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Friday, March 25, 2011

PHP Source for Valid Blogger Calendar Feed

The following PHP source code can be used to generate a valid blog feed from a Thingamablog generated xml file that has been encoded to also provide data used with the Blogger Calendar.

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<?php
$ch = curl_init();
$url="http://blog.yourdomain.com/rss.xml";
curl_setopt ($ch, CURLOPT_URL,$url);
curl_setopt ($ch, CURLOPT_HEADER, 0);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER,1);
$result=curl_exec ($ch);
curl_close ($ch);
$result=get_between($result,"<?xml","<BeginCalSec>");
echo "<?xml".$result."</channel></rss>";
?>
<?php
function get_between($input, $start, $end)
{
  $substr = substr($input, strlen($start)+strpos($input, $start), (strlen($input) - strpos($input, $end))*(-1));
 return $substr;
}
?>

You would place the php file "blogrss.php" in the appropriate directory, where "blogrss" is anything you specify. Then use a url similar to this: http://blog.yourdomain.com/blogrss.php when your blog feed URL is requested by services like, NetworkedBlogs or Feedburner.

This fix negates the need for server side Java support with the Thingamablog version of the Blogger Calendar.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Validating Blogger Calendar Feed

Automatic generation of blog post entry data required for use with the Thingamablog version of the Blogger Calendar, was achieved by writing the data to the lower half of the xml feed file when a post is published-- or when the entire blog is republished.

This is not as complicated as it sounds and is achieved entirely through option settings within Thingamablog or template pages. That said, the new section to the xml file invalidates the feed. I discovered this awhile back when I was trying to setup this blog [Remix] in the Facebook app-- NetworkedBlogs.

Last night I implemented a workaround-- because things like this bother me. The fix? I rewrite the feed on the fly with a Java Servlet-- you can click here to test.

The Thingamablog version of the Blogger Calendar does not require server side Java support- and this fix does require that support. So I will also create a PHP version of the on-the-fly blog feed.

I am a big fan of Thingamablog. Options available allow for almost any workaround-- especially for someone well versed in web development. The control that this blogging platform also provides in republishing masters to the web is the feature I most love. I would recommend this blogging platform for anyone that does not want to use an online database through their site and wants more control over their master posts. The database is on your hard drive-- and is easily republished with the click of a button.

I needed an html solution that would not have my web host screaming. Thingamablog is perfect for my needs. Want to join the Thingamablog Facebook Group?

Comments. I still do not allow comments on this blog. Yes, there is a workaround-- several in fact, however I am not interested.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

for css?

Emily Chang is someone I noticed several years ago-- doing something similar to the SiteFinds category of my personal blog. I started the category based on the FoodNetwork show- Food Finds. eHub-- Emily Chang's offering, was on a much larger scale than my SiteFinds and in July 2007 when I removed most of the posts from the original blog-- many of my original entries for the category were also removed.

A cable news reporter with the same name reminded me-- and last night I went to see what Emily Chang has been up to. While researching, I found a great article about several well known female developers from almost every corner of the globe-- that I am sharing.

I read many of their bios, researched Django [one was into this python developer environment], tested projects and watched this video.

I once said to a Rockwell male coworker-- I wish that was all I had to worry about. He barely spoke to me after that.

About 7 minutes and 15 seconds into the video I referenced -- I stopped the video and said "no wonder". Nicole Sullivan is a CSS expert. I have worked with CSS. I am no expert-- however I can make it work with most environments. What amazed me about her interview? I have worked with a lot of smart men-- and never had to put up with silly questions like the one presented to her. CSS is something I believe many use. Including a lot of women. The guy asking-- does not have to speak to me.

Why bother with school or CSS when we can find amazed men to be amazed? Just give me my grade... I am sorry.. CSS is not C. Are you really amazed? I am allowed one negative post over here.

How to make friends and influence people? I like smart people. Raise your hand if you are female and work with CSS. What was the point of this?

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Clickable BackGround Images-- CodeTrick

Insofar as the web, I would classify myself-- more a web developer than web designer. The difference? I develop code/tools/interfaces that provide some functionality-- rather than putting a lot of effort into graphical design.

Of course, my roots-- as related to programming started long before the web came into being-- so I also develop programs that are non-web related. I also have quite a bit of experience with Graphical User Interfaces [GUI] which should not be confused with what I am defining as "web design".

A lot of my program web related efforts are demonstrated in WiredPages.

That said, I do all of my own site designs including all areas of qisoftware.com and hosting-q.com. You may even notice a lot of the areas look very similar with the exception of color palettes or logo graphics.

That's why-- with all the blog reading I have done over the last year-- I have noticed a habit I have picked up. I click the main graphic to return to the site's home page, something you cannot do with most of qisoftware.com or hosting-q.com pages. Why? Probably because I do not do enough web design work.

So this was one fix I wanted to implement for my end of year "like Spock" enhancements. Do you watch the original Star Trek series? One segment had the crew living in a "speed of light" time dimension. When the segment's issues were resolved-- Spock told the Captain he would be remaining in "speed of light" time-- to make fixes to the engines and other operations onboard the ship. That's where I derive the term-- "Like Spock".

The first thing I realized with my sites? The main graphic on most of the pages are background images set in a css file. How does one go about making these images clickable? A little research provided this clever answer:

<body style="background-image:url('mybackgroundimage.png'); background-repeat:no-repeat;background-position:left top;">

<script language="JavaScript">
function whatever() {
....
}
</script>

<div style="position:absolute;left:0;top:0;z-index:9999; background-color:transparent;width:350px;height:250px;" onclick ="whatever()"> </div>

Maybe this is par for the course for web designers-- or maybe you have another solution. I like this one.. I did want something in which I would only need to update the related css file-- however, will accept that I have to insert something similar in all the pages where I want the main logo clickable and returns my visitor to the home page.



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