Blogroll (19)

iOS Smart App Banner plugin for WordPress

iOS Smart App Banner plugin for WordPress

I just released version 1.0 of my iOS Smart App Banner plugin for WordPress. This plugin lets you put a smart app banner at the top of your post or page when an iOS device visits in mobile Safari. It’s a great tool for app promotion that makes it very easy for people to find & buy your app in the App Store.


[UPDATE] The plugin has been updated for Apple’s new referral links.

Update your RSS links!

I just noticed that the live feed from this blog to my brochure site at was broken. The code I wrote to parse the rss data was throwing an error because the link to no longer resolved. Huh. The folks at WordPress must have changed something in their .htaccess file recently because adding a trailing slash fixed the problem.

EnvironmentalLights Redesign Launch

After much work and anticipation, the Environmental Lights redesign has launched. I’ve effectively been the dev project lead (not project manager) for this site (via 212Interactive) for the last year – a great experience. The goal for this redesign was to clean up some of the design and make the site easier for customers to navigate. Environmental Lights has a great selection of earth-friendly lighting solutions, including LED and CFL bulbs.

RevealCMS backs

The Flood website redesign has finally launched. On the back-end is the upcoming revealCMS. There are still a few bugs here and there that I want to iron-out before I make it a 1.0 release, but it’s getting there. Overall it’s been a very stable release. The only hiccups we’ve really had to date are with little server quirks and file permissions, but other than that pretty solid.

Some of my most immediate fixes are mostly in the user experience realm. Just from really using it over the last month or so, I’ve found a few areas that can be improved, or shortcuts added.

Next step: upgrade.

Design Frameworks

I recently read an article over at A List Apart, called Frameworks for Designers. It got me thinking. Actually no it didn’t. The idea was so brilliantly obvious! And sometimes we even do it (such as using blank CSS templates), but not quite like how Jeff Croft describes the process.

From a developer’s point of view it makes a lot of sense. We make all sorts of little include files that do things and we include them into our scripts when we need that sort of funtionality. Jeff explains how designers can do similar types of abstraction with CSS and other elements, which really is one of those “Duh!” type moments. Honestly. One file for tabbed browsing, another for forms styling or page layout. At the same time you can include various javascript for functionality of effects.

At 212Interactive we have a few elements like this, though definitely not quite as sophisticated as the article suggest could/should be done.

My other contract jobs are a mish-mash of projects that haven’t quite made it far enough to use this technique, though I am planning on using something similar for the upcoming RevealCMS (alpha and beta coming this summer).

Here are some free XHTML/CSS templates to get you started with your own framework for design.

What PHP Needs!

I’ve been thinking about the things PHP needs to remain relevant. I don’t mean to say that it is becoming irrelevant, but as many people are becoming wooed by Ruby on Rails, the way PHP is done is becoming more and more … tiresome.

We like Rails because, well, it’s just cool. PHP as a language isn’t all that great, just as Ruby as a language is yet another scripting language, however the framework makes all the difference. As I mentioned, Rails is great because it take care of a lot of tedium and makes programming actually kinda fun. PHP has several frameworks available, but nothing is standard. And that’s a problem. These projects, even the popular ones, remain on the fringe of PHP development; each framework is competing with the others for users and developers. We’re playing a game of divide and conquer on ourselves. The winner might be Ruby on Rails, or whatever the next new language/framework will be.

I never finish anyth

One of the latest tees from ThinkGeek is probably one of my favorites so far. White text on a black shirt says “I Never Finish Anyth”. Product page can be found here.

You gotta admit this is pretty funny – especially if you’re somebody like me with a lot of interests, but never the time to dedicate enough energy to all of them. Well, usually in hobby land, at least. Work is another story.

DFL site update

I’ve been making a lot of minor updates to the DFL website. I finally got around to making the site look decent in Internet Explorer. I really should have done it earlier. The only major rendering differences between the Safari/Opera/Firefox camp and IE is the location of the main page block: IE positioned against the left edge of the screen, S/O/F is centered (the way it’s intended). Essentially IE doesn’t recognize the align=center attribute on div tags to mean the div should be centered on the page. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.

Near-term plans:

  • The hierarchy algorithms I’m working on for my own personal (read: consulting job) use are going to be put to use to create a fish cladogram – essentially a tree diagram showing the relationships between different species of fish.
  • Carina is workring on writing and rewriting content for the site – make it a bit more user-friendly.
  • We’re going to be adding habitat profiles for all the fish in coming weeks. Among them: Fresh water, Pelagic and deep sea, intertidal, hard bottom, soft bottom, neritic, and continental slope.
  • Glossary of terms: Carina is collaborating with the Phil Hastings and HJ Walker on putting together a glossary of terms we’re going to be using on the site.

I’ll post updates as new features are added.

Digital Fish Library in the news!

The DFL is in the news again!

Included in the most recent updates: News segment from NBC 7/39 in San Diego, and the press release at the SIO website.

Also, link to our little spot in Nature (one of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world). Nature 440, 396-397 (23 March 2006)


Digital Fish Library Press Release

Today is the big day – our press release is now out, and even featured on the SIO (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) website. In just under an hour we’ll begin scanning a juvenile great white shark as part of the press “event.”

If you haven’t read my other posts on the DFL, here’s a brief recap: We’ve been given an NSF grant to digitize most genera of marine fish (some freshwater) in the world using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The end goal of this has several application points: 1) Fish anatomy is digitized, so researchers can perform virtual dissections and explore the fish’s organs without physically destroying the real specimens; 2) These data, along with software tools we’re creating, will be used as teaching tools in high school education programs, provided by the Birch Aquarium as Scripps, 3) the availability of data will encourage conservation practices, as destroying real tissues will become less and less a necessity to perform common anatomical research – something especially important when dealing with rare specimens.

The press release is at

More importantly, the DFL website is located at