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How to integrate bb-press into your wordpress theme

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

If you run a wordpress blog bb-press is the forum of choice since it integrates so well with WordPress. The only thing it lacks is the ability to integrate into your wordpress theme nicely, there is however a rather simple hack that makes a tighter integration possible. For the general setup and integration of bb-press please checkout this guide.

Functional integration

I want to focus on the theme part of it, which I think is just as important. So once you have your blog and your forum running you need to add a few lines of code to your bb-config.php file.

/**
 * bbPress Database Table prefix.
 *
 * You can have multiple installations in one database if you give each a unique
 * prefix. Only numbers, letters, and underscores please!
 */
$bb_table_prefix = 'bb_';

require('PATH_TO_WORDPRESS/wp-blog-header.php');

note: PATH_TO_WORDPRESS has to be the absolute path to the root folder since it will be called from different files within bb-press and a relative path might throw an error.

Theme header

Ok now we can use all of the wordpress theme tags in the bb-press theme. I recommend building uppon the “kakumei” that you already have but you can start from scratch as well.

In most cases you will want to have the same header and footer used in your blogs theme. You basically have three options

You can call the get_header() method directly inside header.php file in the bb-press theme:

  • remove all bb-press html code or you will end up with two html headers and a huge mess
  • this has the advantage that you only have to change the header file and you do not have to alter the other files

You can remove all calls of bb_get_header() and replace it with get_header() inside every file in bb-press theme

  • straight forward, you only have to deal with the wordpress theme header from then on
  • many bb-press plugins rely on scripts to be included in the header. With this technique you loose some functionality

You can leave your bb_press header and simply alter it by adding specific wordpress theme tags like wp_list_pages() to create the menu.

  • its the most complicated option since you have to deal with two header files and two style sheets
  • it offers the greatest flexibility. I used it to integrate my support forum

A word on CSS

If you choose to use the third option you will have to manually add the wordpress themes stlye.css to the header.php in the bb_press theme. The included bb_press css file is standalone and complete but you probably want your own theme to take the lead. I recommend throwing out the entire global settings part of the bb_press style sheet. I ended up deleting half of the styles and only leaving the styles that apply to elements of the forum. Everything else should come from your wordpress stylesheet. Its just easier to maintain that way.

And there you go – you run a solid forum that fits nicely into your wordpress blog.

www.chrillo.at relaunched

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

It’s finally done.

I created a new theme for my site.
I set up a dedicated portfolio section for all the websites I make.
I set up a bb-press forum to support my adobe air apps. No more lost comments.

Here are a bunch of screenshots I took during the design process.

The nightmare of sony vaio customer support

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

A year ago my Sony viao laptop broke while I was on a business trip in the Ukraine. After the 4 month nightmare I went through I just wanted to forget about Sony but now since my macbook pro broke as well I want to post the story and compare the Sony tech support with the apple tech support.

So I left my Sony viao notebook in the office for three weeks without ever turning it on and leaving the battery inside the casing – Don’t do that. Take the battery out – When I returned after three weeks the notebook was dead and there was no way of turning it back on. The battery somehow went dead during the three weeks of not using it and took along the main board.

So there I was in the Ukraine with another 4 weeks of work ahead of me without a laptop. Bad if you work as a webdesigner.

So I tried to call Sony support in Austria. Impossible since they use some weird phonesystem that can not be reached from abroad.

My dad called them and they told him there is no support for viao in Ukraine, and the support guy also pointed out that of is my fault If I travel to such “underdeveloped” countries like Ukraine.

Alright so I was lucky to borrow a computer from a colleague since there was no way of getting the broken laptop to Austria. A week before I went back to Austria a couple of friends came to visit me in Kiev and they took the laptop with them so Sony could finally pick it up for repair.

When I got back a week later the laptop was still at home waiting for Sony and it took another week till they picked it up. We are now 5 weeks from the day it broke.

After two weeks into repair I called Sony to find out how my notebook was doing. The online tool for support status did not work of course. The support guy told me that the main board was fried and they needed to order a new one and that it will take about another ten days.

I called after two weeks. The guy told me there are no more main boards for this two year old notebook so I will receive a replacement and Sony will call me with an offer. They never called.

I called again. By then I already know the thirty digits to dial by hearth. Well he was really surprised I haven’t gotten an offer yet and he will send a massage to sales again since they are in charge now. 2 months after the laptop broke.

Sales never called, so I called sales. Sales told me they are not in charge. So I called tech again. Again and again. By then I already knew the names of most call center employees, but I was refused to talk to a manager in charge. They don’t talk to clients.

After another week or so I finally got an offer. A laptop far worse than mine, but I accepted in order to avoid further delays and because was already determined to buy a mac at that point.

After a while I called again to ask about the shipment of the new notebook. They did not know anything about a new laptop to be shipped. I was alrwady tired of yelling to the stupid support people, but within a few days the finally managed to order a new laptop for me.

In the beginning of November I finally got my new useless piece of shit Sony vaio notebook.

I sold it in order to refinance my macbook pro that had been shipped to me two weeks before Sony’s even though the orders for both were placed in the same week.

Bottom line :

Do not buy a Sony product ever again!
They don’t care about customer satisfaction!
I hate Sony and their incompetent team of call center monkeys!

how to start a scriptaculous drag with code

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

Usually a scriptaculous draggable will only start the drag if you click on it. As I was adding drag and drop functionality to a web based filebrowser I actually wanted to start the drag of an other object when the user clicked on a file and dragged it. So the user clicks on a file from a list view but does drag the actual dom element from the list view. the click on the file calls a function that slips a file icon under the mouse of the user and starts the drag of that file icon. That way a user can drag and drop just the icon which looks much nicer and gave me the ability to drag and drop all selected files from the list view. its actually pretty simple, you just pass on the click event to the initDrag method of your draggable.

</pre>
$('yourObjectThatWillBeClicked').observe('mousedown', function(event){
 //observe the object for clicks
 $('yourActualDraggable').setStyle({
 // slipping the draggable under the users mouse
 position:'absolute',
 top:Event.pointerY(event)-16+'px',
 // this gets us the position of the users cursor
 left:Event.pointerX(event)-24+'px'
 })
 Drager=new Draggable('yourActualDraggable',onEnd:function(){Drag.destroy()});
 // making it a real scriptaculous draggable
 Drager.initDrag(event)
 // passing on the event and starting the drag
 }
<pre>
screenshot that illustrates this technique in my application

screenshot that illustrates this technique in my application

script.aculo.us

www.odem.eu

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

I just finished the makeover of the web appearance of  the clothing company odem. Since their distribution is working via ebay, I am creating a flash app that is reading the ebay rss feed of their store and displays their catalog of products in their corporate layout. That way the catalog is automatically kept up to date.www.odem.eu  this is a screenshot of the old site.

www.astral-linz.at

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

This is another simple website I did for a tech company. Basic html site, with a small flash slideshow.

www.akutron.com

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

I created this website during my internship in kiew for the technology company Akutron. its nothing really special, just some basic html css and a little php for the different languages, although the translations never got done. www.akutron.com