If I weren’t so happy with the Uniform Server, I’d start using the Bitnami stacks. Hmmm … but they are hefty, my word! Not surprising, since the complete WAMP/MAMP/LAMP infrastructure is built in.
Alternatively, you can download your infrastructure stack, and then install individual app modules on top.

I know from past experience how much can go wrong with these all-in-one stacks … so I’ll stick to what works. I have the additional convenience of running TortoiseSVN via Windows Explorer; from inside my Uniform Server www folder I can simply via right-click invoke the Tortoise menu and browse Subversion repositories, and grab any software files available. Not surprisingly, I favour apps that keep a SVN repo. 🙂

WooThemes 4-for-1 Special

Here’s how I got my 4 themes: My lucky night.

After over 2 years away from WordPress workings, I quickly figured out that with my limited time there’s no way I would be able to catch up with all the new, and more complex, innards of WP, and manage to construct a decent website.

I had a quick look around the ‘premium’ professional WP theme services (and there’s some good stuff out there) as well as the few still-free themes or theme frameworks that look professional (Carrington and Thematic caught my eye).

In the end, I settled on WooThemes who impressed me (as far as one can tell without actual access to the themes!) with their combination of feature-rich as well as eye-catching, balanced design. The fact that I got more bonus themes than I had bargained on is … an extra bonus! 😀

Uniform Server is still awesome

I stepped away from web design well over 2 years ago … and felt relief.
Now chance and circumstance has thrown me back into the fray and I find I still have that old excitement and enthusiasm. IOW: I’m having a ball. 🙂

UniServer is now up to version 4.2 (Mona) and as good as ever. I love having that option of doing dev work with WordPress or other software on my own box, esp. during times when broadband crawls to a halt here in the Kiwi provinces.

The Uniform Server is simply Awesome

I’m a masochist at heart.

I used to install everything, bit by bit, configure, test, tweak … until I had a complete WAMP localhost development server. The 4 cornerstones: Apache, mySQL, PHP, phpMyAdmin, and even ActivePerl.

Then there were the upgrades. Hours and hours of tedious fun.
After a while, the fun factor began to wear rather thin. By the time Apache 2.2 and PHP5 were out, I’d had enough.
Also, the whole shebang was pretty slow. Working with WordPress and a collection of themes, the lag in execution was approaching snail pace. It was faster working online, on my webhost server.

I had never been a fan of WAMP kits. They were usually ugly to install, never worked just right; even caused problems. I was a DIY woman, after all, and proud of it!

Well, no longer. I actually have work to do, and would also like to take the dogs out for their walks.

I looked at XAMPP, and it was pretty good, but still didn’t convince me entirely.

Then I discovered the UniServer – and you know when it’s love at first sight. Version 3.2 worked out of the box for me; and the current 3.3 does so too (both on the laptop and the desktop).

The Uniform Server is incredibly lean, runs much much faster than my painstakingly cobbled-together hand-crafted WAMP system, is simply clever in design … and doesn’t require any installation apart from unzipping the file somewhere!
You can take it with you on a USB flash drive. 🙂

I finally spend time again doing development work locally, and enjoy it. Because I don’t have to even think about localhost. It’s just there and simply works.

RedAlt: new Support Forums

Asymptomatic Owen has set up a freshly-scrubbed and shiny support site for all his (many) WP plugins and resources.

There’s a lot of spiffy functionality there, making registering and using the site a real pleasure.
I have already posted there, regarding the adhesive (or Sticky) plugin – without which I’m truly hobbled.
I need it very much for a community web site I’m working on (, and I’m hoping that Owen will find the time to make it compatible with WP 1.6.

Successful test install of Typo

I can’t believe it really worked … I’m still chuffed 🙂

Typo is weblog software that runs under Ruby on Rails.
Dreamhost recently made this technology available to their account holders.
Since I happen to have an account (mainly for odd-job testing purposes) there, I thought I’d give it a try. Without spending much time on reading up etc., I dived in. And it worked – more or less out of the box.

I’ll write up the installation process and how it worked for me – plus first impressions of Typo – soon. The test blog is at Sardines on Toast.

CSSTidy – put the squeeze on large style sheets

Just came across this tool to format and compress your CSS files: CSSTidy – also offering an online version.
Considering the size of some stylesheets these days, this looks like a good idea.
Reminds me a bit <nostalgia-alert> of that faraway time, when we all proudly compressed our voluminous HTML code (tables! Remember those?)</nostalgia-alert>. The tool of choice then was Harald Heim’s HTML Shrinker.


Must read Zeldman more regularly … otherwise you just miss so much zingaling stuff.

Saw – fell for it in, oh – 20 seconds – and joined up. Now I’m waiting – waiting – for my beta developer status to come through. Heaven knows I’m not even a pint-size programmer … but I just want to play a bit, cloning apps and then prodding around them to see if I can tweak anything at all and not make it break. Yea. Such delicious tag soup over there!

Update 15 October:

Received an email from Ning saying that:

In the meantime, we wanted to let you know we are approving Beta Developer accounts as quickly as we can and plan on opening the funnel faster over
the next few weeks now that we have a better sense of what we can support.

They must be overwhelmed, and I dread to think what load the servers have to cope with. Thanks for sending such a polite message, guys – much appreciated.

Update 26 October:

I got my beta developer status a few days ago … but as fate would have it my hands are tied at the moment with lawyer stuff, dog stuff and work catch-up. Playtime will have to wait. 😦