I was first launched off on a tangent a couple of weeks ago to add a tag cloud to my Flogging English, though after a few crashes and getting my .htaccess file fatched up, I bagged it. After getting an email today – I reconsidered.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, there is a new widget set out from Apple called My iTunes, and I promptly started playing around with it. So far I like it well enough. It’s a neat little addition to my site, and I have it off on the right sidebar just now. What I don’t like about it? When I looked at the code I copied from Apple they give the crappy ol’ object tags of yester-year, come on guys, and get with it. I immediately changed that to use SwfObject, which is awesome, as I have stated numerous time before. The next thing I went after are those lame styles they have, but there seems to be something else going on with the URL getting the styles. There is a querystring value appended to it, and the widget no-worky without it – so as of now, I have no solution to changing the styles to something a bit more in line with my site. The last thing is the sliding text animation is tired, I mean what’s up guys? Did you just find some 7 year old to come up with that or are you just lazy?
Right now they just have the two, My Favorites, and My Purchases. It’s a start, but they could do better.
Geez. I guess I like the idea more than anything. Good idea, bad application. I’m going to leave it up for now though.
All this got me started on the whole tags thing again, and if you didn’t get the mullet reference, it’s something Jeffrey Zeldman coined a couple years ago, which I find hilarious – not entirely true – just funny.
Behind every cloud is another cloud.
I installed Ultimate Tag Warrior and trudged ahead. After my last encounter I had to Force a rebuild of the tables, since I aced them trying to get my blog up on the web again. Now, with table sin hand, and a not broken blog, I went back through the last several posts and added some tags – nothing too crazy as I see this more of an accessory type thing. It works pretty well, I must say. The install, and adding of tags was pretty simple, add it to my sidebar was a snap. In the post section there is even a way to get Yahoo recommended tags for your post, that’s cool – although they are not always all that insightful.
Right now the cloud is pretty lame, not a lot of diversity, so they are all the same color and size – with little to no variation. Meh. So I went back on the hunt and found a neat little Flash Tag Cloud plug-in. This is cool. I stuck mine on a secondary page for right now, until I have time to really tear it apart and get into it a bit more. The features built into the plug-in option page are nice, but still too limited for my tastes. You can change the generic font styles a bit, but it maintains the same aspect ratio – so if I were to drop it into my sidebar it would be positively unreadable and a waste. I had to use the SwfObject code here too, as what was provided by the author is the old rubbish object tag. This combination is by far the coolest WordPress Tag Cloud plug-in set I have seen to date, and I wish that it was something that was built-in rather than a bolt-on.
This is another thing I want to start goofing around with, but right now I don’t have a lot of time to spend in front of the computer doing goofy little devs. It’s summer, and I need to get my Bronco back on the road, so it takes precedence right now – but soon I will have to get back to my list of projects here, and get cracking.