Internet Explorer 6 and 7:Mess Up WordPress Image Uploads

I just ran into a problem on a photo site I have made with WordPress. The photo site is a photo web log where there are multiple authors that contribute one photo at a time (or so I prefer!). I don’ t know how to edit WordPress’s setup so that the upload process creates an image to a custom width rather than the default thumbnail. With that in mind, every author has to click ‘Write Post’ and then upload their pre-sized to 500px wide image to the site. From there they have to click on the ‘upload’ menu’s preview of their image. The one click brings up a menu on top of the photo that looks like this:

  • Using Thumbnail
  • Not Linked
  • Send to Editor
  • Delete
  • Close Options

If you click on any of the items they will toggle to another option or execute the stated function. In my photo site’s case we change it to the following:

  • Using Original
  • Not Linked
  • Send to Editor
  • Delete
  • Close Options

Then we press ‘Send to Editor’ and an img tag is sent to the Editor with the correct settings. Everything is as it should be (except that it excludes dimensions and that agitates the standards-loving person that I am, but I let it slide for the sake of ease of use). However, when using Internet Explorer 6 or 7 something funny happens.

  1. The ‘width=’ option IS being used, but without quotes around the contents (the same for the alt setting) and it’s set to ’96’ which is basically the thumbnail width.
  2. The file path to the ORIGINAL is provided in the alt specification while the src specification remains pointing at the thumbnail file.

My friend was banging his head against the wall trying to figure it out. Once I discovered this problem I simply suggested that he install Firefox. 😀

In conclusion, I don’t know a lot of people that use WordPress in this way, so maybe it isn’t very well known. Maybe it has something to do with my theme, but that shouldn’t be the case, since it’s within the admin side of the site. Anyway, maybe this write up will save somebody a headache.

OSX Exposé for Linux with Skippy

Expose on Linux with Skippy 01

Like any OSX-turned-Linux user, I’ve been missing certain features. The most obvious one is definitely Exposé. At work I’m still using OSX 10.4 with the scroll wheel-click set to invoke Exposé. I have a LOT of windows open plus I have a dual monitor setup, so it’s even worse. Exposé really shines in that situation. Generally, however, I find myself more focused when at home on my good-as-new-used Thinkpad T42 running Ubuntu Edgy. I don’t have anywhere near as many applications running, but that feature seems like it should be there, especially when I have my Logitech MX310 multi-button mouse plugged in.

Last night I found myself getting that I should be installing cool new software instead of doing my work itch. It’s a bad habit that I can only guess plagues many Linux noobs after the long journey of installing every cool free software they can dream of and customizing their desktop to their very exceptional taste. I think it comes out of having almost no such options on commercial operating systems. The software is usually very expensive (though there’s a lot of open-source stuff available lately) and customization is fairly limited. So I started searching for something resembling the title of this post. I found three items with supposed similar functions for Linux:

I would love to have tons of data on all three, but I don’ t have time right now. It looks like Expocity was a Metacity hack and maybe it didn’t work that well. I can’t find much info on it. Kompose is supposed to be very nice, but is for KDE. Granted, I use a lot of KDE applications already on my Gnome desktop, but they have their share of quirks and something like Kompose is very intertwined with the KDE desktop and Qt. Kompose looks pretty sweet. Yet another reason for me to switch to KDE.

Skippy wins by default. The brief research I did on the matter lead me to a blog mentioning that Skippy could be installed in Ubuntu with Synaptic. Shit man, that’s all you had to say!

Expose on Linux with Skippy 02

So off I went to Synaptic. It’s that easy. There is no gui management program though. All you need to know is that F11 invokes it to do its thing. I guess that could cause problems with some applications, but I don’ t use my F11 key much at all. Apparently there should be some kind of config file in your home directory called ‘.skippy’ or something similar. My system does not have that to my knowledge and I’ll be damned if I go looking through the entire filesystem searching for it. F11 is fine.

I did have to go to the Terminal and enter ‘skippy’ to get it running. Open a terminal, type ‘skippy’, press enter and then see if pressing F11 invokes a display of all of your open windows in a grid like the screenshots shown here. Once that was figured out, I went to System Preferences/ Sessions and added the command ‘skippy’ to my startup programs. Et Voilá!

To summarize: install Skippy via Synaptic, activate skippy via terminal and set skippy as a startup application from within the System Preferences/ Sessions dialogue.

Caveats: If you use Firefox with tabs, get ready to be disappointed. Apparently skippy takes an initial snapshot of one of the pages and that’s that. Doesn’t matter which one you have active at the moment. Skippy is damn near perfect with full display-filling windows, but small windows effectively get used as part of the preview of whatever window was behind it. I even had a moment when my spreadsheet window was actually represented by an image of a web browser showing a web site.

Now if only I could map one of my unused mouse keys to the F11 key. If I can figure THAT out, I’ll have something to talk about.

Migrate Thunderbird from WindowsXP to Linux or OSX

Using Mozilla Thunderbird over other email applications is mostly a matter of preference. However, the fact that it is an application that runs on Windows, OSX and GNU/Linux is a very big reason for using it rather than other similar applications. Not only is it running on these operating systems, but it is extremely easy to move your mail and all of your settings to another computer and/or operating system.

I discovered this after temporarily moving one of my sisters onto my G5 after her Windows machine stopped booting. I was able to use the Ubuntu 6.06 live cd to access her hard drive and copy all of her important documents to my iPod Mini.

The files you need to retrieve from the Windows PC are in the following directory:

Documents and Settings/
<username>/Application Data/Thunderbird/Profiles/xxxxxx.default/

These are the files you need from there:

Address Book: abook.mab
Preferences: prefs.js
Mail: Mail (folder/directory)

It is probably also a good idea to go to Address Book while in Thunderbird and export your addresses to one of the more universal formats like ldif or csv. I won’t make any promises if you try to import them to another email application, but you can at least open those with a spreadsheet application if all else fails.

Keep those files in a safe place or back them up along with anything else that’s important to you. Now go to the new machine or go ahead and install another operating system, whatever. On the new system install Thunderbird and then load it and walk through the account set up with some dummy info. I do this so that when I go into the directory to find the place for my old files to go there’s something there for me to replace. It also reaffirms that I am putting them in the right place.

Close Thunderbird after you finish the account set up. In your file browser find your Thunderbird files. Following are locations for those files in different OSs to the best of my knowledge:

HD/Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Thunderbird

C:/Documents and Settings/<username>/Application Data/Thunderbird

(Most Linux OSs will be similar. Note that .mozilla-thunderbird is a hidden file. In most Linux file browsers there is an option under ‘View/Show Hidden Files’.)

Okay, now all you have to do is copy your old files to this directory and in doing that you will replace or overwrite the existing files:

Address Book: abook.mab
Preferences: prefs.js
Mail: Mail (folder/directory)

Once that is done, load Thunderbird and it should look like you never left home!

I am offering these instructions to be helpful. By attempting to do this you are accepting all responsibility for the outcome. I cannot guarantee success. Make sure that you take notes on any information regarding access to your mail servers and accounts before deleting your existing Thunderbird set up.