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McKern

TNG and Wordpress blog

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McKern

(I posted a similar message under "Member Websites" a few days ago, but I didn't get much feedback. I hope this duplicate post is not a violation of forum policy.)

I kinda doubt that my website qualifies as true integration of Wordpress and TNG. The tables are in the same database, however, TNG and Wordpress are in separate directories and have separate function.php files. (.css files will soon be edited into one stylesheet). At the very least, I'm trying to make it appear that they are functioning as one.

Please poke around the site and let me know if it works for you--on both a technical level, as well as whether or not the organization/presentation makes sense. No need to be particularly gentle with comments/criticism. This is my first website--I already know that I don't really know what I'm doing.

www.genealogy.bridgetmckern.com

Thank you

Note: font sizes, borders, etc. leave much to be desired when filtered through Explorer--I'm working on that.

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Frank Hagan

The integration looks pretty seamless to me ... I'm impressed, because I'm struggling right now to integrate my WP blog with the default add-on theme #4 (making my WP blog look like TNG.)

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McKern

The integration looks pretty seamless to me ... I'm impressed, because I'm struggling right now to integrate my WP blog with the default add-on theme #4 (making my WP blog look like TNG.)

Thank you for checking out my site--I appreciate your comments. I have a feeling that those who know php would be amused/appalled at the way I have hacked-up both the WP and the TNG files.

I began, like you, with the intention of simply making my WP blog look like my TNG pages, which I planned to do by using a WP theme that was configured like my TNG theme--coincidently, theme #4, at that time--and editing the style sheet to mimic the TNG style sheet. However, I couldn't find a WP theme that fit the bill (which is not to say that one does not exist somewhere). So, I used a basic 2-column layout, added a few id and class divs, and ended up with a WP theme that looked pretty much like TNG theme #4.

Somewhere along the way, I decided that I wanted more integration between the two applications and, in the process, I dropped theme #4 in favor of the default theme. I'd be happy to pass along more details regarding the WP adjustments, if you think it might be useful. Please keep in mind that that IANA pro and, in fact, may know far less about the subject than you. Also, my cursory checks with Explorer (I use Firefox) looked OK, but I never tested with other browsers.

Bridget

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Frank Hagan

Thank you for checking out my site--I appreciate your comments. I have a feeling that those who know php would be amused/appalled at the way I have hacked-up both the WP and the TNG files.

I began, like you, with the intention of simply making my WP blog look like my TNG pages, which I planned to do by using a WP theme that was configured like my TNG theme--coincidently, theme #4, at that time--and editing the style sheet to mimic the TNG style sheet. However, I couldn't find a WP theme that fit the bill (which is not to say that one does not exist somewhere). So, I used a basic 2-column layout, added a few id and class divs, and ended up with a WP theme that looked pretty much like TNG theme #4.

Somewhere along the way, I decided that I wanted more integration between the two applications and, in the process, I dropped theme #4 in favor of the default theme. I'd be happy to pass along more details regarding the WP adjustments, if you think it might be useful. Please keep in mind that that IANA pro and, in fact, may know far less about the subject than you. Also, my cursory checks with Explorer (I use Firefox) looked OK, but I never tested with other browsers.

Bridget

I've had a bit of progress, but I'm using table-less CSS for the blog (where TNG template 4 relies heavily on tables for the layout). Here's a screen shot of how it looks this morning:

The site is at http://www.frankhagan.com/

There are still some oddities to work out, but it "mostly" works. I haven't edited the TNG files at all yet, and I think I'm going to leave them as is. I may change the one "entry" page in TNG to match my blog home page (its really kind of a blend between the "entry" or home page and the pages inside TNG).

One of the problems I face is that a table layout will always expand to fill the space in the browser, where a CSS design can, but it takes a lot of futzing to do what you want. I may end up with one giant table row with two cells; the big slam against that is that a blind visitor will "read" the information cell by cell, so all the links and "miscellaneous" stuff is at the 'top of the page' for them. But in my layout, all done with CSS, the same thing happens ... I have to load the left sidebar.php first to maintain the layout, so it ends up with the same accessibility issues (but it will validate OK). I think there is a way to make a text - only browser skip to the content, but I'll have to find it.

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clarkkent93

I love it! I've been wondering how to accomplish the same thing with my site since there is no plugin out there to incorporate the two. Currently, I'm using iFrame on a page to give the appearance that TNG is integrated.

How did you manage to do it and are you going to post instructions on how?

Also, does this mean they share the same user database?

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Frank Hagan

I love it! I've been wondering how to accomplish the same thing with my site since there is no plugin out there to incorporate the two. Currently, I'm using iFrame on a page to give the appearance that TNG is integrated.

How did you manage to do it and are you going to post instructions on how?

Also, does this mean they share the same user database?

My newest incarnation uses tables; had to give up on the tableless CSS when it was producing larger pages and had the same accessibility problems as a tables page.

It doesn't share a database with TNG, and I probably wouldn't go that direction. There are always maintenance and update issues when you mash two programs together. So I was just after a "skin" that would make WP look like Template 4. They are still completely separate, but I re-wrote the 6 or 7 pages that comprise a "theme" in WP to mimic the TNG page.

I was thinking of cleaning it up a bit and putting it in standard WP theme format so any one else could just upload it into their themes directory and select it. Right now it would require some hard coding to add in the paths, etc. that are unique, so I still have a bit of work to do.

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Frank Hagan

Somewhere along the way, I decided that I wanted more integration between the two applications and, in the process, I dropped theme #4 in favor of the default theme. I'd be happy to pass along more details regarding the WP adjustments, if you think it might be useful. Please keep in mind that that IANA pro and, in fact, may know far less about the subject than you. Also, my cursory checks with Explorer (I use Firefox) looked OK, but I never tested with other browsers.

I tried it in IE also, and it looks the same. From what I can see, you did a good job of making it visible to nearly anyone. There are a lot of standards out there, and one is how the site looks when stripped of the CSS (like a person with a text reader would see). Firefox has an add-in that helps with that ... the Web Developer toolbar ... at http://chrispederick.com/work/web-developer/ Yours looks fine with all styles removed.

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McKern

Thank you for additional comments and advice.

To Frank: great job imitating Theme 4. CSS purist may take issue with the use of tables for layout—not me. Dogged insistence on CSS-only layout when tables provide an easy solution reminds me of Emerson’s remark that “foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

Re combining the tables: I combined the tables into a single database to enable a single log-on (something I have yet to do) and to simplify matters when I’m working directly with the tables—e.g. it’s faster to edit the tables directly than to do so through either application. This shouldn’t have any ramifications regarding future upgrades in either TNG or WP.

I don’t think I’ll have any upgrade issues regarding WP—at this point, the “integration” is in the theme. (A single log-on might change that, which would be a good reason NOT to add this feature.)

TNG might be another story. My “topmenu.html” file opens a div that contains the banner/header and spans just 65% of the screen. Another file, “tie.php”, closes that div, adds both side bars (which are WP files), and the footer. I replaced the TNG footer with <?php include ("tie.php"); ?> in all the public TNG files. A quick edit, but there are about 30 files to edit. I’m guessing that that’s about half of the total number of public files. I’m not using some features (e.g., bookmarks or registration) or redundant pages (e.g. places-all.php, which duplicates info presented on the main places page).

Frank, although I haven't yet seen any familiar names in your family file, I see several familiar places (e.g., counties in Missouri and Iowa). I bet our ancestors knew each other. Also, we may have a shirt-tail/by-marriage connection through my dad's family--my great aunt married a "Ping" from Kentucky. Unfortunately, I have barely begun to research his family history, so I don't have any details.

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anne

I was thinking of cleaning it up a bit and putting it in standard WP theme format so any one else could just upload it into their themes directory and select it. Right now it would require some hard coding to add in the paths, etc. that are unique, so I still have a bit of work to do.

I'm very impressed with the results you and McKern have accomplished. I've been poking around your site, Frank, to see if I can figure out how to build a TableTNG cover to my own site. I would be way in over my head to create it from scratch, though. So wonder if you are ready to share your template files yet? My basic TNG site is a T4 with a customized index page and a crude wp cover, only minimally linked. I'm not ready for a full integration, but want to tackle a functionally cohesive design.

Minimally, that means a similar header and lefty navigation. And I'm using fixed width on the TNG site but a full-window wp template. Here's the disconnect I'm working with now:

Blog

Homepage

Typical TNG page

Would I start with the CSS, the header/footer.php or an index.php to begin customizing the blog to TNG's format?

Any thoughts are welcome!

Thanks,

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Barry Hughes

I've hacked a wordpress template to imitate Template 4 (I have some work to do on fonts etc) but take a look and let me know your thoughts. http://www.hugheskin.com

Barry

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ghoppe

To Frank: great job imitating Theme 4. CSS purist may take issue with the use of tables for layout—not me. Dogged insistence on CSS-only layout when tables provide an easy solution reminds me of Emerson’s remark that “foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

Sadly, you have in my opinion, misapplied Emerson's quote, completely going against its spirit. Sorry to go off topic, but I have to disagree and argue this point. :-)

Emerson was talking about how foolish it is to try to please others by clinging to our past acts and words — using them again and again in the present even though we have outgrown them.

the complete quote is: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.”

Emerson was talking about foolish consistency with your ways of the past and not growing to include your current ideas. It is foolish to cling to the methods of the past (that is, using tables for layout) when the new method of layout (CSS) is superior. By using tables for layout, you make your site slower and more bloated, you make it more difficult to change the layout of the site in the future, you make it more difficult to repurpose the html for printing and displaying on mobile devices... (More reasons tables are bad for layout)

Using tables when they are appropriate, such as displaying tabular data, is perfectly fine. Using tables the way they were used in the early 90s, for layout and especially nesting tables (UGH!) is indeed “foolish consistency” with the past.

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McKern

Sadly, you have in my opinion, misapplied Emerson's quote, completely going against its spirit. Sorry to go off topic, but I have to disagree and argue this point. :-)

Emerson was talking about how foolish it is to try to please others by clinging to our past acts and words — using them again and again in the present even though we have outgrown them....

Using tables when they are appropriate, such as displaying tabular data, is perfectly fine. Using tables the way they were used in the early 90s, for layout and especially nesting tables (UGH!) is indeed “foolish consistency” with the past.

I'm aware of the context of the quote, of course. I missed that Frank was referring to the blog portion of his website, not to TNG data, for which tables are perfectly appropriate. As I recall, a couple of folks here have attempted all-CSS layouts, which seems like far more trouble than it's worth. But, hey, that's just me--more power to anyone who makes it work. But I digress.

I finally getting back to the TNG/Wordpress integration aspects of my website. "Integration" is a bit of an overstatement. TNG and Wordpress are in separate directories with separate databases. In the past, I had all the tables in one database, which I lost when I changed servers (my error--fortunately, I regularly use the TNG backup feature, so I was able to restore the genealogy tables). The tables are now in separate databases--frankly, I don't think it matters one way or the other. The separate directories made the last Wordpress upgrade a breeze. (I'm having problems with the newest version, but this may have nothing to do with TNG.)

Currently, TNG navigation options are in the sidebar, which is accessible from every page. I would prefer to use the smaller TNG drop menu, but I don't know how to get it to work on Wordpress pages. I've tried to construct an identical menu for Wordpress, but this is beyond my current skill level.

Any help appreciated.

Thank you

www.genealogy.bridgetmckern.com

(The drop menu may/may not be visible on TNG pages--I play around with the design in my spare time.)

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anne

I've hacked a wordpress template to imitate Template 4 (I have some work to do on fonts etc) but take a look and let me know your thoughts. http://www.hugheskin.com

Barry

This is what I need! I've wasted endless hours trying to create it myself. Would you share your template files? I also have WP and the TNG databases separate, but face the hurdle of upgrading WP. Wiped out my look and content when I tried the first time, so I installed MAMP and am now also learning how to set it up on a local test server first. If I had a workable template, the project just might get finished :-)

If you'd rather, you can reach me offline at anne at prowell dot com

Examples: crude blog: http://4thefam.us

Sample TNG page: http://4thefam.us/family/familygroup.php?f...3&tree=1USA

Thanks!

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McKern

This is what I need! I've wasted endless hours trying to create it myself. Would you share your template files? I also have WP and the TNG databases separate, but face the hurdle of upgrading WP. Wiped out my look and content when I tried the first time, so I installed MAMP and am now also learning how to set it up on a local test server first. If I had a workable template, the project just might get finished :-)

If you'd rather, you can reach me offline at anne at prowell dot com

Examples: crude blog: http://4thefam.us

Sample TNG page: http://4thefam.us/family/familygroup.php?f...3&tree=1USA

Thanks!

I don't have Template 4 mods, but I have a TNG-WordPress setup that allows for relatively painless upgrading of both applications. You can see it at Descendants of Michael and Sarah Pippenger McKern. Let me know if you would like more info.

(Please ignore screwy font-sizes, etc--I'm tweaking the style sheets. The problems appear to be worst with IE 6.)

Bridget

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