The forward fringe

Marco Arment quipped on Twitter that web designers need to take HiDPI displays seriously, and adapt their designs to look great on them. [...]

Why? Because HiDPI customers may be a fringe group, but they are a forward-facing fringe. They represent the users of the future, and the more we cater to them now, the more deeply embedded our products and designs will be intheir culture. The future culture. The same arguments apply to aggressively embracing newer web browsers standards, and the latest technologies in platform operating systems such as iOS and Mac OS X.

— Daniel Jalkut, Target the Forward Fringe

Draw Something sketches I’m proud of

I haven’t played a round of Draw Something in some time, but when I did I made my own meta-game out of making unnecessarily elaborate drawings (usually a few) to have some fun trying to improve my sketches. An iPad, a Pogo stylus, and a handful of the color sets you can pick up within the app made for good fun.

Fifty-two

After updating an earlier post with a working video, I did some looking around to find out just how many women James Bond has slept with in the movies. And I found John Hillman’s writeup on Quora:

The three criteria I used are (1) Romance must occur in the scene and shown or (2) Bond says something just before a scene cuts which strongly implies he is going to bed with the woman in question or (3) as mentioned above, before the credits roll he and the heroine spend some QT together.

Fifty-two women from Dr. No to Quantum of Solace. I love the internet.

Introducing the Simple Badges plugin (alpha)

Speaking of plugin releases, if you’d like you can have a look at the alpha release of Simple Badges, a fun new plugin I’ve been working on recently.

My goal with Simple Badges is to make the process of awarding badges to users on a WordPress website a painless process. See, Achievements is awesome if you’re using BuddyPress; often I’m not. CubePoints is something to look at if you want your users to accrue points that they can then exchange for things. But if all you want it the ability to award graphic badges for various things, display them on a user’s profile, and perhaps show off with a leader board, then Simple Badges could be for you.

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Introducing the Markdown for P2 plugin

I’ve released a quick new plugin this evening called Markdown for P2. Put simply, it allows you to use Markdown formatting in status updates and comment replies from the P2 theme front end.

I’ve been using P2 a lot lately, and have found myself cooking up little tweaks here and there to optimize it for my own uses. As soon as I ran into a situation where I needed to format a list — and started to bust out the HTML formatting within the text field, ugh — I craved Markdown.

To be fair, I haven’t really done much here except for package together what smarter folks have already done. Michel Fortin wrote PHP Markdown with support for WordPress, though the plugin was never added to WordPress.org. Then Adam Backstrom put together the support for the P2 theme in a Github Gist. Really all I did was wrap this into a handy plugin for my own purposes, and added it to WordPress.org so others can use it too.

I’ve also taken advantage of Dustin Curtis’ Markdown logo mark in the plugin header image (shown above).

Note that if you’re interested in Markdown for your non-P2 WordPress site, I’d recommend Markdown on Save by Mark Jaquith. It’s a bit better for that purpose — this plugin is really only best for P2.

That’s it for now. I hope folks find this simple little plugin useful!

Shuffleboard

Went out to lunch with the Hittingers and played some shuffleboard. Funny, I never considered playing bar games during the day when the place is empty.

July 4th, 2012 photos

I enjoyed July 4th this year with the Hittinger family in Illinois. We took a few photos of our trip down to watch the fireworks.

Ashley recorded the fireworks finale too.

I moved my blog to WordPress.com today

I remember hearing Matt Mullenweg speak about starting up a blog at a WordCamp somewhere. Go figure, right? He may have been talking specifically about WordPress.com, or maybe not, but the gist was how fun it is to sit down with a glass of wine and go through WordPress themes to find just the right one for a website.

I didn’t use wine — a nicely brewed coffee was my companion — but I experienced just what he described this morning when I moved my blog from my own hosting environment over to WordPress.com

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Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

Note: This review will contain spoilers.

I remember when Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man came out in 2002, and how exciting that was. I enjoyed the first movie, thought the second was pretty good, and was thoroughly disappointed by Spider-Man 3. Whether the rumors over plans for a Raimi-driven Spider-Man 4 featuring the Lizard and a married Peter Parker and Mary Jane are true or not, it’s probably for the best that series wrapped up at three movies.

I walked into The Amazing Spider-Man excited and optimistic, despite this reboot coming together only five years after the last Spider-Man movie. In the end I enjoyed myself, though it left me thinking about a few of the standard tropes we expect from superhero movies.

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Meet the P2 Check In plugin

I use the P2 theme a lot. It’s handy. While using it with a few folks over the weekend I dreamed up and built a new plugin designed just for it.

Meet the P2 Check In plugin. It’s designed to work with the P2 theme, though it really could work with any WordPress theme. The plugin is a widget you drop into the sidebar (preferably to the top of the sidebar) which gives you a button for “checking in” and “checking out”. Checked in users are shown in the sidebar, along with how long they’ve been in and the total time they’ve been checked in to the site.

The aggregate check in times have made the users I’ve talked to a bit competitive about the amount of time they’re checked in. The language the plugin uses (“I’m here!” and “I’m leaving.”) is left purposely vague so the true meaning can change depending on how it’s used. I developed it specifically for the user-case where users are checking in to a physical location (kind of a private “who’s at the office now” thing) but it could just as easily be used to show who’s actively watching the P2 or working on a specific project.

I’ve got a few more ideas for future versions of the plugin, but this is already pretty useful. If you use P2 at all, give this one a try and see if it helps you and your team use P2 just a little bit smarter. I hope you like it.

(By the way, there are a slew of other P2 plugins that are handy and linked up over on WPCandy.)