Articles about announcement

These are articles relating to announcements I feel are worth announcing such as new games or websites

Christmas Tree

Ever wondered if your Christmas Tree is really any good? Well last weekend I decided to make a website for this purpose. It's just a bit of fun really! You login using your Facebook credentials (using Facebook Connect) and can create Chrismas Tree posts by linking to Flickr or Facebook photo's. You can then vote on your favourite tree's in an "A vs B" type match. If you like the sound of this and fancy something a bit festive, please give it a go and let me know if you have any thoughts! Head over to Rate My Christmas Tree :-)

Matt Smith as Dr Who

The new Dr Who appears to be Matt Smith!

Whoa! He is so young! Almost depressingly, he is only 11 days younger than ME. Yes… The new Dr Who is younger than me.

I think he could be good. When the replaced Christopher Ecclestone with David Tennant I was a little wary and wondered if he could pull it off - which he obviously did. This guy looks (from the clips) like he should fit the character perfectly!

Drupal Icon

I while ago (almost a year!) I released a module called Relevant Content to the community. This module executes a relatively lightweight SQL query which pulls up other nodes and sorts them by how many terms they have in common with the current node you're looking at. This provides a rudimentary method of suggesting other content to visitors to the page. It also provides a way of teaching search engines about other potentially relevant content.

My first theme, Abessive, gets a new release today for Drupal 6. Turns out to be a pretty easy upgrade!

In case nobody caught onto what Abessive was the first time; it is an (almost) image free theme with flexible 1, 2 or 3 column layout (depending on where/if you place any blocks). Each block/section has rounded corners and slight top & bottom gradient which is achieved using only CSS techniques involving margins, padding and background colours. This makes the theme very lightweight and elegant at the same time.

Abessive Screenshot

Node Quick Find

I've just committed another module - Node Quick Find. That brings my projects to a nice round 10!

This module is a pretty basic one though. It simply provides a block which has an autocomplete field. This field is linked to the Node Title field. You start typing the Node Title and it will start suggesting possible nodes you might be interested in - sort of like a primitive search box.

It features primitive configuration, allowing an administrator to easil configure the title of the prompt, the size and the types of nodes returned in the autocomplete list (eg, you may want to limit the list to blogs only).

A2B2XS Shared Hosting

I currently host this Drupal blog using a VPS with a company called A2B2 (they have a new website coming soon) and in the past 12 months have been nothing but impressed by them… so impressed, in fact, that I've given out many personal recommendations and I've even recommended a friend who has transferred all his main sites over!

To add to their arsenal, A2B2 launched a sister company a few months back called CheapVPS.co.uk which aims at a slightly lower-end market to that targeted by A2B2. Basically A2B2 use slightly higher-end hardware whereas CheapVPS offer lower prices - but on marginally less-capable hardware.

On top of A2B2's VPS server & CheapVPS offering a more budget VPS, A2B2 have now launched A2B2XS - a Shared Hosting service. They currently offer 1Gb space + 25Gb Bandwidth for under £20 per year - that's less than £1.70 a month!

Cubalaya Logo

Not many people have heard of Cubalaya. I know I hadn't a few months back when they contacted me about potential advertising on my site. Now Cubalaya isn't a shop - its not like Amazon or even eBay. Its more like Kelkoo or Pricerunner - its a Price Comparison Site really. Well now you can easily integrate this PPC (Pay Per Click) advertiser onto your site and provide your own category sensitive products.

Kate Harris

Ever wanted to start taking good photo's? Ever wondered what the ISO setting, Exposure Time or that little symbol of a flower on your camera meant? This great new photography blog has just opened to help out new photographers with these kinds of questions. It is run by my Girlfriend who recently just got a Canon EOS 400D and wanted to learn how to use the camera.

Today I officially launch a new Codebase for Dark Basic Pro. I'm a big fan of Dark Basic Pro and this Codebase is one of the ways I'd like to help the community back. There is a codebase which The Games Creators provide and it is a good codebase with a LOT of content. This codebase, however, offers more  "Web 2.0" features such as free tagging, comments and rating (and I've only just got started - more to come!).

Codebase Large Banner

Social Stats

I've been working on it for a few days now, but its finally released. Social Statistics is being used on this site and can be found on any page on an enabled site in a block. It provides pluggable statistics for (currently) 3 major Social Networking websites; Del.icio.us, Digg and Ma.gnolia. It currently boasts caching of statistics for a configurable amount of time, AHAH retrieval of statistics which are not cached (thus not slowing down page loads) and an API to make the project extendible to anybody who cares to add a Social Network to the mixture!

The core module consists, mostly, of a few menu callbacks and an API. This API allows the user to enable any number of enabled modules to add their contribution to the block. The 3 enabled sites all have an XML based API, but each does things slightly differently - hence my choice in using them as examples of the module as a whole.

You can find this module over in the Drupal Projects section.

Google announced today that it will be sponsoring 20 - yes twenty - projects for its Google Summer of Code program this year. From what I've seen, Drupal is one of the top "winners" if you use project quantity as a metric, with only Apache and KDE beating us (I couldn't see any others with any more at a glance). We got more than Joomla, PHP & The Mozilla Foundation and I believe this is a real achievement.

I'm also thrilled that Konstantin Käfer and I am mentoring one of the projects this year - the Taxonomy Manager.

It's taken me long enough to get around to, but finally Thingy Ma Jig has been upgraded to the latest and greatest in all things Drupal.

All in all, I'd say it was a fairly (and surprisingly) painless experience. There were a few minor glitches along the way though…

Pongis Screenshot

I've just released a new game - its a VERY simple adaptation of the classic, pong, but it has a twist in the form of tennis. You must rally the ball back and forth - the ball gaining speed slightly on every return. Players win points (and serve) by knocking the ball past their opponent, either through a cunning move or by making them lose out in a game of reactions.

Checkout the game here - Pongis - Where Pong Meets Tennis

NT Logo

I bought the domain a while ago but haven't had time to set anything up - well this is a start. Its not much to shout about yet (and probably never will be) but I'm pleased with the design and think that its good to have a kind of "CV" site.

Find it at The Games Creators

As many of you may know, I'm a BIG fan of Dark Basic Pro and this christmas the coding challenges are doing something a little different - a challenge that's allowed to use MEDIA an also has a prize other than setting the next challenge… A custom bitmap designed by a professional designer!

The only media that you're allowed to use is this festive smily…

Festive Smily

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