Jeff Barr's Blog

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My Secret WordPress Linkblog Hack

When I had dinner with Phil last week, I told him that one of the reasons that I can do my daily links so fast is that I have hacked WordPress to make it really easy to create them. I simply added a pair of new items to the WordPress toolbar, like this:

wordpress_link_blog_secret.png

The first two items are mine. They both use Markdown syntax to insert short items that I can simply paste into. The first one creates a bullet item and a link. The second one adds a quoted text snippet. So, with one click, I get a template for an entire link item!

So you want this for yourself, eh? Well I’m sorry to say that I’ve learned my lesson about posting patches to the WordPress code and won’t be doing that today. I would love to post detailed instructions covering how to do this yourself, but the WordPress code base changes pretty quickly, and they would quickly become out of date. Then, invariably, people find my old postings, apply my changes, break their install, and then ask me for help. Much as I would love to help them, I can’t.

If you want to do something similar, open up wp-admin/quicktags.js and study it for a few minutes! Once you figure out what’s going on, you will realize that you can create toolbar items to insert any often-used snippet.

2001_ape.jpgThere’s a slightly larger lesson here, and I should point that out. If your tools don’t fit your working style, fix them or create better tools. I subscribe to a magazine for hobby machinists and fully half of the content is about building better tools. Like those apes in 2001, we need to take the available tools, try them out, and then adapt them to the problem at hand.

Now I need a Windows clipboard that would let me grab a bunch of items off of a page, then paste them into my blog post in the desired order. Anyone know of such a tool?