Month: May 2011

Adding page help to a 3.x apex application

I was lately adding some help content to the create/edit form pages of an internal (dev team) change manager application. This is how i did it, discussing some aspects of the design approach as well as the actual execution with apex 3.x (I’m still with apex 3.2, since this version is quite sufficient for an internal app).

Providing on page help for form pages is usually a game like this: some input field may be called “Creation date” and the help text goes as “This is the creation date”. Wow, this is what the world needs to know! I more or less get angry or better ignorant seeing this information garbage but that’s another story. I prefer on page help content that provides page context information, just pointing out dedicated input fields only when necessary.

In fact, apex puts both approaches at your disposal. The key element with apex is the help text region that you may add with the create region dialogue on a page.


Repositioning the wordpress start and posts pages

I was recently asked to provide a general, description-oriented start page on another wordpress blog. An initial direction was given by Gary Barrett with this article on the wordpress support portal. The trick is to set up another page on the Pages view and configure it to have the lowest order index. Afterwards you proceed to the Settings / Reading view and change the selection below Front page displays / Front page to the just created item. That’s great so far, on reloading the blog you’ll now find your new start page on intial display.

However, changing the settings with Settings / Reading / Front page displays I already wondered what to enter with the Front page displays / Posts page select list. I actually expected to find an entry such as posts or default-posts or whatever but to no avail. In fact, leaving out this selection removes the the posts page from the blog completely. Stuck! Just driven by some enlightment of intuition (ha ha) I tried the following: I created another (empty) page on the Pages view, not forgetting to set the order index accordingly. Thereafter, i proceeded to the Settings / Reading view again and configured Front page displays / Posts page to this new (empty) item. And, it worked! That is, wordpress obviously only needs another (empty) container page to put the posts page into.

Another functionality i employed with the new start page was page templates that you’ll find along with the order index on the Pages view. It removes all the sidebar widget stuff from the start page which i find is much more comfortable. Please note however, that the availability and the layout of page templates depend on the theme of the blog.

have fun!