An old drawing of an owl.

Simple Content Restrictor Plugin

Origin Story I had a number of emails from people trying to restrict content in various ways. One person wanted to restrict access because they were editing previously published content. Another person wanted more of a traditional membership-style option with the ability to restrict certain content based on user roles. I looked at some of the plugins out there but felt that building something a little less corporate1 would be pretty easy. It’ll likely evolve as I get some people using it but it’s here now if you want to mess with it. Making It This plugin uses the Advanced Custom Fields plugin as it saves me tons of hassle building custom field interfaces. ACF Stuff First, these two pieces enable me to sync up ACF field data without the drama of import/export or hard coding it into PHP.2 Now, I started off hand-writing the user levels as items. While easy, it felt wrong because there might be other user levels created by other plugins and they’d end up left out. I realized I could just add the user roles automatically like so. This will list all the user roles on the site as options. Filtering the Content My original idea was that I could just use use WP’s content filter. That is what I did but things got more […]


Weekly Web Harvest for 2019-08-11

What The Hell Was Megadeth, Arizona? – Robin Sloan Bechtel – MediumA DIGITAL POSTCARD—This was one of the first applications where one could send a graphic via email, which programmers told us was technically impossible. Stop Using Zip Codes for Geospatial Analysis — CARTO BlogAfter creating this as a new table we can see that the majority of the most unequal zip codes tend to be in cities or larger metro areas and more equal zip codes tend to be in rural areas around the country. Meta-analysis of faculty’s teaching effectiveness: Student evaluation of teaching ratings and student learning are not related – ScienceDirectOur up-to-date meta-analysis of all multisection studies revealed no significant correlations between the SET ratings and learning. These findings suggest that institutions focused on student learning and career success may want to abandon SET ratings as a measure of faculty’s teaching effectiveness. am I the asshole? behavior rulesBe interesting to see how these would play in other commenting/social networking scenarios. Cicada 3301 – WikipediaMany have speculated that the puzzles are a recruitment tool for the NSA, CIA, MI6, a “Masonic conspiracy”[13] or a cyber mercenary group.[1][8] Others have claimed Cicada 3301 is an alternate reality game. No company or individual has taken credit for it or attempted to monetize it, however.[11] Agrippa (A Book of the Dead) […]

A screenshot of the WPlus layout. It's masonry and pretty minimal.

WPlus WordPress Theme

Origin Story There once was a group who really liked Google Plus. With the demise of the service, they were unhappy. With this request, I wondered if we might just build a very similar experience in WordPress. I think I ended up getting pretty close. The Look The theme is built using our normal pattern of bending Understrap so it uses Bootstrap at its core. The theme is here. I don’t know if this works decently or not (vertical slider gets kind of lost) but I took a shot at making the WordPress theme comparable to the Google Plus layout using juxtapose. If you’re anything like me, you have no real memory of what Google Plus looked like and I want you to appreciate this. Luckily I still have access to G+ through my VCU account for at least a while longer. The Masonry Grid I didn’t think too hard when I opted to make the initial masonry layout.1 I used what seemed like a really handy path. What I didn’t pay attention to was that this particular masonry-sort goes top to bottom and then left to right. Since that was brought to my attention, I’ve gone back to the G+ layout and tried to see more logic behind how they did it and what the sort order is but […]


Checkboxes exposing more content

The basic idea here is that if you check all the boxes, more stuff will be shown. Right now it’s set to need all 6 but it could be any number. Once again, it’s an ugly demo that we didn’t end up using but I can see this being useful in the future and it’s easier to find it on my own site than in Codepen’s dashboard. See the Pen build an online class form by Tom (@twwoodward) on CodePen.

Shows the question prompt following the first video. There's a bit of code and stuff in the background to try to give context.

YouTube Choose Your Own Adventure Interaction

This was a quick demo built to show how we could mix videos hosted on YouTube with viewer choices at the end of those videos that cause other videos to load. There’s a bit of work around what the visuals would be like for a user but nothing aggressive.1 If you play the first video (around 5 seconds),2 you’ll get a prompt that partially obscures the video and then loads a new video based on the button you click. The people ended up going with Story Line or something like that but I liked this enough to write this post and figure it’ll come up again some day. With interest from someone, it’d be something that could be pretty easily built into WordPress as a plugin. See the Pen youtube end event by Tom (@twwoodward) on CodePen. 1 That means it’s ugly but I don’t want you to judge me. 2 Which is pretty short but I still fast forward it.


Weekly Web Harvest for 2019-08-04

Ethan Mollick on Twitter: “Interesting paper on unexpected discrimination in online ads: women see less ads for STEM job openings because they click them (and other ads) more. That makes ads for women more expensive, so a gender-neutral ad bidding system NUKnightLab/sql-mysteries: Inspired by @veltman’s command-line mystery, use SQL to research clues and find out whodunit!There’s been a Murder in SQL City! The SQL Murder Mystery is designed to be both a self-directed lesson to learn SQL concepts and commands and a fun game for experienced SQL users to solve an intriguing crime. Hospital checklists are meant to save lives — so why do they often fail? : Nature News & CommentThis article hits on so many things that cause failures in so many initiatives. “They were 95% the same, but that 5% made it work for them,” he says. “Every one of these hospitals thought that theirs was the best.” Museum 2.0: Rowboats and Magic Feathers: Reflections on 13 Years of Museum 2.0 Animal Extinction: Caring for the Last of a Species – The AtlanticWhen animals die out, the last survivor is called an endling.


Weekly Web Harvest for 2019-07-28

The Flawed Reasoning Behind the Replication Crisis – Issue 74: Networks – NautilusThe problem, though, is the dominant mode of statistical analysis these days isn’t Bayesian. Since the 1920s, the standard approach to judging scientific theories has been significance testing, made popular by the statistician Ronald Fisher. Fisher’s methods and their latter-day spinoffs are now the lingua franca of scientific data analysis. In particular, Google Scholar currently returns 2.85 million citations including the phrase “statistically significant.” Fisher claimed signficance testing was a universal tool for scientific inference, “common to all experimentation,” a claim that seems borne out by its widespread use across all disciplines. The Real Reason Why Instagram Is Hiding “Like” Counts – The RealistsTypically when opening up a news or photo feed, one’s eyes tend to be drawn to numbers first. If a post has many likes, we tend to give more importance to it, to think of it as more worthy of our attention. If that number is hidden, we are more inclined to read a full post or study a photo more carefully. And I think that this ultimately drives users to spend more time on these platforms. Even two extra seconds spent examining a photo or a post can have a powerful cumulative effect, especially when it comes to investor reports (“users’ average time spent […]