Shortcut of the monats: ALT + SHIFT (Windows)

For many of you this shortcut will not be new, but I didn’t know him for a long time and many friends who have been using Windows for decades haven’t knew him until recently. I also found him by chance.

The shortcut

The shortcut is at least available in Windows XP and later. Whether it existed also in earlier versions I cannot say at present, because I do not have Windows running in a previous version in a VM or a computer anymore. But now let’s introduce the shortcut and what he is good for:

ALT + SHIFT

With this shortcut you can change the input language in Windows. Those of you, using the „Input Language bar“ should see a change in the input language by using the key combination.

But why this shortcut is so important? In a German Windows version mostly German and English are set as input languages and German is set as the default. Many German users accidentally pressed that key combination, without knowing it. Then only in the program you used the combination, the input language switched to English. Since Windows can adjust the input language for each program, the confusion is complete when you switch to another program and the input language is German again.

Conclusion and tip

With this shortcut you can change the language at any time immediately, if you accidentally changed it. As many of you rarely or never use the English keyboard layout (since all the letters can be typed with the German keyboard layout), I’d give you the following advice: The best thing to do is removing the English input language via the control panel. That will protect you from accidentally switching the input language.

Shortcut of the month: CTRL + ALT + J (eclipse)

I don’t actually know if there will always be a shortcut of the month or even one a week, but recently I found a new shortcut, which I would like to share with you. Even after finding it, I couldn’t find any documentation about it in the internet.

The shortcut

But now let’s introduce the shortcut. I work a lot with eclipse (especially with the plugin Aptana). That’s where I accidently found the new shortcut:

CTRL + ALT + J

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Change page title in the Thematic theme with the thematic_doctitle filter

For a blog I use the Thematic Theme. It provides the basis for own so-called Child Themes and can be customized in many ways. In addition to the normal WordPress actions and filters Thematic provides its own Theme Action Hooks and Theme Filter.

Some of them are very well documented and there are examples on the net. But now I append a text to the page title (i.e. the text inside the <title> tags in <head>) of every single page of the blog. Although the function thematic_doctitle() is discussed on the page of the Theme Filters in detail in an example, I could not imagine that it has to be written so complicated and with so many lines of source code. Therefore, I again check the source code to find the lines where the function is defined.

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Customize the WP-Instant Plugin for your theme

All of you have already tried or at least heard of the great new feature of Google, the „Instant Search“. Since this really is a great feature, I decided to program such a plugin for the WordPress community. But despite the enormous extensibility of WordPress this wasn’t an easy task. Unfortunately, for a layman, who previously had no contact with themes, it is probably difficult to get the plugin to work, as he has to go a little deeper into the source code at least twice.

First of all, the original „search loop“ must be copied into a file named wp-instant-search-template.php. This file must then be copied into your theme directory. The „search loop“ can usually be found in a file called search.php in your theme directory. It might for example look like this (from the old „default“ theme):

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WordPress 3 is right around the corner

A third release candidate for WordPress was just announced. On the developer blog post for RC3 of WordPress you can even find a small Haiku:

Last call; final bugs
Itch, scratch, contort; calmly wait
For now: RC3

There is also a request to plugin developers. They are asked to test their plugins with the new release candidate. I already checked my 3 current plugins and I couldn’t find any errors.

As there are only 9 open and active tickets left, I hope that we can use WordPress 3 very soon on our blogs. I am least looking forward to it.

All plugins works with WordPress 3.0

Today I tested the current beta (3.0-beta2-14526) of the upcoming WordPress version. The good news for all users of some of my plugins is, that I could successfully tested all my plugins with the current beta.

As I stick to some standards while implementing my plugins and I didn’t use any DEPRECATED functions, I am pretty sure that all of the plugins will still work with the final version of WordPress 3.0 but I will check the compatibility with the latest NIGHTLY BUILD from time to time. If I find any issues with these builds, I try to solve them before the final version of WP 3.0 will be released.

If any of you has already found some issues with my plugins in combination with WP 3.0 or if you have issues with your current version of WordPress, please leave a comment on the plugins pages or on this post.

I wish all of us a lot of fun with the new upcoming features of WP 3.0 and I hope that we can enjoy the final version soon.

Enable syntax highlighting for Vim editor

From time to time, you have to edit a file through the console on the server. Most of the time you probably use the Vim Editor
(„Vi IMproved“). I also use this editor on two servers and I am doing quite good in using it.

But on one server the syntax highlighting in the Vim editor is disabled. You can enable it by typing „:syntax enable“ but this setting gets lost each time you close the editor. To activate the syntax highlighting permanently you have to edit the „vimrc“ file. You can either use the file in your home directory or the system vimrc which is usually located at /etc/vim/vimrc. In that file you should find the following line:

"syntax on

The double quote comments the syntax command out. After removing the double quote, saving the vimrc file, the next time you open a file with source code, it should be highlighted automatically. In the Vim editor’s documentation you may find more useful tips on how to work with the editor.

I hope that this post was helpful for you. I always wanted to buy me a little book about the vi editor, but as it only has one chapter about the Vim editor, I am not sure if it will be helpful. So I put it on my wish list and maybe someone will buy it for me one day 🙂

Start programs as administrator within user profiles

I am more a web developer than an administrator. But from time to time I have to take care of my colleagues PCs. A very common task is to install or update programs. As most of the users don’t have administrative rights I have to do these things as admin.

At the beginning of my admin career I used to sign of the users because I didn’t know how to start programs as admin. But now I learned to right click a program and choose „Run as…“ to start an installation as administrator.

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