JoshMcCarty.com Redesign for 2016

A Quick Note: This blog post is long overdue. It’s been sitting in my drafts for about six months, so keep in mind that most of this is in the context of late 2016. It’s been a few years since I paid much attention to my personal website from a development perspective, so I decided to refresh the […]

JoshMcCarty.com Redesign for 2014

One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2013 was to redesign my personal website. It didn’t happen. I think most web developers tend to neglect their personal site a bit because they are always working on other projects. At least that seems to be the consensus with my coworkers. Well, it’s still pretty rough around the […]

A jQuery UI Theme for SharePoint 2007

I’ve been using jQuery UI in a few recent projects on my department’s SharePoint® site. In order to provide a consistent user experience, I used the excellent ThemeRoller to create a custom theme that matched our branding. We have a custom master page, custom page layouts, and our own color scheme, fonts, etc. so I wasn’t trying to match the OOTB look and feel of SharePoint.

However, it recently occurred to me that although I’ve seen a few articles about people using jQuery UI to enhance SharePoint, they usually go with a pre-built theme that doesn’t quite blend with the rest of SharePoint. With that in mind, I decided to see how closely I could match the default SharePoint look and feel using ThemeRoller. I’m limiting this to just SharePoint 2007 for now, although I may do a follow-up for 2010 if enough people find this useful.

What if I don’t like the default look of SharePoint?

First, let me say that although I don’t think SharePoint looks terrible (although many would disagree with me on that!), it does look pretty dated. However, I would rather have a SharePoint site look consistently dated than have a cool-looking, modern tab widget in the middle of a SharePoint page; it would stick out and break the flow of the page design.

There is an argument to this of course—you might want your widget(s) to stick out so that users are drawn to them and don’t lose track of what they’re doing in a complex web application. I recognize the potential value in that. However, if that were the case for me, I’d still want the theme to blend, but I’d probably do something like reverse the primary and accent colors or find a complementary color scheme to use.

Second, I’m not criticizing anyone’s efforts in using jQuery UI without a custom theme. The functionality is the important thing. In fact, I’d encourage anyone using jQuery UI to get things working first and worry about a custom theme as the last step. The great thing about jQuery UI is that it’s set up to be themed by simply swapping out a CSS file and a few images. You won’t need to make any edits to your HTML or JavaScript/jQuery to use a custom theme at a later date (although if you’ve done some additional customization to jQuery UI, you may need to tweak a few things). (more…)

Access Ubuntu VM Files from a Windows Host

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series WordPress Development Environment.

I do most of my WordPress development using a test environment that I installed on a Ubuntu Virtual Machine (VM). This let’s me play around as much as I want without any risk to my production website or my computer; everything is contained within the VM, and it costs me nothing because I only use open-source and/or free software (read about it at http://wp.me/p1iF71-4x).

However, I prefer to do the actual development and testing from Windows 7 because I prefer using it to any other OS. While my VM is running my WordPress installation, I can access the files from my Windows host OS and use development tools like Notepad++ to access the WordPress files via my home network.

To accomplish this, Ubuntu will need to install a sharing service so Windows can “see” it using the virtual network adapter. When we’re finished, the VM will appear to be just another computer on the network.

Enable Sharing

First, navigate to opt/lampp/htdocs and right-click on the wordpress folder. Select “Sharing Options” to open the Folder Sharing window.

Select "Sharing Options" for the wordpress folder.
Select "Sharing Options" for the wordpress folder.

Check the box for “Share this folder” and click the Install Service button when prompted. You’ll need to enter your password. (more…)

Organize Series Plugin for WordPress

I just installed the Organize Series plugin for this site. Right out of the box it comes with everything needed to organize related blog posts into a “series” of posts with a specific order. I’ve seen this on a lot of other WordPress sites when people do a series of articles about a specific topic. […]

Glass Theme

I’ve just finished a new theme called “Glass” and activated it on this site. This is my second attempt at a WordPress theme, and I re-used many of the lessons learned from my first WordPress theme. It uses a basic two-column layout with a minimal header and footer. The template is compliant with XHTML 1.0 strict, but I may convert it to HTML 5 in the future. It is also mostly valid CSS 3, although because CSS 3 is not finalized I did have to use some non-valid vendor-specific styles for cross-browser compatibility. Check the XHTML and CSS links in the footer to validate the site with the W3C validation tools.

Glass Theme Screenshot
Screenshot of the Glass Theme

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Chops Theme 2.0

I finished creating my first WordPress theme. It’s calls Chops 2.0 (version 1.0 was scratched before it was finalized). I made the theme exclusively for justinchoponis.com. Several resources were instrumental in its creation, including the following: So you want to create WordPress themes huh? – A blog article with a very thorough tutorial on creating […]