Tag Archives: Wordpress
This site along, with several thousand others including Wikipedia, WordPress.org, Reddit, Boing Boing and XDA-Developers will be shutting down for 24 hours tomorrow to protest SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act (HR3261) and the Protect IP Act (S.968 ). These two proposed laws were drafted by and for the old guard entertainment industry (Hollywood, record labels and print publishing houses, mainly) and are backed by a two million dollar lobbying effort.
The bills are supposed to combat online piracy and illegal file sharing. However they give big publishers and the government unprecedented powers to censor the Internet and and shutdown entire web sites based on mere claims of infringement. For more on SOPA and its potential to harm the innovation, the economy and Internet security, Copyblogger.com has an excellent concise summary.
If you have a blog or Website, I urge you to join the Stop SOPA Blackout and take your sites down tomorrow Jan 18th. Here's how.
If you use Blogger:
Go to the Blogger Dashboard and click the "Design" tab. Then click "Edit HTML" and click "Download Full Template" to save a backup of your template that you can restore (by clicking "Upload a template from a file on your hard drive: Upload") if something goes wrong.
Use your browser's search button to find "</head>" in the template html and copy the following code directly above </head> :
var a=new Date;if(18==a.getDate()&&0==a.getMonth()&&2012==a.getFullYear())window.location="http://sopastrike.com/strike";
The code will automatically activate on Jan. 18th to redirect visitors from your site to sopastrike.com/strike (image, above) which explains some of the issues with SOPA/PIPA and has a form for send a message to your congressperson.
If you have a self-hosted WordPress.org blog there are a number of plugins you can use to black out your site and re-direct visitors to an anti-SOPA action page. I'm using the SOPA Blackout Plugin by Ten-321 Enterprises which is highly configurable and uses SEO-friendly temporary redirects. It generates a page (image, below) on your site's domain with information about SOPA and PIPA and how to fight their passage. Be sure to get the latest version 1.0.6 of the plugin. Earlier versions had a bug that caused the the redirection to fire at midnight GMT on Jan 18 rather than using your blog's timezone.
If you use WordPress.com you can follow Pied Type's instructions to add a text widget containing the code below to your primary sidebar:
<div align="center" style="position:fixed;width:100%;height:100%;top:0;right:0;background-color:#000;-moz-opacity:0.8;opacity:.80;filter:alpha(opacity=80);text-align:center;font-size:800%;font-weight:bold;padding-top:300px;"><a style="color:#fff;" href="http://americancensorship.org/" target="_blank">Stop SOPA</a></div>
That code will place a semi-transparent overlay(image, below) with the words "Stop Sopa" on your site. When visitors click the overlay they will be sent to americancensorship.org, another site with SOPA/PIPA information and action forms.
Images - WordPress.com
Updated: Issues using WordPress.com with Symbian phones fixed.
Just to be clear there are two distinct products called "WordPress". WordPress.org, which is what WapReview.com runs on, is free open source software that anyone can download and install on a web server. You can do anything with it including modifying the code or installing any of thousands of add-ons to customize your blog without coding. If you want a mobile version of your blog there are at least a half dozen plugins for that as well as others for easy video embedding, conducting polls and much more.
WordPress.com is like Google's Blogger, a free service that lets anyone create and run a professional looking site. Because these blogs are hosted there have always been some limits on what you can do with them. You can't install plugins or themes, run your own ads or modify the code. All of these limitations can be removed for a price, but I believe that the majority of WordPress.com users run the free version. A number of high traffic blogs like Fail Blog, Hack A Day and Stuff White People Like run on WordPress.com.
A big problem with WordPress.com up to now was that because plugins aren't allowed there was no way to create a mobile friendly version of your blog. That's no longer true, staring today every WordPress.com blog has mobile support enabled by default. WordPress is doing browser detection and displaying mobile formatted pages to mobile browsers. There are two different mobile versions used. Advanced phones like the iPhone, Android devices and S60 3rd edition phones get a mobile layout based on the WPtouch plugin (first image). Update: There was a problem with S60 phones where it wasn't possible to leave comments or switch to the full version. The switching algorithm has been modified and S60 devices now get WordPress Mobile Edition theme which works great on my N95. All other mobile browsers (including Opera Mini, surprisingly) get a simple layout derived from Alex King's WordPress Mobile Edition plugin. The mobile integration is enabled by default. Site owners can turn it off but why would anyone want to?
This a great move by Automattic. It means 4.5 million more mobile websites. WordPress.com joins two other big free blogging platforms; Six Apart's Vox and Microsoft's Live Spaces which have had built in, enabled by default mobile browser support for years. That leaves only Google's Blogger, which is the biggest hosted blogging platform of all, without mobile support of any kind. Come on Google, I thought you believed in mobile, how about some mobile browser support for Blogger?
I'm still trying to find the perfect tool for running Wap Review using just a mobile phone. My requirements are pretty basic, I just want to be able to create and edit posts and edit and moderate comments. With posts I need to be able to enter and edit the body of the post and I'd like to be able assign the category, enter tags and an excerpt. For comments I need to be able edit them to remove phone numbers and email addresses for the protection of clueless commentators and to clean up the URL field where people tend to put all kinds invalid or inappropriate junk. I'd also like something web based so that I can use it with the N95, BlackBerry or a tethered Zaurus C860.
It bugs me that I used to be able to do all these things with just the regular WordPress Dashboard and Opera Mini or my Zaurus' Opera 7.25 browser. Then in WP 2.7, WordPress went all AJAXy and pretty much broke the dashboard in every mobile browser I've tried including Safari on the iPhone.
I'm currently using the combination of the S60 application WordMobi and a WordPress plugin called WP-T-WAP that I wrote about recently. They work but I still don't have all the functionality I used to have with WordPress 2.5.
WordMobi has a nice post editor and supports image uploading but limits me to using my N95 and doesn't allow me to enter tags or an excerpt. In fact if I edit a post that has tags with WordMobi the tags get deleted which is a bit annoying. WordMobi is also unusable for content moderation because it doesn't "see" all the comments that are awaiting moderation.
WAP-T-Wap supports tags and categories but not excerpts. I like to enter a, hopefully catchy, excerpt on my posts because the excerpt is displayed by some RSS Readers and is used by a plugin ( All in One SEO Pack) which uses it as the meta description header tag where it's picked up by Google. WP-T-Wap doesn't allow me to edit comments either, just approve, delete or mark them as spam.
Unfortunately, development of WPhone has essentially stopped with the developers citing work pressures and the fact that there is now an iPhone WordPress app that provides at least some of the functionality of WPhone. I tried running WPhone on WordPress 2.7.1 and sadly it seems broken in a number of key places. Composing and editing posts still works but editing comments doesn't. When I try to open a comment I get an "Unknown action." error. The same error occurs when trying to manage plugins. The post editor is virtually identical to the one in WP-T-Wap with support for tags and categories but not excerpts but it shouldn't be that hard to modify either plugin to add that field.
WPhone seems like such a great plugin. I can understand the origninal developers simply not having the time to maintain it any longer. As far as I can determine WPhone is free (as in speech) software. I don't see any licensing or copyright language in the code or documentation so it appears that anyone is free to fix it or extend it. Any volunteers? I'm thinking of poking around in the code myself to see if I can at least fix the comments as that's the main feature I need.
Considering all the mobile related WordPress blogs, most using one of the various plugins to create a mobile friendly user version, I really think it's time for Automattic to take mobile seriously and build a mobile support right into WordPress.