Redditech Blog commenting now more accessible

I’ve disabled the option where a user has to register and login in order to comment on an article. I had initially set it so that potential commentators had to register and log in before commenting so as to prevent spamming programs or botscripts from dropping useless comments into the blog.
Based on the small number of comments I have seen in the last few months compared to the number of hits I am seeing in the site stats I am taking a guess that this current process is too long for someone to drop an arbitrary comment to an article of interest. By extension, that’s affecting the quality of every entry, since without feedback and discussion, a blog entry’s usefulness as something more than a rant or historical blurb is comprimised greatly.
I have installed a small utility known as WP-Morph which claims to prevent this while being transparent to the user commenting, so I’ve implemented it and will monitor over the next few weeks to see if it works against potential spammers. If this fails to work then I’ll have to implement a Captcha plugin to keep the comments section as open and as easy as possible for the average joe to contribute. So feel free to comment without hesitation, I welcome them as a positive criticism of ideas that can only serve to improve the quality of my own opinions.

Hacking Wordpress plugins and themes to play nicely together

So this is probably the best demonstration I can give so far of the power of Open Source software. I implemented a new theme today, called Connections, and just recently implemented a plugin called Moody, however while both did what I required of them, the actual layout of the webpage left a little to be desired, as text displayed by the moody plugin started falling over into the actual post text. Also, I didn’t like that Moody would display “Current Mood” but not the name of the mood, since I find it a little hard to decipher it just from the image, so I wanted Moody to display the name of the mood as well.
So these were the objectives:

  1. Display not only the image of the mood, but the name of the current mood of the post

  2. Edit the theme so that the formatting was correct and no text would fall over into places it should not be

Because the software is open source, I could see the source code, and because I could see the source code, in less than ten minutes I had successfully edited moody’s configuration php file and the Connection theme’s style css file to work nicely. At least, that’s how its looking, I must admit, I’m now more than a little exhausted because I was only slightly exhausted on the last post, but got motivated to fixing the issues I had because I just couldn’t leave that bit undone tonight.
I don’t believe I’ve spent this much time behind the computer hacking away in quite awhile, I think I’ve been on my PC for at least 12 hrs a day since Tuesday. I’ve missed this sort of satisfaction from hacking dearly I realise. I think because of the types of jobs I’ve been falling into recently, my zeal for the realm of technology was lost for a bit because of the stone walls hit because of a lack of openess of the code, or the lack of challenges of the job. I’m really glad I’m rediscovering the joys I found when I first started hacking code, now if only I could find someone to pay me for doing this enjoyable stuff. :-)

Implemented Moody plugin for WordPress

I’ve thrown in a little eye-candy plugin called “Moody” which is supposed to display an image representing the mood I’m in when I write these posts. It didn’t play too nicely with the “Connections” theme though, because by default it would display the words “Current Mood” and then the image. These two words thew off the CSS settings of the box where it was displayed in the theme, so I had to remove that tag as a quick fix, so if you see any strange looking image next to my posts, that’s just my mood icon, not some hacker leaving his mark :-)