First snow 2013
21 October, 2013 | Filed under “The Archives”
As our voyage around the sun does not describe a perfect circle, it is forgivable to believe that we, the people on the Northern hemisphere, are the furthest from the sun when midwinter hits. But then, folks in New Zealand should don their winter clothes right now as we do, right. Not so – and for a reason which goes back millions of years.
The beautiful image above is used with kind permission of Romanian artist Raluca Radulescu. More of her striking photographic work is featured at deviantART.
Click on the image to stop – and clear – the snow to see the original all by itself.
My new love is a mysterium
20 June, 2012 | Filed under “The Archives”
She arrived in bits and pieces over several months and her name is … Scarlet. She has never been known to flush, however, and sports no less than 5K stills and a native 13.5 stops of dynamic range. I can’t wait to play with her!
ExpressionEngine and Control Panel sessions
26 April, 2011 | Filed under “ExpressionEngine”
Note: This work centers on ExpressionEngine 1.6.9 Core.
When you are logged in as an administrator in ExpressionEngine’s Control Panel and leave it inactive for more than one hour, you are automatically logged out and need to re-key your Username and Password to re-enter. Great for security but an irritation overall.
It is not immediately obvious how, or if at all, you can change the 60 minutes’ session. In Joomla, for instance, you can swap the 15 minutes
Session Lifetime default under
Site > Global Configuration > System. Searching the ExpressionEngine (EE) forum may surface the following dialogue between user and EE support:
Question: Is there a way I can set the timeout interval on the Control Panel?
Answer: The easiest thing to do is to set yourself up for just plain Cookies instead of Cookies and Sessions.
To do that, go:
Admin > System Preferences > Security and Session Preferences
and change Control Panel Session Type from Cookies and session ID to Cookies only. Leave User Session Type at the default Cookies only.
Depending on your system, this may or may not have an impact on security. If you work on localhost and/or are in full control of the computer/browser, Cookies only will be fine. If you share the computer, think twice.
Quoting EllisLab, there are three validation types in dealings with EE sessions:
1. User cookies and session ID
This is the most secure way to run a site. Three cookies are set:
- 1.1 Session ID – This is a unique hash that is randomly generated when someone logs in
- 1.2 Password hash – The encrypted password of the current user
- 1.3 Unique ID – The permanent unique ID hash associated with the account
All three cookies expire when you close your browser or when you have been inactive longer than two hours (one hour in the control panel). Using this setting does not allow ‘stay logged-in’ capability, as each session has a finite lifespan.
2. Cookies only – no session ID
With this validation type, a session is not generated, therefore users can remain permanently logged in. This setting is obviously less secure because it does not provide a safety net if you share your computer or access your site from a public computer. It relies solely on the
3. Session ID only
Most compatible as it does not rely on cookies at all. Instead, a URL query string ID is used. No stay-logged in capability. The session will expire after one hour of inactivity, so
in terms of security, it is preferable to number 2.
Note: The control panel and public pages can each have their own session preference. End quote.
Of course, the word easiest in the answer above, triggered my imagination and I went on a quest for the Control Panel default session length. I found it in:
system > core > core.session.php
in line no. 64:
var $cpan_session_len = 3600; // Admin sessions expire in one hour
As noted on other occasions, you may have renamed your EE
system folder. If this is the case, only you know where to look.
3600 (and that is milliseconds) to whatever suits your working habits. Save the file. If you have the Control Panel open, log out and then in again for the change to take effect.
All things considered, if you do not log out of the Control Panel when you leave the computer, a default one hour session still leaves ample time for prying eyes and itchy fingers to enter and wreak havoc.
I log out now.
ExpressionEngine Word Limiter and Norwegian typography
5 April, 2011 | Filed under “ExpressionEngine”
Note: The following has been tested with Word Limiter version 1.0 in ExpressionEngine 1.6.9 Core.
The EllisLab Word Limiter plugin for ExpressionEngine will, by default, add an ellipsis (…) at the end of whatevet number of words specified for a given text field, like so:
This field of text has been limited to ten words…
Typographic rules for the Norwegian language call for an empty space between a word and an ellipsis (in Norwegian,
ellipse, or in everyday speech,
prikk–prikk–prikk), like so:
How do we achieve this with the American plugin? As it turns out, we do not achieve it with the plugin at all. Instead, we have to dig into a system file and make some adjustments there. Navigate to:
Note: Security-wise you may have renamed the default system folder when you originally installed ExpressionEngine. Hence, the
system folder may have a different name.
core.functions.php and archive the original file elsewhere.
2. Return to the duplicate and make sure that the file’s name is equal to the original’s.
3. Open the duplicate in a “web safe” word processor and search for the line:
It sits below the
Word limiter comment; in ExpressionEngine 1.6.9 Core it is line 820.
… part is the Unicode character encoding for an ellipsis. It is fairly safe to use as most type designers include it with their font glyphs.
4. The quick and dirty fix for Norwegian web sites would be to type a space between the singe quote and the ampersand, like so:
return trim($str).' …';
However, this way you may end up with a line break between the last word and the ellipsis, leaving the ellipsis orphaned on the last line of text.
A better approach is to make sure that the last word drops down together with the ellipsis, like so:
The code should read:
return trim($str).' …';
is a non-breaking space (aka
5. Save the file.
6. Check that the new file works as expected.
What does it mean to be a web developer in 2011?
17 February, 2011 | Filed under “The Archives”
Alex Walker, Editor of SitePoint Design View, echoed my thoughts exactly in the 80th issue of his newsletter. Asking the question “What does it mean to be a web developer in 2011?” he dives in and answers himself:
“A decade ago, it meant you did almost everything, from quick-fire pencil sketches, through to Photoshop mockups, to working front-end code. If you had a dedicated back-end guy, you were considered a crack dev team.
It is always a relief to find like-minded souls. We can gang up, halt all progress and oppose change, but, shit, Alex is a positive guy, ending his editorial with an:
“Exciting times ahead.”
Being the lone wolf was one reason for freelancing in the first place. The freedom to work from home, the quiet hours of the night when ActionScript flows naturally. But it is impossible to stay on top of it all and a challenge to focus on the necessary, practical and useful stuff. Join a team? Sure. Any day, should they want a jack of all trades and master of none.
This may sound lamenting, and it is, of course. But, listen, I am excused. I handle the bodhrán and sing in this group of enthusiasts playing traditional Celtic-Irish-Scottish-English-Canadian folk music and we carry a Buffy Sainte-Marie song on our repertoire, Old man’s lament. The story told in the song is a far cry from web design and web development but it has inspired me to come up with this new word, “develament”. Not bad, eh?
Got to go. Another weekend lost to Joomla!. Exciting times ahead.