Bootstrap and WordPress

I’ve used Twitter Bootstrap many times in web applications. It really makes building an application interface fast and easy, primarily because I don’t have to worry much about design. Bootstrap makes things a lot easier for a developer who doesn’t do good design work.

Speaking of design work, this website is not very pretty at the moment. I want to make it look better, so I’ve been looking at different WordPress themes. A theme based on Bootstrap seemed like a good idea. That way, the appearance of my website would match the applications I’ve built for my clients. Nice, right? I came across WordPress Bootstrap from 320 Press and thought it might look good.

I decided to pursue other themes, however. My initial concern was that the website didn’t look any better with WordPress Bootstrap, but I also realized that perhaps Bootstrap wasn’t such a good fit for WordPress. Fränk Klein makes some great arguments against a Bootstrap-backed WordPress theme in his article, Why Bootstrap is a Bad Fit for WordPress Themes. doesn't look any better with a Bootstrap theme. doesn’t look any better with a Bootstrap theme.

PunchlinePDX Event Manager


PunchlinePDX is a slow-motion video booth for events and parties based out of Portland, Oregon. Earlier this year, I helped them develop event management software that would allow them to upload and curate video.

This was their first experience hiring a software developer, so I had the opportunity to walk them through the entire process. We started by outlining requirements and coming up with a solid plan with application screens, functions, and things to meet their business needs. We then brainstormed additional features and came up with something pretty amazing.

These are a few of the interesting things we came up with:

  • Cloud-backed storage for all videos
  • Text messaging interface
  • Smart social media sharing
  • Contact management
  • Event and sharing privacy

The best part was the testing process. While I ran them through their new software, they made slow-motion video of me and used the software to upload and manage it. Check it out!

You should seriously consider booking these guys for your holiday party.

OpenPGP.js and WordPress

Near the end of November, I began fiddling with OpenPGP.js and building a WordPress plugin. My goal is to create a method by which visitors can encrypt messages to me on my Contact page using my public key.

I finished up a pretty simple little plugin. You can view the details here or head straight to the GitHub project page.

However, when I finished earlier this week and decided to submit it to the WordPress Plugin Directory, I found that somebody had beat me to it by almost a month. I’ve taken a look at the code and it looks pretty good. You can check out my plugin, which was published as OpenPGP Form Encryption for WordPress, and you can check out the other guy’s plugin, PGP Contact plugin.

OpenPGP is even more secure than an Enigma machine.
OpenPGP is even more secure than an Enigma machine.

Handy Tools for the Bourne Again Shell

If you’re a Unix geek, you’ve probably used bash, the Bourne-Again Shell. If you’ve been around a while, you’ve probably spent a lot of time customizing bash.

Back when I worked for Yahoo!, my friend Bryan gave me a great directory stack for bash. I loved it, so I rewrote it and have been hacking on it and using it ever since. Observe.

[user@host:~]$ cd /tmp
[user@host:/tmp]$ cd /var/log
[user@host:/var/log]$ dl
1   ~
2   /tmp
3 * /var/log
[user@host:/var/log]$ go 1
1   /home/user
[user@host:~]$ go log
3   /var/log

In addition to the handy new go command, it also includes b and f for moving backwards and forwards on the stack. It was inspired by pushd and popd, but it’s so much more.

If you’d like to check it out, take a look at my bashtools repository on GitHub or just download version 1.0. I don’t change it very often, but I’m thinking of hammering out a long-standing bug in the directory stack code.

N.B. If you use all of my scripts, you’ll get some great prompts for your xterms. You’re welcome!

Not this kind of shell.
Not this kind of shell.

Website: Bruno San Rafael’s Home for Former Trapeze

Back in 2012, I had the pleasure of working with my good friend Joel Barker on his amazing project, Bruno San Rafael’s Home for Former Trapeze. This project is a collaboration between Joel, a bunch of musicians, a photographer, and a web developer (me!). My contribution was probably the smallest of the bunch, but it was a lot of fun.

Please check out the website by clicking on the screenshot below. If you use “View Source” in your browser, you can see every line of code I used to finish the site. It’s one simple, medium-length monolithic HTML file with JavaScript and CSS thrown in.

Bruno San RafaelI now work with Joel regularly at Word Lions, where I write and do a little more website development.


Prime Number Library for OCaml

A couple of weeks ago, I cleaned up my prime number library for OCaml. This library has a number of primality-testing methods in it, but my favorite is the Miller-Rabin primality test. It’s fast and rather accurate.

If you’d like to take a look at the library, please check out the camlprime GitHub page. The library is pretty easy to use. If you download and compile the library, you’ll end up with a toplevel that you can play with.

The file has some examples of how to use the primality tests. However, my favorite thing about this library is that it includes a lazy list implementation of prime numbers. The following example shows how to set up a lazy list of prime numbers proved using the MR algorithm in the toplevel.

# open Num ;;
# let prime_list = Prime.make (Prime.miller_rabin 500) (num_of_int 500) ;;
val prime_list : Num.num LazyList.t = LazyList.Node (Int 503, <lazy>)
# Prime.nth prime_list 500 ;;
- : Num.num = Int 4363

The library is pretty fast, even for really large numbers. I’ve tested it on 300-digit prime numbers, and I’m sure it will scale to sizes much larger than that.

Any thoughts or improvements? Let me know in the comments.