There’s been a lot of debate among web professionals about whether or not it makes sense to server “retina” images to website visitors who’s devices support high pixel densities. In order to take full advantage of the sharpness of the new iPad’s screen, website owners would need to prepare their images at four times the number of pixels of normal (“72dpi”) web images.
I ran a few quick tests to see how much all those extra pixels affected overall file size. I used 130 randomly chosen jpeg images (all straight from my DSLR camera), and ran Photoshop and Irfanview batches to crop and scale them to a couple of often-used sizes. I used the same JPEG settings each time, and made sure the only difference between the images would be that the retina ones were four times sharper. More Quick test: Retina images vs. regular ones
If you’ve been to my blog before, you may have noticed that every two years, around spring, I tend to get a little excited. Phone contact renewal time! And if played well, that usually means a “free” new phone. This time around however, with the recession and all, I’m looking to get a cheaper contract instead. This is also partly because I’m still very happy with my HTC Desire. One of the operators I’m looking at is “Hollands Nieuwe“, but I found that their plans have a nasty “catch”. More Word of warning: Hollands Nieuwe and notifications
The previous twoyears, I’ve helped put together a WordPress meetup in Amersfoort. While this was fun to do, it didn’t really make sense, because I do not live in (or even really near) Amersfoort. As a result know very little about essential things like venues there. It looks like this year, local WordPress people will take over “their” meetup, and I’ve been thinking about setting up a brand new one in “my” 035 area of The Netherlands.
Ideally, I’d like to do something that’s a little more informal than the Amersfoort ones were, and probably also more frequent. If there’s anyone who’d like to help organize, speak at, or simply attend such a meetup, please let me know in the comments. Oh, and despite the little joke I pulled with the logo, I’m hoping to keep it as low-key and relaxed as possible. Suit and tie entirely optional, perhaps even frowned upon :).
One of the biggest, and most useful additions to WordPress in recent years has been the introduction of Custom Post Types. Before CPTs, all the content in your site needed to either be in pages or in blog posts. If your site needed a lot of different types of data, you’d typically use categories (or even tags) to tell them apart. I’ve seen (and probably built) examples where “products” and “news” were post categories, and the site’s front-end would continuously filter out one of the two. In hindsight: madness.
Since the introduction of Custom Post Types, it makes sense to declare separate types for different types of data. When doing so, there’s a crucial argument (passed to the register_post_type function) called “supports”. This argument tells WordPress which post features should be available for the new post type. This allows you to mix and match various features. No need for an excerpt? Require a “featured image”? Need custom fields? No problem. But there’s a catch. More Custom Post Features could make WordPress even more flexible
Noel Tock, who’s at WP On Tour with me, just released a brand new WordPress plugin that lets you accept Stripe payments. Stripe is a new, highly developer-friendly payment solution. They have low rates for processing and a great API. Right now, you can only use Stripe to accept payments if you’re in the US, but if you are, you can accept money from all over the world. More Easily accept credit card donations with WP-Stripe
This week, some of the brightest minds in WordPress – and me – are co-working in Sitges, Spain. As I wrote before, I’m part of the first WP On Tour, organized by Karim Osman of Automattic. We’re in a very nice villa and, compared to back home, the weather is excellent here. But more importantly, it’s really nice to be surrounded by fellow WordPress users and devs for a change.
We’ve set up a Flickr group, but at this time there’s very little in there. On Twitter, we’re using the #wpontour hashtag.
Last week saw the kick-off of the first completely unofficial Dutch Wordfeud tournament. I’m competing, and so far, things are going great. I have no illusions about making it to the next round though. Even though I’m winning most of the round one games, my scores are mediocre at best, and the accumulated total scores decide which sixteen players will compete in round two. But there’s a catch…
Now that I have a speedy internet connection at home, I’ve been looking for ways to properly use all that speed. Previously, I’d been using Bittorrent to download movies Linux distributions, but brute-force as that protocol is, it never really maxed out my 120 mbps line. So I moved to Usenet instead. I’ve been trying out premium Usenet provider Binverse, and the results are very promising. They contacted me about possibly doing a giveaway, so I thought I’d offer you a chance at winning a free account. More Contest: Win a 200GB Binverse account! (UPDATE)
WordPress has recently been described as “the dark matter of the web”. It’s absolutely everywhere. The WordPress ecosystem is probably bigger than Facebook. But at the same time, most of the WordPress people I know are “flying solo”. There are a lot of freelancers out there who work with a small team, or none at all. More WordPress On Tour
Because WP-Cumulus is open source software, the source files are available online. I didn’t package them with the regular plugin download, but you can download the Flash files from wordpress.org and my blog. Included in those downloads is a file called “tagcloud.xml”, which is mainly used to test the Flash movie locally, within Flash’s IDE. Unfortunately, that file sometimes ends up online. And, in most cases, it shouldn’t. More Using Cumulus? Please check your tagcloud.xml!
This is the personal blog of Roy Tanck, freelance WordPress consultant, designer, geek, and amateur photographer. It's also the home of projects like WP-Cumulus (a 3D tag cloud for WordPress). More about me here, or you can follow me on Twitter.