jQuery: How can I target a specific tag, such as UL?

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012 | Business | No Comments

jQueryjQuery is a flexible javascript framework that lets you do a lot.  One major component of jQuery is the concept of the “selector“.

If you want to apply some jQuery code to an item, you use it’s selector.  For example to turn on a class for all anchor tags (A) you use:

$(“a“).toggleClass(“className”, true);

The “a” in bold is the “selector”.  In this case we told jquery (which is “$”) to select all anchor tags.  We then said, “with what is selected, toggle the className class on”.

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Fluke Wine Bar, Newport, RI – A Mediocre Review

Monday, July 2nd, 2012 | Personal | No Comments

Fluke Wine Bar Restaurant, Newport, RIThe food was wonderful, our waitress was excellent, the view of the Newport Harbar at sunset was beautiful, but management killed our evening.

Dining at Fluke Wine, Bar & Kitchen, a local Newport restaurant, proved to be too good to be true.  We had heard good things about the restaurant.  Despite being there for drinks a few times, we had never actually had a meal there.

At the end of our meal, the manager came over to tell us we were taking too long and had to leave.  We didn’t think he even talked to the waitress, as we didn’t even have the check yet!  Why would you make a table feel bad, when they haven’t even been given the opportunity to leave when ‘hinted’ by a check being delivered.

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jQuery 2.0 to drop IE 6/7/8 Support

Friday, June 29th, 2012 | Business | 1 Comment

jQueryTo quote the jQuery folks:

Our goal is for 1.9 and 2.0 to be interchangeable as far as the API set they support. When 2.0 comes out, your decision on which version to choose should be as simple as this: If you need IE 6/7/8 support, choose 1.9; otherwise you can use either 1.9 or 2.0.

Wow.

I’m happy that someone is taking a step to eliminating support for these archaic browsers.

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WordPress 3.4.1 Maintenance / Security update Released

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012 | Business | 1 Comment

WordPressTime to update again..

WordPress released the 3.4.1 update addressing some basic maintenance issues and a few security vulnerabilities.

Some fixes:

  • Theme’s page template detection fix (this could get annoying)
  • Category permalink structure fix
  • Better plugin JS integration (this has annoyed me a few times)
  • Better compatibility with PHP 5.2.4 and PHP 5.4, as well as allowing for some other “non standard” setups.

Download or update in your WordPress dashboard

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Google Indexing Javascript / AJAX?

Friday, May 18th, 2012 | Business | No Comments

GoogleSaw a post this morning, Google Bot now crawls arbitrary Javascript sites.

Seems like not only is Google indexing javascript files, but executing them as if they were an actual user clicking (thus firing off related javascript calls properly).

 

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Google Analytics: Find your Social Media Activity, a Tour

Monday, May 14th, 2012 | Business | No Comments

GoogleGoogle Analytics does a lot for us, and it does so much that we can’t always find some of the cooler functionality.

I recently discovered some VERY useful information regarding social media linking in Google Analytics.

Google Analytics will let you review the social media discussions and events (+1, Like, Bookmaarks, etc) and do the usual stuff with it.

To find your Social Media actions in Google Analytics:

  1. Log into Google Analytics and get to your Standard Reporting dashboard
  2. In the left nav, navigate to: Traffic Sources -> Social -> Pages
  3. Here you can see your most “Liked” content, but it gets better… (and the activity incoming from social networks)
  4. Click on any of the “Pages” in the list, I clicked the first link
  5. You can now see various Social Media networks that drive your traffic (“Social Referral”)
  6. Click on “Activity Steam”
  7. Here you land on the “Conversations” section, you can also click on the “Events” section (next to “Viewing” above the actual data)
  8. Great — but there’s more…
  9. Click on “ALL” under the “Pages” title (top left corner) — this can be done under events and conversations

Using this you can see all social media conversations sending links to your site, as well as all actions (and sometimes which user) that saved/liked/plussed your site.

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Help: Uploading MP3s on WordPress doesn’t work

Monday, April 30th, 2012 | Business | No Comments

WordPressToday I ran into a minor issue with WordPress.

When uploading an MP3 file (in my case, although I’m sure many other file types) — I was getting an “HTTP Error” or “Internal Server Error” depending on how I uploaded the file.  The file wasn’t even that big, just a 150K test file.

There were 2 things that had to happen..

Add an MP3 Mime Type

Out of the box, WordPress doesn’t want you to upload an MP3 file to the Media Library.  You have to add it.

You can do this by using the “upload_mimes” hook in your functions.php file:

function addMimeTypes($mimes) {
    $newmimes = array_merge($mimes, array(
        'mp3' => 'audio/mpeg'
    ));
    return $newmimes;
}
add_filter('upload_mimes', 'addMimeTypes');

Disable FastCGI

Yes, unfortunately FastCGI use of PHP was causing me to have problems so I had to switch back to PHP being run as an Apache Module.

To do this, you’ll have to find out per your hosting provider how to do this.  I’m at Media Temple and it was pretty easy.

Keep in mind that FastCGI lowers your memory usage, and disabling it may have other negative effects.

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Google’s HTML/CSS Style Guide

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 | Business | No Comments

GoogleSorry for the deluge of posts today.  This next one is a must read for web developers.

I’m not sure when it was first posted, but I just came across it today, the Google HTML/CSS Style Guide.

There are some useful reminders in there, and also some curveballs (beyond “Use Valid HTML where possible”):

  • Omit protocol from embedded resources – this means your JS and CSS includes should use “//” as opposed to “http://”.  This means whenever your code runs over HTTPS it won’t generate all those annoying popup windows.
  • Don’t use Entity references – an interesting point.  If your entire environment revolves around UTF-8, there is no need to encode special characters (except for < > and & because they are HTML code).  Bye bye —
  • Omit optional tags – skipping a few lines of code must save Google millions annually, but it’s interesting.  I don’t know if I can stop writing “<head><title>Title Here</title></head>” … but according to HTML5 specifications it’s an optional tag, and you can just write “<title>Title Here</title>”.
  • Hexadecimal Notation – Use 3 character notation where possible.  I’ve been doing this, but didn’t realize it was a best practice (this may save Google hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, me?  nothing).
  • Alphabetize CSS declarations – I guess this makes sense, so there is at least SOME organization to CSS declarations
  • Property name stops – For some reason Google WANTS room between a CSS property and the value (“value: 0px” vs “value:0px”).  Seems odd to me, but at least it’s what I’ve always done

 

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Google’s Matt Cutts on White Hat SEO Tactics

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 | Business | No Comments

GoogleSEO professionals argue day in and day out about whether or not to use Black Hat SEO tactics.  For those of you not aware of the difference between White Hat and Black Hat tactics, here’s a few bullets…

White Hat Techniques

  • Improve usability of site
  • Generate Content
  • Improve site speed
  • Marketing the site legitimately
  • Technically implement the site correctly
  • Anything a search engine would want you to do

Black Hat Techniques

  • Buying links
  • Keyword spamming
  • Link circles
  • Spam commenting / linking
  • Farming out link generation
  • Anything to fool a search engine into thinking you are bigger than you are

I will admit that for certain clients, it is useful to consider some black hat techniques.  Black hat techniques come at a higher price tag, and much shorter term lifespan.

Matt Cutts (of Google), considered one of the closest things many of us have to seeing inside Google’s head, wrote an article talking about Google’s stance on White Hat versus Black Hat.

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Firefox 12 Released

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 | Business | No Comments

FirefoxFinally Firefox has migrated to the “silent update” that has kept Chrome browsers updated.

Mozilla announced Firefox 12 today.  You can download it at mozilla.org.

The big changes with this update are the auto-update functionality, and the improvements mad to Developer Tools.

You can check out some other improvements such as:

  • Multitouch on Android support
  • Network timeouts on XMLHttpRequests
  • Line breaks in tooltips!
  • Many more!

If only Microsoft would allow Internet Explorer to auto update…

 

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