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All entries filed under “EE Insider Tips”

Highlights from the EE Insider Tips section.

Publishing to ExpressionEngine from Editorial

As my working life gets busier I’m increasingly finding doing the writing and thinking type of work on my laptop unfeasible. There are too many applications, too many distractions and I could easily be back in code or email or something else that isn’t what I planned on doing. I’m also finding the “cognitive heft” of writing on a laptop to be burdensome. It’s a laptop, a nice retina screen and virtually no limitation to what I can do with it. It’s also kind of pain to carry around.

So, lately I’ve thinking more and more about writing on a simpler device. Like my iPad.

Writing on the iPad and using it as a laptop-like device isn’t anything new. Publisher of MacStories, Federico Viticci has been doing it for more than a year. In fact, it was an important part of how he worked and maintained the MacStories website while undergoing treatment for cancer.

My desire to simplify the tool I use to write and brainstorm wasn’t motivated by a serious personal health challenge but did gain speed after the release of Editorial, an iOS app for writing and creating workflows.

Editorial is a plain text editor that supports Markdown syntax and allows you to create custom workflows to process that text. This could be as simple as a quick way to trigger a Google search from a selected word to an entire workflow for publishing .

The workflows use pre-defined componenets (much like Automator in OS X) but you can also customize your workflow using your own Python code. Editorial makes several libraries available to you so you can do almost anything you want, including communicating over XML-RPC with an application on a server.

What I’ve put together (by modifying an existing workflow for WordPress) is a workflow for publishing from Editorial (where I’m writing this post) right into my ExpressionEngine installation for EE Insider. Because of the ability to research right inside of Editorial using the built-in web browser and related workflows, I can do almost everything I need for EE Insider right inside of one single app. Exactly what I wanted.

My Publish to ExpressionEngine workflow makes it simple to take Markdown formatted content in Editorial (I send it as Markdown right to EE without converting), choose a category for it and then send the entry to ExpressionEngine to be published. After the new entry is published, Editorial launches the built-in web browser to the EE Insider homepage so I can review and make any necessary edits. Sadly, any edits have to be done in the EE Control Panel. I wish I could edit right in Editorial like I can with MarsEdit.

The magic all happens via the Metaweblog API, which ExpressionEngine already supports via the Metaweblog API module. You do need to set up the module in order to use this workflow but it’s simple and takes just 30 seconds.

Here’s a video of what it’s like to use the workflow.

If you’re into writing on your iPad or want to try, you should use Editorial. It can be daunting at first but take some time to get used to how it works and think how it would best for you. There’s a great collection of existing workflows assembled by Gabe Weatherhead that are a good starting point.

For a thorough and complete introduction to Editorial, bookmark and read the extended coverage on Macstories by Federico Viticci and Macdrifter by Gabe Weatherhead. Both are excellent and include videos and sample workflows to help you get started.

Posted on Sep 01, 2013 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: EE Insider Tips

From the StackExchange: Display Members in Group

EE Insider columnist and add-on developer Eric Lamb recently asked on StackExchange how to display members in a group in an EE template.

Is there a way to display all the members that belong to a certain group_id inside a template without resorting to the lame and gross profile_themes nonsense?

The best answer was to use AC Member (but you could also do this with a query).

A lot of good help happening in the EE StackExchange. Should be a daily destination even if you don’t have a question or can’t answer one.

Share Code at EE Snippets

A new service is available that allows you to share your code snippets with others. It’s called EE Snippets.

At first (and up until a few minutes ago), I thought the site was about sharing your Snippets (with a capital S) but it’s actually about sharing your code snippets (lowercase s). This is how some people used my EE Insider Tips service I launched in May 2009. The Tips section was never widely used but there are some great ideas, code snippets, tips, tricks and ideas in there. Here’s to hoping that EE Snippets can pull off this same idea on a dedicated site. Having a central place to share this type of information could be a great resource for the community.

Posted on Nov 07, 2011 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Development Tools, EE Insider Tips

EE Insider Tip: Search EE Docs in Chrome

Mike Zens contributed a tip to the site about searching the EE docs right in the Chrome URL bar.

View the tip for the quick how-to, but here’s the payoff:

Now when you type the short alias (EE in my case) then space, add your query and it will search the EE Docs. Great way to save time while searching EE Docs, EE Forums, or whatever custom EE query you want to build.

Great idea!

Posted on Jul 07, 2011 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: EE Insider Tips

Referencing Custom Field Names

On Twitter, Emily Heath noted:

It would be a real win if I remembered the name I’d given the new #eecms custom field after navigating away from the form though.

Emily, take a look at the great Template Variables accessory, which allows you to see all of your custom fields, snippets and global variables (with click and copy). Or you might want to try Simple Custom Feelds (but I haven’t used it before).

Posted on Jun 13, 2011 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Development Tools, EE Add-ons, EE Insider Tips

Tip: Dynamically display Year from entries not from this year

EE Insider contributor Erik Reagan submitted a tip to the EE Insider Tips section of the site about displaying years for entries not from this year:

I personally hate going to blog sites and not knowing when an article was published. I often see ‘June 2’ but no year. Sometimes I’m actually interested in whether or not that means this June 2nd or last June second, or even a June from years ago.

Erik posted a simple code snippet to check for the date and then display the year if isn’t the current year. Be sure to read the entire tip for all of the info.

If you want to submit your own tips, head over to the EE Insider Tips section of the site and share your EE knowledge with the community. Submitting a tip requires a free account but also enables you to save tips by marking them as “helpful” and monitor comments on your own tips.

Posted on Apr 15, 2010 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: EE Insider Tips

EE Insider Tips: View Files in 1.6.8

Alright ExpressionEngine devs, Jason Ferell has contributed a great tip for using view files in 1.6.8:

With EE 1.6.8, we now have the ability to use view files in modules and that’s great news for add-on developers. Recently I wanted to use view files for an extension I was developing but the EE docs don’t contain a way to do that. Specifically, I wanted to use view files for the extension settings form and for the contents of the publish tab for the extension. Here’s a snippet of how to use view files in a custom extension:

$DSP->body .= $DSP->view(PATH_EXT.'ext_widget/ext_settings.php'$varsTRUE); 

I created a folder called ext_widget to hold my view files, keeping the view file separated from other extension files.

Thanks to Jason for the great tip, and if you haven’t, add your own tip!

Posted on Dec 28, 2009 by Kenny Meyers

Filed Under: EE Insider Tips

Don’t Forget to Leave a Tip

There’s a little feature on our site we’ve been trying to grow called Tips. If you subscribe to EE Insider via RSS you would miss them. We’re excited about how many have contributed and want this resource to grow so we can all solve those snags we get into.

Here, for example, are our most popular tips:

We work to bring you the best learning material here at EE Insider and would love for you to drop-in and leave us a tip.

Posted on Sep 08, 2009 by Kenny Meyers

Filed Under: EE Insider Tips

Keep the Change: The Week in Tips

This week we only have a single tip added for your viewing pleasure:

EE Insider Tips relies on you the reader to contribute it. The more thorough and more jam-packed it gets, the better it serves our community. Learned something interesting lately? Found a great plugin and an interesting way to use it? Have a common set of steps you use to find or solve a specific problem? Post it on Tips, and if it’s great we’ll feature the tip, yourself, and your respective company here on EE Insider.

Posted on Aug 06, 2009 by Kenny Meyers

Filed Under: EE Insider Tips

Tip: Create member groups first

Jason Morehead offers up a good process tip when starting a new EE website. He suggests you first set up your member groups:

Several aspects of EE, such as weblog category groups, statuses, and file upload directories, have assignments for member groups. (For example, you can determine if a particular member group has access to add/edit/delete categories for a specific group).

Read Jason’s entire Tip: Create member groups first.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: EE Insider Tips

Tip: More precise date comparisons

Jason Morehead (winner of a free EE Code T-shirt), offered up a helpful EE Insider Tip for doing date comparisons, which includes comparing two date variables.

Very handy, indeed.  Be sure to read the entire tip and if it’s helpful, mark it so!

Do you have some EE tips to share with the community? Check out EE Insider Tips, a community-powered mini how-to database. Create tips, edit tips, save tips and search tips. It’s a great resource for those little nuggets of EE information that may make the difference in your next project.

Posted on Jun 29, 2009 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: EE Insider Tips

EE Insider Tips Winner #2

Last Friday I gave away another free EE Code T-shirt to a contributor to EE Insider Tips. Congratulations to Jason Morehead for winning and being the author of some excellent (and helpful!) Tips. The tip by Jason that people found the most helpful was his suggestion to create a performance indicator:

When setting up a site, I often create a performance indicator that displays the number of queries and the time it took for EE to generate the page. This is helpful for debugging purposes, to test caching, etc.

How can you win? Add at least three EE Insider Tips to the system and if one of them is helpful to me or a lot of others, you could win. The winner is up to me, but I’m heavily influenced by how helpful others find the tips. To create tips, you need to sign up for a free EE Insider account.

Looking forward to seeing your tips!

Posted on Jun 16, 2009 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: EE Insider Tips, News

Tip: Properly Format Dynamic Lists

EE Insider Tips iconI’m really enjoying all of the interesting and helpful EE Insider Tips that have been coming in; I’ve been learning a lot of new stuff. From time to time I’ll share a tip that I’ve found helpful, so here’s one for you.

Yesterday user JonnyUK added a nice tip on making sure your dynamic lists don’t leave behind ul tags when there is no content to display.

The problem occurs when there are actually no results/entries returned for whatever reason. This then leaves you with an empty and incorrectly formatted list…

Read his entire tip: Make sure to format/code your dynamic lists properly

If you find it helpful like I did, be sure to mark it so!

Posted on Jun 08, 2009 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: EE Insider Tips