Category Archive

Posts in hacking

March 16th, 2009

The Ultimate Showdown of Content Management System Destiny

I wasn’t planning on linking to anything involving SXSW this week since every going-on there will be blogged and tweeted to death without me, but I liked the premise of this: Three dev teams were tasked with producing a website to uniform design, content and technical specifications within 100 hours, each in a different CMS: Drupal, Joomla or WordPress. My friend Tom Boutell provides session notes (and better backgrounding than the Showdown site provides).

Ultimately, the result is not a proof of any platform’s superiority, but that there’s sufficient functional overlap of the low and high end CMSes to make specifying a platform a considerably less nervewracking experience than it was a couple years ago.

Incidentally, Tom just announced Context at SXSW today, a brand new CMS based on the Symfony framework.

March 4th, 2009

Widget Cart needs beta testers

Widget Cart is a WordPress plugin that adds ecommerce to any WordPress website with widgets enabled. You can add a shopping cart to your new or current website as easily as adding any other blog widget. “Add to Cart” buttons can be inserted anywhere in any post or page; the cart sits among your other WordPress widgets where users can change the quantities on the items they order before checking out at PayPal.

It only needs a WordPress- based website, widgets enabled, and your PayPal account to receive and handle orders.

The project is in its final stages and needs testers. The plugin is more or less feature-complete according to my tasklist, which means upgrading it to a final release will (hopefully) not require any more effort by the testers than replacing the plugin files.

Widget Cart will be available for public download and submitted to the WordPress plugin directory when I’m satisfied that it works properly and has sufficent documentation. For now I want to be able to notify anybody affected by updates.

Widget Cart is GPL‘d. I will never require registration or payment for downloads and documentation. It was heavily influenced by QuickShop, which is designed to serve slightly different purposes; if Widget Cart interests you but you’re using a checkout system other than PayPal I encourage you to try it instead.

If you’d like to participate, comment on this post and I’ll contact you by email. Comments are screened and I will withhold publication at your request.

January 25th, 2009

The Black Triangle

The most significant accomplishments in programming, the signs that tells you the foundations are good and the systems work, rarely come with impressive visual displays.

I’m in the final stages of a major project right now so posting will continue to be light. The project itself should be good for a couple posts after it goes live, as it’s doing things in Joomla that I haven’t seen elsewhere yet.

January 14th, 2009

Interview with an adware author

Fascinating, detailed interview with the programmer behind Direct Revenue, responsible for the adware on several million Windows computers whose owners didn’t know better.

January 7th, 2009

Some steps towards Joompress

JoomPress is a mythical synthesis of  WordPress and Joomla. It combines the beauty and ease of use of WordPress’s admininistration features with the robustness of Joomla’s document/information management model. This ain’t happening for a variety of reasons, not least because you can’t whipstitch two animals together and expect the result to walk, but maybe that’s better investigated another time.

An easier goal is to combine WordPress and Joomla output, because WordPress is pretty weak about content organization and Joomla’s blogging ability is nonexistent. Letting the CMS tool do the CMSing and the blog tool do the blogging is appealing and practical in theory. In corporate websites it would allow a strong firewall between the people doing document management and the people writing the PR releases. Before rerigging cloudiness entirely in WordPress, I tried a JoomPress hybrid, to run a WordPress blog behind a Joomla front-end. The trial got far enough along to convince me that somebody could make it work. If others want to try, the notes are below.

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