December 2006

WP-Cache + password-protected pages = problems

I have discovered that, despite recommendations, it is not advised to use the Wordpress plugin WP-Cache if you use password-protected pages as it stops them working correctly. If you turn on WP-Cache and view a password protected page that you have not previously viewed it will cache a copy of the login page and never let any visitors access the content; if you view a page that you have previously viewed before enabling the cache it will cache the full page, letting everyone who views your site see the page.

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Catfish fun with script.aculo.us

Script.aculo.us is a wonderful library of Javascript functions for doing lots of buzzword-friendly snazzy effects. A recent schmancy JS trick is the catfish - a small, unintrusive advertisement that pops up at the bottom of the web page and can be closed without affecting the web page. Looking around I didn't see any existing code to do catfish effects with Script.aculo.us so I decided I'd have to fill the gap.

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New Information Architecture book is awesome

I picked up a review copy (review forthcoming) of O'Reilly's new Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, 3rd edition, and so far it is a simply inspiring book. I'm only fifty-ish into its almost 500 pages but I've already started to brainstorm ideas for a huge improvement to the website at work, which I intend starting shortly after the holidays.

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Subversion on Windows via Cygwin

Cygwin is a wonderful system for running UNIXy/Linuxy software on Windows. While there are many caveats it does work quite well for at least basic tasks and it has been extended so far as to be able to run X/Windows therefore KDE and Gnome all within Windows. Nifty. Anyway, while trying to get it set up for running a Subversion server I was having problems getting it to work as advertised.

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Why Vista is a 10-year-old history lesson nobody has learned

Microsoft's upcoming Windows Vista operating system is a perfect example of why people should stop supporting this useless company: it doesn't have most of the new features it was supposed to have, it is more expensive than it needs to be (the feature-complete version costs $400, versus $130 for Mac OS X), and will cause a great deal of headaches both short-term and long-term due to its poor design. Here's a great article which explains why the public needs to realize this is the second time Microsoft have done this and they shouldn't be let get away with it:

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Why PHP is still an immature language

A thread came up on Slashdot today about the security problems of PHP and software written using it. Given that this is as much of a major problem today as it was five years ago when version 4 was released (that was supposed to start fixing the security problems), and given how bad most PHP code still is today, I added in my own $0.02:

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Using CDs and DVDs for backups / archiving

A great article was written up by someone explaining exactly what types of CD and DVD media you should use for backups / archiving:

Having read through it I must say that some of the points were new to me, but it sounds perfectly legit and worth following.

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Awesome form validation script

I use the Javascript libraries Prototype and Script.aculo.us a good deal in my projects, but there was one feature they didn't have between them - form validation. A quick google uncovered a super-simple solution to this problem written by an Australian - all you need to start is one Javascript file and one line of Javascript, then add one single DOM-compatible attribute to your input lines and it'll work right out of the box. The even better part is that extending and enhancing it is very easy, just add a CSS line or two to customize your error messages, etc, easy as pie.

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