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Removing unwanted fields from TinyMCE’s image and link popup windows

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If you use TinyMCE in your Content Management System (CMS) projects, you no doubt also give clients the ability to add images and links to their content with TinyMCE's Link and Image buttons. But by default, these popup windows come with a variety of fields into which unsuspecting clients can input values which will translate into unwanted code when delivered to the page.

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Fetching posts in Wordpress and ExpressionEngine with jQuery and AJAX

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Recently I was asked by a client to do some customisation of a Wordpress site to enable a site visitor to load posts from a certain category into the same part of the page via AJAX. This could have been done in a couple of different ways – using AJAX as requested; or all the posts could've been printed to the page, with javascript then used to hide all but one and also used to navigate between them in some sort of hide/show, fading/sliding effect. I've done similar things like this before using jQuery, but there were two reasons why I didn't go that route on this occasion:

  1. With javascript turned off, all the posts from the selected category would've been displayed on the page and as the design called for three short columns of text on the page, having one column much, much longer than the other two would really have looked wrong.
  2. The client specifically asked for AJAX to be used.

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Custom ExpressionEngine template solutions

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I've come across a few little solutions/fixes recently to various problems I've encountered when building sites with ExpressionEngine (EE) that I thought it would be worth sharing. A couple of these were tips I picked up from other posters on the EE forums and the third was one I came up with myself to solve a particular problem I had.

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Animated navigation items using jQuery

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Dave Shea recently published an article on A List Apart (ALA), CSS Sprites2 – It's JavaScript Time', about how to use jQuery to create the effect of animated rollovers on navigation items.

The technique he outlines makes use of the same image replacement method as outlined in ALA's original Sprites article. The problem with this method however is that it uses a large negative text-indent to remove the default text from screen, and with images turned off in the browser, you don't see anything. This has accessibility implications not only from the perspective of those with disabilities, but also for those who deliberately turn images off, i.e. people on slower connections or those using handheld devices who are trying to limit the amount of information downloaded to their phone.

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Checking backlinks with Yahoo’s Site Explorer Inbound Links API

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Recently I wanted to create a page that would list the backlinks to certain sites that I had chosen. Yahoo always seems to have the most comprehensive list of backlinks and luckily they also make available a series of APIs that enables you to access their data. Using the Site Explorer Inbound Links API, and an example of a script towards the bottom of that page, I was able to put together a script that closely mirrors the sort of results you would get if you entered a site's URL into Yahoo's Site Explorer.

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Connecting to an external database from within a Wordpress post

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For the article I wrote recently on web design galleries, I compiled a table of the galleries in a MySQL database. To be able to display the table and the associated charts and other statistics that went with it, I needed to be able to connect to this external database from within Wordpress.

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PayPal options and ExpressionEngine’s Simple Commerce Module

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Recently I had to add basic shopping cart functionality to a site that had been built with ExpressionEngine (my CMS of choice). “No problem,” I thought; I can use the Simple Commerce Module (SCM), which as the names suggests, is ideally suited to simple ecommerce requirements, and which I had used before on other EE sites.

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