Matt's Blog

Archive for the ‘Programming’ Category

Switch Back to Technorati Incoming Links

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

When WordPress 2.3 was released, it introduced a change that, most likely, affected every Blogger using WordPress. Whether the change affected the Blogger in a good or bad way, it still happened.

That change I’m talking about is, of course, the Incoming Links section, of your WordPress Dashboard, beginning to use Google Blog Search, instead of Technorati, to get a list of the links. Using Google over Technorati does have it’s advantages. Google is faster and includes links not just from Blogs, but from all sites. However, if you’re a Blogger that’s obsessed with your rankings on all the rankings sites, you might want to see who’s linking to you through Technorati’s eyes, so that you can easily tell when your Technorati rank is improving.

So, for people who want to change the Incoming Links on their Dashboard back to using Technorati, I created a simple WordPress plugin. I called the plugin Technorati Incoming Links. When activated, the plugin will start using Technorati for the Incoming Links instead of Google. If you want to switch back to Google, just deactivate the plugin.

This WordPress plugin requires WordPress 2.3 or higher and is licensed under the GNU General Public License version 3.

I hope you enjoy the Plugin! 😀 If you find anything wrong with it, let me know.

Free Ruby on Rails Book

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Build Your Own Ruby on Rails Web ApplicationsSitePoint is currently (and for the next 57 days or so) giving away a free download of an entire book!

That’s right, they’re giving away a free download (PDF) of a book called “Build Your Own Ruby on Rails Web Applications”, which is a Ruby on Rails beginner book. You get the entire book, all 12 Chapters and all 447 Pages.

To get the book, all you have to do is to go here, click the Download button, enter your email address in the window that pops-up and then check your email for the PDF link.

This is a great resource if you’re interested in developing in Ruby on Rails. I might do some playing around with it, since BlueFur supports Ruby on Rails. Even if you don’t have the time to play around with it right now, download the book anyways, it’s free and you might want to use it at a later time.

WordPress 2.3

Monday, September 24th, 2007

WordPressWordPress 2.3 has been released and includes some major new features!

One of the more popular new features is Tagging. WordPress now allows you to add tags to your posts. Tags are best used in conjunction with Categories, so you can describe a post, without having hundreds of Categories. Tags are also used by services like Technorati. You can learn how to add Tags to your current theme here.

Another awesome new feature is the Update System. WordPress automat(t)ically checks to see if there’s a new version of WordPress and if there’s new version of your Plugins (assuming the Plugin is hosted on’s Plugin Database) and will let you know. If there’s a new version of WordPress available, it’ll say it somewhere in your Admin panel (if the user logged in has permissions to edit options). If there’s a new version of a Plugin available, it’ll say right under the plugin on your Plugins page.

Some other smaller (but just as cool) features are:

  • The default links in the Blogroll are no longer those of the main developers Blogs, they are now useful and relevant to WordPress
  • On the dashboard, the Incoming Links are no longer from Technorati, they’re now from Google Blog Search
  • There’s been some cool changes to the Permalink system, go can see the changes in the this comment on the Trac ticket. Including enforcing either www. or no www.
  • If you change the slug of a post, the old slug will redirect to the new one
  • New “Pending Review” Post Status added. Useful for if you have multiple writers on your Blog and you want to review posts before they’re published
  • Improved Post and Draft Management (using filters)

Unfortunately, the BrowseHappy logo is still in the Admin panel. Oh, well, maybe in 2.4…

Since there’s been some file reorganizing, you should delete all WordPress files (except the folder and content of wp-content and wp-config.php) and then upload the files for WordPress 2.3. Other than that, the upgrade process is the same as always. Don’t forget to backup your Blog and it’s database before upgrading!

Download WordPress 2.3

Code Highlighting in WordPress

Monday, September 10th, 2007

Have you ever wanted to post some code onto your WordPress blog, but then quickly get frustrated when it gets formatted properly? I have, a lot. I also wanted syntax highlighting. To try to solve these problems, I was using WP-Syntax. Sure, it did syntax highlighting, but if you wanted the code to be presented well, you had to do some CSS magic, and I still got frustrated when my code got formatted.

Well, solved this problem. They made it easy to do, presented the code well and your code doesn’t get formatted. Oh, sure, but what about self-hosted WordPress blogs?

Well, it wasn’t long before somebody made a plugin for self-hosted WordPress blogs that did exactly the same thing. Viper007Bond threw together a plugin that did what blogs could do. Then, Matt Mullenweg saw Viper’s post and said that they should work together, and sent over the code he was using on That’s how the WordPress plugin SyntaxHighlighter was born.

To use it, you just wrap your code in [sourcecode language=’lang’] and [/sourcecode] tags. Where lang is, would be one of the following currently supported languages:

  • cpp
  • csharp
  • css
  • delphi
  • java
  • jscript
  • php
  • python
  • ruby
  • sql
  • vb
  • xml

You can also use source or code instead of sourcecode, and lang instead of language. You can even not type in language or lang. So, the shortest would be [code=’lang’][…][/code].

The visitor is then presented with a clean little box with the code in it. The code is highlighted, there’s line numbers, the visitor can view the code in plain text (no highlighting), copy the code to the clipboard and print the code. Here’s a live example (click here if you’re reading this as a Feed):

if ($x == "1") {
echo "1";
else {
echo "2";

It uses Alex Gorbatchev’s SyntaxHighlighter to highlight and present the code front-end using JavaScript. Which also means, that it will degrade nicely if it’s being read in a Feed, or if the visitor doesn’t have JavaScript on/doesn’t have a browser that supports JavaScript.

It’s a great plugin that does what it supposed to do, and does it well. Check it out, if you like to post code on your WordPress blog, without any hassles.

New IE6 and 7 VPC Packages

Monday, August 20th, 2007

The IE Team has now updated the IE6 and 7 (w/ XP SP2) VPC Images. They have all the updates and are set to expire December 7, 2007.

If you don’t know about these, they’re Virtual PC “images” of Windows XP SP2 with either Internet Explorer 6 or Internet Explorer 7 installed. They’re great for cross-browser/Windows version testing purposes. You can see my previous post on them here.

Download IE6 or IE7 VPC Image (appox. 500-700 MB)
Download Virtual PC 2007 (appox. 30 MB)