Aesthetic: the real craft behind design

Aesthetic is the craft of our profession. I’ve heard some designers say that aesthetic is like the bastard child of design, it’s there but it shouldn’t matter as long as the functionality is solid or the design serves its purpose as a communicative artifact.

These designers are idiots.

This and more in an excellent piece from RetinArt.

Creating and Displaying custom post types

Custom Posts introduced in WordPress 3.0 give you the ability to create more than just blog posts. You can now create separate post types for all your content—photos, recipes, labels from your uncles 8-Track collection—you know, anything you can think of. This involves just two steps: Making a new post type and displaying the new posts.

  1. First we need to tell WordPress about your new post type. Paste this into your functions.php file. If the file already has some code in there, omit the opening and closing PHP tags, if it doesn’t leave them in. If your theme doesn’t yet have a functions.php file, go ahead and make one. Functions.php should only have one set of opening and closing PHP tags.
    			add_theme_support( 'menus' );
    			add_action( 'init', 'create_my_post_types' );
    			function create_my_post_types() {
    				register_post_type( 'recipes',
    						'labels' => array(
    							'name' => __( 'Recipes' ),
    							'singular_name' => __( 'Recipe' )
    						'public' => true,
  3. Second (and last, whoot!) we want to display our new recipes for all the world to see, cook and enjoy. Paste this code anywhere you want to display your favourite recipes (may I recommend sidebar.php):
  4. 	<?php $loop = new WP_Query( array( 'post_type' => 'recipes', 'posts_per_page' => 10 ) ); ?>
    	<?php while ( $loop->have_posts() ) : $loop->the_post(); ?>
    	<?php the_title( '<h2 class="entry-title"><a href="' . get_permalink() . '" title="' . the_title_attribute( 'echo=0' ) . '" rel="bookmark">', '</a></h2>' ); ?>
    	<div class="entry-content">
    		<?php the_content(); ?>
    	<?php endwhile; ?>

    Hat-tip to Justin Tadlock for this and many more great WordPress tricks.

What’s all this then?

Old is new. Regular visitors will note that the new paint is quite a departure from old. In fact, not only is the paint new, but so are the walls.

After a two year love-hate affair with Drupal, I’m delightedly back to WordPress. I hope to post the reasons for the change at length in the days to come. Let it suffice for the moment that Drupal was the absolutely perfect CMS for talking about projects, while WordPress turned out to be the perfect one for actually building them. My late nights up studying Drupal’s API to make simple theme changes are over—at least for the moment, at least here at the mercantile.

Details to follow: I swear, swear swear.

Simple new way to download WordPress: a shell alias

By accident or not I’m not sure, but WordPress conveniently links to the newest version using the same link: latest.tar.gz. Instead of having to go to to grab the link every time, just make an alias to it and put in your .bash_profile:
  1. Open a Terminal window and type:  edit ~/.bash_profile
  2. Add the following code on two blank lines:
#download latest WordPress
alias wplatest='wget'

Then close the file, open a new Terminal window, and browse to the directory you want to install WordPress in. When you get there, just type ‘wplatest’ to download the magic.

Friday night

Even the prospect of Friday night doesn’t do it anymore. Its ugly step-sister, Monday, sits on the couch now at 6:45, just before you get ready to go through the door to meet your friends.

Mom, Can I go out with FridayNight? Monday asks as she sneers as you smugly, her fat little face grinning ear to ear.

Of course you can, honey, says Mom from the kitchen

And on you go, just the two of you: FridayNight and Monday gone for a big, miserable night on the town, without even so much as a hangover to show for it the next day.

Vivian Maier

A collection of photographs from Vivian Maier, an American amateur street photographer, who died before receiving any fame from her astonishing 100,000+ photograph collection.

The video is an interview with the man who in 2007 worked in real estate and hoped to write about book about a particular neighborhood in Chicago. He bought Ms. Maier’s photographs because they contained scenes of buildings he was interested in. Three years later he’s working full-time with a friend to digitize the entire collection.

Antiques Roadshow eat your heart out—these photographs easily rival the work of Robert Doisneau or Gordon Parks.

Update: work now also available through Artsy.