Posted by & filed under Developer Blog.

Don’t forget: “render :layout => …” should appear below any variables in your controller.

I’ve spent a few hours trying to get the @variables set in my controller to show up in my layout. After much frustration and trying all kinds of fancy ways around my problem, it suddenly occurred to me that I was simply loading the layout before the variables; I was loading them in the wrong order! Grrr…..

If you are having problems with variables not loading properly, check the order you call the render. It might save you a headache and the need for as much Pepsi as I went through trying to figure this stupid thing out.

Posted by & filed under Developer Blog.

I got a comment the other day asking how I converted to WordPress from Mephisto while keeping my comments and everything intact. If you are familiar with Ruby on Rails, this response will make sense. If you are not, I recommend learning it…then this response will make sense.

In a nutshell, I used Mephisto for the conversion. First I spent about a week mapping Mephisto’s DB to WordPress’ DB. I went straight into the Mephisto Rails project and created a new model that pointed to my newly created WordPress database. I then created a controller in Mephisto that looked exactly like this:

(note: if this is a pain to read, you can also view it here)

class MephistoController < ApplicationController
    def index
        start_time = 'querying mephisto articles'
        @articles = Content.find(:all, :conditions=>"article_id IS NULL")
       'querying mephisto comments'
                @comments = Content.find(
			:all, :conditions=>"article_id IS NOT NULL") 'querying mephisto taggings'
        @taggings = Tagging.find(:all) 'querying mephisto tags'
        @tags = Tag.find(:all) 'processing terms'
        for tag in @tags
            @wp_term =
            @wp_term.term_id =
            @wp_term.slug =" ","_")
            @wp_term.term_group = 0
        end 'processing term relationships'
        for tagging in @taggings
            @wp_tr =
            @wp_tr.term_taxonomy_id = tagging.tag_id
            @wp_tr.object_id = tagging.taggable_id
        end 'processing term taxonomy'
        for tag in @tags
            c = Tagging.count(:all, :conditions=>"tag_id = #{}")
            @wp_tt =
            @wp_tt.term_taxonomy_id =
            @wp_tt.term_id =
            @wp_tt.taxonomy = "post_tag"
            @wp_tt.parent = 0
            @wp_tt.count = c
        end 'processing posts'
        for article in @articles
            c = Content.count(:all, :conditions=>"article_id = #{}")
            @wp_post =
            @wp_post.ID =
            @wp_post.post_author = 1
            @wp_post.post_date = article.published_at-7.hours
            @wp_post.post_date_gmt = article.published_at
            @wp_post.post_content = article.body
            @wp_post.post_title = article.title
            @wp_post.post_category = 39
            @wp_post.post_status = "publish"
            @wp_post.post_status = "open"
            @wp_post.ping_status = "closed"
            @wp_post.post_name = article.permalink
            @wp_post.post_modified = article.updated_at-7.hours
            @wp_post.post_modified_gmt = article.updated_at
            @wp_post.post_parent = 0
            @wp_post.guid = article.published_at.strftime("")+article.permalink
            @wp_post.menu_order = 0
            @wp_post.post_type = "post"
            @wp_post.comment_count = c
        end 'processing comments'
                for comment in @comments
            @wp_com =
            @wp_com.comment_ID =
            @wp_com.comment_post_ID = comment.article_id
            @wp_com.comment_author =
            @wp_com.comment_author_email = comment.author_email
            if comment.author_url == nil
                comment.author_url = ""
            @wp_com.comment_author_url = comment.author_url
            @wp_com.comment_author_IP = comment.author_ip
            @wp_com.comment_date = comment.published_at-7.hours
            @wp_com.comment_date_gmt = comment.published_at
            @wp_com.comment_content = comment.body
            @wp_com.comment_karma = 0
            @wp_com.comment_approved = '1'
            @wp_com.comment_parent = 0
            @wp_com.user_id = 0
                end 'finished!'
        end_time =
        @lapsed = end_time-start_time
        render :layout=>false

I then proceeded to visit the /mephisto/index page on my mephisto blog, which fired this baby off. It took all of about 9 seconds to complete.

I realize the irony of using Mephisto in order to abandon it. But in the end, I wasn’t switching from the Rails based app because of Rails, but because of the app. I am still in love with rails and as you can see, this project would have taken me a lot longer to accomplish had I attempted to write it in PHP, the language of WordPress.

Posted by & filed under Developer Blog.

I just came across an article about how to write CSS only visible to Safari 3.0 and Opera 9. It saved my life so I thought I’d share the love! It was especially useful to me while trying to use ‘display: inline;’ to create a horizonal nav out of an unordered list <ul>. It turns out Safari and Opera would prefer to see ‘display: inline-block;’ instead, which the other browsers don’t like at all. Now before you go test this, I will say that the only reason ‘display: inline;’ wasn’t working for me in Safari/Opera is because I’m trying to throw a background-color behind each list item <li> and pad it so that the color flows around the outside. Safari/Opera wouldn’t let me pad the list items unless they were set to inline-block.

Posted by & filed under Developer Blog.

I had a hard time figuring out how to get the pretty url permalinks working for WordPress on WestHost, but I finally found the solution. It was weird at first because WordPress actually was writing to the .htaccess file correctly, but when I tried it out in a browser I was still getting 404’s. After a long extensive search on the WordPress website, I finally found that I had to add the following to my httpd.conf file:

<Directory /var/www/html/wordpress>
    Options FollowSymLinks
    AllowOverride all

Posted by & filed under Developer Blog.

Well, it’s my second migration. First I built this blog on my own using php. Then I decided to venture out and stop re-inventing the wheel and use a real blogging software tool. I chose Mephisto at the time (about a year ago), but I eventually regretted that and am now completely content with WordPress. I doubt I will ever switch again. I have researched it well this time and talked to professional bloggers who have researched it well. WordPress is king.