Sat, 15 Jan 2005

WordPress Publish by Email

— SjG @ 5:09 pm

So I was playing with the cool wp-mail mod by John Blade, and trying to moblog from my Treo 650 and Versamail. It works impressively.

But I’m never quite satisfied with any software — I wanted a few new features, and I wanted a fix for a weird VersaMail bug. So I added some features, and tweaked some code.

This version adds the following:

  • Allow uploaded articles to specify status (e.g., draft, publish, static, private).
  • Fixes a weird encoding issue introduced by VersaMail, which sends encoded images with a MIME type of “application/octet-stream”. Huh?
  • Creates thumbnails of the uploaded images, and includes them as links to the actual images

Status Code
To specify status for an article, you use John’s subject syntax to specify a category, then follow it up with the code for the status:

  • d – draft
  • p – publish
  • s – static
  • P – private

So, for example, to upload an article as a draft into category 6 with a title “My Article”, you would use the subject:

[6d]My Article

If you’d wanted that to be immediately published instead of posted as a draft, you could just omit the “d” in the category specifier, or explicitly add a “p”.

If you don’t know which category you want, you can still use this status hack; assign the posting to category 1, and change it later from your admin console.

This functionality depends on Thomas Boetell’s popular GD lib being installed. Many PHP installations come with it prebuilt; otherwise you’ll need to bug your ISP to add it (or rebuild your PHP if you run your own server).

By default, thumbnails are created with the maximum dimension of 100 pixels; that means the longest side of the thumbnail will be 100 pixels, regardless of the aspect ratio (if your original image is 640 x 480, the thumbnail will be 100 x 75, but if your original image was 480 x 640, your thumbnail will be 75 x 100). You can change this maximum dimension; simply edit line 49, and change
$thumb_max = 100;
to the value you prefer.

I’m sending my changes to John, so he can incorporate them into whatever he’s doing with wp-mail. In the meantime, you can download ’em here. Simply expand the archive, and replace your wp-mail.php with the file from the archive.

wp-mail.tgz Oooooh! A single file in a tar archive! For those of you who prefer zip format.

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Thu, 13 Jan 2005

David Trulli show

— SjG @ 11:45 pm

I went to an art opening of work by David Trulli tonight at the Earl McGrath Gallery in West Hollywood. It’s a great show.
There has been a lot written about David lately, and it’s not hard to figure out why. His work is compelling and a little disturbing. They are rich in film-noir narrative, a very strong sense of place, and often come from an unexpected viewpoint. There is a fascination with the infrastructure of alienation (or is that the alienation of infrastructure?) Most, if not all, of the works feature people surrounded by the city; people caught in the middle of their own stories, yet pulled from the leading roles and made into extras by the buildings, overpasses, streetlights, microwave antennas, radar dishes, automobiles, and chain link fences.
The show is on through the end of February. Definitely stop by if you’re in the area!

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Tue, 11 Jan 2005

Uncle Tungsten

— SjG @ 11:59 pm

Oliver Sacks, Vintage, 2004.

These are less a memoir than the story of a boy’s recapitulation of the discoveries of pre-Quantum chemistry. Sacks tells the story of his love affair with chemistry, as fostered by his Uncles (including the eponymously apellated Uncle Tungsten). His enthusiasm is contagious, and his highs of discovery made me want to rush out and buy a chemistry kit … although, as he points out, today’s chemistry sets are sadly hamstrung by the removal of anything that could be dangerous — which is to say, anything interesting. His interweaving of stories of stinkbombs and metallic sodium explosions with the history of how these same chemical processes became understood makes the history accessible — not to mention more impressive.
It made me think about the knowledge that is today taken for granted (e.g., the air we breathe is a mixture of gases, and different kinds of “air” can be emitted from various chemical reactions), and the profundity of these discoveries.
Perhaps I learned less about the chemical properties of various elements than I could have from this book, but I certainly did take away a sense of the history of chemistry, a sense of the magic, and a sense of the enormously exciting environment of discovery that took place through the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

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— SjG @ 3:56 pm

Even though I’ve been working on it for about six months, I’m still in that excited, “hey this is great!” stage with my new teapot series. Usually, by this time, my enthusiasm has run out, and I’ve fallen into the depths of blackest despair over the general unworthiness of the project in question.

This series is based upon the shape of human heads. The inspiration has its genesis in teapots I did years ago, but got rekindled with Joey, and then later Sylph from last year.

The current series is less about pure representation, however. The first in the series, Identity Politics is online (although I’m not happy with the photography. I’ll probably reshoot this.) Recently out of the kiln, but not yet photographed, is Gabba Gabba Hey, which is a commentary on cell-phone culture, and Time of Your Life which is a simple summary of a life. Most recently, Hope has been bisqued, and Paranoia / Homeland Security is ready for the bisque. These two both involve modified or sectioned head forms, and I’m really pleased with both of them thus far. Last night I started work on War Widow, which will return slightly towards the more representational.

Pictures will be posted as they get completed.

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Mon, 10 Jan 2005

Treo Sync Followup

— SjG @ 8:03 pm

Interesting, interesting. Maybe it is, in fact, a hardware problem after all.

I installed the Palm software on a Windows 2000 machine at work, tried syncing using the same cable, and it fails in the very same way.

Next test:

Try with a different sync cable (once I figure out the appropriate place to order one).

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