Step 2: Figure out video

HTML5 holds great promise for video playback. Gone will be the days of embedded objects, plugins and (hopefully) Flash. The issue we still face are browser codec compatibilities; such as Firefox wants to see Ogg Theora and Safari wants h.264.

My next step is to explore video playback within one of the articles. I’ll start with Safari using only the video tag then explore other fallback alternatives for other browsers. I believe this will require multiple sub-steps hence Step 2a, 2b, 2c and so on.

Step 2a – clearly not an option, the video takes up 2 columns and 2 rows immediately, probably will need to use JS to create a similar effect to the shadowbox I use today

Step 1: Keep Design and Gray box it

Following a technique advocated in “transcending CSS by Andy Clarke“, I’ve taken the current design and ‘gray boxed it”.  (I want to point out that my goal is to learn HTML5/CSS3, not to create a wholly new design).  I simplified the site to its simplest elements:

Gray box for HTML5

From the graphic, you can see its a very simple layout; navigation, header,  rows of three articles and a footer. Each article has a title(h1), a comment(p) and notes(aside).

I’m going to start off from scratch, building the file first using HTML5 then adding CSS3 to create an identical gray box site. This allows me to create the site without the complexity of the exact content.

Each version will continue to exist and I will add versioning as I go.

Step 1

Wish me luck…

I’m off to redo my film site using HTML5 and CSS3. As I stated some time ago, I’ve been interested in the two technologies for some time. Little things like CSS shadows are very nice and semantic elements like article, aside and nav certainly contribute to a site better than div, div and div.

I’ve two books on HTML5; HTML5 for Web Designers/Jeremy Keith and HTML5/Bruce Lawson and Remy Sharp. Both are excellent for providing an understanding of the why along with the how.

I look forward to similar texts on CSS3.

OK! Let’s get this party started!

Riding the local… [UPDATED]

With the upgrade to Snow Leopard, I took the opportunity to make my MacBook Pro, a better development machine. This meant creating a Web server environment which matches my production shared hosting environment.

Far easier said then done.

I started with MAMP. I wanted to have a complete server environment that is well supported by the community and was easy to maintain. I felt that MAMP met these goals better than going with the native OS X web environment. Apple hasn’t been the best at offering the latest stable release of Apache, MySQL (in fact, not supported at all) and PHP. MAMP offered all three plus PHPMyAdmin (handy at times) and a smattering of additional goodness.

Using Sequel Pro (a fantastic, freeware MySQL GUI), I was able to create the databases required for my films and WordPress.  [A quick plug for Sequel Pro, they took the very nice code from CocoaMySQL and created a phenomenal tool. Well worth free, I gave them $50 for my copy, please donate if you can.]

Changing the link references from my hosted version to a MAMP version wasn’t hard. Unfortunately, I wasn’t thinking clearly. Having a blank PHP page tends to do that… All the errors were mine. (Remember to put a closing slash on a directory link and MAMP references require a port number.)

The hard part was duplicating WordPress. I finally kludged it by creating a fresh install of WP on MAMP then hand editing the WP database links to match my MAMP configuration.  It’s working now but I’m worried about my first upgrade. I also had to go through my site and switch all references to a .com site to the localhost (MAMP) site.

But at an absurdly high level to create a local WP site from a working hosted site:

  1. Install MAMP
  2. Fresh install WP onto MAMP site
  3. Copy the wp-content folder from the hosted site to the MAMP site
  4. Export the hosted WP MySQL database and import it into the MAMP MySQL database
  5. Hand edit the links in the “-options” table to match those required for the MAMP site (remember to edit the uploads option as well)
  6. Test. I turned off my wireless so I knew I was only local.

As soon as I finish this post, I’ll need to figure out how I’m going to duplicate this entry locally. I have two options, one, I could copy the text from my post page into the post page on the local site or two, export the hosted MySQL db and import it in to my local site. The latter would require me to hand edit the options page again. (or I could try keeping it the same). Mmmmmm.

UPDATE: Using two tabs on my browser, it took 30 seconds to duplicate the entry. Copy/Paste, Copy/Paste, click, click, click. That wasn’t so bad!

UPDATE July 8th, 2010: As I migrated to WordPress 3.0 locally (went from 2.84 to 3.0), I needed to reacquaint myself with using WordPress locally. Here are the directions in greater detail in updating WordPress locally (this is a personalization of the detailed upgrade installation on the WordPress Codex):

  1. Backup MySQL database using Sequel Pro; File – Export – MySQL Dump (select all tables and make sure Drop Table, Create Table and Add Table Content are all selected. Use this backup to create backup MySQL database for the backup old installation, I called it oldBackup. Use the Database Administration part of Sequel Pro to create a new database then Import the dump.
  2. Duplicate the oldblog directory using Finder – Duplicate then rename i.e; “oldblog28”
  3. Verify new site works by doing the following:
    • Export only the wrp_options table using Sequel Pro
    • Using Textmate, change all references of the blog directory to the new name i.e; oldblog to oldblog28 and (if necessary) make sure all www references are changed to local i.e; to (this is for MAMP running WordPress locally)
    • In the oldblog28 wp-config file, change the name of the database to oldBackup
    • Load the new site into Safari and confirm links are pointing to the new directory, browse the site a bit to ensure it is a fully working backup.
  4. Back to the site being updated, deactivate ALL plugins.
  5. Download and extract the new WordPress package.
  6. On the old site, save the following:
    • wp-config.php
    • wp-content folder but delete wp-content/cache and wp-content/plugins/widgets
    • wp-images (not found in oldblog)
  7. Open two windows in Finder and delete all files but the above 6 a-c. Move the new WordPress files over to the old directory. Using this method, you can methodically ensure you are updating/replacing all of the files. I had a little bit of work in the wp-content folder, making sure I didn’t delete any changes I had made to my blog.
  8. Log back into the blog and it should upgrade the database and site automatically. If unclear, go to: oldblog/wp-admin/upgrade.php
  9. Update .htaccess file if necessary (not necessary as of July 8, 2010)
  10. Install updated Plugins and Themes.
  11. Reactivate Plugins
  12. Add security key definitions to the wp-config.php file
  13. Review what has changed in WordPress.

NOTE: Based on information from, I changed the ownership of the oldblog to _www using: sudo chown -R _www oldblog

A couple of things…

I haven’t updated the blog in quite a while. I’ve been working on a lot of things but haven’t found the time to document the work.

The latest thing I did was update this blog to 3.0. So far I haven’t seen a huge difference. I also changed the theme from “minamalism’ to twentyten, which is the new theme for WordPress.

I like the new theme. Very simple, great style.

I will be exploring if I can use it as the basis for another site which isn’t a blog. The twentyten theme allows for custom menus so in some regards it could be used as a general blog site instead of a blog.