WordPress 2.0.1 Released

\"WordpressThanks goodness WordPress 2.0.1 is here. It\’s a small maintenance release and it addresses several problems that was introduced in WP 2.0. I\’ve upgraded my clunky install of WordPress 2.0 to version 2.0.1 and I\’m pleased that it didn\’t take too long until my blog was upgraded to version 2.0.1. Since I have installed WP 2.0 I have disabled several default features that annoyed me in WP 2.0 such as the visual editor, and I\’m very pleased to disable it even if I have upgraded to 2.0.1. :) I wonder why it turns itself on after I upgraded. It should have been left disabled. Anyway, I tried testing the visual editor again and for some reason I still don\’t like it. I still prefer the old school text editor where I can see all open and close tags. It\’s just me so please don\’t ask what\’s wrong with the visual editor. I think it\’s just fine. The visual editor had several fixes and cleanups so it should have improved quite a bit.

I noticed that after upgrading to WP 2.0.1 the caching improved too. I felt that the generation of pages on first visit didn\’t take quite long caching compared to WP 2.0. As noted in the release notes, caching had been fixed under certain PHP enviroments. Sounds great. Also in this release, you can specify an upload folder and optionally disable the date-based storage. It should have been in the feature list since day one but it\’s better late than never. I\’m still cluelesss why there\’s no option for removing automatic thumbnail generation. Who needs thumbnails when I resize all my images before uploading? Not everyone is fond of hosting big images linked from thumbnails as they can be leeched easily. Seriously, why this small option to disable thumbnail was left out? I don\’t get it.

Overall this small update should fix the bugs in Wordpres 2.0. Congratulations to those who have waited long for this release. I recommend to upgrade your blog to WordPress 2.0.1 if you are still running WordPress 1.5. This time you won\’t regret it. Perhaps you may want to wait for another minor or maintenance release but upgrading to WP 2.0.1 is already a good choice at this time. To all bloggers running WordPress 2.0 I urge you to upgrade now!

Links:
WordPress
WordPress, blog, blogging

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My Top 10 Websites in 2005

\"GmailGmail
The webmail that changed everything. I\’ve taken part of its early beta since May 2004 and it\’s still in beta until now. With new features coming every now and then, I couldn\’t be happier with Gmail even if it\’s still in beta stage. It changed the way I use email using threaded messages, labels, filters and a lot of storage. At this moment it\’s about 2.78 Gb and still counting! Who needs to delete emails nowadays. Both Yahoo and Hotmail followed the same trend and beefed up their webmails. What sets Gmail apart from other free email provider is the ease of use and extensive use of AJAX. It loads fast and kicks both Yahoo and Hotmail nearly out of the competition (they are catching up though).

\"DiggDigg
This is my favorite place to get tech news and other interesting stuffs submitted by users. It combines social bookmarking, blogging, RSS, and non-hierarchical editorial control together. Popular stories are promoted to frontpage when more users digg them. Users can also bury the story by reporting it as spam, duplicate link, bad link, lame or old news.

\"NetVibes\"Netvibes
This is my favorite AJAX desktop. I tried out Microsoft Live, Google homepage and Protopage but nothing beats Netvibes\’ functionality and ease of use. It has loads of great features like Todo list, webnote, online bookmarks and integration to Writely, Gmail and Flickr. I really like the way RSS feeds are displayed on each column and it\’s very easy to customize how each RSS feed block appears.

\"LifeHacker\"
Lifehacker
Computers make us more productive. Yeah, right. Lifehacker recommends the downloads, web sites and shortcuts that actually save time. Don\’t live to geek; geek to live. I skim over all the entries posted in this site everyday just to find something new to make my life easier. I find most of their tips useful.

\"Del.icio.usDel.icio.us
I\’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about social bookmarking and I didn\’t care about it until late September. When I finally registered in Del.icio.us I really regret not using it earlier. The social bookmark phenomenon is amazing. You can discover many things from different people that scrape the internet for new links. I like discovering new bookmarks. It\’s yummy.

\"TechnoratiTechnorati
As a blogger, Technorati is my friend in boosting my traffic. Technorati is a real-time search engine that keeps track of what is going on in the blogosphere — the world of weblogs. You can claim your blog and watch how many people link or refer to your blog entries. You can search Technorati using boolean strings and tags. What\’s more interesting is that all tags have RSS feeds so you can track any tags that interest you and scour anything that you can from them.

\"MemeorandumMemeorandum
Tech.memeorandum is like a frontpage of a newspaper where it gives you the most important news and updates. In fact, it actually looks like an online newspaper. It also automatically updates every 5 minutes and uses a proprietary algorithm to decide what\’s important and relevant, ranging from news site to independent weblogs. I always take a look in Memeorandum\’s RSS feed to have a wider scope of news online.

\"WikipediaWikipedia
Knowledge is power; Wiki is even more powerful. I\’ve used it for assignments and researches countless times.

\"MeasureMeasure Map (beta)
This statistic logger uses AJAX and Flash to display useful information about visitors, links and other helpful information to analyze my blog traffic.

a.scarywater.net
A.scarywater.net is an unlicensed anime fansub BitTorrent tracker. What more can I say?

… plus several invite-only BitTorrent trackers.

Gmail, Digg, Netvibes, Lifehacker, Del.icio.us, Technorati, Memeorandum, Wikipedia, Measuremap

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WordPress 2.0 Released

\"WordpressThis is probably one of the best late christmas present out there. WordPress 2.0 is now officially available. :D

Wordpress.org has been up and down erratically for several hours because the WordPress team is current switching server. Don\’t worry, within few hours the site will be stable again. I had a chance to download the official release just a minute before wordpress.org goes offline again. If you haven\’t been there, the site has been redesigned. The new header of wordpress.org is similar to the one found in wordpress.com. The tiled background is gone and was replaced by a simple gray gradient from the top. I think that the new theme looks very simple without the tiled background. Perhaps I\’m just used to the old design.

Anyway, I\’ll be upgrading my blog very soon. I\’ll do a couple of testing first in my local server. Don\’t forget to read readme.html inside the zip / tar file because it includes the new install and upgrade guide.

Update: you may not notice it but under the hood I\’m already running WP 2.0 :)

Links:
WordPress.org
Wordpress, blog, blogging

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Download The Free RSS Feed Icon

\'TheRemember my previous post regarding Microsoft adopting Firefox\’s RSS feed icon? Someone had already made an initiative to bring the new standard RSS feed icon to everyone. Matt Brett had taken the 32×32 icon in the Microsoft Team RSS blog and reproduced it into Adobe Illustrator vector. You can scale it easily and customize the way it looks. The best part is you can change the color if don\’t like the default orange RSS icon, in case you want to include the RSS feed in your graphics design.

Take note that the RSS feed icon is meant to be orange. One of the goal of Microsoft and Mozilla on the RSS feed icon is to create the most consistent and identifiable element used to represent feeds today: the orange rectangle. But no one is forcing you, the designer, to keep it orange if you really want it changed. The orange icon is only suggested in browser standards, not design standards anyway.

You should read his blog to on how to customize the icon. It can be done in a number of ways. You should read the readme file inside the zip file to get started. The zip file includes both Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop files.

Update:
Matt Brett started a site to promote the use of a standard feed icon for RSS feeds which can be found at http://feedicons.com [ via Digg ] .

Links:
Matt Brett\’s Blog: The New Standard Feed Icon, Feed Icons
Direct download: Get the zip file here
Free, download, RSS icon, web standard, vector, Illustrator, Photoshop

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WordPress.com Now Open

\'Wordpress.com\'Yesterday I was at Digg.com and there was buzz over WordPress.com that is already out of beta and is now open for registration. Of course I look at the website and I saw that it is now open for registration. Without wasting any minute, I registered some subdomain and I looked inside its features.

At the Dashboard, the topmost options are: Write, Manage, Links, Presentation, Profile and Options. It seems like an early version of WordPress 2.0.

\'WordpressWrite includes Write Post and Write Page. Under this option you can write your entries and pages as usual. The way the options are presented are now different. There\’s no more \”Advanced Editing\” feature because everything is already there at your own disposal. Even the upload image is now in the Write Post section which makes image upload a lot more convenient. After you have uploaded your image, the upload form will automatically create a thumbnail and when you drag it to your visual rich editor it will be added immediately in your post. If you click the thumbnail it will create \”Link to Image\” and \”Use Full Image\” that you can drag to visual rich editor too. \”Link to Image\” will create a link to your image while \”Use Full Image\” will use the full size image instead of the thumbnail. You can delete the image using \”Delete\”. Categories can be easily added on-the-fly in Write Post as well. Options like Trackbacks, Custom Field, Password-Protect, Post Slug, Post Status and Post Timestamp are also available here.

\'Wordpress.com

In Manage section, you can manage your posts, pages, categories, comments, referers and spam protection using Akismet.

Nothing has changed in Links. Here you can manage links, add links, organize links in categories and import links.

Presentation is very limited in WordPress.com version of WordPress because it only allows you to choose from pre-defined list of themes. Currently there are only 9 available themes. However the default WordPress theme can be altered using \”Current Theme Options\”. Unfortunately, this is limited to header only. If they will add theme editor similar to Blogspot and Tabulas, that would be awesome. This is also the disadvatange of WordPress.com because you cannot add plugins and advertisements in your account… for now. Perhaps in the future version of WordPress.com, those options will be available.

Under Profile, (take note it is singular) you can only modify your account. It\’s just a single user account. This is very disappointing because WordPress is well known for its multi-user support while this version of WordPress in WordPress.com does not support multi-users. Well, that\’s probably a way of enticing users to get a full version of WordPress at WordPress.org and host their own blogs.

Options allow you to customize your general settings, similar to previous versions of WordPress. It irriates me that you cannot change the e-mail address used in administrative purposes. Once you registered your blog in WordPress.com, there\’s no way to edit the initial e-mail you used in registration! What if you are going to hand your blog over to someone else? Your e-mail is stuck in that blog. Although you can change your e-mail under Profile section, I think that users should be able to edit the e-mail used for admin too.

So in summary, the only thing I don\’t like in WordPress.com is its inability to edit templates, no multi-user and fixed admin e-mail. Adding plugins is not really necessary but I really thought this free blogging service supports multi-users and template editing because I was too familiar with WordPress already and I thought it comes by default. Having no option to edit the admin e-mail is just annoying. These shortcomings are very disappointing for a seasoned WordPress user but new bloggers will find WordPress very attractive. And because it is very new you might be able to reserve your own subdomain. Take note however that once you have created your subdomain, there\’s no way to delete them yet, and you can\’t register another blog using an email more than once, so be careful on choosing your subdomain.

Wordpress.com is very new, so expect that it will have more improvements within several months. In the meantime, WordPress 2.0 Beta is already out, so if you want to try it, download it from WordPress.org and install a test blog now.

Link:
Wordpress.com: http://www.wordpress.com
WordPress.com, WordPress, blogs, blogging, free

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The Spoke

I opened an account in The Spoke yesterday just to try it out. The first reason why I really don\’t like adopting hosted blogs is the limitation of its look and feel. It\’s hard to modify or it is not customizable at all. I still prefer customizing my own blog and writing anything under the sun in my very own domain name. The second reason is blogging in your own domain gives you some degree of authority in your own domain whereas you don\’t have that authority when you are just renting in a free hosted blog site.

I just didn\’t realize that most people there are Microsoft zealots, then I posted a news about Firefox 1.5 RC3 (similar to my previous entry here) … we\’ll guess what, The Spoke is probably not the best place to talk about non-Microsoft products but I don\’t give a damn. People shouldn\’t be close minded about these great softwares. That\’s all I can say for now.

Still, the Spoke is a great community to blog with. There are lots of bloggers and technology evangelists writing their own articles and opinions about the latest news and happenings in technology.

Link:
http://www.thespoke.net

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Legal Guide for Bloggers

I\’m not very fond of politics but it is inevitable to get involved. If you just sit around and watch everything, you\’ll find yourself speechless and that is something you don\’t want to happen. Eventually you\’ll be dealing with political issues not only in your community, but also in a broader perspective. As blogger you can write virtually about anything. Free speech does not come freely. It may sound odd but I also believe in equivalent trade in a certain extent. If you want to speak freely then you should know your boundaries. More importantly, you should know your rights.

My friend wrote his opinion about EFF\’s campaign and they are all valid. Our class in ethics deals heavily with privacy issue and EFF is one of the frontier in defending freedom in the internet. All bloggers are encouraged to know about their rights. So what are you waiting for? Read it!

Links:
Fighting for Bloggers\’ Rights: http://www.eff.org/bloggers/
EFF\’s banners and link: http://www.eff.org/bloggers/lg/link.php
ethics, EFF, privacy, freedom

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