WordPress DraftControl Plugin – 1.2 Beta 1

The next release of DraftControl is ready for beta. It is pretty stable so I am confident it is production ready. I would like some feedback about where the controls are located on the DC panel. I think all controls should be located at the top and bottom of the page depending on how many drafts are being viewed. (i.e. If 5 drafts are viewed per paging then controls at the bottom only are fine, but if 100 drafts are viewed per paging then sometime scrolling to the bottom is a pain. Let me know what you think…I haven’t implemented that yet.)

New Version 1.2 Features:
Supports Versions 1.5+, 2.0+
Number of viewable drafts per page is changeable
Publish individual Drafts from Draft Control
multi-publish if you need that kind of power
Fixed adding Categories to a draft without leaving Draft Control. (support for multiple cats coming soon)

Previous Features:
Change the Owner of a draft for individual entrees without leaving Draft Control.
Delete individual Drafts from Draft Control
multi-delete if you need that kind of power

Save the draftcontrol.php file to your wp-content/plugins/directory
Activate the plugin within WordPress in the Plugins section

Go to the Manage section of WP and then select “Draft Control”.
The controls are pretty much self explanatory.

Download DraftControl 1.2 Beta 1

Spring Cleanup

Well it is that time of year again, the leaves are budding and the flowers are blooming. I spent some time this weekend giving the yard a quick cleanup, or what I thought would be quick. I raked up about 10 thirty gallon bags of pine needles and leaves. And this was just from the yard.

The wife helped with the flower beds. I did the fast raking of the beds while she did all the detail work. I think she got every leaf from under every bush. And she uncovered all the flowers starting to push through the ground. We made a great team.

I have a little work left in the back yard (this weekend). And I still have to do some patch painting on windows and doors but all looks good around the Villines household.

WordPress DraftControl Plugin – New Version Soon

I am working on a new version of my DraftControl plugin for WordPress. This version will support WP 2.0 and also batch publishing. I have a full feature list but I need to get this out because a lot of people are moving to the latest version of WP. The next release will be DC 1.2 with version 1.5 to follow very soon after. I need beta testers so if you are interested contact me at ken[at]kenvillines[dot]com.

So Damn Rude!!

People are just so damn rude in today’s society. I go through my day with no ill intentions at all. I find myself surrounded by people, who I don’t know, but who cut me off either while driving, in the Grocery store, in the office workspace, or on the sidewalk.

I have to say this generalization is really an Eastern Massachusetts cultural phenomenon. While driving, one needs to be on their toes in this state, because anyone at any time will pull out from a side street in front of you. People in Mass are so impatient and I have watch the roads get worse over the last 8 years. It seems everyone is in a competition out on the roads.

Scenario 1 (Happens a minimum of three times a week): I am the only one on the road at 6:30 am. The posted speed limit is 45 and I am driving 50. Another car pulls up on a side street to my right and has no real time to pull out and should just wait on me to pass, remember no cars behind me. The driver guns it and pulls out anyway. I have to slam on my breaks but this is the way Mass drivers are. The more expensive the car the worse the drivers are. I guess being rude and thinking they own the road correlates to the amount of money and where you are in the social society. “I am better then you! Get out of my way!!”

Scenario 2 (Happens every time I am at the grocer): The same people that pull out in front of you do the same thing with their grocery carts. It is completely unbelievable that this behavior goes on. A mother (soccer mom) with her kids speeds through the isles. She pushes out in front of you when coming to the end and pulling into traffic instead of being polite and waiting. She at times will run into your cart and look at you like “Why didn’t you let me in!” and all along I am thinking “What are you doing you psycho!”

Scenario 3 (Happens on a daily basis): Walking down a hallway, there are two sides (just like a road), “GET ON YOUR SIDE!!” I hate it when three people bum rush into a hall way and take up the whole area. They push the single traveler, who was already in the hallway and going the other way, up against the wall. What the hell is up with that?!? This happens out on the side walk too. I want to yell “Get on your side of the street you idiots! Other people are trying to walk too!!”

If this way of life is happening in other areas of the country, please chime in and let me know I am not alone!

Quicktime Scripting & playing Fullscreen

Sometimes building QuickTime Scripting Controls into your web pages can be tricky. The differences between Windows Media Player and the Quicktime Player are very significant. The first problem is that they have different scripting APIs. When you are a video profressional trying to post your work to the web this can be tasking.

One of the Javascript function calls for the Windows Media Player allows fullscreen playback on the client desktop. The quicktime API doesn’t support this feature from within the plugin. The video producer will have to force the plugin to send the video to the QuickTime Player. The media, being either a .qtl or a .smil file, is basically a reference or pointer to the real Quicktime video or audio file. The Quicktime Plugin reads the directives or properties within the file and follows the commands. That includes telling the plugin to play a video at fullscreen and sending it to the player to accomplish the task.

The files are both XML formatted but with different tagging structures. I am going to cover the easier of the two – QTL. I will save the SMIL lecture for another post.

Quicktime media Link or QTL for short allows you to create a text link on a web page that opens a movie in QuickTime player. For this to work, your web server must be configured to associate the .qtl file extension with the correct MIME type. The MIME type can be handled by placing a .htaccess file into the movies directory. Type the following info into the .htaccess file:

AddType application/x-quicktimeplayer qtl

The XML within the .qtl file will look something like this:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<?quicktime type="application/x-quicktime-media-link"?>

Save this XML as “qtfullscreen.qtl” and into the same folder as your .htaccess file or vise versa. Now you can make a link from within a web page that calls your .qtl file. You now have a control to play your movie Fullscreen!!

Other important Commands for your XML file:

autoplay = “true” or “false”
controller=”true” or “false”
fullscreen=”normal” or “double” or “half” or “current” or “full”
loop=”true” or “false” or “palindrome”
playeveryframe=”true” or “false”

quitwhendone=”true” or “false”

Play Sample Movie Now!!

BTW: You can always open an HREF to your .qtl file using a javascript call.

Letter to Bob Stoetzel (MBTA Commuter Rail Chief )

This letter pretty much sums up all of my feelings about my MBTA Commuter Rail experience the last four years. I am beyond hating using their service. The MBTA is always promising changes and they never come. Here is the letter:

Hi Bob,
First off I want to let you know that I have a 3 hour total commute daily. My total daily commute used to be 4 hours when I had to commute from North Station to Back Bay. I am a professional commuter and am pretty pissed at the MBTA commuter rail service.

The 7:20 train from Fitchburg (412) has not been on time into North Station in three weeks. It stops in the station 10 minutes late every F-ing day!! I have lost almost two hours of my time in the last two weeks.

TODAY (10/27/05) the train was 30 minutes late when it finally stopped at North Station. There were no public announcements and the conductors never reported it to the Controller. The signs along the route kept reporting that all trains were on time. The Fitchburg conductors never report when their trains are running late – NEVER. If they are already running 30 minutes late at the beginning of the route they report it other wise they don’t. I was told by a Fitchburg conductor that 10 minutes late wasn’t late and to stop complaining. Today they were 30 minutes late and the idiots still didn’t report it. They are always trying to cover their asses.

Any train running 10 minutes late or more should be reported and the signs at stations should be updated to report this. It isn’t a hard concept. I have been taking the Fitchburg line going on 4 years and the service sucks. The service sucks even more because of the price hike almost two years ago. I haven’t seen the service change AT ALL!!

Can someone please enforce some RULES and make the controllers keep track and report when trains are late? When a train sits outside of North Station for 15 minutes it isn’t in the station. THAT IS A LATE TRAIN TOO!!

I pay $200 a month and have never once come into North Station at the scheduled time.

BTW: The Lowell line is terrific but I have to drive 20 miles to grab that train.

Thanks for your time
-Ken Villines

Final Note:
There needs to be a better compensation structure when trains are late. If a train is 15 minutes late a person should get a single one way ticket. When a train is 30 minutes late we currently get two tickets. I don’t know how many times a train, I am on, rolls into the station 23-25 minutes late. That is no different then 30 minutes late in the minds of the rank-and-file using your service.

Getting Started with Photoshop CS2 Scripting

I am finally getting back to revisiting Photoshop Scripting. I beta tested with Photoshop CS and wrote tons of scripts. Things have changed in CS2 but for the better :)

New features in CS2 scripting:

  • File Includes
  • Self Contained Scriptlet (New File extension)
  • Script Events

It is a one liner to include files in your CS2 script.

//Global contants or variables can be defined in another file.
//This line should go before any code that will execute methods.
// @include "YourFileToInclude.jsx"

The self contained scriptlet is also a one liner.

// This enables double clicking on the Mac OS or on Windows
// This line of code should be first if you want your script
// to be a self contained scriptlet
#target photoshop

The Scripting Events feature is not so much about coding but more about executing scripts when a given event happens within Photoshop CS2. Let’s say I always want a specific size of document, specific font selection, specific ruler units, and specific font color selected whenever I create a new document. I can write a script that will execute on CS2′s New Document Event. (That is another how to).

Best Wishes go out to Gabe Holley

Gabe Holley (the son of my best friend) was diagnosed with Leukemia on July 16, 2005. Gabe turned 7 this year and I have not actually met him. I met him while he was still in his mother’s tummy and that seems like a lifetime ago. I have seen pictures and heard how great he is from his father. I am very sorry he is sick and wish him well. Please leave any supportive comments on Gabe’s website.

Procrastination Sucks

I can’t believe I have had my blog up for 3 years?!?!!

I still don’t have my static content in place. I have to fill in the About section with a small bio. I have to complete my links section ( I have tons of links from the past nine years). I also need to add a contact form and resume. I have been bogged down with helping other people. I think it is time to help myself a little bit. I am finishing these areas before October ’05. You mark my words…

If you want to help me out just keep sending email every couple days as a reminder.