Self-hosted moderated chat room and liveblog project

A few months ago I contacted Brian Cook, proprietor of one of the best sports blogs on the Internet, MGoBlog. A year or so earlier I had created a userscript that improved some functionality for his site, and I thought he might be interested in building some of that JS directly into the site so it would benefit every user. Instead we ended up discussing a few other projects, including an open-source alternative for the relatively expensive moderated liveblog systems the site uses for Michigan football gamedays. These are the results of that project so far. See the project

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Posted in GitHub, HTML & CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, MySQL, PHP, Server Side Code

Bing spelling suggestions and WordPress search

I’m a truly terrible speller, so when I was testing out the search functionality on this site it became very clear to me how much I rely on Google’s spelling suggestions and how deficient any search without that feature feels. I was surprised to find that there were no existing WordPress plugins that could easily add this functionality, so I decided to see how hard it would be to implement that functionality myself. As it turns out, with the right API account a simple spelling suggest feature is fairly straightforward to build. How to do it

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Posted in PHP, Server Side Code, WordPress

Getting the most out of WordPress custom fields

WordPress custom fields are a pretty nifty idea that can allow you to add custom content to individual posts, outside of the standard content area. Most examples on how to implement custom fields show fairly innocuous uses, just inserting little strings of text in various locations. However, by populating the custom field with wonderfully portable JSON, it’s possible to perform much more complex and powerful actions on individual posts and pages. See it in action

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Posted in HTML & CSS, PHP, Server Side Code, WordPress

Using an Ajax powered web form to update a database

As part of the preparation for my upcoming wedding to a wonderful lady, I’m in charge of building our wedding website, which we’ve decided will handle all of our RSVPs. I’m still in the process of building the RSVP form for that site, maybe I’ll do a full post about it and all its features once it’s done. But this process did give me an idea to build a more universal and flexible web form, which could easily be plugged into any LAMP environment and used to push form responses to a database using Ajax. How I did it

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Posted in GitHub, HTML & CSS, JavaScript, MySQL, PHP, Server Side Code