I bring to you a tale of joy, of plugins, of bald women and a tinge of disappointment. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. You’ll shout out “Get on with it you lazy bastard, we’ve been waiting a week and a bloody half for you to post anything!”
I will be suitably reproached and continue with a little less bombast. In the past few days I’ve actually had a spurt of productivity, finding out in the process that two useful indicators of my productivity are:
- the number of tabs I have open, and
- the number of items I have sitting on my desktop.
As I currently stand at 14 tabs and 17 icons, I can say things are looking reasonable from a productivity perspective. I have also scrapped the WordPress default ‘Kubrick’ theme in order to pursue my goal of complete semantic purity,
<small> elements be damned!
In addition to this rather ambitious goal of setting up a theme from scratch, I’m planning on adding in enough extras to make Peter Jackson feel faint and have to take a lie down. The current list stands as follows:
- Flickr feeds (depending on whether they make the interface look cluttered)
- del.icio.us integration for linkrolling
- Post tagging
There’s also another extra I’m considering, but I’m keeping that one under wraps for the moment: got to leave something to keep you interested.
If you know what Gravatars, Flickr and del.icio.us are, the first three should be self-explanatory: if you don’t, they’re managers for avatars, photos and favourites respectively. As to tagging, I find the current WordPress category system rather ill-suited to my needs as my posts ramble sufficiently that they don’t often fit neatly into any obvious category structure without greatly expanding the number of categories. Hence I’m planning on doing precisely that with a Flickresque tagging system. As this idea occurred to me while I was in bed (and thus unwilling to get myself back out of bed and check around) I spent a fair while working out how I would implement a plugin to do this and no time at all checking to see what solutions were available.
Of course, the following morning I found out that someone had already implemented a solution using pretty much the same structure I was thinking of using. Downloaded, played around. Found out that the plugin is quite good, however the API isn’t as broad as I’d like, not to mention having hard-coded
target tags (now deprecated) in links. It also requires fiddling around with the core WordPress code, something which is discouraged as it mucks around with upgrades. Noting that the plugin hasn’t been updated in a few months, I think this is my chance to brush up on my coding, get familiar with the WordPress internals, develop a plugin and maybe even gain some recognition in the community by improving on the plugin.
Continuing the pattern, this sense of joy lasts for about half an hour before I find out that someone else has already implemented a slightly more comprehensive tagging plugin with the wonderful name of Ultimate Tag Warrior!
From my initial play-around this seems to be a lovely plugin with custom options pages, automagic setup, the lot. The selection of functions looks pretty good as well, but only time and prodding will tell if it’s sufficient for what I need.
“Hold on just a minute,” you say at this point, “where do the bald women come into this?” Well, the developer of UTW is a woman from New Zealand with less hair than most. See? It all makes sense now.
In theory, I have a point with all this. In fact, I have several (cure another list):
- If you think of a project which sounds like it would be really useful and you can’t imagine why no-one’s coded it already, someone’s coded it already.
- Hot damn, I’ve written a lot!
- We need more girl geeks in this world: we should not be in a situation where I am surprised that a WordPress plugin author happens to be female. That said, she’s not the first I’ve encountered.
On that note, goodnight all. Hopefully either I shall post again soon or that post will be so long that you’ll be sated for at least another week.