Sunday May 08, 2011

Welcome to blogs.oracle.com/arungupta - the new "Miles to go..."!

One of the last pieces of identity coming from Sun is now fully submerged in Oracle and I'm excited about that!

After over 1200 blog entries at blogs.sun.com/arungupta for over 5 years, this is my first post at blogs.oracle.com/arungupta. This new blog will continue to be my primary blog going forward and I heartily welcome you here. Your suggestions and over 4400 comments is what makes this blog worthwhile so keep them coming. The redirects from blogs.sun.com -> blogs.oracle.com should be automatically working, leave a comment if you see something broken though.

Just to set the expectations on what to expect on this blog, here is a tag cloud from the previous blog:

And I expect this to be the trend going forward as well. As always, your suggestions and comments are valuable to me and I respond to each one of them carefully so please keep them coming.

And just for memory sake, here is a snapshot of the now erstwhile blogs.sun.com/arungupta :-)

Now ... on to blogs.oracle.com/arungupta!

There are still a tons of cities to visit ...
Plenty of developers to spread the fever ...
Loads of conferences to speak ...
And miles to go before I sleep.

JavaOne India starts tomorrow ... are you gonna be there ?

Technorati: milestogo blog oracle sun

Wednesday Sep 09, 2009

Getting Started with Wordpress Customization

So you have a brand new Wordpress installation and would like to start blogging. There are several tutorials available on that topic. However it's important to customize your blog as it reflects your style / personality. Wordpress official documentation is extensive, very nicely organized and provide great tips on how to customize your blogs. But it can take a while to go through the docs and customize look-and-feel of your blog.

This blog entry explains how this blog was customized from a fresh Wordpress installation.

  • Pick a theme that you like and customize it. This blog started with "Classic" theme and added pages as relevant. This is totally a personal preference as I like the header + right navigation bar + body format.
  • Add your picture and edit the "About" page so that readers know you.
  • Customize sidebar
    • Prefer static toolbar by editing "sidebar.php" instead of dynamic toolbar created using the "Appearance" -> "Widgets".
    • Add "search" dialog box
    • Add Twitter widget (choose "Yes" for "Loop old results", explained here). May not be relevant if you don't tweet, but seems like everybody is these days ;-)
    • Add a ClustrMap widget to monitor geographical spread of readership.
    • Total Page hits / page views on sidebar + on each post (How ?)
  • Installed the following Wordpress plugins to begin with:
    • Google XML Sitemaps - Creates a Google Sitemaps compliant XML file and submits the blog content to Google, Bing and Ask.com. It took 1.64 seconds for the first creation and used 12.75 MB.
    • Sociable - Adds social media button to your posts
    • Google Analyticator plugin - Adds Google Analytics script to monitor traffic. Even though Google Analytics capture geographical distribution as well but I like the ClustrMap widget that can be displayed on the nav bar. Do Google Analytics provide that kind of widget ?
    • Search Plugin for Firefox and IE - Creates a Firefox and IE search plug-in. Install the plugin, go to "Settings", "Search Browser" to generate the code and insert in "header.php". Add a customized search page by copying "search.php" from the "default" theme. Show the summarized result with clickable links to the content.
    • Smart 404 plugin - Creates a clean and simple page with a friendly error message to a reader who might have somehow reached a broken link or mistyped the URL. Add/Edit a 404.php as explained here. It's important to not loose your reader and instead gracefully guide them to the next steps.
    • YARPP - Shows a list of related entries based on a unique algorithm for display on your blog and RSS feeds. A templating feature allows customization of the display.
    • WP Greet Box - Show a different greeting message to your new visitors
      depending on their referrer URL.
  • Some more customizations
    • Add pre/code styles to "styles.css" for code formatting. Now simple <pre> and <code> will format the code nicely.
    • Create hierarchical categories so that readers can read the topic of their choice
    • Add Next and Previous links to each page (<?php posts_nav_link(); ?>) and each blog post (<?php previous_post(); ?> <?php next_post(); ?>) as described here.
    • Personalize the page using a favicon as described here.
    • Change the default permalink format from "http://example.com/?p=N" to "http://example.com/year/month/day/post-name" as described here. This makes your blog entry URLs search-engine friendly.
  • Editing
    • If you prefer editing online, disable the "Visual rich editor" as it strips all the paragraph formatting from a nicely-formatted HTML page. It's primarily meant for newbies and I like better control over the HTML formatting so prefer editing it manually.
    • Choose a blog editor client. It seems Wordpress adds line breaks (<br>) if the text in a line is not wrapped. Qumana was chosen as the blog editor after trying nvu, Kompozer, Ecto, MarsEdit, Smultron, and HTML Tidy. Loving it's WYSIWYG capabilities, transition between WYSIWYG and source view is seamless, ease of cross-posting to multiple blogs and intuitive interface.
  • Join Technorati (if not already) and Claim your blog.
The beauty of Wordpress is that a myriad of customizations is possible but the tips above provide a common set of configuration.

Any other obvious tips that are missing ?

Technorati: wordpress blog milestogo

Tuesday May 13, 2008

"Miles to go ..." in Japanese


GlassFish Globalization team in Japan has started translating some of my blogs (on reader's request basis) in Japanese. The first installment is now live on GlassFish Wiki.

It's interesting to see that the first two translated entries are on Ruby-on-Rails. As of this morning, there are 71 blog entries on Ruby-on-Rails. Send them an email if you are interested in translation of other entries. Alternatively, you can edit the wiki and create a new entry in "Wishlist" section.

Let me know if you have suggestions on the type of GlassFish content that you'd like to see on this blog.

Feel free to create translation in a different language and drop a comment here.

Technorati: japanese blog translation rubyonrails milestogo

Thursday Mar 08, 2007

weblogs.java.net vs blogs.sun.com

FlexRex blogged about a tool that lets you evaluate the worth of your blog. So I did that for my two blogs and here are the results:

I put much more information (running, photography, etc) on blogs.sun.com/arungupta but java.net machinery seems to be 12.5 times powerful, at least gives me more bang for the buck :)

weblogs.java.net seems to be a clear winner, at least in terms of monetization, but I love running and photography so will continue blogging on both accounts.

Technorati: technorati blog tools milestogo java.net

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Arun Gupta is a technology enthusiast, a passionate runner, author, and a community guy who works for Oracle Corp.


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