Monthly Archives: January, 2010

Previously Tweeted

  • The rapid deceleration of the blunt instrument against the deceased equine shall be repeated endlessly. (via @abiteofsanity) #heh #
  • Ya know how Amazon could get lots of apps on the Kindle? By allowing apps on the Kindle. #closedsucks (via @doctorow) #
  • Calvin and Hobbes meet Wolverine… (via @billamend) #awesome #

Previously Tweeted

Author Pages with hCard & jQuery

While I’m definitely not the designer that any of the people who created these beautiful hCards, I was greatly impressed by them. In particular, I liked the personal hCard created by Tim Van Damme and decided to make my own version of it. Only since I’m using WordPress rather; than a static site, I wanted the page to be generated automatically from info stored with my user profile within WordPress. Unfortunately WordPress does not by default store all the information I wanted to display as part of the user profile.

Initially when I setup the author page, I used the Cimy User Extra Fields plugin to get those extra fields; however in the words of Lord Downey, “It, uh … lacked elegance.” Don’t get me wrong, Marco Cimmino has created a very powerful and useful plugin. My problem is that it’s too complicated for what I want to do. Then almost as though the WordPress developers read my mind, the release of WordPress 2.9 included a new filter making it simple to add/remove new fields to the user profile page.  So easy in fact that the following bit of PHP code added to my theme’s function.php file was all that was required to add the fields I needed.

function vl2_contactmethods( $contactmethods ) {
 // Add Twitter
 $contactmethods['twitter'] = 'Twitter';
 //add Facebook
 $contactmethods['facebook'] = 'Facebook';
 //add flickr
 $contactmethods['flickr'] = 'Flickr';
 //add linkedin
 $contactmethods['linkedin'] = 'LinkedIn';
 //add delicious
 $contactmethods['delicious'] = 'Delicious';
 //add phone
 $contactmethods['phone'] = 'Phone';
 //add phone-type
 $contactmethods['phonetype'] = 'Phone Type';
 //add locality
 $contactmethods['locality'] = 'Locality';
 //add region
 $contactmethods['region'] = 'Region';
 //add postalcode
 $contactmethods['postalcode'] = 'Postal Code';
 //add country
 $contactmethods['country'] = 'Country';

 return $contactmethods;

Of course just storing the info with the user’s profile isn’t enough; we also need to be able to pull it back out. This can be done using either the_author_meta or get_the_author_meta. I ended up using get_the_author_meta for two reasons:

1. I’m pulling the author’s meta info outside of the Loop.
2. I wanted to return, not echo the values, so I can manipulate them before displaying them.

But that still wasn’t complicated enough, after all I started this project wanting to generate an hCard, using some jQuery UI to give it a fancy accordion effect. First we load the javascript for that accordion effect, by adding the following to our author.php file.

<script type="text/javascript">
 $(function() {

Next we get all the user fields by:

<?php if(isset($_GET['author_name'])) :
 // NOTE: 2.0 bug requires: get_userdatabylogin(get_the_author_login());
 $curauth = get_userdatabylogin($author_name);
 $id = $curauth->ID;
 else :
 $curauth = get_userdata(intval($author));
 $id = $curauth->ID;

 $twitter = get_the_author_meta('twitter', $id);
 $flickr = get_the_author_meta('flickr', $id);
 $linkedin = get_the_author_meta('linkedin', $id);
 $delicious = get_the_author_meta('delicious', $id);
 $lastfm = get_the_author_meta('lastfm', $id);
 $phone = get_the_author_meta('phone', $id);
 $ptype = get_the_author_meta('phone-type', $id);
 $addr = get_the_author_meta('addr', $id);
 $locality = get_the_author_meta('locality', $id);
 $region = get_the_author_meta('region', $id);
 $postalcode = get_the_author_meta('postalcode', $id);
 $country = get_the_author_meta('country', $id);

Now that we’ve got the data and the JavaScript; we need to combine it

<div id="authorbox">
 <?php if (function_exists('get_avatar')) { echo get_avatar((get_the_author_meta('user_email', $id)), '120'); }?>
 <div id="accordion">
 <h3><a href="#">About</a> <span><span><?php echo $curauth->first_name; ?></span> <span><?php echo $curauth->last_name; ?></span></span></h3>
 <div id="about">
 <p><?php echo $curauth->description; ?></p>
 </div> <!-- #about -->
 <h3><a href="#">Contact</a></h3>
 <div id="contact">
 <p><span><span><?php echo $ptype; ?></span><a href="callto:<?php echo $phone; ?>"><?php echo $phone; ?></a></span></p>
 <p"><a href="<?php echo get_the_author_meta('user_url', $id); ?>" rel="me"><?php echo get_the_author_meta('user_url', $id); ?></a></p>
 <p><span><?php echo $addr; ?></span><br/>
 <span><?php echo $locality; ?></span>, <span><?php echo $region; ?></span> <span><?php echo $postalcode; ?></span><br/><span><?php echo $country; ?></span></p>
 </div> <!-- #contact -->
 <h3><a href="#">Networks</a></h3>
 <div id="social-networks">
 <li><a title="View <?php echo $curauth->first_name; ?> <?php echo $curauth->last_name; ?>'s Profile" href="<?php echo $linkedin ?>"><img src="<?php bloginfo('template_directory'); ?>/images/linkedin.png" alt="LinkedIn" width="48" height="48" /></a></li>
 <li><a title="Follow <?php echo $twitter ?> on Twitter" href="<?php echo $twitter ?>"><img src="<?php bloginfo('template_directory'); ?>/images/twitter.png" width="48" height="48" alt="Twitter" /></a></li>
 <li><a title="See <?php echo $flickr ?>'s photostream" href="<?php echo $flickr ?>"><img src="<?php bloginfo('template_directory'); ?>/images/flickr.png" alt="Flickr" width="48" height="48" /></a></li>
 <li><a title="<?php echo $delicious ?>'s Bookmarks" href="<?php echo $delicious ?>"><img src="<?php bloginfo('template_directory'); ?>/images/delicious.png" alt="Delicious" width="48" height="48" /></a></li>
 </div> <!-- #social-networks -->
 <h3><a href="#"><?php echo $curauth->first_name; ?>'s Last 5 Posts</a></h3>
 <?php $my_query = new WP_Query('showposts=5&author='.$id); ?>
 <div id="5posts">
 <?php if ($my_query->have_posts()) : while ($my_query->have_posts()) : $my_query->the_post(); ?>
 <li><a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>" rel="bookmark" title="Permanent Link to <?php the_title_attribute(); ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a> <?php the_time('j F Y'); ?></li>
 <?php endwhile; ?>
 </div> <!-- #5posts -->
 </div><!-- #accordion -->
 </div><!-- #authorbox -->
 <?php else : ?>
 <h2>Not Found</h2>
 <p>Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here.</p>
 <?php endif; ?>

Oops, I almost forgot to mention; we need to make sure we’re loading jQuery & jQuery UI on the author page. Since I separate out the header stuff into it’s own file (header.php); I added this bit of code before the closing </head> tag in that file:

<?php //if (is_author()) wp_enqueue_script('jquery-ui-core');
if (is_author()) {
 wp_register_script('jquery', (""), false, '');
 wp_register_script('jquery-ui-core', (""), array('jquery'), '');
} ?>

And that’s that. Now my author page will by default display my gravatar next to the Biographical Info entered in my profile. There will also be three other section available…

* Contact: Gives selected contact information for me.
* Networks: Displays icons for some social networks I use with links to my profiles on those networks.
* Last 5 Posts: Shows my latest posts.

Later when I have more time, I’ll update the zipped copy of the VectorLover2 theme on this site for people who want to download a complete copy of the code I used for the author pages.

Update: I forgot to thank Joost de Valk for his excellent article, User Contact Fields in WordPress 2.9.
Update 2: I changed the code to register jquery-ui-core, so that it recognizes jquery as a dependency. This tutorial had been working fine; but for whatever reason, it suddenly was trying to load jQuery after jQuery-UI (which doesn’t work so good).
Update 3: Hmm, now that I look back at this old post I realize a couple of things: 1) several of the links I’d intended to be here are missing (since corrected) and 2) this post was written worse than I thought it was.

Help the Powers

On Sunday, while Shawn Powers and his family were at church their house burned down. While his family was safe; they lost all their pets to the fire. Shawn works for as the Technology Director for a school district in Michigan, sidelines as an Associate Editor at Linux Journal and is a pretty funny guy. The kind folks at Linux Journal have started a ChipIn fund to help Shawn and his family get back on their feet. If you’ve got some spare change in your PayPal account; please think about dropping some of it there. Thanks!

Signs you’ve not been sleeping well

  • When you go to pour that first cup of coffee, find your preferred blend has already been brewed and you think “Looks like humanity is safe for another day” …
  • When 3 year olds hopped up on pixie sticks have a greater attention span than you …
  • When a single blink lasts for over an hour …
  • When you’ve had 4 cups of coffee plus a Mt. Dew and your brain still feels slugish …

… there’s your sign.

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