It Done Broke.

OSX Unit Convertor Widget Busted

Well, this is weird.  A recent bug in the OSX 10.5 Unit Convertor Dashboard Widget which some believe was introduced by the Safari 4 beta has caused millions of dollars to go missing.  Okay, not really.  Just me thinking I was losing my mind when trying to convert currencies.

The fix has been documented on Mac OSX Hints.

Flashblock & MySpace

Flashblock 1.5.8
Firefox 3.x+

I find MySpace is only tolerable if you have the Flashblock add-on in Firefox.  My primary complaint is the preponderance of Flash media players assaulting your senses all on auto-play.  Some clowns have auto-play on all the media on their page and the hilarious cacophony of their favourite Daily Show clip blasting along side a Slipknot/SystemOfADown/Gwar medley is just sometimes too much.  My secondary complaint is with the Flash Player in Firefox 3.x+ on a Mac which, for some reason seems to wind up the CPU making any other activity on your computer a chore.  So Flashblock allows me to whip around the site without slowing down unless I really want to hear MGMT again (which seems to be inserted into every second page) .

Recently, MySpace’s media player started doing something strange with Flashblock on Firefox.  If you click on the Flashblock placeholder icon, the <div> where the media player should re-appear goes blank and nothing fills the space.  However…music will start playing (if it’s on auto-play).  So you can’t stop it, nor can you change songs.  Whitelisting in Flashblock works…but that’s not a solution.  MySpace is the whole reason I installed Flashblock in the first place.

It’s not Flash dependent: I’ve tried it with Flash 9 & 10 and on Windows and OSX.  I haven’t tried it with many versions of Firefox – just 3.0.5 and 3.1b2.

A related issue has been flagged as a bug in the Camino Bugzilla database.

There is some speculation that there is some code in the new MySpace player that can be addressed by the MediaWrap plugin. This didn’t solve anything for me.

Update: One of the Flashblock developers, Philip Chee, has gotten back to me about this and they’re looking into it.  They’re not pointing fingers since it’s not obvious who’s side of the court this ball is in.  However, if anybody knows how to actually get ahold of the MySpace admins it would probably help to get to the bottom of this (do you just send Tom a message on the site?  After all, he’s “friend”, right?).  The Flashblock Bugzilla report is filed here, but Philip recommends tracking the bug on the Camino site.

Update 2: I’m running AdBlock Plus as well, as I’m sure a lot of people are who don’t like noise in their browser.   I tried disabling AdBlock Plus for that page and the player reappeared when I refreshed the page.  However, it doesn’t behave consistently and sometimes loads, sometimes doesn’t.

Update 3: Seems like Philip may have found a solution described on the Mozdev site.  The Flash player settings manager has a tab called “Global Storage Settings”.  Follow Philip’s instructions but if your “Allow 3rd party…” checkbox is already checked (like mine was), toggle it off and then on again.

Typogrify WordPress Character Replacement

Typogrify 1.6

Something’s a little loose in Typogrify’s pattern matching code.  There’s an option for it to

Add <span class="amp"> to ampersands.

…which does just that, but it doesn’t check the context of the ampersand’s placement.  It will grab an ampersand in the middle of an anchor tag, for instance say, in a title attribute and nuke it.  The results are this:

<a title="Bob <span class="amp">&amp;</span> Doug McKenzie" href="">Take off, eh?</a>

…which leaves a broken link and HTML guts all over the page.  Like, you really don’t need that many double quotes in there, do you now.  The regex code in Typogrify works if instead of “amp” it used ‘amp’ with single quotes (unless your attribute is enclosed with single quotes).  At least it doesn’t break the HTML into tiny little pieces.  However, there’s a larger question as to whether or not you really need a span inside an title attribute – or even anywhere inside HTML code.  It’s more code to do a check that you’re not pattern matching inside HTML tags, but it’s been done.  Maybe this will be addressed in wp-Hyphenate when it gets rolled in.

All In One SEO Pack and WP Super Cache WordPress Plugins

All In One SEO Pack
WP Super Cache 0.9.1

WP Super Cache supports server-side compression which you’d think is a good thing.  It doesn’t seem to play nice with the All In One SEO Pack, though.  You’ll need to turn compression off and delete your cache to get the two to work together.  Funny trade-off, though: if you’ve installed the SEO pack then you obviously want to increase traffic to your site.  Assuming this works, it would be of benefit to have server-side compression working to reduce the load on your server.

As an aside, I like the second comment on this forum posting:

“Why are you using crap like Super Cache anyway? Get rid of it entirely. Get 1BlogCacher — it’s simple, it works without problems, and it’s very, very good in making your blog static. And yes, it works with all other plugins without trouble.”

I assume he’s referring to a different caching plugin.

wp-Hyphenate WordPress Plugin

wp-Hyphenate 1.07 beta
GigPress 1.4.5

I have a site that uses GigPress and in order to get it to embed its own code you need to insert a [gigpress_upcoming] (or similar) code into the page.  However, when wp-Hyphenate is activated it seems GigPress gets skipped and the string literal “[gigpress_upcoming]” gets regurgitated onto the page.

Update: It is indeed a known problem by the developer who quickly got in touch with me and informed me that it’s fixed in the upcoming release.  If this is actually bugging you and you need a quick fix you need to edit wp-content/plugins/wp-hyphenate/wp-hyphenate.php around line 94.  Change:

add_filter('category_description', 'hyph_preProcess', 10);
add_filter('comment_text', 'hyph_preProcess', 10);
add_filter('the_content', 'hyph_preProcess', 10);
add_filter('the_excerpt', 'hyph_preProcess', 10);
add_filter('the_title', 'hyph_title', 10);


add_filter('category_description', 'hyph_preProcess', 9999);
add_filter('comment_text', 'hyph_preProcess', 9999);
add_filter('the_content', 'hyph_preProcess', 9999);
add_filter('the_excerpt', 'hyph_preProcess', 9999);
add_filter('the_title', 'hyph_title', 9999);

Which forces wp-Hyphenate to do its duty last.

Twitter: crankietech

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