Category: Internet


Quizlet: What’s been keeping me busy

on January 21st, 2007 ( 18 )

Howdy.

You might notice it’s been a long time since I’ve touched this blog. It’s upsetting. But I have a good reason: Quizlet.

Quizlet is a site I made for learning vocabulary. It’s a fully-featured web application that lets you enter terms and definitions, then gives you tools to study them. It’s perfect for students learning foreign languages, studying for SATs, learning dates in history, or tackling Quizbowl, Science Bowl, or other academic competitions.

I made this site from scratch, programming and designing it as a one-man team. It took me 450 days to release.

I’ve been so involved with this project that it has profoundly changed me, I think. My social life has without a doubt changed. I don’t particularly enjoy doing much of the stuff that all my friends enjoy doing. I’ve pulled a few friends closer, and distanced myself from many more.

I’m now the president of my very own corporation. It feels weird, being in high school. No one else is doing this. I don’t feel like a kid at all any more. Most of my favorite people to talk to are adults. I don’t want to be elitist or anything, it’s just whom I feel comfortable operating with. It’s also strange to feel like I could totally make it in the world without any of this high school stuff or even college.
Oh, and my 17th birthday recently past. It was my first year without a big party. That was okay. Compared with last year, I’m a little less happy. I don’t think I’m having as much fun as I used to. My old friends have changed a lot, especially the things they do. I’m really just waiting for college I think – to get to a place like MIT where everyone is a nerd and I can talk about code freely. Err, that’s not why I’m waiting for college – I like normal stuff too.

Man, that felt good to blog my thoughts. Maybe I’ll get back into it.

Announcing Jalecode

on August 18th, 2005 ( 3 )

I’m announcing Jalecode, a new blog dedicated to coding. In short, that means no more code will be appearing here. I’ll be leaving Democracy, Wordspew and Doc Search here.

Hopefully my friends and other readers will find it more pleasant and more focused because of this. And maybe they’ll start freaking posting again. I probably could get into the posting groove too. It’s been awhile since I’ve really had something to say. So, get on it!

Today I spent from 11 am to 7pm finishing my math homework. Turned in all 14 pages at 8:00 pm. It really got me into that school groove again. Not sure if that’s good or bad. I think all the coding lately has helped with my math skills. The concentrated mindset and the appreciation of semantics really helps.

I’ve just returned from a trip to Portland, a very lovely city. I wouldn’t mind living there in the future. A few more rednecks than Berkeley, but I guess that’s true anywhere.

Codex Search Plugin

on July 19th, 2005 ( 21 )

This plugin gives your WordPress admin panel a Codex searching feature. Whenever you need help with WordPress, just type into the search box and you’ll have all its information at your fingertips. This plugin is a collaborative effort of Owen Winkler and me. Also thanks to Robert Deaton for coding slower than us. The first version was literally started and finished in 5 minutes, but now its branched into something much more usable. Check out the screenshot. Huzzah!

Update: Version 1.3 is Owen’s release. It fixes Safari support and makes other tweaks. Check out his page for this plugin at RedAlt.

Update: Version 1.3.1 is my release. Small tweak for Safari creating a big gap in the footer. Also, filters the results and takes out redundancies in the summaries, makes them MUCH cleaner to look at. I think I’ve perfected the CSS as well. Tweaked the search queries to not include Codex results in the Forum section. Also, I localized the button and some text with the __() function

Search the Codex from your admin panel

Download version 1.3.1 of Codex Search. Released July 21, 2005

Installation: Very simple. Upload to your plugins folder (/wp-content/plugins/), then activate the plugin in your admin panel. That’s all!

Democracy AJAX Poll

on June 29th, 2005 ( 480 )

Extremely Important:

This page is for Democracy 1.2 and has been preserved for archival reasons. Democracy 2.x has been released and fixes security problems, allows in-post polling, and a much better interface.

I’m announcing my second ever WordPress plugin, Democracy. Democracy adds polling functionality to your WordPress blog. It grew out of frustration with the only other WordPress polling option, WP-poll. It didn’t have valid markup, it was clunky, and it required one heck of an installation process. So I decided to create my own, using WP-poll as a reference. This plugin uses AJAX for quick sending and loading of poll data, although it doesn’t depend on javascript to function, like my other plugin. It is fully functional in non-javascript environments, meaning it will work in ALL browsers. The AJAX part is tested to work in Safari, Opera, Firefox, and IE6/Win. The poll is in my sidebar, so go ahead and see for yourself.

It also has a full-featured admin panel, which allows one to manage their polls. You can activate, edit, delete, and add new polls from the admin panel. It is also harder to ballot-stuff than WP-poll. It uses cookies as well as IP logging to prevent users from working spamming the ballot box.

And Installation is a piece of cake. Just upload it to your server, activate it, and place a template tag in your theme where you want the poll to appear.

Download: Version 1.2. It is released under the CC GPL 2.0. If you are upgrading, read the upgrade instructions in readme.txt

NOTICE: Democracy 2.0 is in development. It is being rebuilt from scratch to be more flexible. Make your feature suggestions on my democracy 2.0 post.

ESPAƑOL: Download version 1.0 RC 2. Many thanks to Javier Albert for providing a translation
Features:

  • Uses AJAX for sending and loading the results, but is fully accessible in non-js environments
  • Complete admin panel
  • When someone votes, they receive a cookie with what poll they voted in and what their vote was. It also logs their IP, so the same person can’t vote twice even if they delete the cookie
  • Allows users to see current results without voting. Also, detects if there are no votes and announces it…
  • After voting, the choice you made is highlighted.
  • Automatic database table installation.
  • Displays winners of each poll in the admin panel.
  • Delete old polls in the admin panel.
  • Edit existing polls.
  • Graphs the results of the poll beautifully and without images.
  • AJAX is compatible with IE 6, Safari, Firefox, and Opera. All the other browsers, and those with javascript turned off, are supported as well.
  • Select an active poll.
  • jal_democracy() takes poll ID arguments. Use < ?php jal_democracy(10); ?> to display poll 10. However, I recommend you use the ‘activate’ feature instead.
  • Allow your users to add their own choices.
  • Uses the date format you set in the Options panel for the Date Added column.
  • Support for rich HTML. Make your polling options be images!

Please report any errors you encounter with it in the comments below. If you like it, saying thank you is all I ask.

Update July 11

Just updated to Alpha3. It’s lot more robust, and there are plenty of new features. Check out the democracy.php Diff and the js.php Diff. The javascript file no longer conflicts with my other plugin, WordSpew. It also allows you to allow users to add their own answers if they don’t like yours.

New in Democracy Alpha 4 (plugin diff):

  • Added a few options to the head of the plugin file.
  • Added CSS file and id / class hooks that allow for easy manipulation of the design. At the top of the plugin file, you can set the HTML that the question will be wrappd in.
  • New graphing feature makes everything look much nicer when viewing results
  • Fixed HTML validity bug.
  • Cleaned up the checkIP() function for better performance.
  • Cleaned up some if...else statements to use ternary operators
  • Added deactivation feature, so if you want no poll to display, you may. Also, the default poll is no longer active.
  • Archiving function to view past polls.

Update: Releasing Beta 1, very small update. Allows users to set if they want to order the results by votes or by id. Gets rid of big bug that creates errors in wordpress if javascript is off/not running. It should work with and without javascript now. Also tweaked the CSS for Explorer.

Update August 2: Version RC 1 is here. I believe this one to be stable and ready for consumption. Here are some notes:

  • Fixed glaring bug that made IP checking completely not work.
  • Added a field for ‘added by user’, for answers added by users. This helps differentiate any ‘silly’ answers from your ‘official’ answers.
  • Bugfixes and code cleanups everywhere
  • Support for Blix theme. The Blix CSS is poorly written to make all inputs and labels be for table-like forms.
  • Got rid of a couple of IE Bugs that gave console errors.
  • Fixed or improved the flash between voting and receiving new poll data.
  • More FAQs and readme goodness.

Update August 15: Releasing RC 2. Bugfix release

  • HTML validity fixed
  • Rich (HTML) poll answers and questions re-allowed
  • i18n improvements.
  • Cookies now operate on local level instead of domain level. Useful if you have more than one blog in a domain.
  • More code beautification

If you’re updating from a version before RC 1, you’ll need to deactivate the plugin and reactivate it again.

Update August 27: Releasing 1.1. Feature release

  • Adds archiving functionality. Use the jal_democracy_archives() function. Documented in the readme.
  • Changed the graphs to use percentages instead of pixels.
  • Changeset 3215
  • Shaved a query for total votes

Update September 26: Releasing 1.2 Feature release

  • Shaved quite a few queries in admin panel and elsewhere.
  • Now uses correct charset header().
  • Code restructuring and optimization
  • No maximum for the number of answers. Cleaner editing and adding screens
  • Fixed CSS comments
  • Corrected link to my blog from the plugin page
  • htmlspecialchars() on unencoded links
  • Added 2 new FAQs to the readme

German users, you can grab a localized version of Democracy at http://www.bueltge.de/wp-plugin-ajax-umfrage-plugin/32/ . I would like to offer a localizable .pot file so that other languages can easily be done, but I have yet to find a tool for Mac that can do this. If you know of any please let me know!

Crimson Milk is now available!

on June 16th, 2005 ( 2 )

My theme is now officially available for download. Check out the theme page for documentation and a download. Enjoy!

Me do a good Meme!

on May 26th, 2005 ( 11 )

Well it seems to be all the rage in the blogosphere these days, so Jalenack is jumping in too. ‘Cept it’s not a musical baton, it’s a …err… literary stick. Our beloved tsguitar has devised his own meme. Here goes nothing:

First 5 songs that came up when I shuffled iTunes:

  1. Sad Songs and Waltzes – Cake
  2. Feelings – Offspring
  3. Virtual Insanity – Jamiroquai
  4. It Ain’t You – Squirrel Nut Zippers
  5. 4000 Miles – Blackalicious

Current book I’m reading:

The Sound of Waves – Yukio Mishima (Yea, I know it’s required reading)

Last Movie seen in Theaters and where:

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith @ AMC Bay Street
<mini -review>it ruled</mini>

Five People I’ll pass this to:

  1. Geoffers
  2. Nico
  3. Ollie
  4. Jamie
  5. You!