Archive for May, 2009

Calendar 1.2.2 Released

Calendar version 1.2.2 has been released. You can download it from WordPress or from my own site. Thanks to all who helped with testing and especially to those who offered solutions to discovered issues.

Keen eyes will notice that 1.2.2 supports WordPress 2.8 but the latest stable version of WordPress is 2.7.1. All this means is that I have tested compatibility with the latest 2.8 beta in readiness for it’s stable release date.

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End of a Halifax era

Six years ago I wrote the Halifax College website when I sat on the college committee. Since then, I have left the University of York and gained a degree at another university but throughout that time my old website has been kept in use, different content, different webmaster, but still the same design and code.

This week sees the launch of a new site in it’s entirety, code, design the works. The site is still hosted on my server which is why you will see a link to this blog on the bottom of the site but apart from that it’s now entirely out of my hands.

In some way I’m sad to see it change but 6 years is a very good run for a site design/back-end without any changes and it was only right that full control should pass from the hands of an old alumni into fresh ownership, after all I think you’ll agree that the new look is rather pleasing to the eye.

Anyone interested in what the site used to look like when I ran it, can check it’s internet archive entry.

Halifax Online is dead, long live Halifax Online!

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Calendar 1.2.2 Beta Released

As promised in my post just a day or two ago, Calendar for WordPress 1.2.2 has now been released in beta. You can download it here.

In addition to the promised new features and bug fixes detailed in the last post, the following have also been squeezed in.

  • Corrected a couple of spelling mistakes in the default English language text
  • Fixed a Calendar admin panel issue where URLs would grow in length if certain options were chosen consecutively
  • Ensured that, should an error be thrown due to problematic user entry, the entered data would remain on screen for easy correction

As always, please be aware that this is beta software. It might have bugs or errors and using it on a live site would be unwise. If you are tech-savvy and wish to test this release then I would be most grateful for your feedback and bug reports in the comments on this post. If not then the non-beta full release will be made available when WordPress 2.8 comes out of beta which looks to be any day now.

As an aside, it seems fitting that a new version of Calendar is being released now as the total number of Calendar downloads has recently exceeded 30,000!

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New Calendar release afoot

I’m currently working on an interim release of calendar, version 1.2.2. This should be ready by the start of next week. I say interim because this is simply a precursor to a brand new release, 1.3, which will be packed with new and requested features. This bumper new version should grace the internet with it’s presence in August.

As usual I will be looking for beta testers for the new release so for everyone who is interested in testing this, please keep an eye on my blog for the release announcement next week.

Features and bug fixes being added in the 1.2.2 version include:

  • Full gettext language support
  • Fixed bug with subscribers permissions variable
  • Improved README and FAQ
  • Changed link back to point here instead of old business site
  • Fixed bug with function call to capture blog URL
  • Neatened some rough edges in the back-end styles
  • Fully tested WPMU support
  • Support for WordPress 2.8
  • Improved error catching
  • Fix implemented for ambiguous error messages
  • Improved widget behaviour by abstracting legacy calls from widget calls

I hope you will enjoy the new release and would, at this stage, like to thank all those who have reported bugs. I do listen, even if I don’t reply and I hope this list of fixes shows that this is the case. As above, testers be sure to keep a look out for the beta version!

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Sherbet Fountains

Sherbet FountainI was in a sweet shop in York last weekend (I have a sweet tooth, I just can’t resist) and I overheard someone say that the traditional sherbet fountains are going to be removed from sale in the near future for “health and safety reasons”. This is apparently despite acknowledgements from all parties concerned that no harm has ever come to anyone through the fact the liquorice is open to the air.

Day by day I hear of more ludicrous actions being taken in the name of health and safety which merely seem to reduce our enjoyment of life. Sherbet fountains have been around my entire life and I remember buying them as a child. Not only that but my parents remember buying them as children. Bureaucrats and paranoid health officials shouldn’t be allowed to meddle.

Anyone unacquainted with my views on health and safety and it’s run-away tendency to mess with every part of our lives in ways that spoil our freedom and enjoyment should consult one of my past articles, “Health & Safety rules must die”

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Swindon Council Again

So following on from my last debacle with Swindon Borough Council concerning parking, I figured I would have more luck getting a visitors permit for my parents to park outside my house for the day. After all, I’d already gone through the agony of getting a residents permit for myself (which involved queuing for an hour and presenting 2 forms of id and the registration details of my car) so my details were already on the system with a valid permit.

How wrong I was though. When I arrived in the council offices this morning it was all very quiet and I got straight to the parking services desk. That’s about the only thing that went well. I asked them for a visitors permit and gave my current details which they pulled up on the computer. They then said that although I was entitled to a visitors permit, they wouldn’t give me one unless I gave them a bank statement. I replied that I didn’t have one with me and besides, they already knew I lived at the address and that I had my own car parked there so what was the problem. They said, and get this, “people who rent move out all the time and so we have to check the permit holder still lives there first”.

Well to debunk their reasoning. Firstly, I’ve hardly ever seen a housing contract that doesn’t last for at least 6 months. Secondly, the council won’t give you a permit that lasts more than 6 months if you rent. Deduction; I couldn’t possibly have a parking permit with 3 months left on it if I wasn’t still paying rent on the house the permit is registered to, ergo, I must still live there, or be foolishly throwing money down the drain on a property I don’t live in, but either way, still entitled to permits for guests.

To be honest I’m not surprised that people move out all the time when the council treats them like that, after all, not all councils around the country are tight fisted enough to make you pay to park outside your own house let alone prohibit your guests from doing so through a pointless bureaucratic process. Anyone would think I’d asked to park outside of Buckingham Palace, not down some random street in a railway town in Wiltshire.

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Hannah’s Birthday

Hannah's Birthday

I travelled to York with my parents to spend the day there and take Hannah out for a meal in the evening for her birthday

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Domain Details Annoyance

The other day I received a complaint concerning one of my domain names due to “inaccurate contact details being shown on the WHOIS”. The issue, or should I say non-issue seemed to be that some clever chap had noticed that the phone number I had displayed alongside my Swindon address was a Leeds one and thus had decided that one or other of the pieces of information must be bogus.

Clearly this individual wasn’t clever enough however as if he was he would have realised that in these modern days of VOIP and SIP lines, geographic numbers are in fact available to those who subsequently relocate outside of the original area in which the number was registered. Indeed had he called the phone number he would have found it alive and well. Techies 1 – 0 n00bs

Still, to appease the burocrats at ICANN I have now changed the number to a non-geographic 0845 number. This will sadly increase the cost for anyone calling but when certain individuals insist on making spurious claims, what else can a legitimate domain owner do?

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