« Posts under Geekery

Extra Jetpack!

So recently I’ve been mucking about with JetPack, for various bits and pieces.

Mainly the first thing done is just to make the sharing buttons appear above and below a post.

But from browsing the JetPack Support Forum over on extend I thought I’d make my changes available.

So, attached to this post, is my modified version of JetPack 1.4.2.

Which includes the following additions:

  • Ability to control button placement, above, below, or both of the post content
  • A Pinterest PinIt Button as requested on the forum, it will attempt to use the Post/Page Featured Image as the Image to Pin
  • Additional Twitter button elements/arguments, for recommended Twitter account following (via and related)
  • Ability to turn on/off the DNT Twitter button mode: see the docs, about what this is and does
  • Hope you find it useful.

    If using JetPack 1.6.1 use the Extend Version
    JetPack Extras for JetPack v1.5 (460) Pre JetPack 1.6
    JetPack V1.4.2 BarryCarlyon Extras (224)

    Feedback and requests in the comments please 😀 or hit me up on Twitter: @BarryCarlyon

    (On a side note, I need to fix some theme glitches on here, hence a double featured image on the home page….)

    Update: Make sure your theme is using a recent version of jQuery. As otherwise the [+ Share] won’t pop up (for extra hidden sharing buttons)

    Update: Created a new Plugin, that doesn’t replace JetPack, it extends and runs as a separate plugin.
    So more Core JetPack update friendly. Upload and activate like a normal plugin.
    Includes a suggestion from @SkipTweets Option to use the WP.me link instead of the permalink for Twitter Sharing

    Update: The plugin is now available on extend!

    Update: JetPack Core has now updated to 1.6.1 which adds a Pinterest Button to Core. They also updated the entire ShareDaddy plugin. It looks like they are adding Twitter Via Support to.
    I’ve just released a Maintenance Fix as if you Update JetPack, it WhitePages, due to conflicting Pinterest Buttons.

    Update: Check out the Special Plugin Page

MineCraft Math

So, I tend to now and again do random bits and pieces to MineCraft Servers.

Of late I have been working with ZimDoorCraft, took the existing relatively static site, and flipped it over to a Mini PHP Powered Content Management System, that I wrote and roll out to smaller sites.
Couple of MySQL powered bits to make updates easier (Staff list and the like).

In time more complex and interesting things will be added (it was for a while running a Login with Mojang/MineCraft account, but that means you type your MineCraft login into the site…), how that works is a subject for another post. As is what ever I build next 😀

The MineCraft server in this case is running a derivative of Bukkit, which means it supports plugins, so we are using the JSON Api plugin, and making a call to the getWorld() data resource.
Which passes back information about the world in a nice handy format.

Heres an example

    [world] => stdClass Object
        (
            [remainingWeatherTicks] => 14670
            [hasStorm] => 
            [time] => 4964
            [environment] => normal
            [isThundering] => 
            [name] => world
            [fullTime] => 2903932964
        )

If your running Vanilla you can grab the same information just by decoding the level.dat file in the World Directory, however opening a file currently being written to, is not often a good idea, and the level.dat is written to a lot.

Like a lot of games, Minecraft uses ticks, in this case operating at 20 ticks per second, and running to 24000 ticks per Minecraft day, which means a Minecraft day is about 20mins.

Just to be interesting 0 ticks is Sunrise, rather than midnight. And midnight itself is 18000 ticks.

Also contained in the data packet is a count down to when the weather changes, in this case there are 7500 (ish) ticks to go.

Which works out as

14670 / 20 to get Real Seconds = 733.5 Seconds, and then its arbitrary to flip this to a human readable time. We have about 12 minutes, or half a MineCraft day, until the weather changes.

Reading out a more recent packet

    [world] => stdClass Object
        (
            [remainingWeatherTicks] => 7339
            [hasStorm] => 1
            [time] => 3827
            [environment] => normal
            [isThundering] => 
            [name] => world
            [fullTime] => 3902379827
        )

Looks like there is a storm on…. But its only Rain no Thunder and Lighting. With 6 mins to go.

On a side note!, watch out for FullTime, as its likely to run away, on a long running server, to something a 32 bit system might not be able to handle! Refer to my Post on Facebook and the Order ID on some thoughts about dealing with that.


Using Tick to Seconds math, means that it is also possible to display the current server time and weather on the website.

I’m using a bit of CSS, and the MineCraft time piece (craftable in game) to show the current time visually. In this case I’ve taken the 16×16 PNG’s and expanded them (by hand) to 32×32, finally converting the time from ticks to the relevant chunk of 360 degrees, offsetting as needed to account for the fact that Sunrise is 0 instead of Midnight.

I do this by adding 6000 ticks and from there treating the ticks complete as a percentage and scaling to meet 360 degrees. Some of the code involved needs a little tweaking and tidying to improve efficiency, but the angle is being calculated by a CRON Job powered script and stored with the full World JSON packet, in an extended object and cached in a file on the file system ready to be read by the web server when a request comes in. So it’s not a top priority to clean up yet.

I was finding that after taking into account the addition 6000 ticks to offset for Sunrise, the whole Sun Moon picture was upside down. So I just added 180 degrees, and corrected it when the angle was greater that 360. Since why bother rotating thru a whole 360 degrees?


$time = $world->time;// grab from data packet from JSON Api Call
$time += 6000;// add 600 for sunrise

// work out the scale factor 360 degrees / ticks in a Minecraft day
$scale = 360 / 24000;
$angle = $scale * $time;// calculate the <span class="hiddenGrammarError" pre=""><span class="hiddenGrammarError" pre=""><span class="hiddenGrammarError" pre="">angle
$angle</span></span></span> = number_format($angle, 0);// clean up
// correct
$angle = $angle + 180;// the image is upside down 🙁
if ($angle >= 360) {// clean up again
	$angle -= 360;
}

The rotation component was quite difficult to initially decide how to do, PHP wasn’t quite cutting it so switched to a CSS Transform.
HTML wise it consists of a pair of divs, a pair of images, and a chunk of CSS.

<div class="worldtime"><div class="inner"></div></div>


WorldTime being the one behind contains the Sun Moon Picture as a background image.


And Inner contains the Watch overlay also as a background image.

Apply the CSS transformation to rotate the Sun Moon Picture is just a little nasty, because in rotating the Sun Moon picture it also rotated the overlay (inner).
I decided to apply rotation to the overlay, in the reverse direction (so just sticking a negative sign in front).
Works quite well, but if you can think of a better way to spit out this with the rotation please comment below.

Heres my current Style Code

<style type="text/css">
	.worldtime .inner {
		width: 32px;
		height: 32px;
		background: url('large_watch.png') left top no-repeat;
	    /* CSS3 then proprietary code */
	    rotation: -336deg;
	    -webkit-transform: rotate(-336deg);
	    -moz-transform: rotate(-336deg);
	    filter: progid: DXImageTransform.Microsoft.BasicImage(-rotation=4);
	}
	.worldtime {
		float: left;
		width: 32px;
		height: 32px;
		margin: 0 10px;
		background: url('large_inner.png') left top no-repeat;
	    /* CSS3 then proprietary code */
	    rotation: 336deg;
	    -webkit-transform: rotate(336deg);
	    -moz-transform: rotate(336deg);
	    filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.BasicImage(rotation=4);
	}
</style>

The whole WorldTime Div is then wrapped in another Div and jQuery used to once per minute go and fetch the updated time, weather and CSS rotation.

At first I did try using the PHP function to rotate the image, but the quality drop off when rotating by an angle not divisible by 90 was shocking.
So ended up resorting to CSS, which does work a hell of a lot better.

This only covers how to do this using the JSON API, in a future post I’ll talk about decoding level.dat and other Minecraft Files.

JetPack Summary 2011

So popped open my emails on January 1st to find an email from JetPack. JetPack being a collection of plugins from WordPress to install on Self hosted blogs, that among other things includes a stat tracker.

The email in question was something that JetPack had automatically generated as an Annual Report on views of my blog.

You can see mine here.

Quite an interesting read, and I’m not really surprised that my some of my most popular posts are from 2010, really just means I need to blog more. (Hence really the reason for writing a blog entry about it, since I do aim to post more now)

But the most interesting thing of all, is the little Fireworks jQuery plugin, which WordPress have also released as open source for others to use and play with. Included on the review page includes a nice little stats/current plugin output to show you how effective/how well its all running.

My Google Chrome is currently scoring 4%, but my iPad safari clocks in at 30% (but then I do have a lot of tabs open right now).

It’s a nice way to review your blog from the year, so it you are running JetPack, its worth a read.

But it is really just a bit of a sales gimmick when you get to the bottom and see what WordPress has planned.
Looks like its going a bit more Tumblr-y. We shall see

Facebook Credits, the Order ID, and dealing with large integers in 32 bit PHP

So, currently at work I’ve been rewriting all our Payment Gateways for Your Members. Making them more better Class based an abstracting out the common functions to a base class, to save memory footprint and code etc.

And came across a problem when rewriting the Facebook Credits handler.

The order ID that gets passed around, as well as the Application ID is too long for a 32 Bit PHP installation to handle when treating it as an Integer.

So a number like “239724439419867” was ending up as “1.7592246582797E+14” when stored/processed, or converted to a string.
Now the obvious way to process this is to convert it to a string another way, which is somewhat difficult since before you even start it is in a format that you can’t handle.

The saving grace here is the fact that data is passed to you as a JSON packet (aside from the fact the Order ID is in the $_POST variable and thus a string, so I could of used it from there).

This led to me to look at the JSON packet, which starts as a string but when decoded the large integers are still a larger integer than can be processed (whether you json_decode to a Array or to an Object, the problem persists). So I thought about how to process the raw JSON packet and make sure the order ID, and other large integers are treated as strings.

If you look at a Raw JSON packet you can easily spot whats a string, integer, object or array.

Take this example Facebook Credits JSON Packet, (wrapped for readability):

{"order_id":239724439419867,"buyer":197803678,"app":148748711865470,
"receiver":197803678,"amount":5,"update_time":1320075413,
"time_placed":1320075408,"data":"","items":[{"item_id":"<item_id>","title":"Post",
"description":"A New Purchasable Post",
"image_url":"<some url>","product_url":"<some other url>",
"price":5,"data":"<data>"}],"status":"<status>"}
  • order_id is an integer as it has no ” around it
  • status is a string as its surrounded by “
  • Items is an array as its surrounded by [, in this case containing a single object, entries/items are comma separated.

So after thinking about this I decided the best way to sort this out was to convert the integers in the raw JSON packet to strings before decoding.

In pseudo code.

Lop off the { and } from the start and end
Explode around ,
array walk each item
split on :
check if there are no " in the second bit
if none wrap in "
glue back together

Something alone the lines of:

function largeint($rawjson) {
  $rawjson = substr($rawjson, 1, -1);
  $rawjson = explode(',' , $rawjson);
  array_walk($rawjson, 'strfun');
  $rawjson = implode(',', $rawjson);
  $rawjson = '{', . $rawjson . '}';
  $json = json_decode($rawjson);
  return $json;
}

function strfun(&$entry, $key) {
  $data = explode(':', $entry);
  if (FALSE === strpos($data[1], '"')) {
    $data[1] = '"' . $data[1] . '"';
    $entry = implode(':', $data);
  }
}

I’m not sure in terms of memory footprint if its cheaper to do a substr of $data[1] and check if its a ” or not.
I suppose it could test the string length of the detected integer to see if its invalid/unable to process, but then you would be performing a string function on an integer and again the problem would arise.

But as a block of code is does the job, its obviously not ideal for all situations, since in this case I want the integer as a string, I’m not using it for math, but if I did, we probably need to do some bizarre unpack-ing or something.

Any opinions or improvements give us a comment below 😀

Thoughts on working on a different computer when your normal one is not available

So currently my Mac Book Pro is in with Clockwork Leeds getting its Hard Drive replaced as it failed/has failed/is failing.

So currently at work, I am sans my normal Development machine and find myself on the Mac Mini server that sits and does our File Server and System Monitoring.

Its quite odd having to get used to a system that for starts is the Server build of Mac OSX as well as having none of my personal preferences.
Its bringing to light how slightly useless some of the things I have setup on my Personal machine are that I thought were useful.

For example, I’m stuck with a single screen, so no dual screen lovely-ness. So I’m very restricted to the screen real estate I have available.
So not having new Terminal Windows opening to fill half the screen like on my mac is quite useful. Whereas before having the secondary screen with two terminal windows full height, half width was the norm, as well as using a little app I’ve forgotten the name of which allows me to press ctrl + ~ to get a window appear from the top, is a bit of a pain, but resolved now with having three default sized terminals and chrome open.

So far its seemed to work just about fine like that.

I also find myself using Spaces/Expose a lot less, I’m doing a lot less jumping between spaces all the time. But I also don’t have the “App only opens in space x” setup so I get a lot less forced jumping.

Finally tho I miss my music collection, so I’ve switched to plugging my headphones into my iPad and listening to Spotify. Tho I could just plug in my external drive thats in the office and have most of my older music on hand….

I’m also on a different desk which is nice.
I’m not by the door and have the window behind me and I’m in the corner.
I quite like it over here. Seems a bit more separated from everyone else. Which is a good thing and a bad thing in its own right.

I love working with the team, *can’t think of right words to express feelings will just skip to post summary*.

Summary

My Mac is in the repair shop getting fixed.
The hard drive was failing and is pending spare parts from Apple.
Clockwork are amazing for Apple Repairs.
I’m in a corner at work
I have no home machine to really play or work on. (I made my home windoze laptop blue screen just by looking at it….)

I watched last nights Torchwood on my iPad using the BBC iPlayer Application and it worked perfectly.

Finally my local dev environment is shafted as that was my Mac Book Pro. Luckily everything is in offsite repo’s and I have a Server in a Server Room down the corridor to talk to 😀

-End-