A painting of me

Building a Links Log in Textpattern

   23 July 2004, the wee hours

Here are the very gory details on how I went about merging my del.icio.us links into my textpattern site, and how I intend to post links hence forth. A horrible account of what I did follows…

Read the rest of this post. (1437 words)

Comment [23] |  

Del.icio.us Links on the Front Page

   22 July 2004, terribly early in the morning

I believe I’ve mentioned a few times I wanted to display my del.icio.us links on the front page of this site. I’ve grown quite fond of this layout, and really don’t want to add another column of text where the links could go. I experimented with listing the ten most recent links at the top of this page, but was unhappy with the result. Kottke and Plasticbag displays links and posts in a fashion I found most appealing; both sites list their interesting links inbetween their posts. I set out to duplicate Jason Kottke’s style in textpattern.

The details are long and boring. The way I store the links in textpattern is essentially what sencer describes in this textpattern forum thread.

The next step will be to import all my del.icio.us links into textpattern, and from here on out post to both del.icio.us and textpattern. I’ll probably write my own form to do this. Or something.

The question to ask now is, does this layout work? How do the links look on the page? What are your opinions on this whole endeavour?

Comment [4]  

404 Pages

   20 July 2004, early evening

I’ve made a custom 404 / Not Found page for my web site. I felt inspired after reading an interesting write up about them at GraphikJunkie.

Because of my use of mod_rewrite rules and some holes in textpattern, my site is a bit wonky when you stray off the beaten path. Some requests that should return a 404 will not because textpattern will simply complain the requested section does not have a corresponding page template (example). Similarly, some requests for non-existent categories will return blank pages, instead of a 404 (example). Have you guys come across other instances of pages not showing up as you would expect. I hope to fix all these issues at some point in time.

Update: I fixed the problems I was having with 404 pages not showing up for bad section and bad category requests. As it stands a 404 should be correctly served up in all cases where one is required. I will write up a short how-to on the subject shortly since this is probably useful information.

Comment [4] |  

A New Style

   25 June 2004, terribly early in the morning

I am experimenting with an alternate style for the site. You can see what I have done so far by clicking on the Stripes. I haven’t tested it out much, but it should look alright in Safari. I’ll be mucking around with colours and fonts next, the layout should basically remain the same. I’m using the PHP style switcher that was written up at A List Apart. The PHP code in the article is way out of date however, so read the forum posts if you are interested in doing something similar.

I’m using Goudy Old Style as my font for this new layout. I don’t know if that’s something only other Mac users can enjoy. Someone in the PC world is going to have to let me know. I’m still not sure about the colours for text, links and what have you. What do people think of the other layout?

Comment [9]  

Oh How I Love My URLs

   22 June 2004, terribly early in the morning

I’ve decided to change the name of one of my sections, the one I post my entries to, from immaculate to blog. So, the URLs for my entries will now contain the word blog instead of the word immaculate. When the site was called The Not So Immaculate Conception, having immaculate in the URL made more sense. As it stands, blog is shorter, and people who see the URL will understand what it is they are linking to—nothing of substance.

All your old links should still work, as far as I can tell.


More Upgrade News

   9 June 2004, evening time

I’m experimenting with a new URL scheme. There should no longer by IDs in the permanent URLs to my articles. You can still link to stuff using the ID, so older links you may have to my posts should still work. So, don’t expect links to work properly for the next little while.

Comment [2]  

I Feel Violated

   3 June 2004, late evening

I’m aware that some people like this layout. Apparently some people like it a lot. Here is a site that has totally copied my site. The site is based out of Brazil, so my only hope is that it is made by one of the models from the Bavaria commercials. Those chicks are hot. I can dream anyway.

A screen shot of the site that stole my layout.

Comment [19] |  

Ali's Blog

   2 June 2004, terribly early in the morning

I designed Ali’s blog today. Ali is Shima’s brother. Check it out. (Eventually Ali will start to change the site, so here is what my site looks like styled with the design I did for Ali.)

Comment [20]  

A Blog is a Book you Read Backwards

   27 May 2004, late evening

Weblogs are usually formatted so that the most recent post is the first thing you read, with posts being displayed in reverse chronological order. So, when you assign page numbers to the pages in your weblog, in a sense you are assigning them all backwards. Worse still, after a few posts, entries that used to be on page 1 will now be on page 2, those on page 2 on page 3, and so on and so forth. For this reason, I’m not sure how worthwhile it is to use page numbers as a navigation tool for most weblogs.

I’ve updated my page number plugin. You can now generate page number lists as navigation elements. If you have a 50 page entry weblog, and you are viewing page 10, then the tag will generate something like this: 1 … 8,9,10,11,12 … 50. Each number would be a link to the appropriate page.

The tag generates an unordered list, so you will need to style it to have it display as I’ve shown above. The CSS you will want to use would be the following:

ul.rsx-page-num-list li {
    display: inline;

Please let me know if you find any problems.


Comment [6] |  


   24 May 2004, late afternoon

I’m mucking around with my URLs again. First, I’ve made a new section which lists the categories you can view posts by, which you can see listed above. I’ve removed the archive section for the time being. Second, now when you browse by a category, the URL will be /category/category_name/. I thought this would be more clear then /-/category_name, which was what I was using before.

Also, I’m sure many of you don’t really care what my URLs look like now. If you are such a person, and would like to ignore these sorts of posts in the future, you may want to point your browswer here instead: http://www.funkaoshi.com/immaculate/. That section of my site does not include any of these posts about how my site is being put together, but is otherwise identical to the main page.


Del.icio.us Links Are Here To Stay

   8 May 2004, terribly early in the morning

I figured out how to display the links I store at del.icio.us here at this site as well. Currently, you can view them on the links page.

What’s going on? How does this all work? Why, I’m glad you asked.

  1. When I find a link I like, I can make note of it with the del.icio.us bookmarklet. The site will then be saved at my del.icio.us home page.
  2. I found a python script that will query del.icio.us for the links you saved on a given day. I modified the script so that it will instead find the last 10 links you saved. The links are retrieved and formated into a small snippet of HTML, which gets saved on my computer. This file is then securely copied to funkaoshi.com using scp. Running python program and copying the file I made into a shell script.
  3. The shell script gets run 4 times a day using cron. cron is a program that will run jobs at times you schedule. I didn’t know how cron worked previously, but thankfully it is quite simple to use. I found a great site that taught me enough to get by.

What I would ultimately like to do is have a bookmarklet that will let me quickly save links in textpattern, and post those links to del.icio.us. Update: I have done this!

I’m quickly running out of things I can think of to do with this site. I will probably start reading Quicksilver shortly.

Comment [4] |  


   7 May 2004, the wee hours

This site can now be reached at http://evilurl.com/hornyWankerTitty. If you would like your own evilurl, go to evilurl.

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Clean URLs in Textpattern

   2 May 2004, late afternoon

How I went about getting cleaner URLs in TXP 1.18a.

Read the rest of this post. (796 words)

Comment [21] |  


   28 April 2004, terribly early in the morning

I’ve started working on an archive page for this site. Right now, you can read older posts by the section they are in, or the category they are in, or both.

Now, some of you may be wondering why there aren’t any date based archives. The creator of textpattern, Dean Allen, isn’t a fan of them, so they aren’t a part of textpattern. I may try and add date based archives at some point in time, but I think with the search box and the categories and sections, they aren’t needed. Any opinions on this?

Lex Konrad, who runs Naked Loft Party (NSFW) managed to get date based archives and URLs working quite nicely. So, if I have time, I may and try to mimic what he has done. As it stands though, I think I may stop mucking around with this site. I would say it is pretty complete now.

Comment [4] |  

Kinja: Reprise

   27 April 2004, mid-afternoon

For those of you having trouble getting your websites processed by Kinja, try adding a Atom or RSS feed to your site. Shima’s site is now being processed by Kinja, although it was not before.

If you use Moveable Type or Blogger this is done for you automatically. You just need to include a link to your feed in your URL, like I am doing on this site for example. Making your own RSS feed yourself isn’t too hard a task, but it is easier if you have a program that does it for you.

For those who don’t know, Atom and RSS are syndication formats. Atom is a newer format, whose popularity stems from the fact it is the default (only) syndication format available for use within Blogger. RSS is an older format, though there are in fact several conflicting versions of RSS available for use.

Comment [2] |  

No more tables

   24 April 2004, early evening

Windows users, you’re going to have to live with an ugly layout for a few days while I figure out why IE doesn’t display my page properly. I think it is probably the same issue I was having with my old page, where floated divisions were overlapping for no good reason. Hopefully this won’t take me long to fix.

I know some of you out there may think I should do all my revisions on my local machine, and have them ‘go live’ when they are done. I think so too.

Update: Thanks to the help of a fellow called Hass in the textpattern support forum, the site is now table free. I feel so much cleaner. I do need an extra division, but I can live with that for the time being.

Update: So, now that I don’t have any tables cluttering the HTML on this page, I will try and make some alternate layouts which you guys can pick between. I’ve done one so far, which was basically a touch up of the default textpattern layout. If you click on the debug link, you can see what the pages from a default textpattern install look like, more or less.

Update: I’ve reset the debug section back to the default layout.

Comment [8]  

Things to Think About

   17 April 2004, mid-afternoon

Making a website can be tricky business. Well, if you want to do it properly, anyway. Some of you may have noticed I waste countless hours mucking around with this page. Incase you are feeling jealous, and would also like to muck around with your website, but don’t know where to start, here are some links for you to check out. Hopefully this will help get you all well on your way to prettier, well structured, web pages.

Read the rest of this post. (237 words)

Comment [2] |  

Preprocessors for Weblogs.

   19 March 2004, late evening

Those of you who enjoy writing on the web, but are less then impressed with the way MT converts your writing into HTML, may want to look at the following two programs: Textile and Markdown.

Textile has been around for a while, and is basically a shorthand for HTML. Instead of using the tag <em> to emphasizes some piece of text, you simple mark your text with underscores, like so: emphasis. There is similar notation for most of the important html tags you would want to use. Also, textile will automatically encode entities (like &), will convert—to ’—’, and make your quotes curly. There is a moveable type plugin to let you use textile to format your text instead of using moveable type’s lame ‘convert line breaks’ function.

Markdown has all the features of textile as far as I can tell, but the design ideas behind it are slightly different. You can read in-depth the reasoning for the syntax markdown uses here.

I don’t use either program at the moment. Most of what I write is short, and not filled with lots of HTML. However, if you find you put a lot of HTML in your posts, then these programs definitely will make the code for the posts much easier to read.

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Changes, Changes.

   13 March 2004, mid-afternoon

I am thinking about moving the site over to another content management system, Textpattern. I’ve been mucking around with it on my machine, and it looks quite interesting. For one thing, I think I could have my photoblog posts and my normal posts all stored in the same place, and they could be displayed together on a main index page easily, but they could also be displayed as they are now, as two quite different sties, just as easily. Anyways, I don’t know if i’ll actually do any of this. I kind of just wanted to type up a semi-long post to see if the new layout of my index page looks OK.

Comment [6]  

My URLs.

   10 March 2004, early evening

I’ve been using the ideas outlined here for quite some time now to create URLs that should fairly clean and easy to read. One thing I’ve noticed at school is that sometimes pages get served up as text, as opposed to xhtml. Has anyone else experienced this problem. I use a .htaccess file to tell the web-server to serve up files with out extensions as xhtml, but perhaps sometimes it forgets.

Comment [1]  

This Webpage.

   10 March 2004, mid-afternoon

What do you see when you look at my homepage? I’m curious. Here is what I see. Now, if you are using Mozilla, Safari, Opera, then you should see what I see. On the other-hand, if you are using IE, I’m quite sure all bets are off. My goal is to fix the site so that it works for everyone. I think that is really the whole point of the web. I hate seeing pages that say, “best viewed with blah.”

Please let me know if what you see doesn’t match what I see, and what browser you are using.

Also, all you PC users, you should really switch to Mozilla Firefox. I am really curious to find out what IE6 does better then Firefox.

Comment [2]  


   13 February 2004, late at night

I’ve changed the links to the CSS and XHTML validation programs to links to the CSS and XHTML specifications. I got a bookmarklet that will validate any page that is open in your browser, so I thought it was time to say goodbye to the links at the bottom of my page. I was using those links to quickly check that my site was made using valid XHTML. A lot of web sites post these links, but I’m not sure who clicks on them. Besides the site’s author, who would really care if the site is actually valid XHTML or not? Also, if there is a link to the validation program, wouldn’t you already suspect the site is valid? Actually sending people off to the program seems like a stupid idea. Although, I guess it does advertise the fact such a facility exists.

Comment [3]  


   12 February 2004, the wee hours

The layout at the not so immaculate conception has changed again. I think this is close to how it will look from now on. I need to fix some problems with how the individual entries are displayed, but I expect the page to look like this for some time to come.

A good source for CSS layout information is the CSS Vault, which showcases sites made using CSS. You can find out how people hobble together nice sites with CSS. This page is a good place to look for people who want to make pretty standard webpage. It contains simple templates for some common layouts.

I wish there was a better way to lay out pages. Doing stuff with CSS always seems like such a hack. Even when you sit and think about the CSS box model, and work things out in your head all nice and perfect, your web browser will munge it all up.

Comment [10]  

Small Changes

   3 February 2004, terribly early in the morning

I’ve made some small changes to the funkaoshi.com home page. The page now has links to blogs I read. Others may enjoy not having to go to second page as well.


Individual Entries Layout Fixed

   28 January 2004, evening time

The pages that display an individual entry should now, finally, display properly. If people with browsers of ill-repute could confirm this for me, I would be much obliged. If you don’t know how to get to an entries own page, then perhaps it is time I change the layout a bit.

Comment [1]  

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