1. Baby Alia Wallpaper from Dune Part Two

    Some of the most striking images in Dune Part Two, at least for me, were the inside-the-womb visuals of Paul’s unborn sister Alia. I liked it so much I made a wallpaper from one of the stills, and I guess, I can share it here. It’s upscaled, modified and cleaned up, pretty opinionated stuff, but I like it best this way.

    If you like it, leave a comment! Happy to hear about your thoughts on it.

    The linked image is a 1080p JPG image, but I also made two versions in HEIC format, which should do for most larger resolutions. Enjoy!

  2. Halal sign in sans-serif font

    Just what it says on the tin: I recently had a project that uses a sans-serif font for most of the communication and I needed to put a Halal sign on a flyer. Arabic seems to have a preference for non-uniform stroke weight, so it didn’t quite integrate with what I had already designed.

    A short web search yielded no (!) results for a sans-serif halal sign, so I quickly made one using Noto Sans. My Arabic isn’t very good (0%, yikes!), so I dabbled in InDesign until it looked right. Used the “World-ready paragraph composer” for the first time in my life! Anyway, here you go, I give this to the public domain, aka. the Internet. May it be of help.

  3. ActivityPub Plugin

    I have spent quite some time setting up the ActivityPub Plugin and getting it to work. For me the issue was twofold:

    • Since the blog runs in a subdirectory “/blog”, I needed to redirect the “/.well-known” dir to “/blog/.well-known”, which I did with a simple .htaccess file.
    • The other issue was harder to figure out, but eventually I found out that the plugin only works with pretty Permalinks enabled! So now we have pretty URLs on oelna.de, decades later.

    And if I understand this correctly, readers should now be able to follow oelna@oelna.de on Mastodon and see new posts on this blog in their timelines. Success, I guess?

  4. WordPress and SQLite

    For a long time I have hated MySQL with a passion. I guess mostly because it is cumbersome. Requires additional credentials, is non-trivial to host on desktop OSes, most of the time requires an additional UI for management, such as PHPmyAdmin.

    It is probably reasonable for a project like WordPress to use it as storage, given it can scale moderately easily and comes preinstalled on many web hosts. But in recent years, I have come to really like SQLite as an alternative. Most of the projects I work on focus on a single user, or are websites that have a few 100 visitors a day at most. This is something that SQLite can easily handle, especially if you use some sort of caching mechanism with it.

    The things I like about SQLite are the portability and simplicity. Portability in a sense that I can just download the website directory and it will contain the files *and* database. Simplicity just because there are fewer column data types to handle. A string is always TEXT and a number is INTEGER, most of the time anyway. Prevent the file from being downloaded in the browser, either by placing it outside the document root, or by 403ing the file extension via .htaccess (which I prefer, because then the database can stay with the website code and assets.)

    For the past decade I have looked for solutions for using WordPress with a SQLite DB, each time finding out either there is no solution, or it’s to cumbersome or unmaintained to use. Listening to a recent episode of ATP, I stumbled onto wp-sqlite-db. It does everything!

    I read up on it and decided to give it a go (with this very blog!) It turns out, I had not read up on it enough, and it doesn’t *convert* your existing MySQL database to SQLite, it just creates a new DB (as a file) and WordPress thinks it’s a fresh install. Bummer.

    I used some recent experience converting a SQL dump to SQLite with the aptly named mysql2sqlite – and it worked. (A few weeks back I modified Shaun Inman’s Fever to run on PHP 8+ and SQLite, so I knew this could work)

    I guess now I need to look into some caching plugins, in case a million people all of a sudden start to read my blog. But at least, this is some behind-the-scenes progress. (Had to fix up my theme a little, too, for the Twitter archive to work again. Thanks, Elon!)