What are the building codes there again?

In China’s Hunan province a glass bottom bridge exists and lets brave tourists walk across. Another one is scheduled for opening and will be the longest glass bottom bridge in the world. I don’t know if I’ll ever visit either but I am sure that if I do I’m not crossing. Here’s how I know.

In 2011 Lily and I took the kids to China. Part of that trip included stopping at Shanghai and we visited the Pearl Tower. The tower is concrete and very orderly, tourists lined up and took a fast elevator to the observation deck. Part of the deck goes around the perimeter and has thick glass panels for the floor.

It’s at least an 800 foot drop. It’s very safe but when you are walking around it and looking down you don’t think about the safety. It didn’t help that the kids worked up their courage and started jumping on the floor panels. That’s not what freaked me out though.

the-girl-skydeck

Making our way around the deck we came across a part that had those bank teller line posts. Except these posts were set at the corners of a new looking and very clean glass floor panel. Instead of a velvet rope, it had yellow plastic tape.

There was YELLOW DO NOT CROSS TAPE TELLING YOU NOT TO STEP ON THAT GLASS FLOOR PANEL.

That freaked me out. I wish I took a photo but instead I grabbed the kids and we went to the inside of the deck where the floor was concrete. The tower is amazing but at that moment I had to find an Internet connection. I really wanted to visit Google in the worst way possible. I had to look something up.

Call now! You can be “licensed” too! While supplies last!

I like the WP Tavern and the people who run it. Recently they did something very cool and implemented a comment policy. I had gotten into a small debate there and do not want to use those comments as my own personal soapbox.

No one should abuse the comments on someone else’s site to take over a post like that. That’s just rude and more than a little inappropriate.

*Pulls out and gets on top of my own personal soapbox*

The following words are defined by me as terms of endearment like so:

  1. Boneheaded – adjective: describing an action that is not smart, possibly foolish.
  2. Boneheadee – noun: someone who does something boneheaded.

I’m writing these things on the off chance someone claims I am besmirching their character. I’m not, I think they went about something in a foolish way.

What is this post about?

Over at The WP Tavern there was a couple of posts about this “thing” where someone did something (really boneheaded) and the expected outcome of settling out of court (remarkably, not so boneheaded) was arrived at.

But one of the points from the boneheadee was that he now has a “license” from the WordPress Foundation to use the word “WordPress” in a subdomain. Yes, I am cherry picking here as I don’t really want to link to a bonehead site. 😉

I now have a license from WordPress to use, even after they stop allowing the use of w-o-r-d-p-r-e-s-s in subdomains .

I get his “I did something amazingly foolish and I now want to save some face” but that statement is just incorrect. The section of that posted online agreement says the following.

c. Consistent with the WPF policy regarding doman names and notwithstanding any other provision in this Agreement, WPF shall not object to Yablon’s use of the WordPress Marks as part of any subdomains or subdirectories associated with any second level domain name registered to and controlled exclusively by Yablon, including for example, wordrpess.answerguy.com or answerguy.com/wordpress, in connection with services that involve use of the WordPress platform and support the WordPress brand services that do not otherwise violate the rights of WPF.

This isn’t new and has been published for years on the WordPress Foundation’s page about trademarks. Anyone can do that without getting sued. Besides, the verbiage above has some conditions. It’s not a statement for that person to do as he sees fit.

Words matter and to say a paragraph that just reaffirms their existing policy isn’t a license. It says that the boneheadee can do what the policy has said for years.

Now IANAL but that doesn’t look like a license to me as much as a statement of “Hey, if you play nice and do as we’ve been saying for a while now, then we’re cool.” The point is that this person feels that the trademark policy will have to be changed in the future.

I don’t think he’s a lawyer either or if he is not a very good one. If a trademark holder can permit use of by someone, why couldn’t they do so to a community? You know, via some policy statement?

The Footer Statement!

When you visit the supposed “licensed” site you’ll see this around the bottom.

We use “wordpress” as a subdomain of Answer Guy Central under license from The WordPress Foundation.

Hey, it’s his site and he can put whatever he likes, even if it’s loose with the facts.

The Plugin!

But this did get me thinking.

Why not come up with a plugin that will check your host name in your site URL settings contains “wordpress” and if so, is it as a subdomain or directory?

If your site was using WordPress (case insensitive) in your home_url() then add to the loop_end() action a nice statement about that.

Yes, using wp_footer() is safer. But when I use that and tested on many themes, including the Twenty Ten through Twenty Sixteen themes, the output was either obscured by a (stage) left sidebar or it put the HTML in places I didn’t really want.

By using this simple code I can put the notice at the end of the main loop.

add_action( 'loop_end' , 'mh_licensed' );
function mh_licensed( $query ) {
   if( $query->is_main_query() ) {
      // Stuff is echo'ed here
   }
}

This introduces HTML where the theme designer didn’t intend but for most themes it works out. It puts right after the end of the loop the text I want.

If you use “WordPress” (it’s case insensitive) in your sub-domain then you’ll get this text and link at the end.

We use “wordpress” in our subdomain in compliance with The WordPress Foundation Trademark Policy.

If your site is using /wordpress/ or some combination in the URL settings then add these words.

We use “wordpress” in our subdirectory name in compliance with The WordPress Foundation Trademark Policy.

But if your site contains WordPress in the domain name such as wordpressneedsme.com or themisguidedwordpresspeople.com then the output this.

We use WordPress as part of out second level domain in direct violation of The WordPress Foundation Trademark Policy. We are horrible people and you only hate us because you do not understand that we are trying to save WordPress. From itself. And people like YOU. We are smarter than you and you do not understand the intricacies of business and trademarks. It is not your fault and we do not want to reveal the details of our Grand and Glorious Scheme™.

*Drinks more coffee*

I may change that last text. I think it comes off as being too humble.

If you’re not using Those Nine Letters™ in your home_url() then nothing will be outputted.

I’ve posted a gist of my plugin code and if you want, download a copy of that code using the “Download ZIP” button.

download-gist-zip

The ZIP name and directory will be goofy but you can install that plugin using your WordPress dashboard.

The code is ugly but it should work for you. And with this plugin you’ll be telling all of your visitors that you’re a good WordPress community member. 😉

Note: The soapbox featured image is by Mark Longair and is being used courtesy of the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) license. Why not visit Mark’s Flickr page and admire his images?

My small Windows 10 review

It was my 240GB SanDisk SSD Plus drive that bit the dust. I’m calling the manufacturer because I got the drive in July.

I’m getting a lot of practice rebuilding my PC. With that drive out I move the 3 TB into the first slot. Once that was done I re-installed Windows 10 and I’m back and running.

If you have Windows 7 and haven’t upgraded yet then you should. On my setup since there was no touch screen it’s defaults to acting and behaving like the previous versions.

There is one new feature I like: built in virtual desktops. If you use that you just click the Task View icon on the task bar and add a new desktop. The only thing I changed was as follows.

In the lower right hand corner is the notification icon, click that and you’ll get to see the “All settings” box. Click that then navigate to System -> Multitasking and change the Virtual Desktop settings from “Only the desktop I’m using”

old-settings

to “All desktops”.

new-settings

That way you can alt-tab through all your programs. When I created multiple desktops and could not see the other running apps in the task bar I did a double take.

Aside from the new look, Windows 10 runs just as well as my old Windows 7 did. It’s a free upgrade and I’m glad that I made the switch.

I was all set to write a small Windows 10 review too

Yesterday I came home and did my usual routine.

  1. Ate dinner (I get home after 7 PM).
  2. Changed and watched some quick TV.
  3. Eventually headed to my PC to check the Interwebz (meaning: play FPS video games, my son wanted to show me something he earned on Steam).

I turned on my monitor and my PC was frozen at the BIOS boot screen. Weird. A quick reboot and I received the following message on my screen.

The SSD you put into this PC less than 2 months ago is about to suffer imminent and permanent death. Please back up all of your data again and press F2 to continue. Press F10 to enter the BIOS.

P.S. You suck.

That may not be the exact wording. You get the idea.

That PC is soon going to turn 6 years old. When this happened with the original drive a couple of months ago I believed it. I leave my PC on all the time and the old HD was slowing down and giving me grief.

Now it seems like there is something screwy with the system itself. Either that or I hit the jackpot and my SSD is dead but I find that unlikely.

I turned off the whole works, unplugged the PC and contemplated running to Best Buy and getting a new one right there. Then Lily got home and a calmer head prevailed. I explained what happened and in between my outbursts she got the idea.

Lily: “Don’t just get one right now. Do some research first and then decide.”

Grownups. They just don’t understand the thrill of instant gratification.

Except for being able to play Windows games, the dead PC isn’t that big a deal. Almost all productive work can be done on my old MacBook Air. I have a separate work laptop so my work from home days are not effected. Still, it’s a major pain and will kill more of my down time.

Oh, Windows 10 is good. Except for changing 2 settings and not having any use for the animated start menu, it really is a sensible upgrade from Windows 7.