Recent Category Posts – K2 Sidebar Module

Do use WordPress? Heard of K2? If not, then you really have to give it a good look.

From the K2 website:

K2 is an advanced template for the blogging engine WordPress developed by Michael Heilemann, Chris J Davis, Zeo, Steve Lam and Ben Sherratt.

It won’t make you coffee, sing songs of sweet regret or sit at your bedside when you’re ill, but it might make life just a tad bit easier for you.

Think of it this way: Where WordPress is everything that goes on behind the scenes, K2 is everything that reaches the readers of your blog.

WordPress itself takes care of authenticating users, fetching and sending data to and from the database and provides you with the backend administration interface.

K2 on the other hand is the frontend of WordPress. It’s main concern is displaying the data fetches through WordPress in the right way at the right time. Furthermore, where more basic themes like Kubrick have little situational awareness, K2 cares about you and is always trying to make sure you are presented with exactly the tools and data you need.

K2 supports syles. Much like the main theme can be styled by using different CSS files.

K2 also has a stellar Sidebar Module(SBM) which is much like WordPress Widgets on steroids. Though, WordPress Widgets do have a more cleaner approach as they hook onto the WordPress Plugin API. On the other hand, SBM has a better UI to configure and more granular control for the users. Couple it up with solid API for the programmer. You can even disable SBM from the K2 admin panel to support WordPress Widgets.

So, here is my first SBM for K2.

Recent Category Posts – K2 Sidebar Module

Someone also had requested this as a sidebar module at the K2 forums.

Here I aM

Remember this post of mine. Adding a little more to the previous teaser post.

Last couple of weeks have been exciting, challenging, lonely, introspective and fun at times. In all its been an enriching experience to say the least. Are you guys still wondering what I have been upto?

Here is what it is all(_almost all_) about ):

rode on rails, some cool wordpress hacks, explored flex, almost released a facebook app, own two web2.0ish domains now, was on the verge of announcing a contest on the web, washed my own clothes (in no particular order)

We have taken a break from all this and just trying to re-align our goals and our deeds. We are happy to go back to the drawing board and get our act together. So, sorry to keep you waiting for a little bit longer (_may be a bit too long_) before I have something really interesting to share.

Here I am
This is me
There’s nowhere
else on earth I’d
rather be
(credits: Bryan Adams)

(The above post may make sense only to few. Others be patient and wait for some more spice from my side)

BarCampMumbai

To start with I must say BarCampMumbai was as coOL as its theme ‘Bindaas Geeks | Hackin over Vada Pav’

Some highlights :

  • 3 simultaneous tracks named ‘VadaPav, Bhaji on the Beach and … don’t remember the name (?)
  • I just loved the wiki-like scheduler at the venue. Stick a note with ur name and topic on the board. I moved my my note thrice ;-) . Finally I just let it be….. and then Tarique moved it to the best slot (first on after the lunch break)
  • Loads of people who I knew but never seen/met in person. http://barcamp.org/BarCampMumbai#ConfirmedParticipants
  • The food… :p
  • Some thoughtful sessions
  • My talk (…LoL! Now I can say Been there | Done that! … a nice experience for me)
  • … Lots more… check the BarCampMumbai wiki for what others had to say.
  • The conference extended after sessions too. Mahesh Murthy from Pinstorm decided to drop me and Barkha home. We ended up at his office and him showing us around his coOL work place. By the way his was one of the coOLest talks at BarCampMumbai. (Don’t tell me you missed it :p)

What I presented @ BarCamp ?

Topic:

TagSurfer – Extending the TagCloud

Motivation:

Unlike categories which are strict in nature tags are flexible. Flexibility of tags also comes from the fact that we use multiple words (keywords) to define a single item.
eg: barcamp barcampmumbai tagsurfer hacks

Now I would love to have a mechanism by which I could actually find some related content or may be just digg through the right content.

TagClouds is a good way of doing it. Its intuitive and looks good. But seriously its just 1D… I click on one tag and I am jst shown entries tagged with that particular tag.

As the number of tags entries (or no. of entries in your blogs or photoblogs ) increase one would surely need more intuitive UIs than TagClouds

I did give examples of del.icio.us and flickr in my talk. I also commented that deli.icio.us doesnt allow me to search for entries tagged with ‘ajax and css’. Here is what I meant. If I search for ‘ajax css‘ in the search box on del.icio.us I am given with links that are tagged with ‘ajax or css’ and not necessarily with ‘ajax and css’. Try ‘ajax on my bookmarks‘… you wud be shown links and on the right presented with ‘related tags’ links . Now this is interesting. If I click on the small ‘+’ sign beside scriptalous I get all the links tagged with ‘ajax and scriptalous’ only. (… correct me if i m wrong :)

Newways…. more importantly TagClouds are jst 1D! and there is a lot we can do to improve them…!

Proposed ‘TagSurfer':

TagSurfer is a TagCloud with added functionality of surfing through the tags. Its more like getting deeper and deeper within the tagcloud.

Here is a small limited demo: http://akshay.zeeblo.com/soc/ *Check the right panel with heading tagsurfer.

  • Just hover your mouse over any of the tags… * DO Not Click :d
  • Number in brackets show the no. of entries you would find after surfing that tag
  • Superscripts show the order in which you surfed
  • Top panel with images resembling ‘<‘ – Back and ‘o’ reload
  • Lots of functionality could be added like if you surfed through a few tags and then clicked on one then you would be shown entries within that path only.

    eg: ‘barcamp -> barcampmumbai’ is what you surfed through and finally click on ‘hacks’ you would be shown entries tagged with barcamp and barcampmumbai and hacks

What it used:

PHP + Prototype ( ;-) Ajax )

Yup this was my first attempt to incorporate Ajax. TagSurfer needed Ajax and thats why I used it. It wasnt redundant at all.

Acknowledgements:

Pradeep for allowing me to make a presentation for TagSurfer on his laptop. And Mohit, Abhishek, Atul, Ajay, Hitesh, Ajay, Narain, Kiruba, Murli and everyone who attended for making BarCampMumbai a reality and offcourse RocKiNg!!!

Download:

http://akshay.zeeblo.com/tagsurfer.zi (http://www.akshaysurve.com/projects/tagsurfer/)

  • Edit the tagsurfer.php file to customize font sizes and color
  • Add <div id=”tagsurfer”>&ly;/div> to you template to get TagSurfer.
  • Copy the whole folder to you Wordpres directory and then enable the plugin in admin section.

Comments:

There was a lots of discussion during the talk and even later. Things like ‘folksonomy’ to … collaborative filtering all came up and were spoken about. Now I know what ‘No spectators , Only participants’ means ;-). People were not just listening but were also thinking and improvising.

Hey …still open to discussion… would surely like to hear from you.

Requests:

Do wish me luck(I desperately need it )… my Final exams starting on 18th of May.

[Update] Some picks from flickr:

DSCF1949
TagSurfer TagSurfer - Akshay Surve Akshay Surve

BarCampMumbai… here i come ;-)

Would be leaving for BarCampMumbai in a few minutes. Would be showcasing TagSurfer at the un-conference. For those who hav no clue of BarCamp try >

http://barcamp.org/BarCampMumbai

Well, not many would know of it, me neither. Its the first time that a BarCamp would be held in town and so it would be a coOL experience for me to. Have worked hard ( 2 nights and 1 day :p.. bt i gues its lots during the time of examz).

Wish me luck.

I am sure I would find familiar faces ( ppl whom i knw (been following their blogs) bt they themselves having no clue of me… wud be strange :d)

BTW : still gotta setup everything …. guess wat still I hav to mak my presentations … LoL

Hope things fall into place.

Cheers.