Archive for August, 2012

I use the WordPress HTML editor exclusively, with the Text Control plugin with no formatting, so the posts contain exactly the markup I want. The editor comes with "Quick Tag" buttons, that let you insert HTML tags with one click, and allows you to add custom buttons. So, for all my code samples, I want to have a <pre> button, I just create a javascript file (say, called quicktags.custom.js):

QTags.addButton('pre', 'pre', '<pre>', '</pre>\n');

And include it with the following PHP either in a plugin or my theme functions.php:

	// it's an admin page. Add the custom editor buttons
	wp_register_script('customeditor', plugins_url('quicktags.custom.js', __FILE__), array('quicktags')); // this script depends on 'quicktags'

And now I have a button that inserts <pre></pre> pairs. But there's much more you can do.

Continue reading ‘Custom Buttons in the WordPress HTML Editor’ »
Updated 2013-12-09 to use much simpler code

One thing that is nice about Prism is that it provides hooks to extend the syntax highlighting, so it is straightforward to create a plugin that adds features like my line numbering, so I can do things like:

<pre><code class="language-javascript" data-linenumber=4>
function foo(arg){
  console.log('You said: '+arg);

Download the code.

Download the CSS (the linenumbering parts are at the bottom).

See an example (working together with the line highlighting plugin)(note that Chrome requires an explicit line-height on the <pre> to work). Continue reading ‘Line Numbering Plugin for Prism’ »

I've been looking for a good Javascript-based syntax highlighter, and it looks like Prism is it. It fulfills just about all my criteria: works on code blocks whether inline or in block elements, is HTML5-friendly, uses classes on spans rather than hard-coded styles, and is easy to extend. It's what is running on the website now.

But it's not actually perfect; it mucks about with class names more than I would like (though it isn't really a problem), and it uses a different name for HTML--class="language-markup" rather than class="language-html". That is easy to fix; just do Prism.languages.html = Prism.languages.markup and you're done. The biggest downside (though not one that affects me in real life; it just seems inelegant) is that it flattens the text to analyze it (it uses var code = element.textContent.trim();. It ought to be possible to use my range routines to wrap elements without flattening them.

Be that as it may, it works well; see just about any post on the blog.

Plugins for other languages:

Plus I added a Prism.languages.markup.jquery= /\$|jQuery/ so I could mark it up separately.

I've thought about creating my own syntax highlighter. I've been using Chili, but there are some odd bugs that pop up here and there and it doesn't seem to play well with Chrome. And it hasn't been updated in 2 years.

One thing I did want was line numbering, but that's been a bugaboo of syntax highighlighters for a long time—you want the numbers but do not want them copied when code is selected. Firefox copies the numbers when using <li> elements, and tables or inserted text will also copy everything. The answer seems to be using :before to insert the line numbers, since that text won't be copied in any modern browser (IE 8 and below don't support :before, but we won't worry about that).

The issue then is how to tell CSS about the lines. We want to wrap them in <span>s, as so:

<span class=line>This is a <em>text</em></span>
<span class=line>This is the second line</span>

And number everything with CSS:

pre.test1 {
	counter-reset: linecounter;
pre.test1 span.line{
	counter-increment: linecounter;
pre.test1 span.line:before{
	content: counter(linecounter);
	width: 2em;
	display: inline-block;
	border-right: 1px solid black;

And this is the result, exactly as desired.

This is a text
This is the second line

The keys in the CSS are lines 1 and 4 that set up the counter (change line 1 to linecounter 4 to start the numbering at 5 (counter-increment increments before displaying)) (change linecounter to anything you want as long as its consistent). Line 7 displays the value of the counter in the :before pseudoelement, and lines 8-10 are just old-fashioned styling to make it prettier. You of course would want to add some padding, margin, odd/even backgrounds etc., but that's old hat.

Continue reading ‘Line Numbering in <pre> Elements’ »

I wanted to use the CSS pseudoelement :before for manipulating input elements. I had <input class="before-test"/>, and I wanted to use CSS to add a label before the element on small screens only (on a larger screen I would have a table with the label as the <th> element). So

  .before-test:before { content: "label: "; }

ought to work, right?


:before,despite its name, doesn't insert its content before the element specified. It inserts the content as the first child of the element specified. In other words, it works like jQuery's prepend, not like before. See Smashing Magazine's article for more details.

So the correct way to do this is:

<div class="before-test"><input/></div>

With the selector targeting the enclosing element.

Continue reading ‘Understanding :before and :after’ »

Michael Tyson had a cool idea: instead of the search results page showing an excerpt of the first words of the post, show an excerpt that contains the search terms and highlight them (say, by making them bold). I thought his method was too complex—it requires replacing your theme's search.php with a custom page, and it shows the context of every occurrence of the search terms. I thought it would be more straightforward to use the existing search page, which should be using the_excerpt to show an extract of the found page, and use the existing filters to change the text. Also, there's no need to show every occurrence of the search terms; the first ones should be fine.

Continue reading ‘Contextual Search Results in WordPress’ »