Category: "b2evolution"

Screw it, let's reskin it!

Screw it, let's reskin it!

I think it was about time I re-skinned this site! 

Since my last post pledging to get rid of the ugliness, I feel I’ve made some significant progress on b2evolution.net (especially the home page) but this personal site you’re looking at right now was really starting to hurt my own eyes! (I can’t believe I actually used to be happy with my old design :p)

So today I just decided to “screw it and re-skin it“.

I’ve been procrastinating on this for maybe two years just because I didn’t have time (or the energy) to actually re-design it – meaning: polishing a new design for it. Making it responsive, etc.

So I finally decided to take a shortcut: use another skin I like and make it fit as fast as possible. And sometimes I actually forget how fast this can be done with b2evolution. Once I had uploaded the new skin, it took me about 30 minutes to set up all the menu/navigation widgets so the site navigation makes sense. And voilà.

Of course, there’s a million details in this skin that need fixing but I think the improvement is massive already! 30 minutes of work vs. 2 years of procrastination. What a shame! :/

Now, there’s a couple interesting thoughts down the road:

  • I just made the 20% of the effort that yields 80% of the benefits;
  • I still have 80% of the work to do to get the details right;
  • Some day this new deisgn will probably feel ugly again… :(
  • How do I prevent letting it slide into ugliness again next time? hum… it feels like I have so many gardens that need constant care… :p

Anyways, Dear Reader, I hope you’ll enjoy this site in its new form! :)

Did I abandon my sites?

Did I abandon my sites?

2014. Time to wake up, eh?

First off, why have I been blogging so little in the last couple of years?

I guess it's a combination of:

  • Too much work
  • Having a real life (which I might not have had a few years back...)
  • Google did a great job at scaring me off posting "non-useful" content (Shall we call it "Panda angst" ?)

All of these are lame excuses.

  • Blogging is part of my work
  • Don't even get me started on balancing work and real life - there has to be a solution!
  • Sharing ideas, no matter how mundane they might seem at first, has been the beginning of many great projects in my own experience. Plus: it definitely helps to structure a lot of thoughts that would otherwise just swirl around in my head, without ever leading to anything tangible. Moving forward, even small steps at a time is far more important than a particular Google algorythm might think of it... especially on my personal blog (I'm still debating this regarding some other sites :p)

2014. Time to get rid of the Ugly!

The most vexing part in this wake up call is that so many of my (many) websites are just plain ugly... compared to the current web-design state of the art.

I don't recall exactly what led me to this realization but part of it was comparing b2evolution.net to its competitors. Ironically, it's not that the competitors (Free CMS tools) look good. It's actually that those competitors look bad compared to commercial solutions.

Full story »

How to install b2evolution on Mac OS X in 5 minutes from scratch

Tested with MAMP 1.7.2, b2evolution 3.2 and Mac OS X 10.5.7 :

  1. Download and install MAMP (Free) into the Applications folder
  2. Start MAMP and make sure you get the MAMP start page
  3. Download b2evolution and unzip it into /Applications/MAMP/htdocs
  4. Point yout browser to http://localhost:8888/b2evolution/ and follow install procedure
  5. When prompted for mysql username and password use "root" and "root". (the mysql host is "localhost")
  6. You're up and running, but with one caveat... when displaying blogs you'll run into incomplete pages and the php error log (/Applications/MAMP/logs/php_error.log) will give you a hint:

PHP Fatal error:  Allowed memory size of 8388608 bytes exhausted

It doesn't make much sense that MAMP would come preconfigured with only 8MB of RAM available to apps. I bet that's an easy settign to change if you buy MAMP Pro (39 ?). To fix this on the free version though, open the file /Applications/MAMP/conf/php5/php.ini with TextEdit. Find the line that starts with memory_limit = and edit it as follows:

memory_limit = 128M

Twitter plugin for b2evolution

b2evolution 3.2 will be shipping with an enhanced twitter plugin based on Lee Turner's twitterlution.

The twitter plugin for b2evolution allows to ping twitter in addition to other ping services. It will tweet the title of the new post and it's permalink url. The exact format of the tweets is configurable. By default it also includes a #b2p hash tag which will make it possible to follow all b2evolution bloggers who want to participate.

The plugin can use a different twitter account for each blog. It can also use a different twitter account for each user. (If both are available, then the blog account will be used).

So... if all goes well now... this post should automatically be tweeted to @francoisplanque ... ;)

b2evolution on Gentoo Linux