Emulate human typing with the jQuery Teletype Plugin

In a recent web project, we came across the need to use an effect to replicate human interaction and emulate this on the website. The requirement was to type out text, optionally delete portions or all of the output and allow simple options to be used to determine the speed, delays amongst other possibilities.

As often is the case, there were a few options to use from exiting jQuery plugins, however none that I came across worked close enough to the requirement – without drastically modifying them to suit. Having previous experience creating plugins using the jQuery library, piecing something together to produce the desired effect was something to look forward to.

On a quiet Sunday afternoon, the first draft of the Teletype jQuery Plugin was complete within a few hours, and soon after released into the public domain. It’s been a while since a small personal project like this has been packaged up and shared with the community, which was one of the main reasons for proceeding with the idea.

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Issue with WP SubHeading plugin v1.1

An update to the WordPress SubHeading plugin was committed on Wednesday 2nd December, which added the ability to completely remove all stored subheadings when deactivating the plugin.

This new ‘tidy’ feature was enabled by default, but I failed to remember that during the plugin upgrade process the plugin was deactivated and then activated once the new version had been successfully installed.

Because of this and the ‘tidy’ setting active, the hooks I had in place always (wrongly) assumed that it was a new install, rather than an upgrade, and therefore may have removed all the subheading values you had set.

As of version 1.2 this feature is disabled by default, and checks for any previous version of the plugin before resetting your options and deleting the meta values (subheadings).

Apologies to anyone who has suffered  from a loss of data, and I hope all these issues are now resolved as of the latest version (1.2).

The death of Mr. Box Man

It has recently come to my knowledge that an act I participated in a few months ago has leaked into public view in the form of a media project by a year 10 pupil from Calthorpe School in Fleet, Hampshire.

Now in year 11, the student – who we shall refer to as B. Haines – had obtained video footage of myself (in costume) and put into practice his new found video editing skills using a trail version of Video Edit Magic to produce “Death of Mr. Box Man”.

Not only was this used towards his GCSE Media Studies, I have more recently found out that it was played at the school during the final year 10 assembly.

Although I am undoubtedly the main star of the show, all credit must go to Nick Haines for the high quality video recording skills, and Ben for his acting, polishing of the final cut, additional textual commentary and great choice of music – nice work guys!

Creating Symbolic Links in Windows

Until recently I assumed that creating Symbolic links in Windows was an impossibility.

That was however before I stumbled across an interesting VerySimple Dev Blog announcement describing the creation process.

To create a symbolic link in Windows Vista, at the command prompt, enter the following command:

mklink /d symlink_filename target_filename

(If you are linking an entire directory you must include the /d switch, otherwise this should be omitted.)

Use Windows Explorer to navigate to the directory in which you have just created the symlink, the file should be visible as if this were it’s permanent location. If you wish to remove or rename the link simply perform this action on the file or folder from this location.

One thing to remember is that you must create any link as administrator. If you do not run the command as Administrator, you may receive the following error:

You do not have sufficient privilege to perform this operation

To run the command prompt as administrator, right click the command prompt icon and click “Run as administrator”.

You may be further prompted with security messages asking for your permission before performing this action, depending on your current setting of the Windows User Account Control (UAC).