How to show each post’s date in WordPress

clockThe templating system in WordPress is very flexible, and there’s rarely something you can’t do or that doesn’t work as you’d expect. A notable exception however is the_date. Its purpose is simple enough. It displays the current post’s date of creation. But on pages with more than one post (such as on many blog home pages), something weird happens. If a number of posts on any given page were created on the same date, the_date will only show that date for the first of those posts.

In the early days of blogging, posts were usually listed by date, much like a regular, paper diary. In the old default theme that comes with WordPress a big date title is used to separate posts into days. That’s what the_date was created to do, and so it makes sense it only displays the same date once. In most modern themes however, people like the date to be among the meta data for each article, so the_date falls short.
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WP-Cumulus updated to address yet another security issue

danger signA few weeks ago I rushed out an update to fix a potentially dangerous Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability in WP-Cumulus. With the PHP part of the plugin shielded from ‘outside use’, I was hoping no more issues would pop up. Still, I’m glad MustLive alerted me to another issue that uses the Flash movie itself. The exploit worked by calling the SWF file directly, and supplying link with javascript. I’m not quite sure how dangerous this is, but I’ve modified the movie so it only executes regular links.

Please update your copy of WP-Cumulus to 1.23 asap. For most users it should only take two clicks.

The should not affect how WP-Cumulus works on WordPress blogs. But there have been a number of ports and other projects that use the Flash movie. I urge the authors of those projects to examine the new Flash movie, and see if it still works in/with their product. The exploit is not unique to WordPress, and they may need to modify the security check to fit their project.

I could just hug Karmic Koala!

koala babyYesterday, one week to the day after the release of Windows 7, Ubuntu released version 9.10 of their Linux distribution. It’s got all sorts of new features that have been talked about extensively all over the web, but I just found out it also fixes a bug that’s been bothering me ever since I first got into Ubuntu. Under ‘Karmic Koala’, the video tearing on Intel graphics adapters is finally gone.

Intel’s integrated video adapters have long been recommended for Ubuntu users with modest graphical needs. If you’re not into games and don’t need the absolute best possible video playback, going with an onboard video adapter from Intel was a safe bet. I have two machines that use Intel’s GMA 950 chip, and I found them to work quite well, except for this one issue.
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WP-Cumulus 1.22 fixes a security hole, please upgrade!

danger signYesterday, Thomas Scholz alerted me to a security weakness in WP-Cumulus. He noticed XSS hacking attempts targeted at wp-cumulus.php that could, in rare cases allow malicious code to be executed. This issue has been fixed in version 1.22, and I strongly recommend you upgrade straight away. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and the attack has already been seen ‘in the wild’.

WP-Cumulus can be downloaded here, but chances are your blog will notify you of the new version and allow you to upgrade automatically.

Getting Adobe AIR to use the default browser under Ubuntu

Adobe AIR logo smallI’ve searched high and low for a good native Linux Twitter client, but there’s nothing out there that can really compete with TweetDeck. At least not in terms of functionality. TweetDeck is based on Adobe’s AIR platform and as a result is quite heavy on resources. But the biggest problem I had with it was getting it to open links in my default browser. It disregarded my setting and used Firefox to open all links. Twitter is far less fun if you need to carefully copy paste every link to a new tab in your browser. As it turns out, the issue is with AIR, not just TweetDeck, and it took quite a while and a lot of help for me to find a working solution.
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Another quick WP-Cumulus update

Several users have contacted me about the same issue with WP-Cumulus this week. On non-English (and mostly European) language blogs some of the tags would display either very small or humongously big. This turned out to be caused by internationalization of numbers in the inline style sheets in WordPress’ tag cloud. I have no idea why this only popped up now, but the Flash movie wasn’t built to handle 9,55pt tags (instead of 9.55pt).

Version 1.17 fixes this issue, and adds a highlight color setting.

Oh, and Ryan Tomlinson has ported WP-Cumulus to BlogEngine.NET. More about his project here.

Firefox slow on your netbook too? disable ipv6!

I was about to write a post about how Intel’s Atom processor wasn’t quite fast enough to run Firefox 3. It used to be painfully slow on my netbook, until I found this great little trick. Apparently, Firefox grinds to a halt while trying to find ipv6 internet addresses that are unavailable on most networks.

Luckily, the author of Tech Explorer found out about it and wrote a post about how to disable this ‘feature’. It made Firefox about a hundred times more responsive.

Now if only Adobe would bring the Linux version of their Flash Player up to speed… Version ten is a major improvement, but still not being able to watch YouTube video’s fullscreen is a big bummer.

Roy | October 31, 2008 | English,Gadgets,Software | Comments (14)
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System tray icon annoyance

system tray icons

I know. This is basically silly, but some system tray icons bug the hell out of me. Here part of my current setup. See the mushroom sticking out like a sore thumb? I love Cobian Backup, and have recently installed it as a service, but the tray icon is making me itch. Codenamed “Amanita”, version 9 of course needed a mushroom icon, but compared to the black moon icon of version 8 this is pretty bad. A slightly more sedate colour scheme would be nice, as well a proper anti-aliasing.

Unfortunately, I can find no option to change the icon under Vista Home Premium, so I guess I’ll have to live with it. Seen against the greater scheme of things this is of course only a minor gripe, but if anyone knows an easy fix, please drop me a comment.

Fix for slow Actionscript editor in Vista

I haven’t been doing much Flash lately, but each time I needed to edit older projects I noticed how slow the Actionscript editor was since I moved to Vista. It was so sluggish I ended up making all sorts of typos. I googled for a fix, and eventually found one here.

Setting Flash.exe’s compatibility mode to “Windows XP” will restore the editor to its former speedy self. What a relief. Let’s hope this gets fixed altogether in future versions…