don't hesitate to retweet!

";

Clean Home Theme for Habari

It’s always great to see new themes released for Habari, even if they are ports. Florian has ported the WordPress theme Clean Home to Habari. The theme’s name aptly describes the design, a clean, black and white two column design with contrasting red headings. The theme seems to be coded for trunk, that is, using the areas feature. One thing I noticed is that the theme still has some cruft from WP, calling for a dynamic sidebar (widgets) with some text that also references a text widget and and admin options. I of all people can understand though of wanting to get something out before working out all the kinks, so I’m sure he’ll update it as soon as the areas/blocks feature is fleshed out a bit more. I also don’t speak German, so it’s quite possible he references that in the post announcing the release.

Habari Theme: thePrestige

Habari theme- thePrestige
This is just a quick and dirty post announcing the release. I hope to publish a more detailed post on the Habari blog detailing more about the the theme and it’s use of HiEngine.
It’s been a long time in coming, but I’m happy to report that I’ve finally released a new theme, thePrestige. Built entirely with Habari’s HiEngine theme engine, the first publicly released (at least to my knowledge.) Many thanks to Rick Cockrum for doing the heavy lifting on the Hiengine code.

Consider this a “beta” release, as there probably are a few bugs/quirks that need to be worked out, but for all intents and purposes, it’s fully functional. Any bug reports or feature requests should be logged at the Habari Extra’s trac installation. Patches certainly welcome!

The theme also features a contact form completely built with Habari’s formUI, as well as uses the jquery tooltip plugin..

One “feature” that I intend to finish up is post author comment highlighting. That is, styling the post author’s comments differently than the rest of the comments on a post. The code is in place, just needs some CSS love. Again, patches welcome!

The theme has only been tested on the latest 0.7 build of trunk, I will work on making a version that works with 0.6.2. Again, assistance welcome on this task. I think the only glaring issue right now would be the use of the jquery tooltip for the comment form.

Download the theme from Habari Extras.

Or you can check it out from the repo at http://svn.habariproject.org/extras/themes/thePrestige/trunk/.

Habari Theme: Aqueous

Updated!

I inadvertently forgot to remove tracking code from the footer from when the theme was deployed on my previous site, so I’m removing the old download link and updating the release. Apologies to anyone who’s already downloaded the theme, you can download the updated version (0.3.1), which also has $theme->footer(); added, which can be a useful plugin hook.

Aqueous screen shotI’m proud to release my fourth Habari theme, the third port, Aqueous. Based on an open source design by Six Shooter Media, this 3 column theme sports a fluid width middle column. The original icons have been redone with custom icons that I created so there’s no issue with redistribution. I also have restyled the comments and comment form from the original design, as well as a few other modifications for a working blog, but it still maintains the original integrity of the design, which I’ve always liked. It has that clean, modern feel to it, despite being several years old now.

I had originally ported this theme for a personal site when I first switched over to Habari, and have just never gotten around to releasing it. Now that I’m not using that site, it seemed only logical to make it available to other Habari users, especially with the lack of themes in the community. I hope that changes sooner than later, hopefully after .6 gets released and .7 starts focusing more on the theme engine. I’m curious to see what people have in mind for it, but that’s for another blog post.

I’m releasing this as an alpha release, because I really haven’t tested it in other browsers aside from Safari 4beta, but wanted to get it out and see if there was any real interest before putting too much more time into it.

One idea that I have for future a release is author comment styling, as it currently styles the comments all the same. Again, this will happen if I see that’s there is actually any interest in the theme.

The original design was released under a Creative Commons license, so there’s no chance of the theme moving to the Habari extras repository, so any comments, bugs, feature requests should be left in the comments on this post. Future posts about releases will direct comments to this post. There’s nothing worse than a site having comments scattered about the same theme/plugin.

Download Aqueous 0.3.1 alpha now.

Habari Theme: Swanky 0.5beta Released

swanky screenshotIn preparation of the impending release of Habari 0.6, as well as getting some to-do items off my list before adding more (I’ve got two theme projects I’m either resurrecting or starting), I’ve decided to update the ported themes that I’ve released.

First up, Swanky. Not that I’ve seen anyone use this theme, but I did use it as a base for my cooking blog, so it behooves me to have some updated code to make sure I’m using the latest and greatest Habari. I’m not quite sure no one has (to my knowledge) used or modified the theme, perhaps the pink and black and sexy silhouette isn’t a big draw. But as I’ve pointed out, it can be a great starting point for modification. Maybe I’m just not aware, and there are scores of sites using it…then again, since I haven’t released a new version in quite some time, that could be a factor as well. Today, that is fixed.

As I mentioned, this update is in anticipation of the impending 0.6 release, so unless you are running from svn, or a nightly snapshot, this version probably won’t work. For an overview of the theme, see the original post.

New in this release:

  • Removed calls to jquery and and a deprecated Stack::out call
  • Properly calling $theme->tag rather than using the potentially exploitable Controller::get_var function
  • updated the calls to check for logged in and added a tab to the top navigation for logged in users to admin
  • fixing a CSS bug on long post titles so they don’t cover the timestamp

This is considered a beta release, any bugs or changes will be addressed before the final release of Habari 0.6.

Download Swanky 0.5 beta now.

Habari Plugin: Pull Quotes

UPDATE The plugin is now in the Habari Extras repository. There is a branch and tag for 0.6, and a 0.7 branch for the new plugin XML format. Any bugs/issues should be directed to the Extras Trac.

Unlike a blockquote, which is a HTML element meant to offset a quotation from the main text, a pull quote is a technique traditionally used in print to draw attention to a salient point in an article. Pull quotes generally take a small section of text and offset it from the article in a larger typeface. In addition to helping highlight a noteworthy point, a pull quote can add a graphic element by breaking up particularly long pieces of text.

Pull quotes were traditionally achieved in web publishing by appending the selected text to the end of the paragraph and then styling with CSS. The downside to that is that in mediums that don’t adhere to the style sheet (like syndication feeds), you wind up with the duplicate content at the end of a paragraph, which can confuse the reader to say the least.

Fortunately, through the wonders of jquery, Chris Coyier whipped up a way of simply wrapping the desired text in a span that clones the text and floats it. The beauty of this technique is that you’re not duplicating markup. Any medium that doesn’t recognize the class on the span simply ignores it, and the article reads normal.

With the help of Michael Harris who reworked the javascript, I’m proud to announce my first full fledged Habari plugin, simple as it may be. You can see it at work in this post and on another recent post.

Usage

Upload pullquotes to your user/plugins directory and activate the plugin. There is no configuration required. To create a pullquote from existing content, wrap the desired text in a span with a class of either pquote-r or pquote-l.

Example

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Customizing

Pull Quotes has a default style included. To customize the CSS, make sure in your theme’s header file that $theme->header(); is called before the theme’s style sheet. You can then add span.pull-left and span.pull-right to your theme’s style sheet and customize the pull quote to fit your design and tastes.

Download

Pull Quote version 0.2

Note: This plugin will eventually be handed over to the Habari extras repository, however in my exuberance of writing my first plugin, and desire to experience writing up a detailed post for one, I am releasing it on my personal site first. Once I test it against 0.5.2 to determine if a separate version is required, I will add it to the repo, so any bugs or feature requests should be logged in the extras trac. Comments certainly welcomed as well.

Consolidating and Focusing

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed resurrecting this blog over the past 2 months, all the while trying to find the motivation to start food blogging again. However, the more I search for that motivation, the more I’m drawn to the idea of further consolidating my blogging efforts to this single domain. It’s not as if I get a huge amount of traffic on my cooking content anyway, and what little there is, should easily migrate over much like bloggingmeta’s traffic did with a permanent redirect.

One idea I had was to see if I’d do more food blogging by simply posting them to this site first, without migrating the old content, but if I were to succeed in my experiment, I’d find myself in a similar predicament in that I’d have no way to migrate back to the food blog, not to mention I’d potentially be penalizing myself in regards to search engine stuff.

The primary obstacle is how to migrate the content. I highly doubt my code-fu would allow me to write a Habari-to-Habari importer by myself, though I’ve not even looked at any of the importers. I’m not as worried about comments, so I’ve got some too-ashamed-to-disclose hacks I’m contemplating to overcome the importing dilemma. If anyone wants to help with this goal, I’ll contribute as much as I can to making a formal Habari migration plugin.

Once I were to overcome that obstacle, the goal then would be to design a magazine-ish style theme that would allow for sections based on tags. As I find myself blogging more and more about the iPhone, I’ve been concerned that it might turn off the few readers I have. Building on the tag based sections would also allow me to better offer tag based feeds—though I don’t know if it’s possible to create a feed by excluding a tag ;-). I’m sure I could easily redirect the feed from the cooking site to a /atom/tag/food (or what ever the structure is).

So I’m hoping that one of the 25 odd subscriber/readers might have an opinion on such a move in both how it might effect me search engine wise, and what your opinion would be on having such a diverse amount of content.

iBlogger iPhone App

Prior to my discovery that you can post to a Habari blog with Safari on the iPhone, I purchased iBlogger for the iPhone. It’s from the same developers of ecto, a desktop blogging client. It’s currently only priced at $0.99, which for me is a price I’m willing to pay to test an app. It supports all of the popular blogging platforms, as well as the generic metaweblog API, for which Habari has a plugin available.

Connecting the app to my Habari install was very easy, if I recall it even auto discovered the endpoint (example.com/xmlrpc).

As far as functionality, I do not know if because the generic metaweblog API is being used, and sites using engines like Moveable Type or WordPress, but the options are currently pretty sparse (as of v 1.0.7). Habari’s plugin doesn’t support posting images, so the only options really are:

  • adding your location – the app inserts a link which opens to a Google map
  • adding links – an easy UI for adding a hyperlink.
  • tagging – this “feature” seems very weak. It doesn’t pull the existing tags from the site, a common feature in desktop blogging clients, and in my testing, keeps the previous post’s tags on subsequent posts. Might be handy if you expect to tag all of your on-the-go posts the same thing, but I don’t see it that way.

iBlogger does support multiple blogs, otherwise, I have not found any additional elements. For $0.99, I suppose one can’t complain. Since all of my personal sites are on Habari, I haven’t had cause to look at any of the other iPhone blogging clients. I understand the WordPress app is free and open-sourced, I’m sure at some point, most likely out of boredom, I will look at it. Ultimately, as many people have pointed out, typing on the iPhone doesn’t lend itself to the phone being a real blogging device.

However to get that in the moment feel, having a stable option with with a decent feature set would be nice to have. Thank goodness with Habari and in iPhone, you don’t need a secondary app.

Posting With iPhone

screenshotSo I was looking at mobile blogging apps, assuming I couldn’t post directly from Safari on the iPhone, but alas, it seems I can!

Holy cow, I can even post from the Flickr silo!

This kinds blows my mind. Certainly not a primary mode of blogging, but to be able to take a photo with the camera, upload to Flickr, then write a blog post is kinda amazing.

Edit (not via iPhone) To be clear, my amazement isn’t in the iPhone, rather, in the quality of design and code of Habari that it just works, even in the mobile Safari browser.

Comment Feed Fixed

Little did I know that I needed to create a separate feed for comments at Feedburner for it to actually work with the Feedburner plugin for Habari. So if for some reason you wanted to subscribe to site wide comments vs a single post, it’s now working. I’ve also added recent comments to the sidebar, complete with a spiffy excerpt of the comment. Thanks to whomever created the summarize function, it only took a PHP n00b like myself a couple of minutes to figure out how to have a separate comment content excerpt in Habari.

Why Twitter is Just…Cool

First, I’ve oft meant to write something about Twitter, specifically since I read Zeldman’s “Self Publishing is the New Blogging”.

And ch-ching was heard in the land. And the (not citizen) journalists heard it, and it got them pecking into their Blackberries and laptops.

And then the writers and designers, ashamed at rubbing shoulders with common humanity, discovered the 140-character Tweet and the Tumblr post. No stink of commerce, no business model, nothing that could even charitably be called content, and best of all, no effort. Peck, peck, send.

I discovered “blogging” and the culture surrounding it just before what I assume is the time when “…(not citizen) journalists heard it…”. It was an exciting discovery, which ultimately lead me to the career I (usually) enjoy now. And as much I probably contribute to the not citizen “pecking at their Blackberries and laptops”, and as much as Twitter has long lost the purity of “not having a stink of commerce”, I personally enjoy the freedom of 140 character rants, without any concern whether anyone is reading them or not. I use Twitter solely because there’s a certain cathartic release in firing off something like “trying to explain browser differences on form styling is like swimming in 3 day old mashed potatoes”.

Anyway, that wasn’t the original intent of this post. Rather, there really is another reason I enjoy Twitter. It’s a compelling way to get a glimpse into the lives of people that you’ve crossed paths with and whom you find interesting or share common interests with, but haven’t had the opportunity to really get to know.

Then something like today happens. I’d been away from technology the last twenty four hours, and wanted a light hearted way of catching up with what was going on in the world, and the web in particular. Plus, there’s always a few good laughs along the way (see @hotdogsladies).

twitterThen this tweet came across Twitterific. First, I’ve not really ever met either Chris or Sean. Chris I began following after he began following me at blogOrlando3. I wasn’t even sure who he was until the brief encounter we had at the after party. (Chris was the lucky guy handing out the drink tickets. Everyone’s best friend for at least 5 minutes.) Afterward I realized that he helped Josh Hallet with the the conference. I, like many people, truly enjoyed blogOrlando, the vibe surrounding it, and felt anyone who put that together or were involved I’d like to eventually get to know. So I follow several people that were at blogOrlando, including Chris, Josh, and Jeremy.

Sean I first encountered in the Habari IRC channel when he came along looking for help with getting some patches committed so he could fix the s9y importer and migrate his blog to Habari. Always excited for a new user/community member, I committed his patches, and soon noticed him hanging around the channel. Long story short, Sean is now part of the PMC of Habari, and can commit his own damn patches now ;-).

My point? I guess after writing this I don’t have something profound to say. I’d just never seen a correspondence between Chris or Sean on Twitter in the time I’ve been following both. Certainly I don’t know either well enough to know if they actually have met, which wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for two developers (who also share a love of great beer, another reason I enjoy their tweets) to have met.

But it gave me one of those smiles and six degrees of separation moments.

Oh, did I mention it gave me a smile after a couple of shit weeks?

Consolidating, Focusing, and Rookie Mistakes

As my online endeavors grow, I find myself with different sites floating around, doing nothing, as I have so many ideas for each site, I wind up not posting to any of them. I originally started Blogging Meta because I thought I wanted to have a personal site, and a site that I could focus on tech related blogging. Well, as I’ve said, neither came to fruition, and I’ve found myself lately feeling as if I had some dual personality that were just spinning their wheels.

So tonight I decided to merge the two sites, and really try to gain some focus. I still have my cooking site, which I still intend to further focus on, but hopefully by committing to using this site again for everything not cooking related, I just might be able to accomplish both.

The rookie mistakes came from the fact that since Habari doesn’t have an importer in place yet to import one Habari install into another, I was faced with the only option of deleting the existing database, which was basically an import from the original WordPress installation, then dumping the bloggingmeta database, doing a quick search and replace for urls, importing that file directly into the database, then re-importing the old wordpress database using the importer plugin. What I failed to do was check what was active in the plugins. I already had the twitter plugin installed, so I’m guessing that it kept the settings from the old site, thus upon import, all the new posts were twittered. Complete…rookie…mistake. Couple with that that I also left the pingback plugin active, it tried to ping all the posts while importing. Another party foul. So not only did I spam Twitter, my import royally failed, so I was faced with doing the whole process over again, albeit this time I deactivated the offending plugins, and the import went off mostly without a hitch. I might have lost a few old posts and/or comments, but all in all, I’m pleased with the outcome considering I’m doing this at 2 a.m. in the morning, and my focus might not be what it should be. I wish I could write it off as having had a few adult beverages, but alas, I would be lying.

Over the next few days I will be doing some tweaking here and there, and shutting down the other site (and doing a 301 redirect). I really like the typography of Ali’s theme, so I most likely will try to find the custom image I had made for the bottom, and trick out a few plugins. At least for now.

Leaving the Nest

This past week it was proposed and not shot down in flames that my first foray into a Habari theme, mzingi , intended as a simple, image free theme to be used as a foundation for building proper themes, should be included into the core download of Habari.

I was humbled and honored to say the least, and so from here on out, all development for this project will be maintained by the community.

Thanks to all who’ve helped, and shared their appreciation for it’s intended purpose, and I trust the community will continue to use it for creating full fledged themes. Feels a little odd, but satisfying at the same time.

Quick Update on Themes

I recently updated my themes, and since that time a change has been made in trunk in how pagination is handled. All 3 three themes have been updated for this change. I will be leaving download links for the previous versions up as well, as I believe those versions should work with 0.4.1. If you experience any problems with either version, please set me know.

Downloads and more info on each theme available on their original post.

Also, I have a demo site up and running to check them out. I still need to tweak the themeswitcher plugin so you can only select certain themes from your theme directories, so note that only my 3 themes have the switcher code.

Updated Themes

I’ve been quite lazy (or busy, you decide) lately, and have been meaning to update the 3 themes I’ve released to work with the latest trunk. Previously, I kept decent todos and a svn repo for mzingi, but this time I simply bore down in some late night frenzy and got everything up-to-date. I’ve got a new svn repo to work with, and will check them in at some point in the next few days, and hopefully will be able to better outline any changes.

Basically the changes to mzingi were minor, just a few code changes for things like atom links, and updating the YUI fonts and style sheet. I also added some styling for draft posts.

As far as swanky and Harvest Field, they have more extensive changes, most evident in the sidebar content. Harvest Field now only uses built in code for the footer content – the about, recent comments and more posts links. The sidebar in Harvest Field is entirely plugin reliant now, sans the search and subscribe link. It supports by default the Twitter, linkoid (for aside like posts – which is also excluded from the more posts offset) and the very nifty blogroll plugin. All three have their own templates in the theme. I also added support for the credits due plugin, with a built in page template, and conditional code in the footer. Also, I borrowed the watermark for draft posts from michaeltwofish’s connections theme, and a little more emphasis on comments in moderation styling.

Swanky was also updated to use the current Twitter plugin/template, as well as added support for the blogroll plugin. If these plugins are not active, nothing will show, nothing will break. Recommended plugins are listed on the themes page. As with Harvest Field, the draft watermark and comments in moderation were addressed.

As usual, if you find a bug, or would like to see something added/need help, please leave a comment either on this post or the original post for the theme in question.

So without further ado :

Also, I’m putting the finishing touches on a demo site, which I’ll be adding links to the aforementioned theme posts. Just need to decide how I want to add the theme switcher code (I’m trying to decide between adding a new fixed element at the top of each theme, or simply adding the dropdown to each sidebar).

As always, much thanks go to the community for the help and assistance in putting these together.

Edit Twitter, linkoid, blogroll, and credit due plugins can be downloaded from Habari extras

Second Edit To clarify the “Credits” feature is accomplished by 1)activating the creditsdue plugin from extras 2)create a page with the slug “credits”, you can add additional content to the page if you want 3) there is no three (I’ve always wanted to say that!).

Migrating Servers

What an experience this has been. I hope to write a comprehensive post at some point about the experience, but suffice to say, it’s been quite the crash course on Apache, Debian, and DNS.

It all started with some curiosity, in which I purchased a Slice, and began poking around with the many tutorials they offer.  Ultimately, Owen provided me with his LAMPME script that did the basic setup for a debain, apache2, PHP 5, MySQL 5 set up, using mod_vhost (please don’t quote me on any of this 😀 ), which sorta got me going.  I got a bit sidetracked, and confused with setting up phpMyAdmin (I’m not that comfortable with CLI yet), and let the whole thing just sit, unused for a month or so.  However, due to the persistent problems with MediaTemple grid-servers, I vowed to stop shelling out money to them for the hassles.  If my sites go down, I want to be the one to blame, and no one else.  Besides, it’s high time that I learn more about this aspect of web development.

So, armed with help from Skippy, and some new found confidence, I got everything set up so as to have a basic understanding of how/where things go, and started moving domains.  I’m just about done, with this being one of the last.  If anyone notices anything wonky, assuming I have visitors, please let me know.

Also which is quite cool so far, is that I’m going to deploy the multi-site functionality of Habari to minimize the number of actual installs I have on the server, as I run everything off of head, this means less outdated installs.  Right now I’m looking at having just 2 actual installations, with everything else running off of those.  So far it’s worked out fine, though it took a little playing to get paths for things like images and files sorted out.  More on that later.  Certainly something that needs more attention, especially as silos mature.

Thanks to everyone who’ve helped in the process.

Testing Diigo and Habari

Habari Themes :: h0bbel.p0ggel.org

I recently discovered Diigo, and am testing their post to blog feature built into their toolbar with Habari. Figured h0bbel was a good link to use 😀

Did you know that currently there are thirteen publicly available themes ready for download and usage for your Habari install? Some of the themes that are available are ported from other blogging platforms, others are “pure” Habari themes that doesn’t originate anywhere else.

Did you know that currently there are thirteen publicly available themes ready for download and usage for your Habari install? Some of the themes that are available are ported from other blogging platforms, others are “pure” Habari themes that doesn’t originate anywhere else.

Swanky Theme

Updated! See the latest post on details

screenshotThis week an open source design came across my feed reader, and something about it caught my eye. Immediately however, I didn’t think the header matched the design name, so I set about creating something a bit more “swanky”. From there, I began porting it to Habari. The goal was a ready to go theme, with support for several of the popular available plugins. To that end, Swanky supports half a dozen plugins, a couple of which are recommended.

For recommended plugins, Raman Ng’s Related Posts plugin and his Tag Cloud plugin will provide full intent and functionality of the theme.

The theme also supports the Credit Due plugin that is available from the Habari Extras repository. Activation of the plugin and the addition of a Credits page will automatically move the credits from the footer, and create a link to a page on your site at example.com /credits, which will contain the original design credits which are asked to be kept in place, as well as credits for all plugins and the Habari theme itself. (It will also exclude the page /credits from the top navigation) You do not need to add any content to the page, simply creating the page will suffice. If you have any other “shout outs” you’d like to add in addition to the plugins output, that will appear above the default output. Without the plugin and page, the link for the original design and theme design will be shown in the footer.

Suggested plugins include the aforementioned Credit Due, as well as the pingback plugin bundled with Habari, Gravatars (also in Habari Extras), and the Recent Comments plugin in Extras. If the Recent Comments plugin is not installed, it will default to included code in the theme. Using the Recent Comments plugin allows for user definition of some output, including adding a date, and how many recent comments to show. The default code simply displays 5 most recent, comment author and post. The theme is coded to use the unordered list if you use the plugin, changing that would require editing the sidebar.php template.

The theme also supports the Twitter plugin (also in the Extras Repo), and will show on pages that recent posts show. (see below regarding dynamic display).

One small feature of the theme is that the middle sidebar is dynamic based on certain templates being viewed. Single post views will not show the recent posts, rather the posts meta, as well as related posts (if that plugin is active). If the Twitter plugin is active and configured, pages that show recent posts will also show above them your most recent tweet, twitter icon, and a link to your twitter page.

This is considered a .1alpha release, future versions, aside from bug fixing, will support more dynamic options for plugins to output content in the 2nd sidebar, among any other suggestions.

Please direct any comments, bugs, suggestions to the comments on this post.

Download Swanky 0.2.

Users of trunk >r1574

Download Swanky 0.3.1

Current Demo

Edit I failed to mention, if you use the gravatar plugin, there is a default gravatar in the theme’s images directory that you can point to that matches the header (in the plugin options you can point to the image).

Habari .4 released

It’s official, Habari 0.4 DR has been released. It’s hopefully , the last developer release, and with .5 will enter beta status.

I’ve previously discussed what it is about the community that gives me that warm fuzzy feeling, and that continues to be the case as the project grows. It’s especially enriching to see new community members contributing.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this release possible.

For a little more info about the new release, I’ll let one of the newer community members, Michael Harris, outline some of the big changes.

I’m very excited about where this project is going, and can only imagine where it will be a year from now.

Redarry Theme

If you are looking for an XHTML 1.1 valid mod of Habari’s k2, be sure to check out Harry’s Redarry Theme, complete with “Red-dy” goodness. I really like the subtle gradient for the tabs in the header.

Welcome to the Habari community Harry, we look forward to seeing you around!

Mzingi 0.3

I’ve made some small changes to the mzingi theme, most notably a few code changes to work with the most current revision. (1267 at time of writing).

This includes fixing the atom feed link, addressing plugin hooks in the header and footer, and removing some extraneous code in the commentform that has been moved to the theme class.

Also, some minor styling for the date has been added, as well as a screenshot and license.

Also added is the conditional code in the header to show the title on the home page as the blog title, or the post title followed by the blog title in single post pages.

A few things I’m looking to do in the next revision is to remove the Asides code, and add a template for the linkoid plugin, so if a user doesn’t want to use Asides, they don’t have to edit the theme, as well as leverage the ability of the plugin to allow the user to chose their own tags to be used in the feature and excluded from the primary content.

Also planned is author comment highlighting.

Suggestions are always warmly welcomed.

You can download the file from the original post.