Monthly Archives: January 2006

New Theme Competition

Someone is running a WordPress 2.0 theme competition with some pretty sweet prizes. Winners of previous competitions run by Alex have gotten a ton of exposure all over the blogosphere. I think there is so much new functionality possible with the new functions in 2.0 that themes like Regulus take advantage of that it should be a factor in the competition somehow.

Markup Survey

Ian Hixie at Google just published a really awesome web authoring survey of a billion documents. What I found most interesting about reading it was places that things I’ve worked on, notably WordPress and GMPG, popped up.

HTTP Headers — “A pretty significant number of pages include an X-Pingback header (more than the number of pages with the Set-Cookie2 header). In fact, X-Pingback was the 30th most-seen header in our data sample.”

WordPress is one of the few platforms that supports pingback, an alternative to Trackback with a real spec. Apparently there are enough WP pages in the world for this to make a blip on the radar.

Page Headers — “It turns out that a tiny but measurable number of people do use the profileattribute, though. The three most-often used values are http://gmpg.org/xfn/1, http://dublincore.org/documents/dcq-html/, and http://gmpg.org/xfn/11. This makes XFN the most popular HTML metadata profile!”

Too cool for words. 🙂 Both of these profiles are included by default in some WordPress templates.

rel="pingback" and rel="bookmark" both skirt the charts in the link relationship page. No XFN values made the cut there.

The <a> element — “external seems to be mainly propagated by WordPress, but people have long been asking for a way to label their links as being external vs internal.”

Nice to get a direct mention there, and we’ve supported bookmark and tag from the beginning. All in all the report is a very interesting read, and kudos to Google for doing this type of research and sharing it with the web. I hope to see more of these in the future, it delights my inner markup geek.

Millions of Blondes

I’m not going to particpate in it, but the “best blonde joke” (example) thing is driving thousands and thousands of hits every day to WordPress.com. It’s traffic on par with a front-page Digg, just constant and steady. Where did this thing come from??? (Continuing my tradition of being a month late to internet trends.)

Bloggies

The bloggies are now open, and for the first time ever WordPress is a nominee. However there is very good company like Blogger, Flickr, and Delicious. Flickr! My fav thing about the bloggies has always been the discovery aspect, finding blogs I had missed somehow. This year contains quite a few gems and I’d recommend going through everything and exploring a few you haven’t seen before.

Livejournal Hack

I’ve been following the Livejournal hack closely because as someone who runs many services that allow user submitted content, any new developments in XSS are very important to stay on top of. So far the only official technical explanation I’ve seen is here on lj_dev. Since we don’t allow template editing or embedded JS or styles on WP.com I can’t think of any vectors for attack, but you never know with these things. More on moz-binding.

Socialtext Spam

(Rant warning.) What’s it called again when you can’t unsubscribe from a service that sends you email almost every day? This is broken:

  1. I get my daily email about changes in the LoicLeMeur Wiki that I signed up for sometime at Les Blogs.
  2. “To stop receiving or change how often you receive emails about changes
    to LoicLeMeur Wiki, go to: http://www.socialtext.net/loicwiki/emailprefs “
  3. Redirects me to this URL.
  4. It appears that I am logged in. I change my preferences to “Never”
  5. Of course when I go to my settings it shows me as “user78247”, so I didn’t actually cancel my subscription, it just showed a stupid subscription page to me even though it obviously doesn’t have my email address right now and I’m not logged in.
  6. Okay, click the “log in” link.
  7. Type in email and password.
  8. I am now mysteriously redirected to the FOAFnet wiki, which hasn’t been touched in like a year. NO IDEA WHY.
  9. Wait, the top still has a login button, but also a settings button?
  10. Settings takes me to the user page for “user19254”, even though I JUST LOGGED IN.
  11. Okay, click login again.
  12. Now I’m redirected back to the FOAFnet wiki again but this time it shows me as being logged in.
  13. Where the heck do I go now???
  14. I go back to the Loic wiki via the address bar.
  15. It says login in the top right corner again.
  16. I enter my information, and am redirected by to the FOAFnet wiki. I can sense the wiki mocking me.
  17. Okay, maybe if I go back to my settings page where it worked.
  18. It forces me to login to the FOAFnet wiki AGAIN even though I did just SECONDS AGO.
  19. I now am logged in, I click on settings and go to “My Workspaces.”
  20. It only shows the FOAFnet wiki, even though I know I’m a member of the Loic one because I GET EMAILS FROM IT EVERY DAY.
  21. Also now for some reason every Socialtext wiki I try to visit, like this one from Web 2.0 conference, redirects me back to the FOAFnet wiki. (cue blood-curdling scream)

Any suggestions? I would just dev/null them in my procmail, but I prefer not to do that to legitimate companies. At what points could the user experience be improved?

(And yes, I have reported this problem to them. I demonstrated it in person in August 2005 at BarCamp. It’s January.)

Update: Socialtext responds in the comments. “[T]his morning we disabled email notifications for all the public wikis on our site, due to the confusion people had when trying to turn them off.” A thoughtful, effective, and quick response.