Tag Archives: Wordpress

Broken French

Hier, j’ai mis à jour à WordPress 3.0 et remarqué que, malgré les avertissements sur le Web, mon fidèle AHCommentCentral travaillait encore sur OK. Je n’ai pas fait quelque chose pour les sources depuis, peut-être il ya 4 ans.

J’ai vu aussi que j’ai encore une ancienne version du thème actuel («Simplish): J’ai été réfléchir si je dois faire une mise à jour: cela nécessite une certaine concentration avant et en arrière que le thème actuel eu quelques modifications personnalisées. Pas vraiment ce que je trouve que je ferais tout de suite.

Sinon, je pourrais mettre mon thème xvisionaryx, qui est un thème que j’ai utilisé pour une courte période (moins d’une semaine) après beaucoup personnaliser le thème d’origine visionnaire. Je ne pouvais convertir en un «Wordpress 3.0″ thème, mais une fois de plus, je suis hésitant faire car elle nécessite la création d’un environnement de test. Mon serveur linux («Elsie») a été hors service depuis que je suis éloigné de NS.

Ainsi, le résultat net semble être le «statu quo», ce qui n’est pas l’évolution future prévue, les mises à jour de prudence et de lumière annonce. Sonne comme l’étoffe ordinaire.

update: Google Translate is the new Translate.

The GPL and other links

I hate to pay too much attention to issues that are so trivial that you want people just to shut up and accept it: A couple of weeks ago, WordPress came a bit in the news because a popular theme maker refused to abide the GPL with one of his popular themes. That link points to a metafilter thread and the discussion goes to the extremes with regards to the GPL: there’s even some ‘libertarian’ views why the GPL is bad. This comment precisely details my point of view and I quote:

At the end of the day, Chris wants to build on top of GPL’d software to make money, but does not want to respect the licensing requirements that come with the GPL. He — and others who agree with him — are taking their stand on hair-splitty definitions to circumvent the clearly explained intention of the license. “You can do what you want with this GPL software, including building stuff on top of it. If you build stuff on top of it, though, and you distribute it to other people, you must give the same rights to them.”

There’s a reason why GPL-ed code is called viral: if you don’t want your code touched by that license, don’t build on GPL-ed code.

Via the UK’s Telegraph, I read that 40% of Americans believe that the Lord will return before 2050. Why not by 2030 or 2040, I wonder? On the other hand, 2050 is an excellent year as it is right in between 2100 and 2000. 2050 is definitely not a prime-number. On a serious note: Why don’t newspapers link to the official Pew statistics? The Pew report is right here.

You know, with China being the sole creditor in the world (I bet Keynes didn’t see this come), I find articles like these both hilarious and sad. Obviously, in China, there’s a need for a certain type of people to make things look official.

A public service announcement

So, yesterday, I noticed that the WordPress download site was already seeded with the new 2.7 version, while the official blog was still yawning about the RC2 of that version. For no particular reason I decided to deploy it. I’m proud to announce that AHCommentCentral still works as promises, although (thanks to the different styles used in the Settings screens), it looks a kind of boring. I thought the ‘zebra-ed’ row look, was a lot more interesting.

The UI is an improvement: it does remind me of NucleusCMS at times. The graphics, and particular the colour scheme seem to be taken from that other software I used a long while ago. There was never a real reason to move to WordPress, except that at one time (a long time ago), when Alfons hosted this on Doubtful, MovableType became less of an option.

And if time will serve me right, I might even look into updating AHCommentCentral. Who knows.

Oh. Yeah: with a new WordPress, I thought it was also time to move on from Varchar, the other theme heavily based on the excellent PlainText theme (screenshot) by Scott Wallick. I thought Simplish looked excellent on mobile devices like the iPod Touch and even on your regular wide-screen monitor for your Windows, Linux and Mac freaks. Have fun and on for the 6th year. If you’re curious about the previous layouts: 2003 (a customized MovableType theme (handcrafted: look at that 2 column section), 2004, 2005(last year Doubtful-hosted), 2005 (self-hosted) (Theme: GreyAll), 2006 (PlainText-modified) and 2007 (Varchar, heavily based on PlainText).

Update 1: Some minor cleanup in the categories section.

Update 2: I see that WP 2.7 now supports automatically closing of posts. This was a feature I was planning for AHCommentCentral but which I decided against to because I didn’t see a use for it.

Do Update Now;

Just a couple of minutes ago, I was looking through the wp_posts table and thought enough was enough. There’s a thread over at WordPress where users have been complaining about the bloat and where developers have shrug it off with ‘Space is cheap’. Or, ‘You can delete it easily’. Think of the queries, think of the queries!

First off, there’s a setting you should set in your wp-config file:

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', false);

To check (and compare) how many revision entries your wp_posts table has:

from wp_posts group
by post_status, post_type;

You can delete the bloat by issuing:

delete from wp_posts where post_type = 'revision';

If you have access to SSH, you should check the main wordpress folder: since moving to version 2.4, I’ve seen files called ‘core’ in that directory. These are (literally) core dumps and they are huge. Obviously, WP crashes the server at times (I feel sorry for my host): so much for ‘light-weight’ or ‘state of the art’. Oh wait, I can hear the punch-line, what is it?

Oh yes: “Code is Poetry”.

Go version-control yourself.

So, Everybody can jump like this I was going to give a rant about the painful upgrade to WordPress 2.6, but I’ll leave it at that. Wait. Version control has been added to WordPress, which means that you can finally revert to your previous 42-word entry on your mission-critical blog. I can’t wait for blog software that supports branching and merging. Oh: and looking through the WordPress tables, it looks like complete copies of entries are stored in the wp_post table. Hello there, meet bloated tables 1.

On the good side, I’ve been out a lot shooting (apparent) random photos of city life. I found out that my favourite photos aren’t necessarily the ones that I have published online: the very best ones I shot, are actually portrait photos of people. For example, I truly despise making photos of high-action events: There’s always people walking in front, or, during the composition, you find out that the best part of the whole event just went by in a fraction of a metric microsecondFrog and that you just missed out on the World Press Photo of the Year Finals. This is of course different than making portraits, where you can juggle around and play around with the depth of field and lighting. Particularly, lighting.

The drawback of portraits is that you can’t publish them without particular consent from the photographed subjects. There’s privacy and there’s privacy. That is, unless the subject is an animal that can’t talk back. Consider yourself lucky, then.


Update: 1. The upgrade was terribly slow, which I think is because the update script probably had to add new columns to tables.

2. WordPress now adds captions to thumbnails, which completely destroys the existing CSS-stylesheet

3. More details on the excess waste after the fold.

Continue reading


I had troubles with a patched up version of the Flashplayer 10 plugin (Ubuntu-non-free) this weekend and I wasn’t surprised to see a new patch being applied just a couple of hours ago. Additionally, it looks like a Firefox patch made it through too. OK: this still means that the WordPress media uploader is broken. It uses Flash, you see, and it appears to have put in place new security measures, which haven’t been taken care by the WordPress developers. So, if you see that silly error when trying to upload files (the browse files thing seems to disappear everytime you open the upload box), you may want to check out a plugin to force WordPress to ignore the internal Flash uploader. Or you can wait out for WordPress 2.6. I may consider moving to another ‘platform’ before that hits the streets.

So, yeah: talking about software, I saw this application demoed the other day and it purports to be a Universe Sandbox (that’s also the name of the software). I think it allows you to smash galaxies and that: if you’re in a destructive god-like mood, you may like it (Windows only, though, so not really a help for me here).

There’s a great interview with a NASA developer about the software for their missions and landers. This quote stuck out (on the premise that software produced by the government should be released to the public domain):

Yeah. Yeah. I mean even though these are not military spacecraft, the technology used in them is space technology. And so the State Department does not allow us to release anything that we’ve done in terms of technical details to foreign scrutiny. Now, in fact as I said, we have a team of Canadians. The Canadians delivered our meteorology instruments, and we had to be very careful about our relationship with them and how much we could disclose to them.

And the very last item: I noticed the Pencil project, a sketching and prototyping plug-in for Firefox. Yeah: it really works too, so if you’re in dire need of making application mock-ups, it might actually be useful (without a doubt, it will also probably run via ‘xul-runner’).

A stump

Earlier, A Tree stumpI upgraded this blog to the latest WordPress version and found out that it’s not entirely bugless (that is, besides the validation problems of some portions of the generated output, as pointed out by Shelley). Some general notes follow:

The Media Library is indeed a welcome change: in previous WP versions, managing your files was a pain in the rear-end. However, the upload “dialog” (which is a JavaScript ‘modal’ screen) has ‘update/refresh/invalidate’ issues. Many times, the screen shows garbage1. File uploads don’t appear to be working on Opera, at all, showing cryptic errors like ‘Specified file failed upload test’. Before you upload any images, be aware that you may wish to change the default width/height for generating thumbnails, particularly the checkbox, obscurely named ‘Crop thumbnail to exact dimensions (normally thumbnails are proportional)’. [You want to uncheck this option if you don’t want ugly re-sized thumbnails].

The admin interface overhaul, purportedly done to make it easier to find your posts and settings, is still as unfriendly as it was before. For example, it makes no sense to save the ‘visual editor’ setting in a user’s profile (you should be able to set it in the general Writing settings and then allow users to override it in their own profile). The same is true for settings for some of the Media Library stuff: the option to use link ‘URL’ vs. ‘Page/Post’ for images and that, should definitely somewhere in the Writing section (You may notice that all my mp3 samples and images redirect to a page/post first). And while we’re at it, I can’t stand the ‘autosave’ of posts and of course, you can’t turn it off in the settings.

On the overall, the release feels ‘patchy’ and rough at the edges: from what it appears, the only good change that this release brings is an excellent media-manager. Things still look unorganized: for example, how come you (still) can’t tag images and pages? I have the impression that this will require a rewrite of the codebase. Meh.

1 That is, using Firefox 3. On FF2 things seem to go OK.

Moo (and other stuff)

Earlier today, the WordPress developers released a fix for a security issue in the xml-rpc code. There’s no need to completely upgrade your installation: upgrading overhere is sort of painless and that’s not because of the fact that my host provides automatic upgrades. Bored as I ever am, I finished up a couple of update shell scripts, which, if I have time, I could poke online one of these days. This is actually so basic, that, well, maybe you just should stick to your command-line typing skills. If your host allows you to use wget via SSH, consider yourself extremely lucky.

Other stuff: over here, milk is getting a couple of cents more expensive a liter (70 cents 5 cents1 I believe, which is more than a couple). I’m not sure why I mention it here but maybe this is related to my hunt for moo-cows (I mean, my Internet hunt for the origins of the word moo-cow). I think I’ve mentioned ‘super cow powers’ before, haven’t I?

There were a couple of things that attracted my attention the last (couple of) days: First, I found this neat 3D animation of the replication mechanism of HIV (YouTube). And related to that, LiveScience reports that soundwaves can be used to attack (any) virus:

Normal cells should not be affected by the virus-killing lasers or sound waves because they have resonant frequencies much lower than those of viruses. Moreover, it is unlikely that viruses will develop resistance to mechanical shaking, as they do to drugs.

And last but not least is this Horizon episode (BBC/Video at Google): What on Earth is wrong with gravity? The documentary goes into details about the missing links between Newton’s (mechanical) laws and Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

1 I’m a bit confused here too: but I think the correct amount was actually 5 cents.

Who broke it?

You may have witnessed theme switching the last couple nights: it happened so fast that you wouldn’t even know it was me. I’ve been working on changing the layout accordingly, something that involved plenty of PHP stuff because the original layout of a theme didn’t fit what I wanted to see. I have no plans for an immediate change over: after all, this bare-to-the-bones template has always been fast enough and has served me quite well the last couple of years.

That said: Microsoft launched the Zune 2 player, which, as you may have found out had a couple of favourable reviews. What’s unforgivable is Microsoft’s world wide rollout: that is, it appears that the world is actually only made out of the US. Zune Originals says it so prominently:

Sorry, this site is currently unavailable from your location. Please visit Zune.net for the latest news and information.

OK. Maybe in a few years then?1

Earlier this morning I ended up at Luis Sinco’s amazing story (and pictures) of the Marlboro Marine, which is about an Iraq veteran returning home.

And last but not least, MetaFilter has a discussion-thread about the upcoming PBS documentary about the Kansas trial. It is a long thread but worth every minute reading. Related: Eugenie Scott videos at Google, most of them discussing the history of Creationism and Evolution. Excellent stuff.

1 Officially, Zune’s are still not sold in Canada.

Me count(*)

I just finished upgrading to WordPress 2.3: so, curious as any developer would be, I took a look in the WordPress database definitions and noticed that three new tables were added. All of them take care of categories and (the new) tagging system. This means, Wp_Cat is out and has been replaced with wp_terms: the actual distinction (i.e., which terms is a category and which one is a tag) is now made in the the wp_term_taxonomy table.

I have issues with that last table because it has a count column (to track the number of posts). This is the second table that has a count column (earlier): I mentioned before that version 2.0 introduced a comment_count in the wp_posts table. Why not make use of the regular aggregate functions (like the standard COUNT(*))? After all, these aggregates are generally highly optimized functions (written in C) for tables with the same primary key(s). Also, as a good database designer, during database design you should take the use of aggregate functions in account when setting up your tables structure.

Notice that count of posts for a tag/category can be done simply by:

select count(*),
from wp_term_relationships p,
wp_term_taxonomy q,
wp_terms t
where p.term_taxonomy_id
= q.term_taxonomy_id
and q.term_id = t.term_id
group by p.term_taxonomy_id,
q.taxonomy, t.name

Sure: a query on that same table with that count column may look as easy as ‘select count from wp_term_taxonomy’, but remember, it (always) takes an extra write to put a number in that table (via a regular UPDATE). If your transaction on that table ever failed, your fancy report will most likely report wrong numbers.

And then

I‘m pleased to announce that CommentCentral is compatible with WordPress 2.3.

Updates for WordPress can be downloaded from the regular site(s). I noticed that the tar-file got corrupted, so you may wish to go for the zip file (I noticed that the tar file is around 3 Meg while the zip file itself was only 1.5 Meg: they must have [had?] issues1).

And upgraded to 2.3.
1 See also the forum.

I forget

I forgot that there was an update for WordPress, followed the regular procedure. I forgot more: while copying data over from one directory to the other I noticed that I missed too many files: Uh, I missed the -R.

Then after logging in I saw I had forgotten to turn off the plug-ins, something that is highly recommended before you even do the upgrade. I think I forgot this the last time too, to find out that it doesn’t really harm anything to leave them on. I guess, it depends on the scripts you use.

And last but not least: there are so many new things in 2.2 that even I haven’t found them yet (that is, unless you look at WP’s bugtraq pages). Don’t ask me to update CommentCentral just yet.

That didn’t work

Windows Update downloaded the latest security update (KB925902), but after restart I got the folllowing error message:

RTHDCPL.EXE – Illegal System DLL Relocation. The system DLL user32.dll was relocated in memory. The application will not run properly. The relocation occurred because the DLL…

Alrighty!!! A patch gone wrong, apparently. On today I guess, the same day they released that security patch, Microsoft issued a hotfix (KB 935448). Notice that you may get errors while getting to the actual download: it appears that this fix is quite popular. If you run a RealTek card, you probably ran into the same issue. Particularly, if you own a Toshiba laptop.

Oh: and talking about patches, you may also consider updating your WordPress (see also here for more details).

04/04/07: Slashdot discusion.
04/11/07: A weeks later, the issue brought up over at the BBC.