Developing WP Trainer

The rather unfriendly weather this weekend provided a rather good opportunity to begin coding WP Trainer. Contrary to previous thoughts, my previous experience with RSS has helped little in working with the XML parser in PHP. Thus, getting the Garmin output XML file into a nice array of objects in PHP took a bit of time, but now that part is done. Now comes the learning of the Google Maps API, which has excellent documentation and looks like it will be easy to do. After that I’ll need to select a graphing API. Mootools does not have graphing capabilities so using that is out besides AJAX and effects stuff. If anyone knows of a good, fast, and lightweight javascript/SVG API for doing all sorts of graphs let me know.

Expect a beta for WP Trainer sometime near the end of this month, with a preview available on this blog in the coming weeks. Corresponding to this release I will rework moo.wp and the available download will correspond to the featured description. At the time of release API documentation for moo.wp will be available for theme and plug-in writers. Features described in the API documentation are guaranteed to remain the same for three WordPress major releases (e.g., 2.0.0, 2.1.0, 2.2.0, etc.) and will remain available for at least one year.

Breadcrumb NavXT is starting to get hits, Micheal did get a forward link going which has spurred that traffic. All of the various WordPress plug-in sites need to be updated, which means I probably have some e-mails to write. Anyways other that WordPress 2.3 support for 1.9, which includes the new tagging system, some more advanced length limiting techniques will be available. These include maximum total breadcrumb length and options on where and what to trim.

One last thing, I do realize that Internet Explorer 6 (and maybe 7) messes up the header on this blog, the simple solution to this is to at least upgrade to IE7, and think about switching to Firefox. Opera users will see that the footer is messed up, I am working on this but it may not be resolved for a week or so. I can not test for KHTML based browsers (e.g., Konqueror and Safari) right now so their status is unknown, but assumed to work.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Updated:

Breadcrumb Navigation XT Version 1.8.0

Since the original author of Breadcrumb Navigation XT ran out of time for further development of the WordPress plug-in, I have picked it up. After a few days of coding and working on setting up the code section of this blog, the new version is ready for release. This new version, 1.8.0, includes support for author pages, and limiting the number of categories displayed in the breadcrumb.

Note that beginning with this release the version numbering scheme is to follow the same as WordPress uses, the first digit changes for major changes and as the second runs past 9. The second digit changes with the addition of features, internal structure of the class will not change in with a change in this digit. Finally, the third digit signifies a bugfix to features previously introduced without any added features. The next version, 1.9, is planned for the release of WordPress 2.3 due to the addition of tags into WordPress.

Check out the Breadcrumb NavXT project page to get the latest version.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Happy Summer Solstice

Yep, the current season for the northern hemisphere is now summer. It would not be summer with out the sun, our local star.

And speaking of stars, the star Eta Carinae made its way on to the front page of Digg twice today. Eta Carinae resides at about 7500 light years away from Earth. Back in the 1840s the light from a supernova like explosion on Eta Carinae reached Earth. Now with composite pictures from NASA excitement over this star is increasing. According to Phil Plait, from Bad Astronomy, Eta Carinae should produce a gamma ray burst in its supernova event. A steady diet of these high-energy rays will kill all living inhabitants of Earth. Don’t panic, according to Phil the most likely directions for the gamma rays to be emitted during the event are not aimed directly at us.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Busy Weeks

The past two weeks have, to say the least, interesting. By next month, development on WP Trainer will begin. At that time, a quick update with more enhancements to Berry will occur. This includes fixing up the code section of this blog, and updating Moo.WP (mainly as it is a dependency for WP Trainer). Due to demand, watch out for a full-fledged Aptana installation on Gentoo Linux guide, with pictures. Along with the guide the SVG sources to the Aptana logo in the Tango color scheme will be released as the developers still have not made a SVG (or transparent PNG for that matter) logo readily available.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Vista Performance

The Vista beta 2 displayed the potential of Microsoft’s new operating system, too bad that the included performance issues became worse. Last week I was called into a client’s office to try to figure out why a custom written command-line application took twice as long to complete in Vista. By no means is this an apples to apples comparison but the results are surprising.

This particular application written in Fortran an compiled in Windows XP took about 2 hours to complete it’s calculations on a Pentium 4 1.6Ghz machine running XP. The same application, running the same model, on a Pentium D 2.8Ghz machine took over 4 hours to complete when running Vista. Without even knowing that I have primarily used Linux as my main OS for the last month, they inquired on the benefits of migrating to Linux as they own the source code the the majority of the tools they use. Since none of their tools venture out of the command line world, porting them to Linux could be as simple as a recompile.

Last Saturday someone inquired on my impressions of Vista and Linux. Again there was no reason for the person to suspect that I run Linux, but they inquired anyways. These people are not the technical type, they know how to use their computers to aid them in their work and that’s about it. The simple fact that these people are frustrated with Vista and more importantly know Linux exists surprises me. While others have in the past proclaimed the respective year of proclamation the year of Linux, to date no substantial mass migration to Linux has occurred. I will not grant a single entity the privilege of the icon for a year. However, the next three years will be interesting, especially if Microsoft manages to piss off any major game studio (e.g. Electronic Arts).

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]