I’ve not had nearly the desired time to monkey around in WordPress (hence the near stock template), but I am hoping over the more slow time of summer to slowly add and tinker and perhaps break. I am still trying to get my mind around the template/tag structure, which is fairly sensible.

What I’d really like is an ability to use PHP code in posts and templates, and I feel it is possible (I played this morning with the RunPHP plugin which seems more suitable for echo() type commands, where I prefer more code leverage.

My project was to convert the old “Where’s Alan” page that uses the slick IndyJuniour Flash mapper, XML in a complete PHP template I wrote in MovableType. I have a menu that allows me to pass a year as a script parameter, and thus pull up the XML file associated with that year.

I tried first creating it as a WP Page, but it never executed the PHP and I think there are issues with how parameters are passed to WP (everything actually funnels through the barebones index.php file). I threw my hands up in the air and just took the basic single entry layout created it as a new *.php file in my main blog directory, and we are fairly good to go as a direct URL:
http://cogdogblog.com/indy.php

Then I tried to get fancy and find away to re-direct it as a WP page, so eventually it can be integrated into what should expand as a side bar navigation scheme. What I was able to see by having my page merely use PHP to echo the $SERVER['QUERY_STRING'] is that I could detect this page by a value of pagename=indyjunior, which is what is passed when you click on a page link. So I then hacked the opening of the wp-blog-header.php page to sniff first for this value, and divert from there:

All it means is that a link to:
http://cogdogblog.com/indyjunior/

silently bops you to the real page:
http://cogdogblog.com/indy.php

I am sure there is a more elegant way about this, but this is all part of the learning cliff.

The post "(Softly) Banging WordPress" was originally zapped with 10,000 volts and declared "It's ALIVE" by Dr. Frankenstein at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2005/06/banging-wordpress/) on June 1, 2005.

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