Introducing “Blocks 2015″

blocksYesterday, I blogged about the 5k Awards. I mentioned that I managed to find the “Blocks” project that Wouter de Jong and I entered, but that it didn’t work in modern day browsers. Of course, that was rather unsatisfactory.

So today, with the help of jsbeautifier.org, I spent some time fixing the javascript code, removing 20th century browser checks, and coverting upper case HTML tags to lowercase. The result is a working version of the original project. It may not look like much now, but 15 years ago, it did really well in the 5k Awards, reaching the top 5 in all categories.

Like the 2000 version, it lacks some basic HTML things – like a doctype declaration – to keep the file size down. It’s functionally and visually identical to the old version, but it now works in recent versions of Chrome, Firefox and IE. And thanks to modern day minifiers, the whole thing is now under 4 kilobytes.

Check it out here:

http://media.roytanck.com/5k/blocks/

It’s been 15 years since “The 5K”

Yesterday, Jeffrey Zeldman posted an article on the A List Apart blog about the 5K Awards. I actually entered this competition in 2000, so this post brought back memories. Fond memories of a competition that would be as relevant today as it was back then. Also, it’s not every day that you interact with both @zeldman and @stewart in a single Twitter thread :). So I thought I’d recap.
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WordPress plugin: RT Bypass Sparkling Front Page Template

Sparkling is a popuplar free WordPress theme on wordpress.org right now. It’s nice an clean, and I recently recommended it to a client. The one thing both my client and I didn’t really like about the theme is how it handles static front pages. There’s a specific template file for them with a full-width layout, that also hides the page’s title. This is probably great for some users, but my client preferred to keep the sidebar and display the page’s title.

To work around this in a way that didn’t require a child theme or modyfications to the original theme, I wrote a little plugin. All it does is call the regular page template instead of front-page.php, when a page is set as the front page.

If you’re using Sparkling, and would like to try the plugin, you can download it from Github. The plugin will work for other themes as well, but I’ve not tested this.

RT Bypass Sparkling Front Page Template

New WordPress plugin: RT Hide Posts Page Editor

banner-promo

I love WordPress. It’s the easiest Content Management System to use, and it’s also very easy to develop for. Out of the box, WordPress is so intuitive that most of my clients require little to no training in order to use their new website. But there’s one thing that I find hard to explain to novice users. The concept of a “posts page”.
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A fifth of the web now runs on Freedom

SAMSUNG CSC

Last weekend, at WordCamp Europe in Sofia, Siobhan McKeown gave an excellent talk about the fundamental principles that underpin WordPress. For me, the most essential one is freedom. Being an open source Content Management System, WordPress is both “free as in beer” and “free as in speech”. And while the former has probably been a big factor in WordPress’s amazing growth, it’s the latter that we should all really be thankful for.
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Roy | October 1, 2014 | English,WordPress | Comments (0)
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New WordPress plugin: RT Filter Page List

RT Filter Page List

Last weekend, Björn and I spoke at WordCamp Netherlands, and while preparing the presentation I figured that one of the things I was going talk about would probably work as a WordPress plugin. It’s been ages since I last released a plugin, mostly because there’s a solution out there for almost everything you can possibly run into. This specific little fix however proved to be an exception to that rule.
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Roy | May 15, 2014 | English,WordPress,WordPress plugins | Comments Off on New WordPress plugin: RT Filter Page List
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WordCamp Netherlands 2014 slides

WordCamp NL 2014

The fourth edition of WordCamp Netherlands took place last weekend, and I had the pleasure of speaking at this wonderful event. With Björn Wijers, I talked about the intranet project we were involved in at the Dutch tax office (Belastingdienst).
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Roy | May 13, 2014 | English,WordPress | Comments Off on WordCamp Netherlands 2014 slides

Looking for a DynDNS alternative? Try DuckDNS!

DuckDNS logoIf you know what Dynamic DNS (DDNS) means, you probably also know that the most popular provider of DDNS services is terminating its free plan. For years, Dyn (formerly DynDNS) has been the go-to service for anyone wanting to access their private LAN though an easy to remember (sub)domain name. I don’t use their service frequently enough to warrant moving to a paid account, so I’ve been looking for an alternative.

No-ip.com is often recommended, and is probably a great service. They say it’ll be free forever, but I guess that’s what Dyn used to say. I’d prefer something a little less commercial. That’s why I liked DuckDNS. Duck has a fun name, a slightly clumsy website, and no apparent business model. Its update clients aren’t as polished as Dyn’s, but they’re still pretty easy to set up. With the website’s help, I’ve set up a cron job on my NAS that does the updating.

You get four free domains, but there’s no paid plan. If you donate (which I certainly will), you get bumped to ten domains. Plenty for home users and small businesses. Easy, simple, fair.

Experimenting with Memcached and Batcache

batmobile

WordPress is often accused of being slow, and you can definitely get it to grind to a halt if you try. But in true WordPress fashion, it also comes with interesting building blocks that helps speed it up to all the way to ludicrous speed. WordPress is like Lego, and I’ve been playing with a couple of interesting new bricks that promise to seriously improve performance.
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WordCamp Europe 2013

WordPress logo blueOn October 5th, 6th and 7th, I attended the first ever WordCamp Europe. As I’ve come to know them, WordCamps are usually city-based WordPress events where developers, designers and bloggers meet to listen to talks, discuss the future of WordPress and – of course – party. In many ways, WCEU was no different. Except for scale. Around 700 people attended, from all over Europe (and far beyond).
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Roy | October 15, 2013 | English,WordPress | Comments (3)