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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!