Smart Archives v1.5

March 14, 2006

I've just pulled the covers off of Smart Archives v1.5; changes to the plugin are outlined below.

Category exclusion

As mentioned here, insinuating circumstances led me to have to develop category exclusion for Smart Archives, which proved to be a bit harder to implement than I thought it would (or should) be, because, as it turns out, WordPress doesn't store category information in the wp_post table, but instead uses a separate table called post2cat.

I initially had the code setup such that it would only check the first element of the category array, which meant that the category you were trying to exclude had to be the only category attached to a particular post (in which case it would be the first and only element of the array). While this worked for my situation (and truthfully, I still do it that way because it's faster), I knew that others would likely have multiple categories assigned to individual posts. Because of this fact, I ended up having to cycle through the array looking for any instance of the excluded category, no matter where it fell. If anyone knows of a faster, better way of doing this, please let me know.


Smart Archives now accepts two arguments. The first tells the plugin what to display: "block" of years/months, list of years, months, and posts, or both. The second allows you to specify a category to be excluded from the list (see above).

As ever, the project page has been updated to comport with all of these changes. Enjoy.

Send me a voice message

March 10, 2006

As you guys are no doubt aware, I don't allow comments on this site, but, I've just signed up for an Odeo account and encourage all of you to leave me an audio message. You don't need to sign up for the service -- all you need is a microphone (most notebooks have them built-in) and something to say -- it couldn't be easier. Feel free to comment on whatever you'd like, though I'd prefer that you stick to topics (certain posts or pictures you liked, the site itself, etc.); it will be neat to get some verbal feedback.

I don't quite know how to explain it, but I'm really excited to hear from everyone, so please, if you've got a minute, say hello. :)

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who participated (if you haven't yet left a message, please don't hesitate as it's been a lot of fun receiving these). It's been suggested by a few people that I add this link under each post, which, to be honest, is something I've thought about doing all along. However, I'm somewhat reticent to take that step because it seems to me a bit selfish in that none of the other readers get to hear the comment, though I suppose it's similar to e-mail-only interaction. We'll see.

Untitled (1)

March 09, 2006
Untitled (1)

This painting was located right next to the one in the previous shot. I really liked the colors and the way her skin seemed to reflect them.

Unfortunately, the lines on the side of the building were not parallel (not by a long shot) and so it was impossible for me to straighten all of them when I post-processed this image; I tried to find a balance that would keep your attention on the shot and not the slight technical hangups (though, by writing this very sentence, I'm sure to do the opposite).

Ya never know when you're gonna go

March 08, 2006

Just a few minutes ago while I was taking a shower, I started to hear a lot of noise outside my apartment (which is normal, but this was different). I cut my shower short so that I could look outside to see what was going on. My apartment complex is right at the intersection of two streets, both of which are fairly busy. All I could make out from my window were a couple of police cars and could see that one of the streets was cordoned off at the intersection by a row of lights laid down by the cops.

As I stepped outside I quickly realized that something crazy was going on because there were 11 police cars, two ambulances, and a fire truck. I don't know about you, but I've never seen that many people on the scene of a car accident. I'm not going to lie, I immediately thought I was moments away from certain death brought on by the inhalation of some kind of terrorist nerve agent (damn you 24!).

I was way off, but the situation turned out to be pretty horrible besides. As I walked up the street I could see a stretcher being loaded into the ambulance and began asking questions of all the other lookers-on. It was a hit-and-run, the guy died, and they've got nothing on the perpetrator. It was an incredibly somber scene.

Needless to say, from now on I'm going to be a bit more cautious when crossing that street, which I do on a daily basis to get my sugar fix from the convenience store.

Transparently moving RSS feed addresses

March 07, 2006

Why is it that I still can't change my feed address without having to tell everyone subscribed that I've moved to a new address? Yes, I realize this can be accomplished through .htacccess redirects and mod_rewrite (both of which I use plenty of on this site as most of you know), but I think there should be a simple flag at the top of the XML file that tells your aggregator that the feed address has changed and what that address is. This flag would be set for, say, a week, and can (and should) be completely transparent to the subscriber. This would allow the author to change his feed address as many times as he'd like without losing any readers (e.g., those that don't manually update the address when told the old one no longer exists).

I wonder why this hasn't been built into any of the RSS/Atom specifications.

The most advanced quadruped robot on earth

March 06, 2006

The BigDog is "a quadruped robot that walks, runs, and climbs on rough terrain and carries heavy loads." The video will freak you out, especially when you see the robot maintain its balance after being kicked.

I'm sorry

March 05, 2006
I'm sorry

Not too much to say about this shot other than that I really liked the emotion and the colors. I found it on the side of a building in downtown San Jose; I'll probably put up another shot from this same building sometime soon.