Blog Roundup #2

Round 2 of my blog round up.... I was worried at the beginning of the week that I wouldn't find enough blogs to manage to keep this up for a second week, given that I covered an entire month in my first round up!  However, my fears have been unfounded!  There's been a plethora of posts to round up!

Ok this is a set of blog posts that were interesting to me for a couple of reasons. Its a neat little javascript calculator and there's some interesting CSS/layout discussions here. It all started from reading Mark Ireland's post, that was shared by AndyJ on Google Reader, Jonny Shaw's JS Calculator post and last, but not least, Peter Broughton's discussions on CSS layout beyond table, beyond divs.

A Wee Dram of Scotch : Registration Now Open
Say it all really... Registration available for the surprise 1 day event in London.

JQuery Replacements for CFGrid, CFWindow and CFToolTip

ColdFusion 8 Now Available to Students and Educators for free
This is a world-wide offer. What with the other free ColdFusion Servers, there's now absolutely no reason now why Universities and Colleges can't start teaching CFML to its students or students using ColdFusion to create applications for their project work.

Two new Adobe Community Experts in the UK
Congratulation to Andy Allan and Kev McCabe who are now Adobe Community Experts

New browser Google Chrome Launched
I'm impressed.  The speed of rendering is immense. The built in developer tools are very neat for a first pass. The home page needs a little help to make it easier to customise.  Flash and Shockwave work out of the box, but you need to install Java 6u10 for java applets to work (not really a problem). I look forward to seeing more from Chrome and intend to use it as much as possible. Take a look here for more info on Chrome and the comic! Side note: I installed it on XP last night - I don't like it on XP...  Great on vista... Not so pleasant on XP... :|

Announcing CF411.com: your place to find the 411 on things related to CF
Charlie Arehart has rebranded his the resource section of his site, so that its easier for folks to find.  Lots of good CF resources in there for everyone.

John Whish jQuery Site Easter Egg
If you like Guitar Hero and have better reaction than a dead squid....

 

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Comments
Sadly I have the reactions of a dead squid :)
# Posted By John Whish | 9/5/08 10:11 AM
Hey Stephen, thanks for the mention. And really great to see another blog roundup going. I don't know if you'd noticed but one of my sections is, "CFML Blog Highlight Services", at http://www.cf411.com/#cfbloghighlights, and I've now added your site to that. Keep up the good work. I know that's quite a chore.
# Posted By charlie arehart | 9/5/08 9:04 PM
Hey, do you happen to have category-specific feeds? Some may want to treat that particular category of roundups differently, to make sure they never miss one.

Sure, one could hope they'd want to read every post :-), but really this is a nice option if it's available. I couldn't find it.

Is it not offered by Mango? That would seem a shame. Or do you need to enable it? It's a default setting in BlogCFC and others (an RSS feed available per category). Just curious.
# Posted By charlie arehart | 9/5/08 9:08 PM
Sorry I didn't notice at the time of your comments. Really must work out whats going on with mail out from my blog.

@John heh - I was actually meaning me... ;)

@Charlie Glad you like my little round-up. All the round up posts I've done, past and present are under the "blog round up" category. The link for this is : http://nil.checksite.co.uk/archives.cfm/category/b...

I haven't implemented the rewrite rules for MB yet, so its currently long urls including cfm file names.

PS. Hmm, actually Charlie, I see what you mean. I hadn't realised the feeds weren't category specific... I'll have to have a look at that.
# Posted By Stephen Moretti | 9/8/08 10:07 PM
Hi Charlie,
I just saw these comments and I thought I should clarify. Mango does have category-specific feeds, though they may not be exposed by the theme. For example, in this site, the theme shows a feed icon next to the category: http://www.ocflex.org/
Anyway, for Stephen's category, the address would be:
http://nil.checksite.co.uk/feeds/rss.cfm/category/...
and you can make your own "feed mix" by adding more categories separated by commas. For example, for Round up + Flex feeds you would have:
http://nil.checksite.co.uk/feeds/rss.cfm/category/...,flex
# Posted By Laura | 9/8/08 11:02 PM
Ahh... superb!

I was just looking at the code thinking that it looked like you should be able to have category feeds, but couldn't quite work out what needed to be done.

Thanks for replying Laura.
# Posted By Stephen Moretti | 9/8/08 11:06 PM
Ah, ok, but where does that leave people who come to Stephen's site looking for per-category feeds, who don't see this entry and its comments? :-) Does Stephen have to modify something? Or is he locked in because of the theme he chose? Anything he (or you, down the road) could do to help with this dilemma? Just trying to help everyone. :-)

Also, while you're here Laura, in Stephen's setup here, tabbing from this textarea skips the subscribe, captcha, and remember fields and goes to the submit comment button. Those other 3 are missed because they have no tabindex set. Is this maybe a factor of him having some old code and this problem has since been fixed?

Finally, how about the complexity of the captcha? Is that something he could easily tone down if he chose to? Stephen, have you considered it? You've probably noticed that complex captchas don't stop human spammers--and I doubt many automated ones are trying to break in, so complex captchas really just discourage real commenters. Even just a little less complex would help them still prevent any automated scanners. Just a thought.
# Posted By charlie arehart | 9/8/08 11:22 PM
OK - I've added a category specific rss feed to the end of each category. Its kinda hacked in there, it was pretty easy to do. I literally added the following code to the appropriate place in the sidebar.cfm :

<a href="<mango:CategoryProperty rssURL />" title="<mango:CategoryProperty title />" class="rss">RSS</a>

The captcha on here is just lylaCaptcha, so I should probably just dig out my old captcha xml config file and set it to use that instead of the full blown LC settings. In fact : there you go Charlie... One simplified Captcha. ;)
# Posted By Stephen Moretti | 9/10/08 2:02 PM
Awesome. Thanks on both accounts. And Laura, you might want to think about offering the default captcha to be a little lighter weight (though you may just be using the default that comes with Lyla). Ray was doing the same for BlogCFC and people often complained of it, too. I set out a series of blog entries addressing the subject (or why a hard to read captcha was less valuable for most blogs) in a series of posts at http://carehart.org/blog/client/index.cfm/captchas..., where I also offered a proposed simplified lyla xml file (along with explanations of the settings and what I changed). Just something for anyone who uses Lyla (and indeed any captcha tool) to consider.

Thanks again, Stephen.

PS In case Laura does read this, I'll ask: why doesn't Mango remember that we've previously chosen to "subscribe to this comment thread" and "remember my information". I'd think if someone returns to a given blog to comment, and had chosen those before, they'd likely want them again. Why not set a cookie? :-)

Sorry for diverging your blog entry Stephen--but hey, it's about blog roundup, and these are concerns that cross all blogs. :-) Maybe it will help more than just you and Laura, but other bloggers and blog makers. :-)
# Posted By charlie arehart | 9/10/08 3:31 PM
Hi Charlie, Stephen,

By the way, if you are running CF 8, I recommend Seb Duggan's captcha plugin (http://sebduggan.com/posts/coldfusion-8-captcha-pl... ). It has a nice admin interface where you choose the complexity, fonts and character length to use. It would be great to improve Lyla's plugin to do the same thing and be able to change the xml config file from the admin too. Any takers? ;)

I'll check the other issues. All of the issues you mention, Charlie, are not really a problem of Mango's core. Those are issues with either the particular plugins or themes (though I created both those plugins and themes). Mango doesn't make any assumption regarding what features you will want to have or show in your site, thus it gives a lot of power to the plugins and themes. Because Mango is so dynamic, it is difficult to make sure everything plays together well (I hope that it does). For example, the problem of the tab index: the theme has no idea what other fields will be added by plugins, and the plugins do not know that either, or in what order their data will be placed, so they cannot possibly write a correct tabindex. Fortunately, the fix for that is to remove tabindex altogether. I actually need to go through all the themes and check that.

I hope that didn't sound defensive or anything. I always want to improve Mango, so I really appreciate your suggestions. If I only had the time to implement them!
# Posted By Laura | 9/10/08 9:40 PM
Sure, I understand the challenge. Just wanted to put the problems out there.

It's interesting: someone's blog certainly wouldn't seem the place to raise and discuss these (and again, apologies to Stephen for side-tracking the entry), but then again, when one (like myself) is a user of a blog, it then isn't really appropriate for them to go off and report it on the discussion forum or support area of the blog maker. Indeed, sometimes we can't even tell what blog package underlies a blog.

So I'll say that's something to keep in mind about addressing these issues: just because perhaps few have raised them doesn't mean many more might hit them, but never bother to bring them to your attention directly. :-)

Again I leave this here as much for you as for any other blog maker who might see the discussion. It's an interesting conundrum.
# Posted By charlie arehart | 9/10/08 10:15 PM
@Charlie : umm not sure why its not remembering details. It seems to be remembering them for me (I'm not logged into the admin at the minute.)

@laura: lol - Not likely - I did think about some kind of admin stuff for lylaCaptcha last night, but decided not to. I'm in the middle of sorting out a tinyMCE admin plugin and a plugin for the tinymce syntaxhl plugin and the css/js syntaxhighlighter project with ColdFusion brush.

Laura, taking the tabindex off of the form fields definitely help. :)
Charlie, there's a fun custom tag call in the form, just below that "subscribe" option and above the submit button (in this skin). The custom tag registers an event, "beforeCommentFormEnd". Any plugin can offer up content for this event, so there could be any number of form elements between "subscribe" and "submit", so tabindex can get a bit difficult to manage. Fortunately, removing the tabindex does make life a lot easier. ;)
# Posted By Stephen Moretti | 9/10/08 10:27 PM
Direct emails or posts to the appropriate <a href="http://www.mangoblog.com/forums/">support forum</a> are sometimes more appropriate, but this discussion has certainly taught me a few things I didn't know and hopefully will attract a couple more readers, so I don't mind the subversion at all. ;)
# Posted By Stephen Moretti | 9/10/08 10:45 PM