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About this blog

These are the ramblings of Matthijs Kooijman, concerning the software he hacks on, hobbies he has and occasionally his personal life.

Most content on this site is licensed under the WTFPL, version 2 (details).

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(With plugins: config, extensionless, hide, tagging, Markdown, macros, breadcrumbs, calendar, directorybrowse, entries_index, feedback, flavourdir, include, interpolate_fancy, listplugins, menu, pagetype, preview, seemore, storynum, storytitle, writeback_recent, moreentries)
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/ Blog / Blog
Few small blog changes

Yesterday, I've fixed up the menu and breadcrumbs plugins I installed recently to display Inter-Actief with proper italicization.

Just now, I've added some syntax to the markdown plugin to support left and right floating images. Also fixed a small issue with nesting images in links in markdown.

0 comments -:- permalink -:- 01:03
/ Blog / Blog
Tagging and fancy menus

I've prettified the category listing at the top of the page using the menu plugin this week. Instead of showing all categories recursively, it now shows just the (sub)categories in the current category, so you can browse them. Also, the current category is show using the (slightly modified) breadcrumbs plugin.

I've also started tagging posts using the tagging plugin. Tagging is a very freeform way of categorizing posts, without limiting them to just one tag. At the bottom of the posts, all the tags that are stuck onto the post are show, click on them to see other posts with the same tag. The tagging plugin also supports listing related stories, I might enable that as soon as I've tagged a few more posts.

Also, look at the fancy "tag cloud" to the left, which shows all tags I've used (bigger and darker means more frequently used). Not too many yet, but that'll change soon.

I've found a bunch of other plugins that seem useful too, so I'll be spending some more time in the train (as I do now) configuring and embedding those plugins soon. Let's see if I can get some kind of photo gallery up and running now...

0 comments -:- permalink -:- 15:40
/ Blog / Blog
Chopping up posts

Due to a recent abnormally long post I decided to finally look for a plugin to chop up my posts, using a "read on" link or similar. This keeps my blog frontpage is little more clear, prevents huge RSS feeds and makes sure I won't take up the entire front page of the Wereld van Pro Deo.

To do this, I installed the seemore plugin, which pretty much works out of the box. I think I want to replace the "See more..." text with something different, but I should first think about what that should be.

First, let's get some sleep. (And yes, I know that the link above is broken, see my post about markdown for why).

0 comments -:- permalink -:- 02:35
/ Blog / Blog
Rendering with Markdown

Until now I would type every post I made in pure XHTML. That is, paragraphs start with <p>, links were put into <a> tags, etc. Since that can become quite some work, and I wanted an easy way to insert links into my text (for example, I don't want to type everytime I want to include a link to Debian). Therefore, I searched for something that could do this kind of stuff for me.

The are a lot of Blosxom plugins that can automatically create paragrahps and generate other kinds of markup. Most of these plugins are based on some wiki syntax, but I actually liked none of these. Besides easily including links to fixed sites, I also wanted to be able to include links to posts within my blog, or images in some configurable directory.

I've decided to use Markdown for all this. Markdown is simple formatting language meant for blogs. It is designed in the style of email communication and should not just render pretty XHTML, but also look good in plaintext. Nobody will probably ever read my entries in plaintext besides me, but still, they look pretty now :-)

I had to modify markdown a little, though. Normally, all links used by markdown are in the same document (blog post in this case). That is, if I want to link to debian, I don't have to type the URL at the spot of the link (I can just say link to "Debian"), but I do have to type it somewhere in the post (to define that "Debian" actually means "").

I've hacked in support for reading a file that defines a number of links that can be used in any document without specifying the URL. This file contains the links that I expect to be using more than once.

This also allows me to easily insert sections and lots of links in a post, which I needed for my huge post about my new laptop. Also note that right now, links to blog entries, wikipedia or images do not work yet, since Markdown has no support for that. I will probably use the macrolinks plugin for that.

0 comments -:- permalink -:- 02:07
/ Blog / Blog
Relayouted comments

Since many people seem to like the alternating layout of my blog main page (which I actually reused from the who's who page from an IRC channel website I made) and comments looked like crap here, I decided to update their layout. I had to make a small modification to the feedback plugin to distinguish between odd and even comments but it works now. I still haven't decided exactly how I want to do the alignment and the borders and stuff, but I'm outta time now. At least it looks way better than it did.

Edit: I've been playing around some more with titles, borders and alignment and dropped the alternating comments thing for now. Expect some more changes soon.

4 comments -:- permalink -:- 15:02
/ Blog / Blog
Small layout fix

I've fixed the layout a little, since I got reports that it looked like crap on IE. Some investigation turned out that IE handles <pre> html elements wrong.

A few posts below I pasted a piece from a sendmail config file, which I wrapped in to <pre> </pre> to make it look nicer (in a fixed sized font et al). Unfortuanately this means the text doesn't get wrapped and therefore is wider then the column in which I put the posts. Therefore the "box" of the pre element (to speak in CSS terms) gets bigger then the room available (just under 590px). IMHO, this would be tough luck for the pre element, which then gets cut off by or flows outside of the div element that contains it. This is the way firefox handles it, which means everything looks great (since it didn't really flow outside of the div, but just inside the pading that would normally be white).

IE on the other hand, decides it is a good idea to ignore the explicit "width" attribute I have set for my posts and expands the column instead. Hey, whattayouknow? Now the sidebar + posts don't fit anymore. Instead of also expanding the outmost div element (with a fixed width of 800px), it finds a "better" solution: If you put the posts below the sidebar, everything fits! Though it does do this last part (thankfully) according to specs, it obviously looks crummy.

The fix for this is as simple as it is ugly: Decrease the font size inside that pre element by a few percent, to make it fit like everything else. Tada, problem solved. Stupid IE.

0 comments -:- permalink -:- 18:35
/ Blog / Blog
Nice links

W00t! Instead of normal category/entrienames at the top of each post, they are now nice links which to the categories in which the entry is put. Thank you, directorybrowse plugin :-)

0 comments -:- permalink -:- 22:59
/ Blog / Blog
Calendar and more

Instead of going to sleep, I decided to fiddle some more, so now we've got a calendar! It took some effort to fit it into this page (the style as well as the size), but I managed it.

In the meantime I moved the path from the permalink at the bottom to the titlebox of each story, filling up the free room with a timestamp (which places the first sentence of this post in better context). I should turn that path in the titlebox into seperate per-category links, using the directorybrowse plugin.

Lastly, I've changed the appearance of links to have underlining again and be bold. Currently there is no way to distinguish visited and unvisited links, since the normal colour difference wouldn't work out too well in this color scheme. I remember seeing a very look way to make these two look different on some site, I just can't remember where or how that was... Suggestions?

0 comments -:- permalink -:- 06:27
/ Blog / Blog

Making some good progress here. Comments should be working by now. I heavily modified the interpolate_fancy plugin to properly support nested conditions, so I can very specifically control how the page looks. This was needed to properly support all the different sitations concerning comments and trackbacks.

I've also been working on the category list at the top. It's fully working now, but I only have a real "blog" category, all others are just for testing... I have also had to heavily modify the categorylist plugin to support a horizontal list of categories. The adapted version is way more flexible and should probably suit any layout thinkable.

I have tried making the list of categories only 1 level deep (so changing when you navigate through the list), but that seems harder that I would want. I've also found the "menu" plugin, that does something similar, but it looked scary and complicated. For now, I'll settle for a list of /all/ categories, might look at the menu plugin later on.

Oh, and don't mind all the foo bar flierp blerf asdf posts, I'll remove them when I'm done testing :-)

0 comments -:- permalink -:- 05:25
/ Blog / Blog
Intial layout

Here's a first try for a layout for my new blog. While Brenda keeps complaining about the lack of colours in my old blog, I still like the formal style it has. For this new blog, I decided to take black and white as primary colours for the same reason.

After some toying around and fighting with CSS I managed to produce this. All positioning and layouting is done with CSS: The only HTML attributes I've used are "class" and "href" (and no tables either). So far, I've tested this on Firefox 1.0.6, Maxthon 1.3.3 and IE 6.0. If something looks broken for you, just comment here.

0 comments -:- permalink -:- 20:34
Copyright by Matthijs Kooijman