Scott Hardie | March 14, 2002
Anna and Dan, I know you use Greymatter for your weblogs, so you might be able to help. Anyone else familiar with it, please give a moment. (Registered authors on this weblog can, I think, examine the templates, but I don't think they can change them.)

What I want to do is not important, but if you run a weblog, you know how the desire to "do stuff" with it can be overwhelming.

On the main index page, every entry is presented with two cyan-colored table cells: The left one has the title and info, and the right has the first paragraph. I want to create a new cell in the middle, with a small icon picture of the author. All of the authors here are friends of mine and I have photos of all of them. Any strangers who sign up can have some blank picture, like a black silhouette.

This pic would be small, probably 50x75 or so. It would also appear on the actual page for the entry, probably to the right of the title box. I think it would be neat to have faces on the site - more pictures are always good for a text-heavy site like this one - and it adds voice to the text, when you read it, to see a person's picture there by it, instead of just some name. There are other reasons too, but no matter.

I can easily create the code for this, upload the pictures, get all that stuff worked out. The only problem is that I don't know how to tell Greymatter to load x picture with x author, and y picture with y author, and so on. I've tried authorsmartlink before with something else (I wanted to put the author's name next to each title in the Archives) and couldn't get it to work, but even if I could, I don't know how to program in an association between authorsmartlink and the picture. I don't even know how to assign a function to the picture. So I'm really stuck. Can it be done?

Please note that my skills are limited to HTML, so if you suggest Java or PHP, please give me a snippet of code to use. Thanks for any assistance.

D. R. | March 14, 2002
[hidden by author request]

Scott Hardie | March 14, 2002
Thanks! I kind of guessed there was some trick that could be done, but I had no idea what it might be. I'll play with that tomorrow when I have time - I'd do it tonight, but I don't think it will work on the first try. :-)

I do plan to ditch Greymatter in 4-6 months, after I learn PHP and convert other web sites (goo) to it. Maybe I can make all my sites interconnected with PHP, have one system that recognizes authors on TC, players in GOO, players in WPS, et cetera. But they'll get redone separately if necessary. If Dan Donovan can do a weblog in PHP using Notepad, I can too.

Scott Hardie | March 14, 2002
Also, I can fix the "space" problem by giving all authors only one name, probably their first name. There are few enough authors here that it could work. That list of authors in the sidebar is updated manually by me, not by Greymatter, so I could leave it as it is, and visitors could match up the first name with the full name if they wanted. Hmm.

Say Dan, you want to be an author? You didn't answer that email test a while back, but you're still welcome, whether or not you have anything to say. And I promise not to use the pic of you in the red shirt with Rev. Casper on your lap.

D. R. | March 14, 2002
[hidden by author request]

Scott Hardie | March 14, 2002
Cool. You're re-registered with the same password as before. If you need it again, let me know.

Thanks for the "community" compliment. I feel that way too, though it's a little community so far. I'm trying to write something every day and hope that persistence will result in returning visitors, like it did with the goo game.

About changing authors to first-name only: That won't be retroactive. Greymatter won't let you edit the author of an existing entry. Why, I don't know, but this is one of those "limits" you mentioned. Hmm. We'll see what happens. I'll play with it tomorrow.

D. R. | March 14, 2002
[hidden by author request]

Matthew Preston | March 14, 2002
My recomendation would be to learn PHP and create your own weblog. That is actually what I am preparing right now for Your idea of adding in author pictures is quite simple when you have the language down. I have come to the realization that there is just about nothing you can't accomplish with PHP. It's too bad you didn't have something like that when the world game was still going.... oh man, the possibilites!

Scott Hardie | March 14, 2002
I know, I know... So many database languages were out there, too hard for an amateur like me to learn. Having PHP alone might not have kept the game going today, but it still would have been damn nice to have and use anyway.

I can't wait for this homework to be done. If I can just get a couple more projects finished, I can start learning PHP and move up in the web.

Anna Gregoline | March 14, 2002
I'd like to point out that I'm terrified of Greymatter, even more so now that Dan tried to reassure me by calling it a "weird algebra problem." I'm glad mine works as well as it does, and that's cause signalstation helped me.

Scott Hardie | March 15, 2002
I must admit that I'm continuously impressed by the amount of freedom that Greymatter does give, compared to many other services out there, like But 90% freedom is still not freedom enough.

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