Thursday, July 5, 2012

A public message - To avoid TLDR posts on the blog


Don't know if you've ever read my blog(s), or not, however, I've decided to consolidate (whatever there was to..), and from now on write in a single place - here... because I figured, this is what I write, no need to divide by subject, I can always tag/label whatever, so you know if you might be interested or not...

Since the beginning I've always written for myself, never to attract a following, though I know some people do read, for whatever reason, so this is for you (and myself to finalize the decision).
If I want to be or not, I will always remain a grouchy geek... so if I'm writing about my work, life, health, kids, rants or woodworking / woodturning in Hebrew or English - I can write about the whole thing under the same heading without feeling to bad about it.
http://grouchygeek.eshel.us 
including also:
http://woodturning.eshel.us
http://dailyutil.blogspot.com/
http://geekswithblogs.net/meshel

The kids blogs will not be added, but will be consolidated into the "kids blog" shared instead of a single one for each (though they will retain the original URLs which will lead to the same place).
http://kids.eshel.us
including of course:
http://mia.eshel.us
http://daniel.eshel.us
http://haleli.eshel.us

The technical process of bringing it all together will take me some time, but all  the new stuff will  be joined.

Have fun!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Book Review on “Gamestorming” by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, James Macanufo; O'Reilly Media

"Gamestorming" was a very interesting book, I was under the mistaken impression (for about 5 minutes) that it was a book about gamification of applications. but i was quickly corrected - it is a book about how to use gaming or games to help mainly with generating ideas but also as a more general business tool

the premise is that you would think that business people would look at gaming as not intellectual enough or not scientific enough and develops the idea that games can be made into very useful and controlled tools that can help you and the business in general become more creative and overcome all kinds of creative and other obstacles using gaming principles and even actual games

the author argues that using the right games in the right framework and settings can be a very powerful tool for you as a manager

he goes on to give examples of different problems that were solved with games and how that was managed he then describes his framework of using games to solve problems and generate ideas through a organized process to control the naturally chaotic and undisciplined thing that a game is. after that he goes on to explain a bit about creativity and different ways to look at a problem using different sketching techniques and views.

and to finish it off he details very LONG lists of games for different types of problems along with a brief description  of the game rules and important information not excluding credit to the originator of the game idea

all in all I found it a very interesting book teaching an interesting and seemingly useful way of helping creativity flow in an organization with controls put in place to help guide and navigate this creativity into paths and channels that would benefit the organization and its goals instead of just expending itself on meaningless ideas

Sunday, April 8, 2012

What is the WordPress Page Template name displaying?



A nice solution for debugging (custom) Page Template issues in WordPress. When something is wrong, or you're just not sure which Page Template is rendering for the content page. I have found this hack invaluable in my WordPress work, source is here, thanks for the help. This has saved me countless hours while developing and modifying WordPress themes.

Just place the following code in your functions.php

add_filter( 'template_include', 'var_template_include', 1000 );
function var_template_include( $t ){
    $GLOBALS['current_theme_template'] = basename($t);
    return $t;
}
function get_current_template( $echo = false ) {
    if( !isset( $GLOBALS['current_theme_template'] ) )
        return false;
    if( $echo )
        echo $GLOBALS['current_theme_template'];
    else
        return $GLOBALS['current_theme_template'];
}
And put 
get_current_template();
where ever in your theme files that will display in a comfortable place (usually in footer.php (be careful if you have several custom footers), to display the name of the file.



My first WordPress plugin is live!

It's not much of a plugin, but it solves a problem not only I experienced so in my book it is OK.

Long story:
I wanted to create a demo site for prospective customers conataining all the WrodPress themes I own and can use to build them a site.
I found no easy solution to do this... When I asked in the WordPress question site I got some answers that pointed to a specific plugin

When I checked the plugin, I realized that though it knows how to switch themes live, if you want the theme to support it, some modification needs to be done to the theme itself... Owning over 90 themes (and growing) including premium and free, this was too much work, and a nightmare to maintain. So on with the search for a solution. As the comments on the original thread continued to develop (thank you helgatheviking) I realized the solution was just under my nose... a little more research (this time into plugin coding) and I had a working solution...

Deployed it to my site and the demo site was working like I wanted.

Next step was to upload it to Wordpress.org for approval, and before I knew it, I was a published author :-) thanks to WordPress, before long I had the required pages setup on my site, and I was set to go.

Now I'm hooked, and hard at work on my second plugin, which I don't know yet if it will be released under my name, as it is fully sponsored by a commercial company. still a secret... hush...