Node Package Manager – Installing Packages Per Project

Just a quick note. I’m using Ubuntu on my development machine. I have been using the less css ( lessc ) package provided via npm ( node package manager ) and installed in my local user ( you know ~/ or perhaps /home/USER ) directory but wanted to install it on a per project basis. Initially when I tried the npm install for less in the project I was rather confused as the package manager is supposed to install to the current working directory yet it kept installing to the currently installed location which was not within my project but within my user directory. That was not what I wanted.

Eventually I discovered the little gem that if there is no node_modules directory in your current directory it will search recursively looking for said directory. The solution was to simply create a node_modules directory within my project and run the npm install command from it’s parent directory. A bit awkward but I like it. It would be nice if this was better documented but I certainly see the reasoning for such behavior.

Anyhow, it’s smart to keep your npm packages local to the project in most instances so you don’t get the random WTF when you update for your current project and an older project decides to crap the bed. Like I said, quick note. I hope it helps you, if anything my writing about it will keep the thought well branded on my brain.


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NetBeans, Plugins and Git – Too Slow

Just a quick note about NetBeans. I use NetBeans IDE 7.0.1 at the moment and not too long ago I installed the Git plugin from the Plugin Portal in the hopes that it would speed up my workflow a bit. In all honesty, I’m a big fan of Git on the command line and never really even used the Git plugin aside from briefly. It was slightly useful to see in the file tree what was and was not under version control but even that was not so interesting.

Anyhow, some time after this NetBeans started taking forever, and I mean FOREVER! to create a new file. It was getting painful. Sometimes as long as a minute to create any kind of file. Anyhow, I opened up Tools->Plugins and started poking around only to find a plethora of plugins I certainly don’t use and make no sense to have installed. CVS! Really!?

In order to actually find that these plugins are activated you have to go to the Installed tab and check the Show Details box, which seems a little strange but okay. There you will find and, for sanity’s sake, deactivate CVS along with any others you don’t use. I also deactivated Mercurial and Subversion, which I haven’t used for years since falling head over heals for Git.

Finally, I deactivated the Git plugin, which at the moment was at version (holy version number Batman!). After this NetBeans was back to creating files in a reasonable amount of time.


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Tag Gallery Update and TimThumb

Update: The fix is in the repository at and should show up in your plugins shortly. Hopefully this fixes the path issues. The version number is 0.2.0.

I was notified recently by the WordPress team that the version of TimThumb that was bundled with Tag Gallery contained a possible security vulnerability. In order to fix the issue I updated to the latest version of TimThumb for the current Tag Gallery. Unfortunately, there is a path issue occurring for many people including myself involving the way TimThumb calculates the document root for local files. I’ll be releasing a fix for this at some point today. Stay tuned.

Also, to clear up any confusion on the version and features, this will only be a security update without the new features I’ve been working on. The new version of Tag Gallery with new features will be 0.5 and as I find time to work on it I do although I’ve not be able to for months. I’ll keep everyone informed as time allows.

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StackPress and Tag Gallery Update

I’ve recently been using Stack Overflow quite a bit and find the discussions have helped me out often. I’ve decided to use the recently published API to allow a WordPress blog to retrieve and display information from the Stack Overflow family of sites via a widget or shortcode, whichever suits the given situation.

I’ve only recently begun work on the plugin but plan to release it publicly in the next few weeks. The plugin is called StackPress and I hope you all enjoy it.

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Posted in PHP, Plugins, Wordpress | 4 Comments

Tag Gallery

A few days ago I was looking for a better way to manage galleries in WordPress for a friends new site.  We found it rather awkward to deal with the built in gallery short-code when it came to removing images from a gallery or even adding them.  It seems ridiculous that media must be uploaded through a post or page to add it to a gallery.  Even more annoying is that you must delete an image from the Media Library as a whole just to remove it from a gallery on any given page.  This is rather unintuitive.  I think media should be managed completely by the Media Library and attached/unattached from pages or posts at will.  The post should simply be a vehicle to display media, not a part of the management of such.

I went searching for a better gallery implementation and of the 300 or so image plugins available none of them seem to do what we wanted.  I don’t want to install a whole new media management system such as NextGen gallery as WordPress already provides a Media Library.  I don’t want to host my media with an external provider as I would much rather keep control of my assets in one place: my blog.  I want to manage media in a more intuitive manner and very much like the gallery short-code without the shortcomings.

I found Justin Tadlock’s Cleaner Gallery which cleans up the built in gallery and allows for very easy inclusion of java-script lightbox effects such as the Thickbox which is included with WordPress.  Cleaner Gallery is a step in the right direction but still does not overcome the cumbersome management of the galleries, and it was never meant to!  Shortly after I found Paul Menard’s Media Tags plugin which is absolutely great.  So why not mash up the two into a Cleaner Gallery managed by Media Tags!

Introducing Tag Gallery.  It’s a quick piece of work and solves the issues of managing galleries, at least for me.  Your mileage may vary.  It is a short-code implementation and you can include as many of them as you wish on any given post or page.  You can set the thumbnail width and height and whether or not to show captions.  If you have Cleaner Gallery installed it will use your java-script settings from that plugin for the display of your tag-gallery. In fact, Tag Gallery generates the same markup as Cleaner Gallery and even includes the CSS from that plugin.  Why reinvent the wheel when you can maintain compatibility?

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Posted in Plugins, Wordpress | Tagged , , | 59 Comments


Initially, I had installed this blog day before yesterday into a sub-directory on my domain.  About ten minutes ago I’ve decided to migrate the site into the root so some things may not be working properly for a bit as I clean up.

Update: As I was migrating the website I lost the post about tag-gallery.  Why did I lose it?  Because I edited the db by hand deleting post revisions and accidentally selected that post.  I always make backups before doing anything like this but considering the site is only two days old and there were only a few records I decided against it just to get the site up and moving.  Shame on me.

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Hello World

Aloha and welcome to my new website.   I’ve hastened the creation of this site (installed it two hours ago) as I need  a place to organize all the things I’ve been working on and rather than waiting until I have the time to create the site I would prefer and chasing text files all over the place, I figured I might as well just start putting up the content and let it evolve as it may.

I’ve built some wild web experiences before but I think the time for lightning bugs crawling around on your screen, 3D dandelion menus, and the like are taking a back seat for a bit.  In fact, I haven’t built crazy interfaces of the like in quite some time.  Content should be more interesting than the interface and the interface should strive to make that content accessible, easy, and portable, to name and link a few basics.  At least for now… ;-)

The site you are viewing is running on WordPress 2.9.2 at the moment.  It is being served by the beautiful Nginx web server and PHP 5.2.10.  It’s caching content using WP Super Cache and a few rather interesting rewrite rules in the Nginx configuration.  I’ve recently been moving all my websites from Media Temple, whom served me well for nearly eight years, to a few virtual private and cloud based hosting services.  I’m sure I will blog about my reasons for said migration soon enough.  I hope this site evolves to provide some interesting and useful content.

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Posted in Nginx, PHP, Wordpress | Tagged , , | Leave a comment
  • Tweet, tweet...

    • At Bocoup Loft for some jquery meetup goodness. 2010-04-07
    • Digging deeper into Media Tags and wordpress... considering quite a few new features for the next version of Tag Gallery... collages anyone? 2010-04-06
    • Fine tuning nginx for - having a few issues with some optimizations but overall, performance is incredible. 2010-03-31
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