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101. I take the bait

Six Apart Mena's Corner, News, 33 KB, 2319 words

A good friend is often one's harshest critic. This came to mind while reading this post Jason Kottke writes about the "New Internet" and, more specifically, Six Apart's role in creating "a black hole for creative people". I can feel comfortable in debating his opinion because I respect Jason as a friend and a peer and, in the past, have questioned him privately on his opinion of what makes a respectable company. Because of this relationship and my respect of his opinion, I've decided to break the perceived Six Apart oath of silence (you should see the initiation ritual!) and respond to his post.

Jason writes:

A person who -- when she was unemployed 3 years ago -- could spend a couple...

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102. A Roadmap to Standards

MezzoBlue, Tutorials, 22 KB, 2337 words

This afternoon I was asked by a friend what I would recommend to an old designer who wants to learn more about web standards, CSS, XML, and XHTML.

This is a perfect example of when an email response is better posted here for a wider audience (and Google). So here's my answer: this is a comprehensive, informal, and somewhat long-winded roadmap for anyone who has heard about web standards, thinks they might want web standards, but doesn't know where to start.

Stop! Before you do anything, the most important thing you can do for your learning process is accept that a) it's going to take time, and b) you will be frustrated along the way.

But you're not alone....

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103. Dynamic Text Replacement

A List Apart, Tutorials, 22 KB, 2589 words

Text styling is the dull headache of web design. There are only a handful of fonts that are universally available, and sophisticated graphical effects are next to impossible using only standard CSS and HTML. Sticking with the traditional typefaces is smart for body text, but when it comes to our headings - short, attention-grabbing blocks of text - it would be nice to have some choice in the matter. We've become accustomed to this problem and we cope with it either by making the most of the few fonts we have, or by entirely replacing our heading-text with images.

Most sites that replace text with images do so using hand-made images, which isn't so terrible...

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104. What is a Regex Search?

Learning Movable Type, Tutorials, 18 KB, 784 words

If you have installed the basic MT package and are including the default search function on your blog, you may have noticed a check box for "Regex Search" that appears underneath the search box on your search results page. There is also a check box for "Match Case", but that is more self-explanatory. What is a "Regex" search? And how can you get rid of that check box so you don't confuse your visitors?

What is a Regex search?

Regex stands for "Regular Expression". It is a programming term. Doing a Google search reveals several definitions:

Regular Expression is a sentence written in a language to describe patterns.

or

A regular expression is a way of describing a group...

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105. yDSF - Robust CSS Drop Shadows

Six Apart Pronet Articles, Tutorials, 13 KB, 882 words

Drop shadows are cool, but adding them to elements of a web page can be a pain. You can fiddle with background images, tables, pure CSS solutions, Internet Explorer PNG limitations, or fixed single-use shadows tied to an image and a particular background.

The latest release of TypePad has a new popup (or flyout) interface element which presents the user with a set of options or an expanded view of an object when clicked on. The flyouts are similar to the location bubbles used in Google Maps. They have soft alpha-blended drop shadows that scale with the size of the box. The drop shadows are implemented in valid XHTML and CSS, with no CSS hacks or JavaScript. We...

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106. MTCategoryCommentCount v0.5 Beta

MT-Hacks, Tutorials, 7 KB, 170 words

Movable Type includes templates for the total number of comments in a blog (MTBlogCommentCount) and the total number of comments on an entry (MTEntryCommentCount). But there is no similar template tag for the total number of comments in a category. This template provides this tag: MTCategoryCommentCount.

Installation

1. Download MTCategoryCommentCount.zip.

2. Start using the <MTCategoryCommentCount> tag in a Category context, to output the total number of comments in a Category.

Example

On my Google Forum page, the tables list both "Topics" and "Replies". Topics are Entries and Replies are Comments. I used the <MTCategoryCommentCount> to generate the number of...

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107. Supernova workshops

Six Apart ProNet Weblog, News, 16 KB, 364 words

Congrats to Kevin Werbach on organizing yet another successful Supernova. Having been lucky enough to attend the first two West Coast editions, it's great to see the gathering getting stronger by the year...

Yesterday I was part of the workshops on microformats and business blogging. The microformats session was a great introduction to the value of distributed, structured content, and coincided with the launch of microformats.org. Six Apart has been part of the development of the hReview specification, and yesterday I gave a (very) quick introduction to that spec, and demonstrated how the combination of Movable Type's weblog templating language and support for alternate application templates makes it easy for power users to customize their MT install and turn it into a product review machine....

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108. AdSenseStats

Six Apart Pronet Plugin Directory, Plugins, 10 KB, 9 words

Grab your AdSense statistics from Google.

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109. MTGoogleMaps

Six Apart Pronet Plugin Directory, Plugins, 10 KB, 18 words

MTGoogleMaps is a plugin that enables you embed Google Maps in your weblog entries and templates.

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110. Ajaxify

Six Apart Pronet Plugin Directory, Plugins, 10 KB, 51 words

Ajaxify is a set of plugins that adds several ajax/javascript widgets into the Movable Type interface. It currently consists of EnhancedEntryEditing - that adds a WYSIWYG editor and resizable textarea controls to the entry screen - and Search Suggestions - that add a "Google Suggest" like feature to the quicksearch box.

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111. GoogleRank

Six Apart Pronet Plugin Directory, Plugins, 10 KB, 23 words

MTGoogleRank is a Movable Type plugin that allows you to programmatically determine the Google Rank of a keyword or phrase.

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112. TrackbackSwap

Six Apart Pronet Plugin Directory, Plugins, 10 KB, 34 words

Links to a different copy of the trackback CGI if there are no trackbacks on an entry; you can then use robots.txt to tell Google not to index your blank trackbacks

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113. MT-Preview

Murky, Tutorials, 22 KB, 297 words

There is a Movable Type plugin called mt-preview which I like, and with the update to MT3.2 the instructions for modifying MT to use this plugin are now outdated.

Therefore, I post this to help anyone googling around for an answer with respect to MT-Preview and Movabletype3.2.

The location to upload the file is the same, but the MT templates are different - so this is what I did. I used the command line, but one could just have easily used FTP, though it would have taken longer.

First, I backed up the files I was to modify cp edit_entry.tmpl edit_entry_original.tmpl cp entry_actions.tmpl entry_actions_original.tmpl

Then, I modified edit_entry.tmpl. This...

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114. Upload Directory script for FireFox

Six Apart ProNet Weblog, News, 14 KB, 148 words

Gina Trapani has tied together a slick script to Set the Movable Type upload directory when uploading an image in FireFox. You'll need the Greasemonkey FireFox extension, which lets you execute a javascript when a specific web page loads, and then a simple configuration lets you prepend a path to the files you upload using Movable Type.

It's not just a cool idea, it's a good inspiration for other clever hacks using GreaseMonkey. Be sure to let us know if you've got a similar cool idea.

Trackbacks:

Looking Out - links for 2005-01-29 - January 28, 2005 10:18 PMMovalog: Password Protect Entries (categories: mt movabletype) Six Apart Professional Network: Upload Directory...

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115. Elise's Weblog Tools Market Update

Six Apart ProNet Weblog, News, 16 KB, 376 words

Elise Bauer has updated her overview of the weblog tools market. Besides all the facts and figures, Elise points out some very cogent points about the market for tools:

As we move forward, distinguishing the different dynamics in the consumer, small business, and the corporate markets will become more important, as customers in these segments are using blog tools for different reasons and have different needs.

More relevant to Professional Network members is the observation made about corporate deployments of blog tools:

The tools that will win in this space may not actually be the best tools per se, but have the most organized sales force, the best documentation, and the best...

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116. Old Archive Entries

Don't Back Down, Tutorials, 8 KB, 373 words

Not long ago, I updated the format for the names of links. This wasn't terribly complex, but it does raise the question of how to deal with all those "old" pages. For instance, I see an increasing number of people hitting my page on The Angler Fish (now on the first page of results at Google!). Unfortunately, they are using the old URL to access it.

Naturally, I didn't want to lose those hits, so I had to come up with something. I've never been a big fan of simply redirecting traffic to the new location - and I have 40-plus entries that may be saved using the old URL naming scheme. Since I didn't want to set up each one individually through redirection on the web site, I needed to...

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117. Dynamic Encoding of Ampersands

Don't Back Down, Tutorials, 8 KB, 331 words

As you know, I recently converted a number of my archives so that they would use dynamic publishing. Today, I continued the push by converting daily archives and also category feeds to dynamic publishing. Thus far, they seem to be working pretty well, and I've been able to clean up my web site considerably.

Along the way, however, I ran into a small problem in that I make use of the excellent Amputator plugin to relieve myself of the erroneous ampersand. The only problem is that it doesn't work with dynamic publishing. So off to Google I went.

I found my way to Shaun Inman's page on the subject of using the Amputator regular expression in PHP. This seemed to be perfect, I just...

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118. Building a software business

Six Apart ProNet Weblog, News, 14 KB, 133 words

With so many people building applications and services around blog technology these days, it's a good time to look at some of the basic strategy behind building a software business. Niall Kennedy does a good job of transcribing the "How To Run Your Own Software Business" presentation at the O'Reilly Mac OS X Conference.

Covering another aspect of making software, Nick Bradbury covers the little-discussed topic of the social responsibility of software developers. Framed in the context of giant tech companies like Google and Microsoft, Nick puts some good thought into what the implications are of the medium we're all working to create.

Trackbacks:

Previous Entry:...

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119. ABC News launches blogs

Six Apart ProNet Weblog, News, 13 KB, 91 words

Though they're best known for their television coverage, the correspondents at ABC News are making good use of the web in their new collection of blogs. Powered by TypePad, the blogs give correspondents like Jake Tapper, Ned Potter, and Manny Medrano update on a more frequent schedule than TV allows, while also getting feedback from their community in the form of comments and TrackBacks.

Trackbacks:

Previous Entry: Google launches Blog Search

Next Entry: Tagalag, Tags and TypeKey Together

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120. Activity Log Plugin Errors

geekmum {movable cafe}, Tutorials, 17 KB, 223 words

My MT Activity Logs were FULL of plugin errors pointing to Blacklist, BookQueueToo, Blogroll, and QuickLinks. (essentially, any plugins that are in their own dedicated directories inside mt/plugins) These plugins have always worked without fail from the front end, so I was mystified at the copious error messages suggesting they could not be found.

Here is just one sample of a variety of similar messages:

Plugin error: /home/user/domains/domain.net/public_html/mt/plugins/Blacklist/Blacklist.pl Can't locate Blacklist/Plugin.pm in @INC (@INC contains: plugins/Blacklist/lib ./plugins/BookQueueToo/lib /home/user/domains/domain.net/public_html/mt/

Searching the MT Support Forums and google pointed me to a very simple solution. In each plugins .pl file I edited the "use lib" line to include the full path per the following example:...

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mgs | September 27th 2005