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2007
Yearly Archive

Eliminate 404 Errors for PHP Functions

Recently, I discussed the suspicious behavior recently observed by the Yahoo! Slurp crawler. As revealed by the site’s closely watched 404-error logs, Yahoo! had been requesting a series of nonexistent resources. Although a majority of the 404 errors were exclusive to the Slurp crawler, there were several instances of requests that were also coming from Google, Live, and even Ask. Initially, these distinct errors were misdiagnosed as existing URLs appended with various JavaScript functions. Here are a few typical examples of these frequently observed log entries: https://perishablepress.com/press/category/websites/feed/function.opendir https://perishablepress.com/press/category/websites/feed/function.array-rand https://perishablepress.com/press/category/websites/feed/function.mkdir https://perishablepress.com/press/category/websites/feed/ref.outcontrol Fortunately, an insightful reader named Bas pointed out that the […] Read more »

Mind-Blowing Web-2.0 Design Trends

The über-trendy “Web-2.0” paradigm seems to be floating quite comfortably throughout the blogosphere these days. In fact, with it’s current mainstream popularity, the Web-2.0 mentality enjoys de facto status as the dominating influence behind modern website development and design. Not too long ago, however, Web-2.0 hovered quietly amidst the thinking of cutting-edge entrepreneurs and developers, as they strove toward freshness, simplicity, and usability. Before it’s rise to media fame, Web 2.0 was merely a loosely defined set of concepts and ideals. As the concept materialized, representative sites emerged, and the Web-2.0 design aesthetic evolved into an easily recognizable collection of […] Read more »

Bare-Bones HTML/XHTML Document Templates

In this post I have assembled a concise collection of conforming, bare-bones document templates for the following doctypes: Document Templates XHTML 1.0 XHTML 1.0 Strict XHTML 1.0 Transitional XHTML 1.0 Frameset XHTML Basic 1.0 XHTML 1.1 XHTML 1.1 XHTML Basic 1.1 HTML 4.01 HTML 4.01 Strict HTML 4.01 Transitional HTML 4.01 Frameset Read more »

Rethinking Structural Design with New Elements in HTML 5

HTML 5, also known as Web Applications 1.0, provides new markup elements that will change the way you design your web pages. The new elements replace commonly used divisions in web documents, facilitating an even greater degree of separation between structure (HTML) and presentation (CSS). Indeed, in many documents, the new elements will structure the document while providing enough hooks to render obsolete previously required divisions, classes, and identifiers. Let’s take a look.. New Structural and Semantic Elements in HTML 5 Structural Elements The new structural elements in HTML 5 consist of the following: header section article nav footer Read more »

A Delightful Romp through the 2007 PDX Zine Symposium

Some friends and I recently gathered in Portland, Oregon for the 2007 PDX Zine Symposium. Held on the lush campus of Portland State University, this was the seventh annual zine convention, featuring an abundance of tablers, zinesters, and visitors. Although we did not purchase a display table this year, we did represent our graphic zine collective, Dead Letter Art (DLa) by making the rounds, checking out new zines, and sharing issues of DLa. Since the annual Zine Symposium began in 2000, DLa has attended almost every year, learning, networking, and exploring ideas with fellow zinesters. Thus, with a hefty stack […] Read more »

Seven Ways to Beef Up Your Best Pages for the Next Google PR Update

Time is running out! Soon, it will be time for the next Google PageRank (PR) update. While it is difficult to predict how your site will perform overall, it seems likely that your highest ranking pages will continue to rank well. The idea behind this article is to improve your site’s overall pagerank by totally beefing up your most popular pages. Of course, every page on your site is important. Ideally, you would want to employ these techniques to every article on your site. But time is short, and Google is coming soon! The next PageRank update is slated for […] Read more »

Suspicious Behavior from Yahoo! Slurp Crawler

Most of the time, when I catch scumbags attempting to spam, scrape, leech, or otherwise hack my site, I stitch up a new voodoo doll and let the cursing begin. No, seriously, I just blacklist the idiots. I don’t need their traffic, and so I don’t even blink while slamming the doors in their faces. Of course, this policy presents a bit of a dilemma when the culprit is one of the four major search engines. Slamming the door on Yahoo! would be unwise, but if their Slurp crawler continues behaving suspiciously, I may have no choice. Check out the […] Read more »

Hosting Review: A Small Orange

Perishable Press switched to A Small Orange [ASO] in March of 2007. At the time, I was looking for highly recommended shared hosting with several key features: Update 2011/02/05: ASO is no longer my host. As this article explains, ASO service was great at the start, but after three years quality of service has declined considerably. There are some great people at ASO, but I can no longer recommend them for serious web hosting. For more information, check out my post on switching to Media Temple. Solid customer service and extremely reliable server uptime Unlimited domains with plenty of disk […] Read more »

Local Paper Tarnishes Small Town

Front-page story attacks city Central Washington — The Columbia Basin Herald continues to describe Quincy as “stampeded by gang members, teeming with teenage pregnancies, constant shootings, stabbings, drugs and excessive consumption of booze.” They printed the story — believe it or not — on the front page. “Quincy is also known as ‘Q-town,’” the Columbia Basin Herald, a regional newspaper, claims. “It is overpopulated by gang members and individuals of hispanic decent who often believe they are of african background. Smoking marijuana is very popular and is often practiced by all age groups in the area.” Read more »

Super Loop: Exclude Specific Categories and Display any Number of Posts

Readers occasionally ask for help with their WordPress loops. Usually, these requests involve modifying the loop with some customized functionality. Frequently, such customization involves one of these popular behaviors: Exclude a specific category Exclude multiple categories Display only one post or excerpt Display some fixed number of posts Play nice with additional loops on the same page In this article, I present the swiss-army knife of WordPress loops. This highly versatile, “super” loop is standard WordPress code, easily implemented, and fully equipped to handle all of the custom behaviors mentioned above. Further, the PHP employed is self-contained, making it ultra-easy […] Read more »

Temporary Site Redirect for Visitors during Site Updates

In our article Stupid htaccess Tricks, we present the htaccess code required for redirecting visitors temporarily during periods of site maintenance. Although the article provides everything needed to implement the temporary redirect, I think readers would benefit from a more thorough examination of the process — nothing too serious, just enough to get it right. After discussing temporary redirects via htaccess, I’ll also explain how to accomplish the same thing using only PHP. Read more »

The Ultimate JavaScript Library for Embedding Flash Content

Earlier this year, Geoff Stearns and Bobby van der Sluis teamed up to create the “ultimate JavaScript library for embedding Flash content” into web documents. For those of you familiar with techniques for embedding Flash, these two names are instantly recognizable. Geoff Stearns is the author of SWFObject and Bobby van der Sluis is the author of UFO. Easily, SWFObject and UFO are the two best and most widely used techniques for detecting and embedding Flash content. Needless to say, when I heard that these two great minds were collaborating on an even better method to embed Flash, I was […] Read more »

Get Organized, Save Time with the HTC 8525 Pocket PC

The AT&T 8525 is the first UMTS/HSDPA smart phone to be offered in the United States. It has integrated Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi, and supports AT&T’s new music, video, and location-based services. The Windows Mobile device also has push e-mail capabilities, a 2-megapixel camera, a spacious QWERTY keyboard, and good call quality. — CNET Editors’ Review of the AT&T 8525 Perishable Press via AT&T 8525 (click image for more..) Thusly inspired, I recently purchased an AT&T 8525 Pocket PC by HTC. The device now serves as my virtual satellite, keeping me connected to the internet, networked to the office, and prepared […] Read more »

Unicode Character Reference for Bloggers

Virtually every article written here at Perishable Press requires at least one or two “special” characters. Some of these characters — such as quotation marks, hyphens, and dashes — are very common, while others — such as the copyright symbol, bullet, and arrow — happen less frequently. As a blogger, I find myself repeatedly using a select handful of very common special characters. Very rarely do I ever find myself blogging a latin “Ä” (i.e., capital letter “A” with a diaeresis). To save time and effort, I need a quick reference that targets only the characters I find useful as […] Read more »

Slideshow Code for Dead Letter Art

Pardon this post! I am posting this information online for personal references purposes. I may need to revisit this code at some point in the future, and if I post it here I will always know where to find it (trust me, it would disappear into the abyss if I tried storing it offline). So, although it is intended solely for myself, feel free to extract and use anything you like, as long as commented attribution remains. What we have here are two different methods for including a slideshow on a web page. The first method employs the techniques discussed […] Read more »

MySQL Magic: Find and Replace Data

Recently, I needed to find and replace all instances of “http://website” in the wp_comments table of the WordPress database. Fortunately, SQL provides a simple way to find and replace data with its wonderful UPDATE function. General Example Using the SQL UPDATE command is straightforward. Here is the general syntax: UPDATE table_name SET field_name = replace( field_name, ‘string_to_find’, ‘string_to_replace’ ) ; Simply replace the table_name and both instances of field_name with your specific information, and then edit string_to_find, and string_to_replace with the desired values. This is pretty standard stuff, but it is always a good idea to backup your database before […] Read more »

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