July 16, 2008 (6 Responses)
THOSE DILIGENT developers in the WordPress community have gone and released the latest iteration of WordPress (V2.6) almost a month earlier than planned, but I wouldn’t be rushing to upgrade just yet if I was you. Read more
June 3, 2008 (No Responses)
WELCOME at last to the new look Avalon5.com site folks. There has been a hell of a lot of hours work put into this by yours truely – not all of it productive it must be said – but I’ve finally got to the stage where I can launch the new look Avalon5.com website and with it a host of new features. Read more
May 14, 2008 (One Response)
I’VE HIT ANOTHER SPEED BUMP on the way to releasing the new version of my website folks; sorry for the – hopefully – last delay.
I was just about to release the new look and theme when the sodding developers released a new version of the base WordPress theme I’ve been extending, with enough changes to the base files that I need to now retrofit all the changes I’d been making in order to get the best usage from the theme itself.
All I can do is promise you that the new look is a major departure and I guess I should drop a few hints at this point about what you can expect.
For starters – you might have noticed I’m using consistent image sizes for recent posts, and that’s because I’m going for more of a magazine look to the new website, meaning a fixed width layout with consistent image sizes and thumnails for a more professional look.
I’ll also be featuring embedded videos of choice and providing some additional functionality for readers too. I plan to launch within a week (assuming I can retrofit the changes successfully) and then look to make more gradual changes over time, as the starting ones are so fundamental. Read more
May 7, 2007 (380 Responses)
I GOT INTO OPENSOURCE over two years ago, and started http://www.avalon5.com as a result. Since then I’ve been keeping my eye on developments in this space, and in particular the Opensource CMS/Portal and E-Commerce side of things. The reason for my interest is that I’ve always thought it would make perfect sense to take a good solid and production quality Opensource e-commerce solution and marry it with a decent Blog/Portal/CMS solution; one with the ability to support multiple sites.
Two years ago I looked at the contenders and evaluated their capabilities, and nothing really hit the mark. For the last two weeks I’ve been checking the progress of various products and solutions (hence the lack of reasonable activity here at the site) and unfortunately my conclusion (unless someone can correct me) is that things have not really progressed that much in the last two years either.
There are some commercial products out there which claim to be able to do what I need – but I’m keen to doÂ this with an Opensource solution ratherÂ than a full blown (and expensive) product. Specifically IÂ want to have a single install/codebase which enables me to create sites on the flyÂ (probably as subdomains) for clients, each subsite presenting it’s own front endÂ (templates, shopping cart, taxes, products etc.) to consumers and backend (adminÂ GUI, catalog, configuration items etc.) toÂ vendors. I see the role of a central site as an aggregator (acting as a shopping mall if you will for each subsite), but it’s important to me (and the clients) that theyÂ are also accessible as individual shops in their own right. The idea of the single codebase/install is that it cuts down dramitically on support effort, and therefore costs. It also means I could get a dedicated server for all subdomains and just do the whole hosting thing simply, instead of having to setup seperate hosting contracts for each client.
UnfortunatlyÂ this concept seems to remain elusve to me, asÂ distant as the Holy Grail if you will. It makes perfect sense to me that such a product/solution should exist; indeed many of theÂ Opensource communities seem toÂ be actively working on such ideas and directions, but no one has yet managed to get it working as far as I canÂ see. PleaseÂ feel free to correct me if I’mÂ wrong. Honestly – I’d love to be proved wrong on this one. If my analysis or conclusions are off then let me know, and certainly if you know of any Opensource solution out there that can do what I’m trying to – then get in touch and put me straight. I’ll be forever grateful if you do.
SoÂ which products have I considered? And further, why have they not met the requirements? Well – if you’re interested in Opensource solutions and you’ve been thinking along the same lines as me then read on. Perhaps I can save you some time and frustration… Read more
February 7, 2007 (2 Responses)
SORRY for the lack of content and attention around here lately folks. I’ve been using this week to work behind the scenes on a new design for Howl @ The Moon! and it’s approximately 70% complete at this point. I hope to finalise this before or during the weekend and then port over the site to the new layout. I’m still taking suggestions for any improvements you would like to see. The new layout will be a lot faster than the current one (less graphics, less front page content) so that should address any speed concerns.
Right now I’m going through the usual CSS and PHP hell as well as trying to work with new template tags in WordPress V2.1, but of course I’m no genius when it comes to these things so it’s purely the ‘trial and error‘ approach which gets me through. Unfortunately this takes a lot of time as I discover what works and what breaks the site.
Anhyoo – be patient and I shall resume normal service with a renewed sense of insanity and political incorrectnesss soon. Oh yeah, if you want to check out the work-in-progress and let me know what you think (comment back here on the live site please as the test site has commenting turned off)… by all means please do so, but remember it’s still being ‘tweaked‘ so depending on what time you look at it, it may look great or a complete mess as I do the ‘trial and error’ stuff.
February 3, 2007 (No Responses)
OK. WORDPRESS V2.1 is officially installed and sorted on the site and for the most part it was pretty painless, but for those of you considering this leap be warned, it’s not without it’s kinks and twists.
I guess the one item that caused the most hassle was the decision by the WP developers to change the way categories and links / blogrolls are handled. Once the upgrade completes your default call (from pre V2.1) will no longer work. It’s worth checking the official documentation for this because there are other tags which have been deprecated as well in 2.1, which means that while they may work for you now, when the next release hits they probably won’t.
The answer is to use the new function call – details of which you can find either on the WordPress Codex or at the support site, but for those of you too lazy to look here is the new code you need to replace in your template file. Simply replace
The other thing you need to watch out for is the change in the “writing” options. In 2.1 the visual rich editor is ‘off’ by default, and can only be enabled again via the user ‘profile’ area. It’s worth doing too because now you have a nice tabbed switch between the editor and the code, as well as a nice new shiny spell checker. The implementation of AJAX menu options makes things a lot sweeter too, so now you can drag and organise your favourite menu blocks around the screen.
Anyhoo – it was also a good opportunity to take a gander at all my plugins and update them to the latest releases. It’s also made me think seriously about updating the presentation layer of the site (time for a new look ‘n feel I reckon!). I’ll give it some thought and see if I can come up with a new style, but if you have any suggestions about how I can improve things around here please let me know.
Right so – that’s it for now. The software upgrade is done, but I’ve got a nagging hardware issue I need to resolve so it’s off to the PC stores to get some components
October 25, 2006 (3 Responses)
SORRY FOLKS, there won’t be any proper posts this evening; I’ll be too busy downloading and playing (hopefully) with the latest verison of the excellent Mozilla Firefox browser (2.0).
If you are interested you can download Firefox2 here and see for yourself why it’s such an improvement over the usual Internet Explorer shite.
Anyway – at the very least it’s not likely to be bug ridden, flawed or contain seriously bad security holes and exploits like a certain other browser I could mention.
Normal service will resume tomorrow unless this upgrade completely buggers things up… here’s hoping