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Feed your Image via Atom or RSS

This quick tutorial explains how to add images to both Atom and RSS feeds. Although both formats allow for image-inclusion, feed-reader support for image-display is currently quite limited. Hopefully, that will change in the near future.. Images for Atom Feeds Images included within Atom feeds must have a ratio of either 1:1 or 2:1. There are no other restrictions as to file type or size. Use the < icon> XML element for URL’s targeting 1:1 images. Otherwise, use the < logo> XML element for URL’s targeting 2:1 images. Either element should be placed in the < feed> element: <feed> <icon>http://domain.tld/path/icon.ico</icon> […] Read more »

Embed Flash and Video via the object Tag

Embed Windows Media Player via the object tag Here is the general format for including .wmv files in web pages: <object type=”video/x-ms-wmv” data=”” width=”340″ height=”280″> <param name=”src” value=”” /> <param name=”controller” value=”true” /> <param name=”autostart” value=”true” /> </object> Read more »

Invite Only: Visitor Exclusivity via the Opt-In Method

Web developers trying to control comment-spam, bandwidth-theft, and content-scraping must choose between two fundamentally different approaches: selectively deny target offenders (the "blacklist" method) or selectively allow desirable agents (the "opt-in", or "whitelist" method). Currently popular according to various online forums and discussion boards is the blacklist method. The blacklist method requires the webmaster to create and maintain a working list of undesirable agents, usually blocking their access via htaccess or php. The downside of "blacklisting" is that it requires considerable effort to stay current with the exponential number of ever-evolving threats, which require exceedingly long lists for an effective response. […] Read more »

Essential Mint Extensions

Mint As many statistics freaks already know, Mint is an excellent way to keep a close eye on your site’s visitors, referrers, most requested resources, and much more. Even better, Mint’s functionality is easily enhanced via a growing collection of free extensions referred to as "Peppers". Peppers provide Mint functionality for a wide range of statistical operations, including everything from geographical IP information to nice, graphical summaries of collected data. While we have not tried every Pepper available today, we have managed to incorporate an extremely powerful arsenal of statistical weaponry that keeps us well-informed about our site’s online activity. […] Read more »

Maximum and Minimum Height and Width in Internet Explorer

Behold the seventh wonder of the virtual world: max/min-height and max/min-width properties are possible in Internet Explorer! Indeed, by taking advantage of IE’s proprietary CSS attribute, expression, you too can whip IE widths and heights into desirable proportions. The CSS expression attribute enables JavaScript commands to be executed within Internet Explorer. JavaScript via CSS? Thanks, Microsoft! Why is this so great? Well, because in other, standards-compliant browsers, max/min-height and max/min-width properties are easily accomplished with this simple bit of CSS.. Read more »

Industrial-Strength Spamless Email Links

In our previous article on creating spamless email links via JavaScript, the presented method, although relatively simple to implement, is not the most effective solution available. Spambots, email harvesters, and other online scumbags relentlessly advance their scanning technology, perpetually rendering obsolete yesterday’s methods. In the case of spamless email links created client-side via JavaScript, many spambots now are able to decipher certain email addresses hidden within the JavaScript code itself. Spambots scan JavaScript for keywords such as "email" or "mail", or even character strings containing ".com" or the "@" symbol. Spambots collect and decipher such data and return the favor […] Read more »

Riding the Wave

Compared to some of the big players out there on the internet, we here at Perishable Press run a relatively small website. We began this project in September of 2005 with nothing but a domain name and a pocketful of inspiration. During the first several months of development, our traffic statistics looked something like: one unique visitor and 10,000 hits (i.e., nobody but us). Well, that went on for the first few months of 2006, and then something miraculous happened — we were linked to by another site and subsequently indexed by Google, and then Yahoo, and soon thereafter MSN. […] Read more »

Keep it Dark: Hiding and Filtering CSS

Hiding and filtering CSS rules for specifically targeted browsers is often a foregone conclusion when it comes to cross-browser design considerations. Rather than dive into some lengthy dialogue concerning the myriad situations and implications of such design hackery, our current scheduling restraints behoove us to simply cut to the chase and dish the goods. Having said that, we now consider this post a perpetually evolving repository of CSS filters.. Read more »

Embed External Content via iframe and div

By using an <iframe></iframe> within a <div></div>, it is possible to include external web content in most any web document. This method serves as an excellent alternative to actual frames, which are not as flexible and definitely not as popular. Indeed, with CSS, the placement, sizing, and styling of div’s provides endless possibilities for embedding external or even internal web content into pages that would otherwise require the use of frames, Flash, or JavaScript. This method works on any modern browser, as well as any old browser that understands both <div></div> and <iframe></iframe> tags. Simply add the following code to […] Read more »

Disobedient Robots and Company

In our never-ending battle against spammers, leeches, scrapers, and other online undesirables, we have implemented several powerful security measures to improve the operational integrity of our perpetual virtual existence. Here is a rundown of the new behind-the-scenes security features of Perishable Press: Automated spambot trap, designed to identify bots (and/or stupid people) that disobey rules specified in the site’s robots.txt file. Automated disobedient-robot identification (via reverse IP lookup), admin-notification (via email) and blacklist inclusion (via htaccess). Automated inclusion of disobedient robot identification on our now public "Disobedient Robots" page. Imroved htaccess rules, designed to eliminate scum-sucking worms and other useless […] Read more »

Automatic Language Translation Methods

As you may have noticed, Perishable Press recently added automatic language translation to each of our articles. The free, automatic translations are available as a series of image links (via corresponding country flag icons) next to each article’s individual post view. We have found that providing this free service is important as many of our visitors come from countries other than the United States, and therefore may be unable to read our articles as presented in the English language. Although there are several excellent translation services currently available, our research has determined that Google’s free translation service exceeds our expectations […] Read more »

Auto-Focus Form Elements with JavaScript

After digging through the WordPress source code, I stumbled upon this very useful JavaScript method for auto-focusing form elements upon page load. Here is the JavaScript code (place within the document head): <script type=”text/javascript”> function formfocus() { document.getElementById(‘element’).focus(); } window.onload = formfocus; </script> …and corresponding (X)HTML markup (abbreviated for clarity): <form> <input id=”element” /> <input /> <input /> </form> In this example, the first form element (identified by id=”element”) will be automatically focused when the document loads, thus facilitating the process of entering data in the form. This technique would serve users well on login pages (wink, wink;), or anywhere […] Read more »

Roll your own Apache Rewrite Log

Roll your own Apache Rewrite log! Rocking your own rewrite log is super-helpful for testing .htaccess rewrite rules, WordPress permalinks, etc. For more information, check the source. Rewrite log via http.conf Twist one up via the Apache configuration file by placing this code at the foot of your http.conf (remember to edit the path): # Roll your own Rewrite log # Log details via scale of 1 to 9 # 1 = few details, 5 = enough details, 9 = too much detail RewriteEngine On RewriteLog “/absolute/path/to/your/wwwroot/public_html/rewrite.log” RewriteLogLevel 5 via htaccess ..doesn’t work. Example Here is an example indicating the […] Read more »

Time Test

This post exists entirely for the sake of tweaking time functionality in Apache, PHP, SQL, and WordPress.. Immediate findings: Date/time limit into the past for WordPress: December 13, 1901 @ 15:45 WordPress will display December 13, 1901 @ 15:45 properly for all functions except wp_get_archives All dates prior to 12/13/1901 in MySQL will display as December 31, 1969 @ 19:00 in the WP Admin > Post Timestamp panel SQL timestamps of 0000-00-00 00:00:00 display as 0 via $wpdb->get_col(“SELECT DISTINCT YEAR SQL timestamps of 0000-00-00 00:00:00 display link as the current year when permalinks are enabled An SQL timestamp of 1000-00-00 […] Read more »

Perishable Press Triple Loop for WordPress

Two of the themes developed by Perishable Press, Apathy and Information, depend on three WordPress loops to operate as intended. For each of these themes, the three loops consist of two "side" loops and one main loop. The side loops each display posts from one specific category, while the main loop displays posts from every category not specified in the side loops. There are many different multi-loop configurations currently available for WordPress users. Needless to say, despite a wide variety of available loop setups, implementing a customized multiple loop frequently requires a great deal of time of energy. Certain loop […] Read more »

Block Spam by Denying Access to No-Referrer Requests

What we have here is an excellent method for preventing a great deal of blog spam. With a few strategic lines placed in your htaccess file, you can prevent spambots from dropping spam bombs by denying access to all requests that do not originate from your domain. How does it work? Well, when a legitimate user (i.e., not a robot, etc.) decides to leave a comment on your blog, they have (hopefully) read the article for which they wish to leave a comment, and have subsequently loaded your blog’s comment template (e.g., comments.php), which is most likely located within the […] Read more »

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