An old time strongman with a handlebar mustache in front of some trophies.

Interviewing My Domain

I am late in responding to this prompt from Alan but given all Alan does I figured I should give this a shot. What is your domain name and what is the story, meaning behind your choice of that as a name? I started this many moons ago when I was teaching k12. It was a time of hope around edtech and the edu-blog-o-sphere was young. Many people even referred to it as the edu-blog-o-sphere1 and the first edubloggercon had yet to happen. Most of the fully-branded tech teachers you know today were working in actual schools rather than for companies. It was a strange time, like the 1960s maybe, so I blame the domain name on that. I was working with Jim Coe and we had plans become some sort of edtech consultant group. That whole branding thing didn’t seem quite as repulsive to me then as it does now.2 In any case, I had previously had a free blog on a site run by James Farmer (incsub.org/wpmu) which was entitled Bionic Teacher. My concept at that time was that fusing the best of technology with the best of human options resulted in the title. Since we were now two people and a long-term goal of influencing more people bionic teacher became bionic teaching. We then immediately got that […]

Will Wonka asking you to tell him again what WordPress can't do.

Tweaking the WP Base JSON Data

We had a list of rampages sites in a Google Spreadsheet and wanted to know when they were created. I started to look that up but only managed to do it twice before I gave up and went in search of another way. In this case it took two little bits of code. This first piece is active on our generic site-wide plugin. It adds the blog’s creation date, last updated, and post count to the base JSON data. That’ll be handy in the future if we want to checkup on sites with only one query rather than multiple queries. This second piece is a Google Script that makes a function that I can call in the sheet by typing =getCreationDate(“http://someurl.com/”) The two together answer my immediate problem but the JSON modifications have some long-term value for us and might be useful to someone else.

Will Wonka asking you to tell him again what WordPress can't do.

Hiding Comment Emails

Obscuring emails in WordPress . . . the comments edition. This is likely overkill but given that VCU has concerns about student emails being divulged via group emails we figured it wouldn’t hurt. I don’t want a class requiring commenting on student sites and that resulting in student unintentionally divulging their VCU emails because they’re logged in. You can see more details on email concerns at VCU (and likely other Virginia universities) at the VCU House Bill 1 site. This is going to go into our production code soon but seems to be working fine in development land. If you’re not a super-admin you will no longer see emails in the main comments view. In the quick edit view, I opted to get a little more nuanced. Email addresses without VCU in them will show normally. I figured this might be useful for contacting outside people. VCU has three or four email patterns but all of them have VCU in the address so I opted to just look for VCU in the email string using strpos. If it finds VCU then it spits back a generic sanitized email, sanitized_email@vcu.edu.1 I thought this would make it more obvious that there wasn’t an error but that emails were being cleaned intentionally. And finally, the single comment edit view. Thanks to Jeremy Felt […]

A drawing of a small terrier dog jumping through a hoop held by a monkey.

WordPress Multisite Email Hider

Virginia recently passed some FOIA legislation (and even more legislation) that says essentially that institutions can’t release student emails without written consent. That includes student directories and other fairly traditional things done with student emails. It led us to look at our WordPress multisite install.1 While a VCU email address is required to sign up for rampages.us, the username can be whatever the person desires. Emails aren’t visible in the user directory. The one place we thought emails would be visible in way that might be unexpected was in the user view of individual sites. If a student is an admin, they’d be able to see the emails of other student users on that site. The following bit of code removes the email column from the users view for everyone that isn’t a super admin. If we see an uproar from teachers about the missing column, we can also add people by user ID by doing something like . . . 2 $ok_people = [1,2,4]; if ( is_array( $super_admins ) && in_array( $current_user->user_login, $super_admins ) || in_array($current_user->ID, $ok_people) ){ [\php] 1 Overkill? Happy to oblige. 2 I didn’t test this yet so …

22

Gravity Forms Rich Text Editor Grayed Out Fix

This isn’t clean and I have no idea why this is behaving this way but . . . this is a way around it. Sometimes Gravity Forms won’t let me choose the “Use the Rich Text Editor” option but I really, really want to choose that option. It’s grayed out as you can see below. In Chrome, I click “inspect element” on the grayed out checkbox and I can then see in the HTML that the word “disabled” is just sitting right there taunting me. What’s nice is I have the power to destroy that word. If I click on it and erase it things become good again and the checkbox is now available. And victory! I haven’t seen any ill effects for doing this and I’m not sure why it’s happening but this a way around it.

20

Weekly Web Harvest for 2018-05-13

educate your child interactive data viz on choosing a school and the impact that has in Chicago Meet Calumma uetzi, a rainbow-colored chameleon from Madagascar that was just named after a VCU professor “It’s one thing to have a species named after you,” he said, “but it’s another thing to have a really nice and pretty species named after you.” erinspace/sonify: Use data to create and play MIDI files! Take a CSV of data, output sound! Using Python! Small b blogging What’s going on here? I call it small b blogging. It’s a virtuous cycle of making interesting connections while also being a way to clarify and strengthen my own ideas. I’m not reaching a big audience by any measure but the direct impact and benefit is material. –what’s this look like for departments/education?

15

Javascript Highlighter to Form (or whatever)

John Stewart asked if I had any easy ways to allow users to highlight some text and push that highlighted text to a form. I didn’t but that sounded like something useful in a variety of scenarios so I sketched out a working demo in Codepen which you can see below. It can push the content directly to a form field on the page but I also built a link that would populate to include the highlighted text as a URL parameter and grab the page URL as well. Like most things I make, it’s the result of some Stack Overflow responses being hit several times with a hammer. It’s decently commented up but is not the most optimized of code. This type of construction usually results in new ideas being incorporated on the fly and that makes for ugly code. I am ok with that as this prototype took about 15 minutes to create. We can polish things up if/when we have a more direct audience/intent. Until then, it’s a functional prototype which can be used to get faculty seeing possibilities. See the Pen highlight to field by Tom (@twwoodward) on CodePen.