Christmas comes early!

MacSanta_logo

Christmas comes early this year. I've decided to join 'MacSanta'. A bunch of Mac developers have come together to all offer 20% off using Coupon code 'MACSANTA' and all Loghound.com items are included... Just use "MACSANTA" at checkout to get 20% off your entire order.

You may want to check out what else is at the MacSanta site.. Some pretty nice apps, come on, treat yourself. You know you've been nice!



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Pluskit 0.991U

Here is the latest version of Pluskit.

It should work with every page style including blogs, blog archives, blocks, etc. EXCEPT the newest plugin Carousel (there seem to be java conflicts so I don't think any lightbox picture will work with this)

Get it here
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Plustkit 0.985U

Go here to download pluskit 0.985U

The lightbox feature should now work under most circumstances. I just realized that 'blocks' is not working (I'll fix that next) and there may be other page types with a problem but all-in-all it should be pretty safe to play with. Of course testing is still limited so be a little cautious before you use it on your clients big site.

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More Secret Menu items

Hot off the heels of my seminal 'secret menu items' blog (har) comes another one. This one requires that you download a new build of Pluskit but it turns on some pretty interesting features. Below is a screenshot of the new feature. It may appear a bit small so you might want to click on it to get a full size picture.

Picture 4

First let me say that this one is really rough right now... I may not even ever release it but I'm curious to get some feedback if it's useful or not. You can now automatically 'lighbox' images that you drag & drop into styled text. This is great for putting small thumbnails in but still allowing for 'full res' pictures. There are a number of ways you can specify how to do it. In the example above I only auto-lightbox if it's a blog type and the picture is < 75% scaled (so the above picture will automatically create a lightbox while the one below will not since it's at 100%


Pasted Graphic 1


Again, this is still pretty rough.. I wouldn't use it on any serious sight but it's ok to play around with if you would like. There is one big problem right now in that if you have a link assigned to a graphic but the rules also allow you lightbox it then the lightbox will win (e.g. it doesn't play nicely with links).

Anyway let me know what you think -- I'm really interested in feedback on this one.

You can download it here




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Secret Menu Items

Here in the US we have a food chain called 'in and out burger'. It's menu consists of hamburgers, french fries & drinks and for the majority of people they just order that (it's insanely popular and I've never figured out why).

One of the things 'the kids' enjoy about it is it's secret menu. You see while the actual menu is pretty simple they also have a secret menu (ok, it's not so secret since it's on the web page) -- It's my understanding that there is a even MORE secret menu that they don't even post on the web (you can imagine the fun).

Anyway I mention all of this because pluskit has secret options, let me tell you about one. Have you ever wanted to put together a simple table in a RW page?

This is a header
This is the first row
This is the second row.. It can be wide if needed
or say you
just want to
put things in nice
columns


It's pretty easy to do within textile. As a rule I prefer markdown for most of my ascii based stylings but markdown doesn't talk tables. It's super easy with textile. For instance try this

<textile>

|colum 1| column2|
|this is an item | this is a second item|

</textile>


That's right.. You just put vertical bars between the columns and it will automagically create a table out of it. Much nice than inputting raw HTML! The great thing about pluskit is you can mix & match markdown & textile within a single page. To read more about textile go here

Also, I've put together a new screencast for sitemap. You can read about it in the FAQ at the bottom of the page. It shows different ways to move your sitemap.xml file to the correct location.



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First screencast


Now before you get all excited let me warn you.. This is reallly pretty mundane stuff but I put together my first screen cast. One of the questions I get a suprising amount of time is 'how do I drag the htaccess box in Lockdown over to transmit?'.

It's difficult to describe it in email so I created a small movie (screencast) here that shows it.

Having done it I have a few observations.

  1. It's pretty easy to do.. I didn't do any post production, speaking, etc. Just did my stuff and posted it. I used ishowu which is a fantastic app and well worth $20 (especially compared to snapz pro which AFIK is not universal and way more expensive)

  2. Having done it I can now point people to it again and again... Again saving my poor overtyped fingers

  3. It makes me want to do more. There are a lot of features in the plugins that I don't think get used at all since there is no good guides. This approach may well fix it.

  4. You don't have to make them overly complex. This one was pretty easy but solves the problem of describing it nicely (plus it's not that horribly big of a download)


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New Lockdown features & Pricing.

I've put up a new version of lockdown with a much requested feature -- You can now select a 'per user' redirect page. This means if you want one central log in but you want to redirect people to their specific page you can now do that within lockdown.

Please keep in mind that page redirection is different than security. If everyone has an account under one Lockdown page then they can access all of the content (even if you redirect them to their specific page). If you care about this you have a few options.

1) You can hide the menus in RW and use non obvious URL's... This is sort of security by obscurity but if it may be enough for most folks.
2) If you absolutely need the redirected pages to have protection you can send them to a second Lockdown page that only they have an account on.

On a different, but related note, you may have noticed a small ($2) increase in Lockdown -- Lockdown has the highest support load of any of my plugins and so I made a small price increase in concert with the newest version to more accurately reflect the amount of work it is.

If you were thinking of buying Lockdown but are now 'drats... too late', don't worry. I've set up a coupon code OLDLKDOWNPRICE that is 20% off which gets you back to the old price -- This coupon is good until Dec 1, 2006.

-John
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New Look

If you are reading this then on the web then you are seeing the new look. I've been trying to migrate over for a while and although I haven't got my final site tweaked up yet I've decided to go live (otherwise I may never change it).

Overall I'm happy with the direction so far. it feels much cleaner than my old "everything at the top level" design -- One thing that tough about running a small business like Loghound.com, especially if your work gets done in the evenings after your 'day job' is that every night you have to decide "Do I work on plugins, customer defects, clean up documentation or fix up my web site" I usually put customer problems first and web site clean up last!

The biggest thing that strikes me as I redo my site is how amazing Rapidweaver is. I'm able to take my entire site and with relatively small amounts of effort completely change the look and organization. Amazing.

The theme is badNas from SeyDoggy and Adam has also been great in getting me new graphics -- The Lockdown icon was designed by him and look for other applications icons to come out in the coming weeks.

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Slow Updates

Hi All,

You may have noticed the site not updating recently. I've been away on some family issues but I'm back now so expect more frequent updates (both blog & plugins).

Also, I'm slowly working on a new site design that I hope to bring live in the next 1-3 weeks.

Stay Tuned.

-John
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I'm So Excited

It's been a while since I dusted off the old 'blog and gave you some loghound goodness so tonights a two fer.

First I wanted to talk about a little project I'm in the middle of. It's got me pretty excited and no, it's not some fancy new plugin or application. In fact most of you will see it and shrug or say "Well, it's about time"

Let's just say that I'm getting a help from a fellow dog...

Finally I wanted to talk about the creativity of constraints. It occurs to me that most of what I've ever produced (and decided to share) is a form of plugin. Not just Rapidweaver but I've also done plugins for Address Book, iMediaBrowser Sandvox. It would frighten you to know what other apps I've done plugins for but choose to not every let see the light of day. More than once I've told someone NEVER AGAIN... Never again would I do a plugin. There are moments where I want to scream -- I want to do something simple and I can't because of the way the plugin interface works . Or I do what I think is correct but something in the main app kills me or ... well you get the idea.

I dream of my own app that I control soup to nuts. I imagine working in an environment where I control all of the source code and believe me, it's attractive but I keep on coming back to plugins.

Why? Why do I beat my head against the wall like this? I finally figured it out today.

Constraints free your creative mind

The fact that I have so many constraints forces me to think, and I mean think hard. More than once I've gone to bed thinking "It's helpless.. there is no way" and the next morning something clicks (Lockdown is a great example of that) it actually makes the problems more interesting and when I get it working it's that much more satisfying.

I've seen the same reaction from the guys who can take a 16x16 icon and make it look great. Would it be nice to have 1024x1024 for icon design? Sure but there is something deeply satisfying by making the icon look great with 16 pixels on a side.


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