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New site feature: random image in the sidebar

Already a new feature! I added a random thumbnail image from my gallery to the sidebar in this site. This might seem odd, considering my preference for design that emphasizes text. But I’m aiming for a little bit of imagery, to occasionally but not disruptively vary the appearance.

You would see the image if you visited with a web browser, such as Camino, Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer. However (AFAIK), you would not see it if you viewed only syndicated content —for example, via an RSS client like Vienna or NetNewsWire.

Let me know if you have problems viewing this sidebar image over the web. Thanks!

Hacking background:

  • I use the WordPress Gallery 2 embedded plugin (WPG2) to connect my gallery (which runs the eponymous Gallery) site to this one. The sneaky way to avoid literally embedding the gallery here (which looked dreadful with my particular theme), and thereby linking directly (standalone), is to simply point there. That is, change the default location (which points to a WPG2 PHP file on the WordPress site) to the gallery URL instead. Heh!
  • Do not use a version earlier than Gallery 2.2.x, so that URL Rewrite behaves properly. Gallery’s URL Rewrite plugin generates “pretty” addresses, which are more readable by both humans and search engines. Otherwise, the links are incorrectly generated as relative, thus broken, never accessing my gallery site. Absolute URLs need to be generated, which was busted in the previous 2.1.x version of Gallery.
  • To allow hotlinks between my own domains, yet continue blocking any other hotlinks, I had to fiddle with my gallery’s .htaccess file. I found tips at htaccess Tools very useful for this task.

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