Drupal – The conversion….

I have been a WordPress fan since 2005. I have run several sites using WordPress simultaneously since then. Running WordPress is dead easy. I can wrap my head around it. This past January, a colleague was ecstatic about the release of Drupal 7. I was a bit less ecstatic. (More the I'm glad you are excited, kind of guy.) Then I saw the new admin interface and my interest piqued. So I downloaded a few modules and bam! I saw the power. Amazing. Totally a reckless learning curve but still something beautiful.
Drupal Learning Curve Text
My story was much the same as Kevin Dees. This fall I went to Drupal Camp Austin and was able to wrap my head around a few more things. (Mostly things which showed me there was still a lot to learn.) So from time to time you will see that I will post some things I am learning about Drupal.

Drush for WordPress

While I was at Austin I kept hearing about Drush. Then when I got back home I resized that I needed to download a lot of modules to work on a particular web site. I could do this several times or I could learn to use Drush with Drush Make. Drush is a command line shell and scripting interface for Drupal. Once I found the power of it I started looking for something similar in WordPress. I don't think there is anything exactly like Drush but there are two projects worth checking out check out:

  1. WP-CLI or WordPress Command Line
  2. WPshell

However it does not seem that there is a Drush Make for WordPress. Although there has been some thought about how to make Drush Make "cross-platform" and work with other CMSes like WordPress. Wouldn't it be nice if WordPress developers got handed a tool from the Drupal community....

Family for Christmas

This Christmas Becky and I spent some time with family. All of my brothers and sisters were there and so were my mother's two daughter-in-laws.

We had lots of fun together. We went and saw Sherlock Holmes 2 together.

After watching Sherlock 2

All the Patersons After watching Sherlock 2

The Five Boys

The Five Boys

After which we went out to eat.

Jed stroking his Chin

Jon Stroking his Chin

It was good to see my brothers and sisters talking, laughing and smiling.

Jeremiah Smiling

Moriah and her Scarf

Moriah and her Scarf

We did a lot of game playing...

Playing Mario Cart.

One of the interesting stories about this Christmas was that my bother Joe, sold his Xbox to buy our sister Monica a Wii. Monica really wanted a Wii. Jed, didn't know that Joe sold his Xbox and bought Joe some Games for the Xbox. It reminded me of the story of "The Gift of the Magi".

Playing Mario Cart

Hugh and Jed Playing Axis and Allies

Hugh and Jed Playing Axis and Allies

Playing Munchkins

Playing Munchkins

Playing Carcassonne

Playing Carcassonne

There were a lot of interesting interactions over our time together.
We learned that all of us like to play the game but we each play it differently. Some:

  • Play the game to win.
  • Play the game for fun.
  • Play the game to keep certain others from winning.
  • Play the game for the game's sake.

There was lots of silliness.

Over Lip

Over Lip

Jed Modeling his new hat and gloves.

Jed Modeling his new hat and gloves.

Hugh and Becky

Hugh and Becky

And we saw Jeremiah smile.

Jeremiah actually did smile

Jeremiah actually did smile

Sleeping...

Sleeping... There seem to be a lot of pictures of Jeremiah doing this...

Importing Facebook Status

I have a thing for wanting to know what I have said all in one place… But I would like to be able to see it by location of the comment. So I have thought about bringing my FaceBook comments into my WordPress install. The problem has been that if I bring them in as a post I have to not send them back to FaceBook (Like I do with all my other posts). So I now import them as a custom post type. But my current theme does not support custom post types out of the box. Too bad for K2 (It seems that as a theme K2 is not keeping up with WordPress.). To do this I looked FeedWordPress as recommended here.

Widget Area in WordPress Admin

I run a website, wycliffe.me, for redirecting traffic (URL redirector). But I need it to have a CRM sort of component to it. So I added some custom fields to the Posts using Just Custom Fields. (I am using Posts, but I could just as well use a custom post type Custom Post Type UI.) But now I want a summary of some of those fields in a special panel on the back-end. So I have collected some links to read and start hacking.
First I need to create an options page in the admin area: http://buildinternet.com/2010/01/create-custom-option-panels-with-wordpress-2-9/.
Next I need a way to collect the data. So I look for a plugin which can search my database and return fields…. sorta like views for Drupal. And wala there is such a plugin: Query Wrangler. (Query Posts might be another option, but I did not try it.) However, this plugin is not powerful enough. I can not search all the fields created by my other plugins, only my custom fields and content types. More power would be ideal.

Next I need to be able to see the widget in my admin area… so I need to widgetize my options panel. Here is where the Reading is a little fuzzy, ’cause I am not sure if many people do this. (Possibly indicating that there is a better way.)
http://wordpress.org/support/topic/how-to-create-new-widget-area?replies=5
http://www.webfroze.com/wordpress/creating-multiple-dynamic-widget-areas-in-wordpress/
http://www.themelab.com/2008/04/18/see-how-easy-it-is-to-widgetize-wordpress-themes/
http://wpengineer.com/307/add-wordpress-dashboard-widgets/
http://wpmu.org/how-to-widgetize-a-page-post-header-or-any-other-template-in-wordpress/

Comment on Open Source development at NASA

A comment on: http://open.nasa.gov/blog/2011/09/08/open-source-development-at-nasa/

I am all for OpenData and Open.NASA. But how does NASA being a government entity relate to how it “licenses” it’s data and software? What I mean is that, shouldn’t the things being “open sourced” be public domain, rather than licensed content? I agree that creating a license which is not widely recognized is not useful, that is the whole point behind Creative Commons. But are there cases where NASA is “over licensing” content that it shouldn’t because it is the content should be released into the public domain? Reference CC Salon in Jan 2011, Time segment 1:05:00 where Joi Ito talks about the issue. http://blip.tv/creative-commons/creative-commons-salon-mountain-view-what-does-it-mean-to-be-open-in-a-data-driven-world-4725230

What prevents, or what reasons are there for not putting NASA’s data and software, which it releases, in the public domain? Is that not more open?

Pulling text messages off of iPhones

I had an interesting situation where I wanted to pull off some text messages from my iPhone. I started Googling around and found a few solutions for jailbroken iPhones. But being a good citizen I have not jail broken my iPhone. I did find a solution. It might be the only one… but none the less I found one.

DiskAid

DiskAid is a really nifty little program which grants access to the files and file structure on iPhones, iPod touch and iPads. Additionally, if one has a student email address they can get a free (gratis) educational license.

From a forensics perspective, the iPhone is full of data. The DiskAid guys also had a note on how to disable geo-logging.