Ajaxify Your WordPress Theme

This AjaxWP WordPress extension looks pretty interesting. It adds some AJAX functionality to your existing WordPress theme:

AjaxWp is a lightweight JavaScript enhancement that adds AJAX functionality to WordPress blogs speeding up load times, increasing the responsiveness of the user interface and giving the blog an overall cooler look.

It’s supposed to work, with minimal configuration, right out of the box. This plugin could be interesting, I’m gonna see what it can do this weekend.

[via Weblog Tools Collection]

O’Reilly: “Web 2.0” is Ours

[email protected] is a networking organization for IT professionals. They have an upcoming Web 2.0 half-day conference, which prompted O’Reilly to send a cease and desist letter. O’Reilly is claiming they’ve applied for a trademark for the term “Web 2.0”, attempting to prevent [email protected] from using “Web 2.0” for its conference.

How fucking stupid is that? O’Reilly is a company that tries to appeal to the open source community, trademarking a term that’s been in wide use on the internet for the last 2-3 years is gonna hurt their reputation. O’Reilly claims to have come up with the term “Web 2.0” in 2003 while at the O’Reilly and CMP Web 2.0 Conference. That’s just fine and dandy, but for O’Reilly to do something like this is pretty out of the ordinary for the company. I really don’t care one way or the other, as I’ve mentioned my thoughts on “Web 2.0” before. It’s a marketing ploy, probably developed by O’Reilly. So I say we let em have their silly “Web 2.0” trademark.

OK, so all that went down yesterday. Today, [email protected] received a fax from O’Reilly basically asking them to sign a document saying they’ll no longer use “Web 2.0” at future events. The VP of Corporate Communications at O’Reilly, Sara Winge, had a message posted to the O’Reilly Radar blog about the “Web 2.0” trademark controversy. It’s really pretty lame.

Nice job O’Reilly, you’ve upset a lot of people, a number of whom have been loyal customers for years.

WordPress Widget Plugin

Want to change your WordPress sidebar but don’t wanna edit any code? The WordPress Widgets Plugin is just what you’re looking for.

It made it’s debut on WordPress.com a few months ago and is now being released for public consumption. If everything goes well, it might get included in the next WordPress release.

Widgets are an easy way for you to arrange and rearrange your sidebar to your hearts content without touching a line of code. We first launched WordPress Widgets (WPW) it on WordPress.com a month ago and the response was great. Now we’re ready to release the plugin to the world. If adoption goes well, we’ll consider rolling it into the next version of WordPress.

You can get the plugin here. WordPress Theme Park notes that theme developers will want to try to make their themes work out-of-the-box with this plugin. It’s apparently pretty easy.

NewsAlloy Update

My favorite news/rss reader, NewsAlloy, is undergoing a pretty major update. It’s supposed to be back up sometime tomorrow, if not sooner.

The developer (lordtime) is changing all the MySQL tables over to InnoDB from MyISAM. He’s pretty confident it will result in a decent performance boost. I haven’t had any problems with the speed or performance of NewsAlloy since I started using it.

He also mentions in that post that we can expect a few pleasant surprises after this MySQL update is out of the way. I really love NewsAlloy.

News Alloy Vs. Feedlounge

News Alloy and Feedlounge are both AJAX based feed readers. News Alloy is free, Feedlounge is $5/month. I purchased a year subscription to Feedlounge about a month ago.

Now, I’ve tried using Feedlounge a bunch. Sometimes it works fine, other times it won’t work at all. A couple weeks back, I was unable to even login to my Feedlounge account. Feedlounge recently made a new release, a release containing the most significant changes since their initial public release. That release was supposed to improve speed, I witnessed the exact opposite, a drastic slowdown. The Feedlounge team made a few improvements to performance. I still find it to be much slower than News Alloy.

Now, I’ve got no complaints with News Alloy at all. It’s free, it’s quick, and it’s pretty. It’s extremely easy to use, I much prefer the News Alloy UI to that of Feedlounge. News Alloy is so much more responsive too. I love the way it handles groups and categories for feeds. Feedlounge uses tags for group and category names, it was somewhat difficult to keep my feeds organized. For example, I would add a new feed and tag it “Politics”. Instead of showing up under the Politics tag it wouldn’t show up with any tag.

If you’ve used Gmail, you should feel right at home with News Alloy. It’s got some UI similiarities to Gmail that make it so much more usable. I also really enjoy the floating sidebar in News Alloy. It sports some neat plugins too.

In the most recent post at the News Alloy blog, a “no ads” feature is mentioned. I have yet to see any ads on News Alloy. Supposedly advertisements are displayed for those who haven’t donated to the project. They’re also coming out with a mobile version of News Alloy in March.

I’ve found my new full-time feed reader, News Alloy. Feedlounge looks nice but just doesn’t have the functionality I need. I won’t be renewing my subscription next year. Oh, News Alloy is still in beta and I think they’ve got a huge head-start on Feedlounge already.