Inline Comments!

Inline Comments Screenshot

Whoa! Inspired by Medium.Com, I decided to search, download and install Kevin Weber’s Inline Comments plugin (created by  to this blog too.

Inline Comments lets users add comment with specific reference to any paragraph of the blog post, which is kind of cool, considering how hard is to quote blog texts. Now you just get one cute ‘+’ sign close to the paragraph, over which you’re hovering (no mobile support, sorry), and if you click on that, you can leave comment instantly.

The same comment appears just like any other “legacy” comment below the post, but also with handy “reference” link to the paragraph you commented.

Together with Inline Comments, I decided also to install and run WP Ajaxify Comments, as these two compliment each other in quite nice way. As this is serious change to the overall comments experience, I will watch closely how it goes. Don’t hesitate to drop me a word, if you see any problems whatsoever.

So far I’m loving it :). And I hope Inline Comments will stay for a while on this blog.

Good Microsoft Morning :)

It’s been quite a while, since I had so successful and effective morning, while trying to discover new Microsoft-dependent tools and techniques. I’m very glad from what I achieved, so I decided to share it a bit with you!

Feedly-connected News Reader for Windows 8 Tablet

NextGen ReaderFirst of all, I had to find a decent news reader for my Lenovo Helix ultrabook. I’m already using Chrome on the Desktop, but my tablet browser of preference is by no competition Internet Explorer 10. No other browser can compete with its slickness when displaying/resizing text with gestures. I tried many: Chrome, Firefox, Opera – all of them worked perfectly on the desktop, but their tablet mode is ridiculous (and that’s soft talk here, I was using much more harsh words, while trying). Feedly Cloud, on the other hand, does not work with IE10. I’ve no idea why, but when trying to login with Google Authentication, it just hangs on the authentication provider and… that’s it! So I needed something else.

I remember Alex Miloev mentioning that he found something quite good for his Windows 8 Phone (I do not like and do not use this mobile platform), so I tried to reproduce his success, but for my Pro tablet. A quick Windows Store query yielded my news reader of choice: NextGen Reader. I do not remember is Alex mentioned the same app, but it took only 15 min with the trial version to decide that this will be my Windows 8 Tablet reader of choice. Because of:

  • Full Feedly integration (although I’ve still had no success discovering how to unsubscribe from a feed from within NextGen 🙂 )
  • Quick and easy synchronization
  • Very nice and neat UI
    • Although I’m missing Portrait mode, for some strange reason it shows up just the NextGen blue logo (initially I thought the app hung, but then rotated back to Landscape and it was all there.
  • Excellent synchronization with Pocket and Readability
  • …and it just “feels right”, while I’m using it
    • Maybe the user experience resembles quite well the Android tablet user experience, to which I’m addicted?

I had some troubles, while trying to pay for the app (it costs US3 before tax, for me it went to something below US$3.50). Completely acceptable price, I didn’t even wait for its trial to expire and purchased it immediately.

(Of course) I had some trouble purchasing it :). Otherwise it won’t be Windows Store, ain’t it? My trouble was provoked from the fact that my Live account is created with US-based address, and in its Divine Wisdom someone at Microsoft (I’m trembling from fear it could be a whole team though!) decided that once country is tied up to Microsoft Account, only Death can separate it. So the Store kept insisting for Microsoft-based postal address (I had to use my PayPal account, because guess what – all my credit cards are with my real address)! I was almost given up (and ready to write a long rant in my blog), but then it struck me: I have to cheat (again)! I have plenty of friends, who live in USA and have valid addresses, so I just put there one of them (Note to self: warn the person that I tied up his address and phone number to my live account 🙂 ).

So once I did the “fraud” above, all went smooth and my PayPal payment (with my Bulgarian credit card) went smoothly. Yay, I am not a happy NextGen Reader user. And it’s awesome!

Windows 8 Tablet Radio Application

AudialisThe next challenge, which I had to resolve, was to bring some noise in the room. I.e., to enable my tablet to play radio streams. Yes, I know, it’s a Pro tablet, I can install WinAmp or whatever there for desktop you can try/find, but I actually waned a tablet application, because it’s much cooler :).

Again a Windows Store search, which yielded lots of choices. Initially I went for Mini Radio Player. After installation and some playing with it (literally), I decided to keep searching, because this thing didn’t have some of my favorite local stations! Yes, it was very intelligent, immediately offered me Bulgarian stations, but with quite limited choice. So I had to give it up. I refined the query a bit (sorry, don’t remember how 🙂 ) and then I stumbled upon Audialis. A bit too “overdesigned” app for my taste, but since its main purpose is to run in background, the overdesign did not scare me (too much). Tried it, saw it has practically all stations I’m interested for, and that’s it for now. It’s even playing now, while I type this :).

Microsoft Word and WordPress Integration

In the past, I was vivid Windows Live Writer user. However, I did not had Live Writer and also it seems Microsoft does not pay much attention to it either, so I decided to use Word for my posts. Word has pretty good (English and Bulgarian) spell check and auto-correct and it’s a word processor, after all, i.e. great for stuff like that. Until today I was using it as “ground-up” for my posts (when without Live Writer), but today I decided to look for a better integration.

I was very nicely surprised to see that Word actually has an excellent blog integration. WordPress Support says almost nothing about it (is it intentional, or is it on purpose?), but I found this excellent blog post “How to Use Microsoft Word to Publish Directly to Your WordPress Site”, which guided me how I can easily setup my Word 2013 to work with doncho.net. All (again) went flawlessly.

Conclusions

  1. Windows Store and the app content have really grew in the past few months. It’s good to see that and it brings some hope in me that if one day Windows Phone becomes more open and flexible platform, I may decide to give it a chance again (not that I dislike Android, but just of curiosity).
    1. Windows Store, on the other hand, still sucks big time, when it comes to “country diversity” and flexibility. I’m not willing to switch my 10+ years Microsoft Passport account just because an idiot on high Microsoft level can’t understand that sometimes people change countries. Why, Microsoft, oh why? 🙁
  2. Feedly, although promised their cloud will work with any browser, still do not support Internet Explorer 10 in a good way. Maybe Internet Explorer 11?
  3. Word and WordPress work awesome together!
  4. Lenovo Helix is an excellent i7 Windows Ultrabook, Tablet and Notebook, all in one! Great job, Lenovo! I hope I’ll find enough time one day to describe how glad I am from having this gem!

🙂

Update 1:

<span style="font-family: Wingdings;">J</span>

Only a Microsoft Product Manager can be so naive 🙂

Защо изпускам WordCamp 2011

imageОт доста време се знае за WordCamp 2011. Анонс тези дни излезе и в официалния блог на WordPress България. Ще бъде едно изключително интересно събитие, с гост Matt Mullenweg, основателят на проекта WordPress и основател на Automattic, компанията зад WordPress.com. Лектори освен това ще бъдат дзвера Весо, Еленко, Лонги, Методи от СуперХостинг.БГ и др.

На мен лично много ми се искаше да присъствам. Бях си го обещал миналата година, когато пак пропуснах. Още повече, че тази година и Мат щеше да е там, а срещата с емблематични хора винаги действа вдъхновяващо.

Но… пропуснах. Основната причина за това е, че събитието е определено да се случи през “дълъг уикенд”. Сигурен съм, че много други хора ще пропуснат поради същата причина, т.е. ако срещата беше в някой от “стандартните” уикенди, много повече хора щяха да присъстват. Организаторите може би си струва да помислият за това догодина…

Проблемът с дългите уикенди (този е четири дни) е, че в много случаи хората планират неща, които вършат вън от София. Знаете за какво става въпрос, най-вече го знаете от задръстванията на изходите на града.

И аз така, този дълъг уикенд няма да бъда в София. Лични причини, какво да правиш, но провалят иначе шанс за среща с уникален човек. И за слушане на интересни лекции от други интересни хора.

Ако вие можете обаче, ако сте блогър или просто имате интерес към платформата WordPress, горещо препоръчвам събитието! Ще е яко!

Към WordPress 3.0.4

След дълго колебание най-накрая се реших да ъпгрейдна подопечните ми блогове (моят си и този на ladyvera) към WordPress 3.0.4.

Когато WordPress 3.0.0 излезе се появиха доста материали за лакомо изразходване на ресурси от страна на 3-ката в сравнение с 2.9.2. Това, съчетано с мрънкането на моя доставчик за използваното от мен процесорно време, доста време ме отблъскваше от ъпгрейд на системата. Специално питах тук-там (и този-онзи) 🙂 за проблеми и чух добри отзиви от хора, на които безрезервно вярвам относно WordPress проблеми (като Ники Бачийски например).

Тази вечер си седнах на д-то (при мен трябва да се пише с главно “Д” вече, порасна!), направих пълен архив на doncho.net и ladyvera.net и един по един им качих версията до 3.0.4. И за двата блога използвах автоматичния ъпгрейд, защото исках да видя какво точно ще стане, а и ужасно ме мързеше да копирам на ръка файловете. Естествено, при doncho.net забравих, че ползвам по-специален wp-db.php, та се облещих като ми светнаха “?????” в административния панел, но добре че имам vi на виртуалния сървър, та го оправих набързо.

Много ценен в случая се оказа и плъгинът Maintenance Mode. Той блокира всички външни заявки към блога, докато трае режимът на ъпгрейд. Така отпада необходимостта от друг вид блокиране (например 404), даже плъгина правилно праща обратно header 503, за да не се шашкат роботите по време на макар и краткия ъпгрейд.

Като че ли след ъпгрейда и двата блога работят нормално. Вера утре ще си каже, а аз с този материал правя така да се каже един “field test” на резултата. Дано не писнат пак от WestHost, че ако стане, този път наистина запрятам ръкави и ги сменям със SuperHosting.BG. Много ме мързи да го правя и сигурно ще убие един ден работа, но луд умора няма, само малко още раздразнение ми трябва и ще се разкарам от WestHost.

Ако забележете нещо нередно – свиркайте. Но според мен всичко си работи ОК, това далеч не е първия ъпгрейд, а WordPress се е доказал, че рядко правят бози точно в тази функционалност.

И пак ъпгрейд

Някой пак ще изпищи, че само за това пиша, ама какво да се прави, като трябва да имам хронология 🙂 ?

Днес използвах няколко часа, за да свърша следните полезни дейности:

* Да кача блога до последната стабилна версия на WordPress
* Да сложа друга тема, че тази нещо много се изтърка

Остава ми да си преработя банера от старата тема, защото без банер не ми изглежда много читаво. И май това е… освен ако нещо не съм забравил, за което разчитам и на вас. Граватар е включен, но нещо граватари не се появяват, лоша работа, много ми харесват и ще трябва да ги прибавям ръчно, някой ден.