Friday, April 09, 2010

Google Chrome Sync updated

Google just updated the Dev Channel (see release notes) and there are some interesting bit in store for the "I need to be in Sync" crowd. (Kind of reminds of Jason Fox's latest blog post on TR). No longer is it just bookmarks that can be synchronized but also preferences, themes and auto fill. Check the following screenshot from the latest release:

The wrench menu was also changed to reflect this subtle but important change. Note how it no longer says "Bookmarks synced" but points to a dialog window by just saying "Synced...":

Later today when I switch work and home machines I'll check whether it is working as expected. Here's to syncing everything.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chrome erroneous HTTPS handling

Recently I'm impressed more and more with Google's Chrome browser. All kinds of small touches present themselves from time to time. I've noticed the tab closing behaviour recently pointed out by theinvisibl. What I want to point out though, is the behaviour of Chrome when you click on a HTTPS link and the server responds with in HTTP. Here is an example:

Take care to notice how HTTPS in stricken through and coloured in red. Just another small but visible touch adding to the visual appeal of the browser. Further it adds a bit to the security awareness of the users.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Vista. Hero status update.

Another week another Vista enhancement found. Well, to be honest I did not find this issue this week, rather I was looking for a "fix". Since I did not find such I decided to share my wonderful experience.

"Bug" in question concerns a number of buttons from the keyboard of my work Lenovo T61 with Vista SP1 installed. The actual problem rears its ugly head if you use more than one keyboard layout to type in another language (other than English), say Russian. If you switch the layout from English to Russian the multimedia buttons as well as the "special" Win key do not work. Switching back to English (some of the many) keyboard layout provides you with your precious (Lord of the Rings anyone?) keys again.

Wait it gets a tad bit more interesting. My coleague has a Lenovo T60. Guess what!? The buttons on it work no matter the keyboard layout used.

And for a the grand final. All these buttons used to work with Windows XP, no matter what keyboard layout you used.

I am sure someone at M$ will point out a hardware issue here and point a finger at Lenovo for not handling keyboard interrupts properly and not writing a proper BIOS and whatnot... Yet what I notice day in and day out is that the buttons on my laptop do not work properly and this drives me crazy...

Here's to hoping Windows 7 won't suck as much...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Logo Candy

WordPress has now approved my plug-in hosting request. The plug-in is called Logo Candy (for a lack of a better name) and its primary purpose is to allow one to change the logo, the logo's description and redirect link on the WP log-in page. Now for some more details:

General idea:
Since its birth in my mind this plug-in's purpose was to provide you with the aforementioned abilities. I know there are other ways to achieve this task - option 1: edit code directly, option 2 : use other much more sophisticated plug-ins where this is hidden amongst other options. The first does not work in my book as the next WP update may touch that specific file and either revert your changes or refuse to work due to difference in the files that are to be updated. The second is a viable solution but I wanted to start from somewhere with plug-in development and this is plug-in is the result. While creating the plug-in I read quite a lot, saw examples how other people do it in their plug-ins and crafted my own, following the most recent developments in WP.

Going further, since its general availability a few weeks back I have had some ideas on how to expand the functionality. I will not spill the beans here so as not to disappoint someone. I want to see if any feedback comes from the plug-in as it is right now. If there is such I'll evaluate it and may take another direction in my coding efforts.

Technical details:

Judging by the testing I performed on a number of blogs where I installed the plug-in, before it was hosted by WP, it works as expected without any issues. If you find any please post a comment and I'll see to fix any bugs.

I've made an attempt to document the source well so should be relatively easy to either make changes to the code or use it as a simple tutorial. While short, only about 100 lines of code, the plug-in itself utilizes the latest in WP development technology - no depreciation warnings, no old code...

Closing matters:

If you like the plug-in; if it did wonders for you; if it was just what you were looking for; if you liked how well documented it is; or you liked it for any other reason please support my work. A small donation is always welcome.

On the other hand if you like my work you can also hire me for doing changes to the plug-in or support it in some way.

By all means, have fun using the plug-in.

Friday, March 13, 2009

WordPress plug-in development

Recently I had to do some to work on projects that utilized WordPress as a back-end. While not large-scale projects these got me interested in WordPress (referred to as WP from now on for simplicity's sake). All of the projects required, amongst other things, re-branding of the traditional WP interface both front-end theme and back-end.

Doing it once was not that big of nuisance but a few times would have gone on my already stretched by my day job nerves. Was there no easier way? Sure there was! I just had to find it and there you go. Before I knew it I had given myself a new mission. Soon I was all over the WP site gobbling the developer information and tarnishing through the plug-in repository. Google itself got no mercy either... After relentlessly searching though the available plug-ins and resources for roughly about 30 minutes it was evident I would need to do some coding myself... Oh, well!

Within a couple of hours I had acquainted myself with the WP plug-in development philosophy. Not before long I had found the respective hooks I would need and hacked a few lines to test the thing out. Turns out it was fairly easy to do stuff around WP. And that's where it hit me... Why not release this wonderful peace of ingenious code upon the world in the form of a plug-in?

So I registered to become a WP developer and am right now waiting for approval. Now we play the waiting game :) You wait for my wonderful plug-in that as of now can only change the log-in logo, logo caption and logo link, and I wait upon WP stuff.

See you soon. Another day, another plug-in written, as they say!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Being eco-friendly has a lot of meanings

Following the financial crisis most people seem to have forgotten the energy crisis and the high petrol prices (it even rhymes, wow). These guys from Belgium have not. Check out these two really good commercials:

I just wish there were more such. It would be nice if we could actually follow the message from the commercial too. From what I know in Belgium you can really take the bus to work, school or wherever you are going and leave your car home. Why not invest in such projects rather then spend $12B on GM every year...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vista - you are my hero!

I appreciate the work Microsoft is putting behind Windows 7 right now. I also appreciate all the work gone into Vista and its service packs. However I have had quite a few battles with the new Vista my employer forced us to use about 9 months ago. It is not all Microsoft's fault though, there are other more "prominent" software developers out there that I think take pride in writing the most crappy software they can...

Oops. Got a bit carried away right there...

To the point. Today Vista surprised me. I had some laughs over it. Check the image below:

Never seen a SD card that could use disks in it. Must be some new interesting device that is about to be unleashed upon us. Can't wait for the new SD cards that come with disks. Can you?