August 2019

H Tags and Auto-Constructing an Anchor Index

Origin Story I got a fairly dense Word document that needed to go online in way that people could more easily navigate. After checking it out, it appeared we had a large number of sections but we were lucky in that they were designated by H tags of various levels. Now I could have gone through and added IDs to each H tag by hand but my masochism doesn’t run that way. The challenge was now to see if we couldn’t do this automatically with javascript. Build It It ended up being more succinct than anticipated and will undoubtedly be used again in other scenarios. I commented it up below to explain things. The other thing to consider is that maybe you can’t use javascript on the site. That’s ok, run it like this and then inspect element and copy the results. Now you can paste that into any place that takes HTML and you’re good to go. See the Pen health hub index by Tom (@twwoodward) on CodePen.

Logging in PHP

In javascript, figuring things out is not to bad. For almost everything, I can just use console.log(whatever) and spit out the data I’m trying to figure out right there in the browser. With PHP is more difficult. You can var_dump() many things. You can improve on that using print_r to make those gnarly1 objects and nested arrays legible. But for the longest time, I had no good path for logging the information that happens in function that weren’t visible anywhere. I resorted at one point to writing the data using insert_post. Look at the madness below. Then, just the other morning, I was feeling particularly unhappy with this pattern and happened upon this post. This little snippet is now my best friend.2 I can staple that to the bottom of plugins/themes in development and then use write_log() in any number of useful ways. The author mentions using write_log( __LINE__ ); to log if the line in a particular place is every reached and there are many other ways you can tweak this to do what you need. It’s just so nice now to be able to consistently log data from anything in PHP land to a designation location. It is times like this that I feel bolstered in my opinion that I don’t know anything about programming. It’s also that […]

Badge of Badges Collage

I’m not a huge badge fan, even though I see the potential. I’ve used Mozilla’s Open Badges over the years to gather together different online badges that either I have earned or created (mostly via CLMOOC but also, in the early days of Thimble and Web Maker, etc.). This week, I received a notice that […]

A SPLOT Fork in the Road

Can you believe this is yet another blog post about SPLOTs? Has anyone stuck a fork in them yet? Not me. I’m considering a rather major change which ultimately make them less complex to set up. This is all about the need for them to use a secret authoring account that the user never sees. […]

Book Review: feast your eyes

Mya Goldberg’s latest novel, feast your eyes, is non-traditionally told, just how I like my novels. Her fictional exploration of a single mother photographer and her daughter is narrated through the text and journals of a photography exhibit that the daughter has put together for her dead mother, so the text of this book is […]

Tutorials: Record Audio Podcasts with Voice Record Pro or Anchor

Tomorrow I’m co-teaching with one of our high school history teachers, who is asking her students to create a colonial era podcast. Among other possibilities, students may choose to role play interviews about historical events, include sponsorships from historically appropriate businesses, and/or produce a more documentary-style audio recording. I’m excited to see the students’ creativity […]

Snapshots from the poison room

I took photos throughout my chemo/immunotherapy treatment, to document my reactions and the view from the poison room. Photos generates a decent slideshow (complete with Generic Copyright-takedown-avoiding Sountrack #1)1 I spent a few weeks back in 1997 building a similar video with photos from our wedding, in Macromedia Director and then output to VHS to […]

Email Notification Template for Zendesk Support Tickets

Last week I had a bit of free time and started looking for a way to add the Reclaim Hosting brand to the support ticket notifications that are sent out to users when they put in a request. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s what the support notification used to look like when a user put in a ticket to support@reclaimhosting.com: Before: In short, my goals…

CLMOOC Postcards: An Invitation to Write Out

In our CLMOOC community, we periodically send postcards to each other as a way to stay connected on paper, with a stamp, and mailbox delivery. Some of us do it more frequently than others, and I have lapsed a bit on getting postcards out the door.  (See a post I wrote about why we do […]

8 and 18

They made everything easy for me, from entrance to this world right up to today, the single day I can mark their exit. Today in 2001 Dad took his last breath in hospice, the cancer winning the battle [for what?]. Today in 2011 Mom too, maybe her missing him that much, hers an unanticipated heart […]

On ZTC, OER, and a More Expansive View

For the first decade of the modern open education movement (1998 – 2007), the distinguishing feature of our work – the thing we cared most about and talked most about – was the open licensing we applied to educational materials. MIT OCW, Rice’s Connexions, my group at USU, and others applied the new Creative Commons […]