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.)