Archive for March, 2006

Archive for March, 2006

Chels Grounded

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Chels is grounded… maybe for good. I’m not gonna blow all the details out here in public, but I’m just asking if you could all pray for me.. and mark too. This is already hard and it’s not even halfway through the first day for me yet. Thanks 🙂


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I have been doing some work recently with the Outline Converter, upgrading its code and adding more input and output formats. One of the benefits of this is that it can now act as a feed2json converter. Since it is hosted on Ning it doesn’t suffer from the bandwidth restrictions so many other feed2json scripts do. To use it as a feed2json use the following URL format: URL&callback=CALLBACK

I have already upgraded my version of FreshTags to use this instead of the other feed2json script so that I no longer have to worry about the bandwidth restrictions. Here is the code for the function I am using to convert the JSON data to the Delicious.posts format:

function feedjson2deljson(json_data) {
var rtrn = [];
for(var i=0; i<json_data.items.length; i++) {
obj = {};
obj.d = json_data.items[i].title;
obj.u = json_data.items[i].link;
obj.n = ”;
obj.n = json_data.items[i].description;
obj.n = json_data.items[i].content;
}//end for
return rtrn;
}//end feedjson2deljson

Beef up Blogger

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Googlist has published a list of “18 Ways for Blogger to Beef up“. I strongly support most of the point there given, and have some comments and some points of my own.

1 and 2 – Category support
While the greasemonkey script and FreshTags method works fine, I must admit this would still be a welcome feature. One thing that concerns me, though, is that it will be poorly done and force those of us who want the features to contine using a hack on a system that supports it natively… I’m not going to want to lose the FreshTags functionality now that I’ve got it, and while FreshTags is not bound to, it is bound to having a decent way to extract post by tag programatically.

5 – Plugin support
If they enable this with any sort of usefulness it will eliminate their need to do some of the other stuff — we’ll do it for them!

7 – Static pages
This would be an incredibly useful feature, but one addition could make all of Blogger that much more useful — WYSIWYG. I happen to dislike WYSIWYG, but there are a lot of non-coders out there who don’t agree with me and resent the fact that they are bound to the boring blogger templates for their Look and Feel. If Blogger created some simple way to edit template basics without coding for those people they could much better appeal to ‘the masses’.

12 – Non-image File upload
Please, Blogger? Hosting images here is lovely, but what about my JavaScript includes? Or external pieces of CSS?

14 – Trackbacks
Backlinks are swell, but incomplete. I want to be able to send and recieve proper trackbacks too — and haloscan, while it works, is just so ugly.

17 – SPAM
I, for one, would like to see some conditional moderation, as seen on WordPress. I don’t want to have to approve every single comment, but I’d rather have outright SPAM quarantined. And what about the ability to block certain users from commenting? A lot of the comment SPAM I get here is tied to a Blogger account and could be easily blocked if they’d just let us.

Another interesting thing, that I’ve been waiting for for a long time, is the integration of Blogger with the Google Accounts system. A page for the login is already active, but not functional as of yet. Looks promising.

Comment feeds anyone? Blogger Recent Comments works, but nothing beats native support, especially if they start offering RSS 2.0 feeds with wfw:commentFeed support natively on top of that.

FreshTags for WordPress

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The FreshTags system is more than just categories for Blogger. With the tag-passing features it adds a social aspect to blog browsing. Not everyone runs on Blogger, and some of us are lucky enough to run on blogging systems that support categories natively. The other FreshTags features would be and can be immensely useful to these people as well. So, in a move to push FreshTags beyond Blogger and beyond I have created a FreshTags plugin for WordPress.

Update: Version 0.11 has been released. Some minor bugs have been fixed and loading captured tags into the search box is now optional. To load the searchbox you must add this code to your template: <?php freshtags_load_searchbox(); ?>


  • Detects tags passed directly via ?tags, ?tag, or ?cat
  • Detects tags from the referer URL, all the same formats as the original FreshTags are supported
  • Detects the tag of the current category page or the first tag on the current post, if applicable
  • Supports tag intersections
  • Displays n matching posts from detected tag(s) in the sidebar
  • Supports either list or drop form of tags in the sidebar, highlighting selected tag(s)
  • Rewrites post links when tags are selected to enable tag-passing from the blog
  • Generates JSON(P) feeds for use in peek-a-boo sidebar headlines by other blogs

To implement this plugin on your WordPress blog:

  1. Download the plugin
  2. Unpack the file and upload ‘freshtags.php’ to your /wp-content/plugins/ directory on your blog
  3. Go to your WordPress dashboard and the plugins screen to activate the plugin
  4. Edit your template and replace the code that outputs the category list in your sidebar with:
    <?php echo freshtags_taglist();
           echo freshtags_postlist(); ?>

    To customise the display you can pass ‘drop’ to freshtags_taglist to get a drop-down list of tags. You can pass two parameters to freshtags_postlist, the first is the maximum number of posts to display (default: 10), the second is a string to output as a header for the list of matching posts (replacing %tags% with the detected tags, default none).

I have updated my version of FreshTags to support getting peek-a-boo titles from blogs using this WordPress plugin. Just call load_otherblog_titles(‘wordpress’,’blog url‘,”,’feed url (optional)‘,’id of element to put results in‘); after the normal FreshTags data has loaded.

XOXO Blog Format Updated

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The XOXO Blog Format has been updated to be compatible with hAtom 0.1. The Basic Blogger Template and the template for this blog have also been updated. Please note that the new template is not quite valid hAtom, since the ‘updated’ field is just your Blogger post timestamp format and not proper datetime-design-pattern. This will be fixed as soon as a way to output properly-formatted dates from a Blogger blog is found or the hAtom spec is changed. All applicable XOXO Data Tools either have been updated or will be updated shortly.