My brain screamed "NOO, I'M MUSH, DON'T DO THIS TO ME!" all the while

Waited all day yesterday for a UPS shipment for Marty but then he realized it was coming in today instead so here I wait for UPS to knock at the window.

I started using the Flash Media Player via Dreamhost for displaying QT to FLV video on the blogs because Youtube can be pretty funky, videos not playing very smoothly, indeed so roughly that they have the appearance of dropping stretches of frames. (I already related the other night how Dreamhost’s conversion utility was behaving very badly so I’m doing the QT to FLV myself in QT).

BUT! Yes, but. There was no way to do a preview image in the Flash player and that was giving the blogs (H.o.p.’s and mine) the appearance of having big black gateways to nothingness instead of RICH MEDIA CONTENT!

So, yesterday I began my journey to previews via this nifty plug-in.

Well, well, I labored quite a while and couldn’t get previews to work, despite the fact my code was fine.

Turns out that you can use an absolute url for the movies (I have them located outside the blog folders since the movies are serving multiple blogs) but you must have a relative url for the previews, it seems. So, success, finally got that figured out. Moved the preview images inside the WordPress folders and am doing relatives urls as the base url is automatically appended to preview images in this plug-in.

But wait! I discovered that on the category and archive pages and in searches the flash videos were appearing as code. So, I looked through the forum and fortunately this issue had been covered. I found the couple of files in each theme in which the word “excerpt” needed to be replaced with “post” and did that and got both blogs looking right again.

No, wait! Other things were going on in the meanwhile where I had to update WordPress to its most recent release, which meant also working on H.o.p.’s category template as it hasn’t liked the most recent WordPress updates, but I had a fix for it and uploaded that.

But wait! I realized posts were now disappearing in H.o.p.’s blog. They couldn’t be reached via categories or archives or searches. They were THERE but were simply gone. Panic time! I backtracked in my browser and did a duplicate post of one I’d just made which was one of the posts that had disappeared. Now TWO posts were appearing, both the original and the duplicate. So I removed one of them. And both disappeared. I did this several times over. The theme we were using on H.o.p.’s blog hadn’t appreciated, apparently, my changing “excerpt” to “post” because this issue involved archives, searches and categories.

Forget it. H.o.p. loved that theme (Mistylook, the appearance of which we’d modified according to his exact specifications) but it was time to change.

I spent hours last night trying out themes. Seeking them out. Downloading. Unzipping. Loading them up. Almost all of them had the same issues with the plug-in where you would need to change “excerpt” to “post” but I didn’t see any posts being dropped at least. They were all present. Or so it seemed.

We also didn’t like the themes, not even after my changing the appearance of them. None of them were working for us. They were ugly and I didn’t feel like doing hours and hours of work modifying css to create a whole new theme essentially. I just wanted to do simple mods like changing colors and images. I didn’t want to have to redo type and spatial orientations.

Finally tried the Artsemerging theme and WONDERFUL it worked straight out of the box with the plug-in. I modified the appearance (images and just a little CSS) and H.o.p.’s blog is back in order.

P.S. DAMN IT! I WAS WRONG. I’m now losing posts in my blog, having changed “excerpt” to “post”. Damn, damn, damn, damn! I didn’t notice it last night.

I’m not working on that today. Will face that tomorrow.

P.P.S. My brain decided it had to face the problem. And VOILA a light clicked. I changed my archives and search php files back to what they originally were, restoring “excerpt” where I’d replaced with “post” (which was the fix supplied in the forum but wasn’t working well for Veryplaintext or Mistylook themes, which weren’t displaying the full post with the change and were dropping posts) and when I have Flash videos to display I will write an OPTIONAL EXCERPT (a summary), thus bypassing the problem. You see, excerpts strip away all coding, which was why it was showing the coding for the flash player. But changing from excerpt to post in the archives and search php files resulted in posts being dropped rather than full posts being displayed in Veryplaintest and Mistylook.

We like H.o.p.’s new theme so will leave that as it is. It’s already configured to display full posts rather than excerpts, and though excerpts are nice, well, it’s not so bad to have H.o.p.’s blog displaying full posts in categories, archives etc.

Told you my brain is mush. I should have thought of this last night.

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Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

6 thoughts on “My brain screamed "NOO, I'M MUSH, DON'T DO THIS TO ME!" all the while”

  1. I wish I knew how to do more stuff with my computer. I wish I didn’t end up feeling so much at the mercy of others when something doesn’t work. I admire your capacity to work through the problems you encounter. Your brain may be mush but it came through for you anyway.

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