Christmas Update – Greasemonkey, WordPress 2.7, Plugins And More!

First let me wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope you all accept my best wishes, even if you don’t celebrate Christmas.

December has been a very busy month for me and I haven’t had much time for posting. I may not get another post out this year, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to update you on some of the projects I’m working on.

Brand New Acer Aspire One Netbook

I suffer from having too many ideas for the amount of time I have to implement them! In an effort to get a little more time in on my various projects, I recently bought an Acer Aspire One netbook to use on the train to work. I have two 35 minute train rides, so that gives me about an extra hour a day.

Hopefully, this should allow me to get more posts out – in fact I’m typing this very post on the train. I’m also planning to do some web development work on the Acer Aspire One as well.

There’s no wireless network on the train, so the term ‘netbook’ is a little misleading, but I’m happy to work offline and to sync it later. I’m using XAMPPLite (Apache, PHP, MySQL bundled together), so I can do all the web development work I need to do.

WordPress 2.7

WordPress 2.7 was recently released, meaning it’s time to upgrade: I’ve upgraded one of my blogs and I’m working on the others. I know the upgrade is supposed to be quick, but it’s not so simple for me. I don’t just suck it and see, I carefully consider the impact of the upgrade on each blog.

For the first blog, the whole process took about 4 hours. The upgrade itself only took 15 minutes, but I had to go through all the plugins I’m using and update them. The main problem I have is that I’ve hacked quite a few plugins, so when I upgrade them I need to port my hacks across to the updated plugins.

I’ve also hacked the WordPress core in a couple of places and one of these had moved, so I had to track it down. Hacking the core and plugins gives you a more flexible site, but the cost is the additional time and effort at upgrade time. Fortunately, this isn’t a problem for most users.

As for my verdict on WordPress 2.7: so far, its great!

WordPress 2.7 And My Plugins: News Coming Shortly

Now that I’m running WordPress 2.7, I’m testing all of my WordPress plugins with it. I haven’t been through everything, but so far its looking good. I’ll write another post in the near future outlining the results of my testing.

Updating My WordPress Plugins

I plan to go through and rewrite all of my WordPress plugins, to add some new features, tidy up the code, etc. This will incorporate any changes necessary for WordPress 2.7, if testing reveals any problems.

I’ve been planning to do this for a long time as RT from the Untwisted Vortex Living In The Philippines blog will be able to attest. Sorry RT, I will get to it early next year!

Once I’ve rewritten the plugins, I plan to add them to the official WordPress Plugin Directory (also something I’ve been planning to do for a long time!).

New WordPress Plugins

I’ve also been working on some new WordPress plugins. I’ve got at least 3 or 4 on the go at the moment. I won’t mention what they do yet, but one is a DoFollow plugin that I’ve mentioned before. We’ll see how they work out, because they are one of the first casualties of my busy schedule.

Greasemonkey

I’ve really been getting into Greasemonkey scripts recently. As well as creating hacks to fix the Google Reader Print Button and Numbered Google Results scripts (written by other people), I’ve written two of my own scripts.

They are both highly specialised and still need some tweaking, so I’m not sure if I’ll bother releasing them or not. One is for the OurBrisbane.com TV schedule (to only display the common Free to Air channels) and the other is to tweak the output of the Google Reader Print Button script to print the article’s URL.

In both cases, I embedded JQuery in the script, because it’s just so much easier. I’ve also really been getting into JQuery lately – it rocks!

Jobs in China

There’s lots happening over at my Jobs in China site.

First, l’m creating a job listing service for the Teach English in China market. I’m investigating several ways to do this. At the moment, I’m playing with the TDO Mini Forms WordPress plugin to allow people to post jobs.

I’ve checked out Jobberbase but discounted it because although it’s nice, it doesn’t do enough of what I need. I may look at the BlueFur.com job script, although I’d probably need to extend it.

On top of this, I’m also planning a new theme for the site.

Client Work

I’ve been working on a client site and I’m just putting the finishing touches on it. Hopefully I’ll have it finished in the next week.

Posts

I have quite a few monster posts almost completed. I hope to get some of them out the door soon, but then again, I thought I’d get a couple of them out over the last couple of weeks. These posts take a lot of research and I want to make sure they’re right before I publish them. It’ll probably be January now before they start to appear.

One of the post I’m getting close on is the one I promised K from the ShanKriLa technology blog, long ago, on the effects of the KeywordLuv plugin on SEO.

Final Thoughts

These are just some of the things I’m working on. I have a few other projects that I won’t mention here. I also have a busy full time job and a family and Christmas just around the corner, so I’m having to learn to just do what I can!

29 responses on “Christmas Update – Greasemonkey, WordPress 2.7, Plugins And More!

    1. Stephen Cronin Post author

      Hi Chris,

      yep, I need that break!
      I’ve just finished the first in Conn Iggulden’s Genghis Khan series and can’t wait to read the next one – but I’m actually jumping to the first in the Emperor series because I stumbled across it in the library.

      He’s a great writer, although I found there were 6 or 7 places in the book where I had to stop and really think about what he meant. My mind didn’t quite follow where his writing lead. Could be me – but I haven’t had that problem with other writers. Apart from that, the rest of the book was GREAT!

      Thanks for the tip and have a great Christmas!

      1. Donace@The Nexus

        I read both he series emperor and the newer one based on Genghis Khan…Both brilliantly written and highly recommended. Though yes as you mentioned he is very subtle at points :p

        Looking forward to see the new plugins in action and the new posts…

        Have a great Christmas.

  1. Daniar

    Hi, I like your idea on your jobsinchina site with TDO Mini Forms. I would also think to use the plugin for my article directory.
    Great theme also, it’s just that there is a white space under – I am using Opera.

    Regards!

  2. Daniar@Redfeeds

    Sorry for double comments, I have just read the explanation about keywordluv and I think it’s fantastic! I will use the plugin and tell to my friends about it.

    Regards

  3. Ben R

    Where do you get the GreaseMonkey scipts from? I have it installed – but don’t have any scripts yet – I’ve heard really good things about it.

  4. K-IntheHouse@myspace private profiles

    Stephen, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you as well! Looks like you got yourself a new toy there.. (just wrote about mine recently) would love to see more posts from you.

    Also, I do look forward to your thoughts on SEO effects of KeywordLuv on the blog hosting the plugin.

    Ben, you can get Greasemonkey scripts from Userscripts.org. I have a collection of gmail & google reader greasemonkey scripts as well if you’d like some good ones to get started. (sorry for the shameless plug) The ones Stephen mentioned are great as well.

    1. Stephen Cronin Post author

      Hi K,

      Sorry, you went into the moderation queue because of the links. Approved now! No worries about the plug – it was that post that first made me aware of the Google Reader Print Button script!

      Yeah, I’ve got the new toy and am loving it and I’m a sucker for gadgets, etc – but it’s more of a tool than anything. In the past I would have been more excited by just having it, now it’s more about what I can do with it…

      Yes, I’ll definitely be writing that post early in the new year. It’s half written, but I just keep getting taken away to other things. Sorry.

      Have a great Christmas!

  5. Andrei Stanciu

    Nice christmas update! I would like to say thank you for making this post during christmas and happy new year to everyone before it arrives hehehe

  6. Dan@LA Toy Store

    Nice to hear that despite your busy sched, your plug-ins are still updated according to the new version of WP. Really got a great time-management technique there!

  7. Rose @ FreeLife Supplements Store

    Hi! Thank you for sharing many things with this blog. I admire your thoughtfulness and dedication because you still try to do a lot of things when most people are winding down to enjoy the holiday season. Don’t forget to take a rest though. From the things you mentioned, I like your Acer laptop and KeywordLuv. These stuff gave me good ideas. Thank you again.

  8. Rome@NDS Games

    Hi Stephen, I am looking forward to reading the posts that you were saying. Belated Merry Christmas btw and Advanced Happy New Year! :)

  9. Jean@Slow Cooker Recipes

    I really like Greasemonkey, my only fear though is downloading a bad script, that maybe is leaking my information or grabbing it, etc.

    The only thing so far that I have noticed is, is that I can’t find the “templates” thin in wordpress 2.7 where it used to be in the posts section. Other than that, I love the new wp.

  10. bill@money-saving-tips

    I love GreaseMonkey…very powerful, and not as complex as some people would think. Saves tons of time with any repetative task, like getting your blog posts onto Digg/Mixx, etc.

  11. Dave@Lift Chairs

    I have been wanting to get a laptop for a while now and have been looking at the Netbook style, because I think it will do what I need it to do and it is pretty well priced. I mostly just want something that I can do some lite writing/coding on when I am away from the home or outside letting the dog run around. I have heard a bunch of people talking about the Aspire, so will have to check it out. I am torn though, because part of me really wants a Think Pad.

    I did the 2.7 upgrade this weekend on all of my blogs, as well as consolidating two blogs into one. It went very smoothly and after spending some time with it, I think I really like the interface.

  12. Chelle@Lose Weight for Free

    Hope you have a good New Year’s too! My hubby bought me an Acer Aspire last year for my bday and I LOVE it, so I hope you will like it too! It’s taken a lot of abuse from my kids and still works as nice as the day I first turned it on :)

    I am wondering if keyword luv is the culprit plug-in that gives me issues when I go to automatically upgrade wordpress – on my sites without it I have no problems, but the sites with it I have to deactivate it before running the automatic upgrade or else I get blank screens and snoopy errors…? Is it my host? Combination of plug-ins? Not too worried about it, just thought I’d see if anyone else experiences it also!

    Here’s to a busy good 2009 to everyone!

  13. Matt | Small Biz Bee

    I’ve just found greasemonkey and have only begun to scratch the surface I feel. Found a twitter script I really like, but will continue to explore more possibilities.

    Matt

  14. James@Discount Codes

    Have you had a look at Recruitpress? It doesn’t look like it’s been updated for a while but if you’re happy modding the code you can build a pretty impressive site. There’s a nice example over at the New York Jewish Job Board.

  15. Brent@BlackBerry Phones

    I finally went through and updated all my sites to 2.7…hopefully the process will be much easier now with the upgrade option within the dashboard. Looking forward to 2.8 just so I can try that out.

    The admin redesign is a little odd at first but I like it soley because of the expandable nav, keeps me from having to install a dropdown plugin, I used to hate having 2 or 3 page refreshes to get to certain admin screens.

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