More WordPress thoughts

I know it’s common to put a lot of time, energy, and work into other people’s projects and let your own personal ones suffer. I feel like that’s what’s happened to my own blog.

First of all, I need to write more, period. Second of all, I need to modernize this theme and add some functionality! I spend so much time these days making custom CMS themes and functions and super-awesome screenshot-filled documentation and installing and configuring a ridiculous number of plugins for clients and my regular job, but I don’t seem to bother with my own.

I’m still using this ancient theme (which I don’t change because I still like it) and it’s got some old old stuff going on. The comments are especially ugly and don’t have threading enabled. I’m sure it’d be easy enough for me to fix my own stuff, but I guess it’ll have to wait until I don’t feel guilty for not focusing on open projects, including a piano recital next Wednesday. Perhaps I’ll use that Lady René font (yes, the purchase happened) to make a new header so I feel like I’ve done something. But for now, off to do a little late-night practicing that won’t bother my neighbors!

WordPress 3 Function: Sites in Dashboard menu

Edit on May 26, 2011: With the release of WP 3.1, the admin bar has links to each of your sites. Way easier, but that doesn’t keep this from working. I just won’t make this into a plugin. Also, subdomains need a different treatment!

In the process of creating a WordPress theme for work (trying to move to WP as CMS! YAY!), I realized that the procedure for accessing the Dashboard for a site besides the one you are on can be a little obtuse and involves too much clicking. Since a huge part of the focus and reasoning behind this project is ease of use for content editors (death to Contribute), I thought it would be smart to have direct links to each applicable Dashboard within the Dashboard admin menu. In conjunction with Ozh’s wonderful Admin Drop Down Menu, I have to say that it looks pretty freaking awesome. I put this function in the theme’s functions.php file so that it applies to all network sites, but I wonder if it would be a smart thing to write and release as a plugin. So, here for you to use or rip apart – only mild testing has been done, so don’t be too mean:

/* add dashboard links to each user site underneath the Dashboard admin menu */

function hhs_sites_menu() {
	global $current_user;
	$sites = get_blogs_of_user( $current_user->id );

	// make sure multisite is on, the current user has permissions, and has more than one site
	if ( is_multisite() && current_user_can('read') && count($sites) > 1 ) {
		foreach ( $sites as $site ) {
			// make the URL a relative path; escape twice in case the user is in a network site (subdirectory)
			$relative_admin_url = preg_replace('/http:\/\/www\.yourdomain\.com/', '../..', get_admin_url($site->userblog_id) );

			add_dashboard_page( $site->blogname, $site->blogname, 'read', esc_url($relative_admin_url) );
		}
	}
}

add_action('admin_menu', 'hhs_sites_menu');

I’d like to deal with the URL to each Dashboard in a better way. Escaping up two directories is hacky and ugly and wouldn’t work for somebody on a subdomain multisite installation of WP3. It has to do with the way WP wants an internal page within your current wp-admin – the better way would probably be to use a make the callback function redirect to the appropriate Dashboard. This would also allow me to use CSS to define icons for the drop-down version of the admin menu. I could use CSS now, but the ID that is generated is super ugly (i.e. oamsub_http:_______wp-admin – YUCK). Maybe during work hours tomorrow I’ll chew on it a little more.

If I were to make this into a plugin, I’d want/need to:

  • Make it compatible with both subdomain and subdirectory multisite setups
  • Only allow network activation (makes no sense to only have it activated in one, at least to me)
  • Make it easy for a network admin to assign a custom icon to each site for use wherever applicable (i.e. the admin menu drop-down)

Thoughts? Hesitations?

Web reading

Now that my eyes are starting to accept a little more screen time, I’m trying to catch up on some feed reading. Here are some of the more useful web design/development links I’ve come across in the past few days:

Flash needs to die

If only I were clever enough to write this bit on trying to visit a local restaurant’s website:

Website: Oh! Hi! What can I help you with today?
Me: What are your —
Website: Hang on, I’m loading the music.
Me: Really.
Website: You’ll love it. It’s “Girl from Ipanema” arranged for steel drum and keytar.
Me: No, you don’t have to —
Website: Loading…
Me: All I want is —
Website: I SAID DOT DOT DOT.

A conversation I have every month or so [venomous porridge]

Vivian+Julian

My piano review is in the works, I promise. I took the pictures and everything. However, first I had to finish this super slick (if I may say so myself) wedding website for the Asian and her man:

It even has online RSVP with administrative access! Try to top my wedding present now, other friends of V+J!