My themes and WordPress 3.3 compatibility
December 13th, 2011 by ravi

So far it’s looking good. All three of my themes – Ahimsa, Audacity of Tanish and Rachel – seem to have no issues (at least new issues!) with WordPress 3.3, which was released yesterday.

Gitting over Dropbox: the preamble
April 7th, 2011 by ravi

I am fairly certain I was one of the earliest adopter of Dropbox. I loved the simplicity of the application and the free version provided a generous amount of disk space (2GB). I used it religiously, recommended it to friends, and was ready to drop down to the terminal to create symlinks to get over Dropbox’s one big weakness: it’s crippling need for all sync’ed files to be rooted under a single directory.
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My search for a tasks+notes app
March 29th, 2011 by ravi

I have been searching for an app that lets me quickly write notes that also double as tasks – and therefore could use a due date/time and reminder alarm. There is the built-in “todo” capability in OS X iCal, but not only does it sport a terrible UI, it is also dismal at syncing across computers (this feat can be accomplished, as far as I know, only by the hack of storing such Todos on an IMAP server). Below is a summary of my quirky search for such a tool. Quirky because the authors of these apps could justifiably object that their app is being unfairly evaluated here. For example, Day One is a journal application, not a note-taking app, much less a task manager. At the same time, there are candidates, like JustNotes, that have a reasonable claim to appear on any such list. But nevertheless, here they are:

  • MyTaskNotes: Mac notes and tasks app
  • Evernote: multi-platform note manager
  • Wunderlist: multi-platform task manager with sharing
  • Notificant: multi-system notification for Mac and web
  • Day One: daily journal app for Mac and iPhone
  • 2Do: an iPhone task manager with sync to OSX/Windows

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Download: Ahimsa 3.3
September 6th, 2010 by ravi

The only three things guaranteed in life are death, taxes… and your periodic update to the Ahimsa theme. Fortunately only the first two are injurious to your health, while the surgeon general actively encourages use of the Ahimsa theme by pregnant women and children ages four and above.

So, here it is, Ahimsa 3.3!

What’s new?

  • Bottom bar fading in index page now uses jQuery
  • Show permitted HTML tags when comment box gains focus
  • Edit/Reply for Comments hide/display on hover
  • Added a download box style (use a div with class=downloadbox and within that a link to the download with class=download)
  • New “comment guide” option to display some help text next to comment box
  • Fixed comment date/time display weirdness
  • Added Google “Droid Sans” font as fallback for “Trebuchet MS”
  • Converted all relative font specifications to absolute pt format
  • Lightened blockquote and list backgrounds in default skin
  • Removed first letter styling for post content
  • Changed behaviour of blockquotes and lists not to stretch background under jacent elements
  • Handle lists within blockquotes by not styling them
  • More spacing between posts in the index/home view
  • Fixed the “single pixel offset” problem when sidebar is collapsed
  • Made background colour more consistent during slidebar slide in/out
  • Fixed an issue where post bottom bar background colour did not extend all the way to the bottom
  • CSS cleanup and many, many small fixes
  • Tested on Firefox 3.6.3, Safari 5, Chrome 5.0
Download: Rachel 0.93 for WordPress
June 27th, 2010 by ravi

Germany might have spanked English bottoms today but you can come out on top with this spanking new release of Rachel for WordPress! This is version 0.93 and along with fixing various annoyances and anti-features (some like to call them “bugs”), it adds support for WordPress 3.0’s nifty background colour/image options. Want to know what’s fixed? Visit the GitHub Commit Log and read about the changes made after 2010-06-16.

This version of the theme is close to approval and should go live at shortly (I hope!). A shout-out is owed to Tom Lany for his patient and detailed review comments.

See previous post for screenshots.

Screenshots: Rachel 0.93 for WordPress
June 27th, 2010 by ravi

Below are some screenshots that demonstrate support for WordPress 3.0’s background colour and image in Rachel 0.93. Download link coming next.

Rachel 0.93

Download: Rachel 0.8 for WordPress
June 17th, 2010 by ravi

Rachel is a theme for WordPress. Read more about it here.


Download: Fotile 0.9
June 2nd, 2010 by ravi

Fotile is a simple web app for generating a tile puzzle from an image, which can then be solved by swapping pieces. Images can be loaded from a URL, from a local directory (under your Fotile installation root) or from Flickr’s “interesting” page. You can read more about Fotile here.

Shortcodes in Ahimsa for WordPress
May 31st, 2010 by ravi

For a couple of releases now, the Ahimsa theme for WordPress has included two shortcodes which I have been too lazy to document, and this post attempts to rectify that.

Quick Fancybox Gallery

If you are not happy with just simple old Lightbox for displaying images (and image galleries), then the Fancybox is what you need, and happily for you, and using Fancybox in your blog is trivial with the Ahimsa theme using the qfgallery shortcode.

Here’s what it’s supposed to do:

QFGallery Shortcode Demo

And here’s how:

    [qfgallery title=”Photographs from Spain” scale=”0″ orient=”landscape” float=”left|right”]
    URL to image 1|title1
    URL to image 2|title2
    URL to image 3|title2

As is perhaps obvious, what the above does is create a thumbnail gallery (the thumbnails are sized at 128×128 pixels) of the three images, and attaches the Fancybox trigger to them, so that when a thumbnail is clicked the original picture pops up in a Fancybox window (which also provides navigation).

All arguments to the shortcode are optional.

The argument scale specifies if the image should be scaled down for the thumbnail or just a 128×128 part of it should be displayed in the thumbnail (the latter is the default). This is a good time to mention that thumbnails are generated in a hacky way: they are not created at all, but are merely browser scaled down versions of the original image. I admit this is a bad idea, especially if you have lots of images, and my only defence (if it can be called that) is that I created this shortcode to make it easy for me to post a few images without having to worry about scaling them to thumbnails, or having to use WordPress’s media manager, etc.

The orient argument specifies if the thumbnails should be displayed left to right and then in additional rows if necessary (“landscape” mode, which is the default) or in a thin vertical strip with one thumbnail per row (“portrait” mode).

The float argument translates to an equivalent setting for the CSS float property. If you want the thumbnail box to be to the right of the content, use the value “right”. Etc.

You can specify a name or title for each image by adding a “|” (pipe) symbol after the URL and then the text for the title.


FAQinWay is a trivial implementation of a FAQ (a list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions) in a page or post. The answers to each question is revealed below when the reader clicks on the question. For an example, see the Ahimsa FAQ page. Questions and answers are added using the FAQinWay shortcode thus:

    This is the first question
    This is an answer to the first question
    This is a second question
    Answer to the second question
Download: Ahimsa 3.2 for WordPress
May 25th, 2010 by ravi

You can now download Version 3.2 of the Ahimsa for WordPress theme from the link below, or from the site shortly (once it is approved). If you are upgrading from a version of Ahimsa older than 3.1 and you have made customisations and created custom skins, you should first upgrade to Ahimsa 3.1.1 after reading about it.

  • Tested: Safari4, Chrome 3 on Win, Chrome 5 for Mac, Firefox 3.6, IE7, IE8, Opera 10.53, PHP 4.3 and above, WP 2.8 and above
  • No longer supported: IE6, Safari < 3.1
  • Internationalisation support (potential translators: please see included POT file)
  • Rotated text in sidebar tab
  • Support for header logo
  • Changes for rounded corners on Opera 10.53 and higher
  • More robust parsing by QFGallery shortcode
  • Theme now uses jQuery bundled into WordPress
  • Removed jQuery conflicts with MooTools (and MooTools based plugins), etc
  • Sidebar show/hide effect is now “slide” rather than “fade”
  • Added hint on permitted tags when focus is on comment response form
  • New screenshot! ;-)
  • Various other fixes

I am yet to write up instructions on how to use the two shortcodes (QFGallery and FAQinway) built into Ahimsa. I will get to that as soon as I get this post out.

»  Substance: WordPress  »  Style: Ahren Ahimsa