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Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

WordPress Image Handling Sucks (WP Wednesday)

Monday, December 21st, 2009

WARNING: Today’s WordPress Wednesday post is a selfish rant – and two days early. So much for Christmas spirit. ;)

Yes, I said it. The words “WordPress” and “sucks” in the same breath. It’s a rare thing for a WP fanboy like me to do, but today, the Automattic folks deserve it.

This week’s release of WP 2.9 brought some awesome image editing tools to WordPress users – but the entire image handling system is still broken. It’s a kludge.

When you upload an image to WP, it “crunches” it – creating up to 4 versions of the image at various sizes (thumbnail, medium, large and original) on the server. These are now the ONLY sizes available to you in your posts. In addition, with the exception of gallery-generated pages, references to these images inserted into posts are specific to the pixel size (150, 300, etc.) rather than the relative size (thumbnail, medium, large, etc). Yes, you can change the pixel sizes of the relative sizes – but once an image is uploaded, you’re stuck with the settings of the day.

This wouldn’t bother me so much if I didn’t know that there was an alternative. Why can’t WP resize images on-the-fly at the server?

Example:
William Bundled Up
This image is located at http://colincarmichael.ca/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/SDC11443-300×199.jpg. See those pixel references in there? This image physically exists on the server. Very limiting.

In contrast, look at these: (from a Drupal site I run, the tech isn’t Drupal-specific)

URL: http://www.presbyterian.ca/photoresize/4398/600

URL: http://www.presbyterian.ca/photoresize/4398/300

URL: http://www.presbyterian.ca/photoresize/4398/150

URL: http://www.presbyterian.ca/photoresize/4398/news

See those pixel references in the URLs? There are no images on the server in those specific sizes – the server resizes the original image on the fly as required. See that last one with a relative size of “news”? The server resizes that to a size specified in the settings, in this case 250px.

There’s no reason that WordPress’ image handling could work the same way. You’d only need to store the original of the image on the server, and you could insert images of any size in your posts. Additionally, if you had “virtual” sizes defined such as full=600px, half=300px, thumb=150, etc, you could have images that would resize gracefully if your theme changes and you now need full to be 400px and half to be 200px.

So, Automattic, how ’bout it? Now that you’ve given us image-editing tools in 2.9, can you address the broken image-handling problem?

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Musings on Pagination

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Gee, I thought I was the only one who thought that that the current state of blog pagination made no sense. Apparently, Chris Coyier over at CSS-tricks doesn’t think it makes any sense either. His post does a great job of laying out the possibilities and showing why the current standard of the “older” button being to the right, and the home page being “page 1” are problematic.

Go read it.

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A New Year, A Fresh Start

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Hi there. Remember me? I own this little corner of the web but have been something of an absentee landlord of late. It’s not that I haven’t had any interesting ideas or any shortage of things to say, it’s just that, well, let’s not dwell on the past.

The future is what is important! And the future of this blog is looking much brighter today. Today I have resolved (albeit a few weeks early) to re-energize and re-invigorate this blog. I will be posting more often, and on a wider variety of topics. This blog will be me – in all the various places my brain takes me.

So with that promise to you, dear reader, let wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and I will see you in 2010 – renewed and refreshed!

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A really smart guy just called me lazy. He’s right.

Monday, January 5th, 2009

During the Christmas holidays, I was largely offline. For two weeks I think I logged only a few hours actually looking at a computer screen – if you know me, you know that this is astonishing.

I wasn’t, however, disconnected from my online community. Twitter and Facebook (via SMS & mobile apps on my Blackberry) kept me in touch with what was going on in my social net. Around New Year’s, I resolved to make my resolution one that I could keep: “Twitter more, blog less.”

All would have been fine, if Sebastien Provencher hadn’t smacked me upside the head. He wrote a post a Friday that called me out (indirectly) for taking the easy way out. For being lazy.

Your blog is your home base. It should be the foundation upon which you build your online presence and your personal brand. Twitter is the devil. It tempts you to use it to share quick thoughts. It’s the easy (lazy?) way. You don’t have to sit down in front of your computer to think about your next blog post (it takes me between 30 and 60 minutes to write one), you just spew out bite-sized lines.

He was right, of course. Twitter has tremendous value for building a community – around yourself or your organization – but that doesn’t excuse you from attending to your primary communication tools.

I hereby resolve to blog more, both here and at BeingPresbyterian.ca.

There I said it – now can I stick to it?

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Twitter is down – and I’m OK

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Twitter appears to be completely down at the moment – and I’m ok with that.

The instanteous conversation that Twitter provides is more of a luxury than anything and a few hours (or days, for that matter) without it will not diminish my quality of life.

There are, however, certain aspects of Twitter that I rely on prefessionally. Fortunately, thoguh, if no-one else can use Twitter either, I’m not missing anything.

Twitter is really no more than a tool that allows me to communicate with others – and there a hundred other ways I can do that – ncluding picking up the phone.

So I for one am going to enjoy this Twitter outage and use it to communicate in other ways – like writing this blog post.

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Ah, lawyers

Sunday, January 21st, 2007

So I just got off the phone with Pradeep Chand, who works for Lang Michener. He wants to interiew me about this post because they represent a company that installs gas appliances – wish I could remember the name of the company so I could link to them.

This is really annoying, because now I have to go pay my lawyer to tell me what I already know, which is to not say anything to anyone without a subpoena.

Why do lawyers have to take the fun out of everything – including blogging?

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Zoundry Rocks (I hope)

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

I just downloaded a blogging client called Zoundry. This will be my first post composed using this tool. If this works out (I’ve never use a blog client before) it will make it much easier to post to this blog – which is a good thing. So far the only drawback I’ve found is that I can’t create categories on the fly like I can using the WordPress web UI.

Tip of the hat to Jon for blogging about his blogging software.

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