Another WordPress site

I finally got around to updating www.lawrencemountainbikeclub.org with a new design and moved it over to WordPress.

I’m not ashamed to admit that a big hurdle for me was my existing PHP code for allowing people to join the club via our PayPal account. I loathed the idea of having to create some kind of custom page with hard-coded links, styled to look like it was a regular WordPress page.

As it turns out, WordPress is amazingly intuitive about allowing me to add some comment lines to the top of a template page, and then have that template be an option on the default “Add New Page” entry screen. Instead of feeling like a complete hack, integrating my existing code – and even a separate MySQL database – with a WordPress template worked so smoothly, it almost felt like this was the way it was supposed to be – that it wasn’t a kludge-y hack.

Not to bash too hard on Drupal, but nothing with Drupal has ever felt nearly so logical and effortless. I guess I just have to say that I am extremely fortunate that I’ve not had to deal with such complex sites that Drupal offered the only real solution. And when I do cross that threshold, I hope my intuition wakes up and sees the Drupal solution with the same clarity!

(A big hat-tip to Themeid.com for their Responsive WordPress Theme. Thank you!)

Responsive JQuery rotating images

Sometimes, when I’m in the weeds of a thing – say, figuring out how to build my own custom Javascript solution for rotating images – I wonder if it wouldn’t just be easier to download someone else’s solution and just live with that. But then I figure it out (eventually) and it almost seems worth it at the time.

The real bonus glory (in my mind) only comes later. And, for me, later is today. Today I got my image rotater to work with responsive design: it loads the images (which are all exactly the same size, to make the effect work), and resizes the bounding box (overflow: hidden) with each iteration, so if the viewport resizes, the images rotate in the right place.

It could be better yet – I could actually be resizing as soon as the viewport width changes, but since the rotater is already handling the image change event, that seemed like an easy (and perhaps elegant) place to put the resize logic.

But, more to the point, I feel like having figured out these two things – responsive design and building an image rotater (is “rotater” really a word?) – and then using the knowledge of the one to adapt the other is the icing on the cake.

Knowledge is such an accumulative thing. I have to remind myself that there was a time when I only scratched the surface and struggled through with just a bare understanding. And I know that there is still so much more to learn, but I keep bringing more tools to each project, and each project keeps challenging me and making me better.

I’m so glad I didn’t just download someone else’s script.

Progress

Well, I’m pleased to say that I am finally making some progress.

It’s one of those weird things about the creative process, for me anyway, that I go through periods of quiet, silence… dullness. And then other times I have flurries and storms of productivity. I seem to be in the midst of a storm, right now, and I’m hoping I can keep it up. I have a lot of stuff I could be working on.

My next goal is to get the Tour of Lawrence web site started. The show is back on for 2012, and I’m pleased to be able to get to take over the web site, as well as volunteering for the event. Should be a great time.

And that’s the great thing about being in the creative zone: now that I’ve gotten the ball rolling, keeping at it will only make it better.

Carry on.