New book on WordPress Theme Development: WordPress Themes In Depth
2008
Yearly Archive

Does Google Hate Web Standards?

Consider the Google home page — arguably the most popular, highly visited web page in the entire world. Such a simple page, right? You would think that such a simple design would fully embrace Web Standards. I mean, think about it for a moment.. How would you or I throw down a few lists, a search field, and a logo image? Something like this, maybe: Read more »

A Way to Preload Images without JavaScript that is SO Much Better

Responding to my first attempt at preloading images without JavaScript, CSS-Guru David Bowman graces his audience with a most enlightening triage of comments. Apparently, the image-preloading technique explained in the article is “major overkill” and “totally ridiculous.” Of course, I will be the first to admit that I am no expert in CSS, but I do enjoy sharing my discoveries and watching as people improve upon them. My first attempt at preloading images without JavaScript may indeed be “pretty crappy,” but it certainly works. Fortunately, several weeks prior to Mr. Bowman’s dazzling performance, insightful reader Duarte helps the community by […] Read more »

3 Ways to Exclude Content from WordPress Feeds

This may surprise you, but I post quite a bit of content that never appears in the site’s main feed. It is my impression that a vast majority of subscribers are interested in web/graphic-design and development-related topics, and are really much less interested (if at all) in the miscellaneous odds and ends that wind up in the ever-expanding Perishable Press database. In the past, the process of excluding content from the main feed typically involved changing the post-date to something at least a year or so in the past. The thinking was that I could always return to these posts […] Read more »

Quick Reminder About Downlevel-Revealed Conditional Comments..

NOTE: This entire article amounts to nothing more than an in-depth learning experience. After writing the article, I realized (painfully) that either format for the second iteration of the downlevel-revealed comment for XHTML is perfectly fine and displays no ill effects or unwanted characters in any browser. Thus, this article is essentially useless, but I am posting it anyway because I just hate deleting several hours of hard work.. As more and more people discover the flexibility, specificity, and all-around usefulness of Microsoft’s proprietary downlevel conditional comments, it behooves us to reiterate the importance of utilizing proper syntax. Specifically, for […] Read more »

How to Cache Mint JavaScript

NOTE: This post was written many months ago under the erroneous assumption that caching Mint’s JavaScript was a good idea (for Y-Slow compliance, performance, et al); however, after a brief chat with the man himself, Shaun Inman, I was quickly informed that this was a bad idea: caching Mint JavaScript files will cause Mint to stop functioning. But, for what it’s worth, and for the sake of retaining potentially useful information, I present the original article here for your amusement.. Recently, I spent some time addressing a few of the performance issues pointed out by Yahoo!’s very useful YSlow extension […] Read more »

Set the Browser Access Point Profile for the AT&T 8525

This unfeatured post provides information for (re)establishing wireless Internet access from AT&T/Cingular Data Service (via WAP or MEdia Net) for the HTC/AT&T 8525 mobile device. Or something. This information is useful if you are unable to connect to the Internet and receiving error messages similar to the following: Error: Your Internet connection is not configured properly. Please verify your settings in Data Connections. Note: Use of the following settings enables the AT&T 8525 to access MEdia Net (WAP) pages using the MEdia Net connection profile. Additional features such as Wi-Fi and device based e-mail along with other 3rd party applications […] Read more »

Sharpen Your Site by Removing Unwanted Link Border Outlines

Lately I have noticed several sites that display those unsightly dotted outlines on high-profile link elements. Typically, these link outlines plague various header elements such as banner images, navigational links, and other key features. This behavior frequently haunts highly graphical site designs and is often associated with various image replacement methods that position the original anchor text offscreen, generally far beyond the left edge of the browser window. When visible, such presentations display a ghastly, four-sided dotted border that wraps the linked element and then continues to stretch to the left-hand side of the browser window. Here are a few […] Read more »

WordPress Hack: Multiple Email Recipients for Contact Coldform

In the current version of my custom contact-form WordPress plugin, Contact Coldform, there is no built-in method of sending emails to multiple addresses. The thought of adding such functionality had not occurred to me until recently, when a Coldform user asked about enabling it. After a bit of investigation, it turns out that integrating multiple-recipient functionality into Contact Coldform is as easy as it is practical. I will definitely be adding this feature to the next release of the Coldform, however, here is the modification procedure for those who just can’t wait. Read more »

Unexplained Crawl Behavior Involving Tagged Query Strings

I need your help! I am losing my mind trying to solve another baffling mystery. For the past three or four months, I have been recording many 404 Errors generated from msnbot, Yahoo-Slurp, and other spider crawls. These errors result from invalid requests for URLs containing query strings such as the following: http://perishablepress.com/press/page/2/?tag=spam http://perishablepress.com/press/page/3/?tag=code http://perishablepress.com/press/page/2/?tag=email http://perishablepress.com/press/page/2/?tag=xhtml http://perishablepress.com/press/page/4/?tag=notes http://perishablepress.com/press/page/2/?tag=flash http://perishablepress.com/press/page/2/?tag=links http://perishablepress.com/press/page/3/?tag=theme http://perishablepress.com/press/page/2/?tag=press ..plus hundreds and hundreds more 1. The URL pattern is always the same: a different page number followed by a query string containing one of the tags used here at Perishable Press, for example: “/?tag=something”. The problem is that there are […] Read more »

Taking Advantage of the X-Robots Tag

Controlling the spidering, indexing and caching of your (X)HTML-based web pages is possible with meta robots directives such as these: <meta name=”googlebot” content=”index,archive,follow,noodp”/> <meta name=”robots” content=”all,index,follow”/> <meta name=”msnbot” content=”all,index,follow”/> I use these directives here at Perishable Press and they continue to serve me well for controlling how the “big bots” 1 crawl and represent my (X)HTML-based content in search results. For other, non-(X)HTML types of content, however, using meta robots directives to control indexing and caching is not an option. An excellent example of this involves directing Google to index and cache PDF documents. The last time I checked, meta tags […] Read more »

WordPress Tip: Quick Hack to Block Spam for the Wordspew Shoutbox Chat Plugin

Recently, I reactivated an older version (1.16) of Jalenack’s Wordspew Shoutbox plugin for the Dead Letter Art Chat Forum. The DLa collective has been working on a new issue of their ‘zine and needed an easy online chat location for impromptu business dealz (ideas, planning, etc.). Almost immediately after reactivating the Shoutbox plugin, the chat forum was flooded with an endless wave of spam. The rate and volume of spam was so high as to render the forum utterly useless. — Ugh. Update: We now use Simple Ajax Chat for all of our chat-forum needs. It’s supa fresh. Read more »

Obsessive CSS Code Formatting: Indentation and Spacing

In the intriguing discussion following the first obsessive CSS formatting article, Jordan Gray brought up the age-old question regarding spacing: tabs or single spaces? I smugly responded that the issue has long-since been resolved, with tabbed spacing as the obvious winner. Let’s take a look at some serious CSS spacing examples.. 1) Strictly Single Spacing Here we have several code blocks showing consistent spacing via single blank space. Three key areas where single spacing is seen in this example: after the selector, and before each property and its corresponding value: Read more »

Blacklist Candidate Number 2008-05-31

Welcome to the Perishable Press “Blacklist Candidate” series. In this post, we continue our new tradition of exposing, humiliating and banishing spammers, crackers and other worthless scumbags.. Just under the wire! Even so, this month’s official Blacklist-Candidate article may be the last monthly installment of the series. Although additional BC articles may appear in the future, it is unlikely that they will continue as a regular monthly feature. Oh sure, I see the tears streaming down your face, but think about it: this is actually good news. After implementing the 3G Blacklist, finding decent blacklist candidates is becoming increasingly difficult. […] Read more »

CSS Hackz Series: PNG Fix for Internet Explorer

In this CSS Hackz Series article, I outline several solutions for displaying alpha-transparent PNG (a.k.a. PNG-24 format) images in everybody’s favorite broken browser, Internet Explorer. Specifically, IE versions through 6 (excluding IE 5 for Mac) fail to support alpha-channel transparency for PNG images. In these versions of IE, every pixel containing alpha-transparency is displayed with an ugly, flat gray color. Fortunately, there are plenty of hacks and workarounds designed to “fix” IE’s PNG image-display problem. Unfortunately, every currently available solution requires the use of Microsoft’s proprietary AlphaImageLoader transparency filter 1. Thus, if you need to display translucent PNG images in IE, […] Read more »

Consolidate and Localize Your WordPress Feeds

Recently, I found occasion to consolidate and localize my WordPress feeds. A couple of years ago, shortly after I first began using Feedburner to deliver and monitor my site’s feeds, I began listing my Feedburner-assigned feed URL in addition to my localized WordPress feed URL. As time went on, inconsistent feed linkage here at Perishable Press had greatly convoluted the feed-subscription process. Confounding factors include: Read more »

Latest Tweets Plugin update! User Submitted Posts now w/ better performance, custom form templates and 14 new action/filter hooks: bit.ly/1CBVbPL