I’ve recently made a switch from a free web hosting company to paid hosting with Dreamhost, following several days of complete frustration. For some reason (and very likely not the fault of the free web hosting company) I was unable to reach my blog for over a week; either by connecting from my computer at home or even using my phone. Strangely, though, I seemed able to reach it from work just fine. What could be wrong? The story I have to tell is one worth reading by anyone torn between free web hosting and a modest outlay for a paid host. Along the way, perhaps I can explain a few things about how the Internet works, too.
Breadcrumbs are a handy way to make navigating your blog easier. A breadcrumb trail is simply a list of links showing where the current page is in the blog structure. Readers may easily move up and down your blog to discover related content. But including a breadcrumb trail on your site not only makes it easier for visitors to navigate. It also allows search engines to better explore your blog and include extra information in search results. Many breadcrumb plugins exist, but normally need theme editing or a custom theme that uses the breadcrumb function. Often, there is some further styling to make the breadcrumb trail match the overall ‘look’ of the site. I found this a challenge when trying to add breadcrumbs to the TwentyFourteen theme that ships with WordPress 3.8. I really wanted ‘responsive’ additions that hide under a button when viewed on smaller screens. Since the breadcrumbs are a navigation aid, why not place them in the navigation menu itself? Instant Breadcrumbs adds a breadcrumb trail to your WordPress blog’s primary navigation menu. No theme editing required!
Recently I’ve been implementing an animated user interface where the animations are defined in a proprietary file format. When the interface is brought up on Android™, the file gets walked and all the View objects created; when an animation takes place, the definitions in the file are converted into Android key frames. Everything seemed to work well… until I imported a file with what seemed like a harmless optimization.
Several buttons in the user interface incorporated a “glowing” effect, basically by having the glow defined in an image file and animating its alpha transparency. The same image file was in use at several locations on the screen, just scaled to match the button. I decided to cache the Android Drawable, creating just one for each image and attaching it to multiple ImageView objects as necessary. As I loaded the file, the repeated copies of the glow image appeared in several places on the screen. Surely this would be more efficient?
Somewhere in the widget area of this site, you should now see a Creative Commons license. This touches on a subject I feel very strongly about; the idea of attribution, of giving credit where it is due. This affects not just the writing on this blog, but equally to the code I produce as a software developer, whether it be as part of a company or even tools I develop for myself.