Beta testers wanted for Post Avatar

It’s nearly here! Post Avatar 2.0 is pretty much ready but before I release into the wild I’m looking for some beta testers to, well, test it out.

So what are the major changes?

WordPress 2.7 Baseline

When I first developed Post Avatar, WordPress 2.0 had just come out and all upgrades have been compatible with it. But lets face it, having to maintain support for that long a range of WordPress releases has been difficult. Plus I want to take advantage of newer features in WordPress that I’ve decided to benchmark development for the 2.7 release and up.

Filters and Actions

I’ve added a number of actions and filters that hook into Post Avatar to make development of add-ons (uploading capability, additional image selectors and so on) much easier.

Changes to the gkl_postavatar template tag

Yes, I have made changes here. For people who don’t feel comfortable editing their themes, the HTML/CSS options will still be available in the Post Avatar settings page. However, you will no longer be able to set HTML to display before and after an image within the template tag.

If you’re interested in beta testing, drop me a line: and I’ll send you the zip file.

Time Flies

I can’t believe it’s been a month since I last updated. So much for a post a week. To say that things have been hectic is an understatement. I’ve been wrestling with SQL queries, database designs, and a bunch of other stuff that writing online doesn’t feel as relaxing as I’d like.

So how's that rewrite coming?

I’ve converted most of the Post Avatar plugin into a class and added hooks for certain areas: the options screen and the write screen. My goal for this rewrite is extensibility. This idea is coming up more and more in WordPress land, particularly in themes, so I think plugins (which extend WordPress themselves) can do more for integrating with one another.

For Post Avatar what I want from the plugin is to simply choose from a library of existing images. Last year I rewrote the plugin from scratch to take into account: image uploads, tagging and a whole slew of features. It worked but I wasn’t completely happy with it and I felt it was taking away from what I originally designed Post Avatar for.

This time when I do put in uploading capabilities, user-centric post avatars and the like I’m going to be exploring methods of taking advantage of WordPress’s table structure and api.

Going back to this rewrite. The code is mostly ready – I’ll be releasing it for beta testing in a week or so.

Playing Around With Thematic

I’ve been experimenting with Theme Frameworks and this design makes use of Ian Stewart’s Thematic. Aside from providing a number of widget-ready areas, it has a number of post and body clases that help to make a theme more unique in terms of content placement and styling. But what is most impressive are the hooks and filters that make it easier to customize themes through functions.

My goal for this exercise was to see if it was possible to create a child theme that consisted only of the images folder, a stylesheet and custom functions. Here I only added 3 template files for the following reasons:

  • archives.php ~ I wanted to include tag listing as part of the archive
  • comments.php ~ I want to customize the comment form further
  • sidebar.php ~ I want to have a different sidebars depending on the location: pages will have a different sidebar from the index pages or the archives page

But everything else was done with custom functions – the different layouts for the first post and subsequent posts as well as the category display.

I’ve still got a bit left to finish – adding more content areas, playing around with font colors and deciding what to place in the sidebars – but I’m really pleased with how everything has turned out.

Argh! Mind! Blown!

Sometimes A Great Notion (Episode 4.11) was the most depressing BSG episode thus far, and that’s saying a lot when you factor in season 3. It was a fabulous episode in terms of character development, acting, scoring and production. Just such a downer in terms of what happens to our beloved characters.

A number of new tidbits thrown our way – the identity of the final cylon and revelations about Starbuck.

I’ll save the full length review for when I’ve fully digested the episode. Off to listen to the podcast

In The Dark

Last night a number of neighborhoods in Bacolod City were in complete darkness, not because of a problem with electrical supply but as many people have been discussing is a result of City Hall padlocking the administration building of Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO).

Turns out CENECO had cut the power to City Hall because of the latter’s failure to pay electricity bills amounting to nearly P5 million pesos.

In a tit-for-tat move, City Hall issued a closure order because of CENECO’s failure to pay their taxes.

Note-worthy enough in the above link, the City Legal Officer said:

Only the Administrative Department (of Ceneco) will be padlocked, the power connection to all commercial establishments (in the city) will not be affected because the maintenance and operation sections are not covered in the closure order


So why did we have a brownout lasting 10 hours?
Calls made to the CENECO hotline 1621 all had similar answers – power lines were sparking or there were problems with connections which the maintenance crew could not get to because all their materials were locked in the admin building. Are you kidding me?!

These two entities are acting like temper-tantrum throwing 5 year olds. You wouldn’t think that they provide vital services to the city with they way that they’re behaving. This is no way to conduct business and only serves to put a black eye on Bacolod. I wouldn’t expect this behavior from a city that claims to be “a city of the world”.

For shame folks. For shame.

Finally Upgraded WP

Yes, a fresh coat of paint for the site. I’m enjoying the new WordPress admin.

Since I had an abundance of old tables and options, I decided to go with a fresh install using the WordPress-to-Wordpress import tool. Of course I backed up my old database just in case anything went wrong.

Definitely more than the 5 minute install but not bad for three hours work.

I’m currently re-installing the plugins that I really want to use. I’m down to 4 plugins from the 16 I had originally.

For my theme I’m using thematic. It’s a cool, customizable layout and I want to learn more about child themes.

How I Spent My Holidays

Happy New Year bee-yotches!!

The holidays have been fun. Technically I’m still on holiday – work officially begins on Jan. 5 but I’m in today just in case there are calls. Thus far, zippo, so hopefully things will be quiet today.

Spent Christmas Eve at my aunt’s place – lots of food, games for the kids. Plus I got to catch up with my other aunt who was visiting from Florida.

The office picnic was a blast – we went to Sto. Domingo, the boss’ orchard and enjoyed a day with nature – well enjoying the breeze and greenery and Simba swimming in the river. Overloaded on food though – we had an exchange gifts of snacks late in the afternoon which tipped me over the edge. I ended up not eating dinner that night and lunch the next day.

Also got to spend time with the gang. We met up for dinner at Bar 21 on Christmas Day and were laughing our asses off with all the medical horror stories Jake and Julius had to share. We went to Bar 21 again on the 30th.

Since I had some down time from work I also managed to overhaul the Post Avatar plugin and my other plugins. Mostly under the hood stuff – more on that later.

I spent New Year’s Eve down the road at my other aunt’s house, eating the greatest of all comfort foods: barbecue and valenciana.

I’ve only made two resolutions for 2009: Eat less rice and write at least one post a week in this blog.
It’s best to keep things short and simple.

In Search of Inspiration

Pia and I finished all the things we had to do for this project so I spent most of yesterday afternoon wandering aimlessly around the web in search of inspiration to re-design my website. I’ve got a number of ideas floating around in my head – it’s just getting them to make sense on the page is what’s difficult.

My favorite discovery is Creattica, an excellent resource for creativity. I spent a couple of hours reading through the entire collection of posts (all 26 pages of them). I’m totally in love with this tea set.

I re-watched The Cutting Edge last night. Yes it’s predictable and kinda cheesy but I adore it. The chemistry between D.B. Sweeney and Moira Kelly totally makes the movie. I have two words for you…TOE PICK!

In a bit I’m going to do some grocery shopping – I’m making a mango dessert for dinner – and then it’s back to cleaning house.

P.S. I’m still a bit bummed that it’s a few more episodes till the end of Stargate Atlantis. *sigh*