Another full redesign is in-process *Caution* Man working ….

I’ve decided to strip down the style and design of the site again. I’ve only just now (after a week on & off) felt satisfied with the new albeit temporary…presentation of this particular node on the Web.
I’ve written a heavy amount of PHP and CSS again, though they are not technically “programming languages” per se, they ARE subject to almost as many quirky dependencies, rules unique unto themselves; which are inviolable and require extensive research and testing to deploy. Hopefully you will find the site a bit more pleasing to the eye, faster, more secure, more responsive and easier to navigate.
In the meantime it is only fair to announce that we are officially “under construction,” so if you see something strange over the next few days, that’s my fault…. I’ve tested about half the “use cases” (things you might do, read, watch, listen to, click on or use in some form or another). Earlier today, the music uploaded to the private section of the site and the archived prototype podcasts vanished, they were unplayable due to bad PHP writing on my part.
I’m 90 percent sure you can watch all videos, listen to all music, podcasts, read all posts, view all artwork/snaphots/pix, read my stories, search the site, click on links and find the content you are looking for easily, quickly and regardless of device, OS, browser, ISP and service type (4g, 3g, WiFi, Ethernet, Cable, DSL …..). Before I drift off tonite, You can be certain that all of the “common use cases” are functional and that within a week, the lesser-used functions (commenting, guest-posting, all sidebar tools) work exactly as you’d expect them to.
Still on the to-do list is MORE formatting and design of the 2015 style and theme…. an audit of all media on the site (delete unused pictures, audio, video, dead links and raw text-data) an audit of all advertisers being served via Google AdWords to ensure compliance with our ethics and MY morals plus an audit of page-load speed. This will include a further dress-down and rewrite of JS, CSS, HTML and PHP. *Phew*
Thank you for hanging with me throughout your tenure as a reader! I’m working on some devastatingly interesting podcasts, stories, news, editorials….and maybe even a decent joke. No promises about bringing the funny, but you KNOW I always try!
For those about to waste time on the Web at The SoCal Picayune (or whatever sites you’d rather NOT acknowledge… “WE SA-LOOOOOT YOU!!!!!!!!!” -Ed

In the meantime, for testing and shameless promotion why not check out one of my soon-to-be-audited, yet generous sponsors? If the redesign is going well, an advertisement will display below, if you visit them, you help to support the site and me personally a great deal–no obligation to do so, or even to LOOK at one of my ads. As part of a long-term promise, there is nothing for sale on this site, so when I hint-hint-wink-wink-wink-nudge-nudge ask you to check out a sponsor I am NOT endorsing their product or suggesting that you spend a penny. A few seconds of your time however…I must confess, I do suggest as an easy way to support those who keep the site running, the hardware it runs on and the crazy publisher that does WAY more work on it than he should. *Ahem* wink-wink-nudge-nudge -From the Publisher’s desk with love, C “T” W


From static frames to animation – JavaScript, Java & Processing; coding Art ….

As part of my research, I endeavored to build a frame and tile itevenly…as you would a column in a upscale restaurant, or as Billy-Buster tiled his lesser-known below-ground pool in the hilltop paradise above San Simeon. Drawing squares, keeping track of their quantity, position and spacing proved unweildy. So back to the drawing board I turned. The first task was to completely fill a window with squares, evenly spaced, uniformed – no holes. My first breakthrough was a rectangular grid – from the drawing board I found that instead of looping to keep track of the squares (their origins in CGI coordinates space, their quantity, when to drop down a row, when to stop building them…) oy! I located a KISS-simple solution in the following functions and abstract data types:

Click to see it transform.
Some tweaks to a nested-for loop, appropriate “pops” nee popMatrix(); and the careful application of a “random” number generator to produce cool-colored tiles —but not TOO cool — experiment yielded a random range in Green and Blue to give the tiles a watery sheen, sans magenta, indigo, dark purple and the like. For personal intersest and further research I added a mouse event that slows down the animation, eliminates the thin black borders on each tile and zooms in on the whole operation.
At long last “Random dynamic & cool tiles” is up for public consumption:
I could see a pool in Laguna, LA, Vegas or Laughlin with swanky, swarthy, light-up tiles in a pool or on a wall of it’s club …. Bill R. Hearst would be pleased…I like to think so.
Next – I thought about Neil Degrasse Tyson. He says that the “snow” we see on the “TV channels in-between TV channels,” (something our Millennial friends may never fully appreciate…) is ACTUALLY a visual representation of the background radiation that’s permeated the Universe since the Big Bang. UHF & VHF cathode-ray displays pick up this noise and spit out the “ssshhhhhhhh” and the black, white & gray snow we may’ve found on Channel 1 or 3. Mostly, it was annoying and caused us to quickly dial up to CBS, PBS, NBC, FOX or ABC to see what was cookin’….but in the context of nostalgia, the scientific implication of looking back seven trillion years; this “snow” is worth an emulation. Using similar logic I fashioned version 1. The snow doesn’t dance around the screen, but the small circular “flakes” and the way they appear to move based on random gray-scale shadings is a nice start. It looks like they move – kinda.
^^^^I slowed the frame rate down to avoid headaches.
After random “cool” I had to attempt random “warm” –this graphic reminds me of a HollyWood or Vegas marquee. Bright lights seize attention; underscoring the glitz and glamour purported to be found within. The difference is that I think the bulbs this animation emulates are controlled in strict, looping sequences as opposed to my random flashes of “bright” colors controlled by logic.
This animation reminds me of the “Sushi”scene from “Defending Your Life” — Albert Brooks’ barmate proudly states that his life accomplishment was coining the phrase “All Nude. (You know those strip clubs out by LAX? ….“) You needn’t be a fan of his quirky brand of humor to get huge kick out this classic.
That said, I FINALLY got the computer graphic programs to not only display but animate! The “random- (random number generators are not TRULY random, but they are close)-ness” of the algorithms give the displays a kind of innate ability for the computers to create something of THEIR OWN — MY LOGIC & Design—> the computers’ brushstrokes.
All of the “sketches” (as they call them) on my new OpenProcessing Profile are completely original – designed, built, tested, tweaked and deployed by this writer. If you visit my new page & graphics, the source code is easily visible. Feel free to reproduce it yourself, or make changes/improvements to it. You will find that all of them are optimized –nee “code-golfed.” I designed these algorithms to use the fewest lines of code, fewest commands and simplest logic to add a layer of mathematical elegance to the aesthetic of each sketch. Please feel free to download my source code…just plz note that all of them are intellectual property- if you plan to use them in a public/educational or commercial setting…just ask! chris@tapper7.com
More coming soon….plus a litany of fresh podcasts – “I swear it by the old gods & the new.” -t []

How to remove unwanted footer display and links in WP (and PHP, HTML) ….

This is a rehash of a previous how-to, but now that us WP “developers” have updated to v4.3….some of the unwanted PHP scripts and other junk may have returned to our sites. Let’s fix it fast–right now! In my case I prefer to get rid of the footer materiel that plugs a) the theme OP creator and b) WordPress itself. Why do we ditch PHP scripts that form the backbone of what the audience sees when they go to our-self-aggrandizing-website.com?

  1. Personalization – my site should contain MY approved content, especially links to 3rd parties
  2. Ownership– no one needs to know that my site is “powered by” ANYONE except ME, my associates and (mt)
  3. Control – anything viewed on my site NOT expressly approved by the publisher is unprofessional
  4. Anonymize – no one needs to know (or cares) that The Picayune runs WP or it’s reliance on a PHP template

Let me elaborate on Ownership – this is MY SITE! MINE MINE MINE! Pride is NOT a sin in the creative and technical world, 3rd party link-stingers at the bottom of my pages say, “you may enjoy this site but REAL credit goes to the open-source Web development firms that wrote some code running in the background.”
^^^^ F— them. The publisher built this site from nothing, the publisher
bashes his head in over every post and pixel, the publisher marketed the content and developed a loyal audience….THE PUBLISHER obeys all US Media Law and applicable media ethics…THE PUBLISHER creates original, rich, deep, informative, occasionally funny content… THE PUBLISHER was approved for Google Adsense almost a year ago. NOT WORDPRESS and certainly not a theme developer who’s code only loosely applies to what I still call “The Socal Picayune WP Theme 2015.”….so now that we’ve made updates, let’s try a quick how-to on what I call “WordPress footer anonymization.” Last time we had to re-write the “<>” (HTML & PHP browser directives) to “[]” as the “code” markup in WP 4.1 (or was it 4.0?) would glitch out, the WYSYWIG interpreting the brackets inside as real, despite the fact that the “code” (I’m still weary of using brackets for that word till the following test….) ostensibly tells your browser – “The following characters are all plain text – display them AS WRITTEN” — return to normal HTML when “/code” appears. For HTML beginners, this is the same as a bold command in a word processor. In a markup language a directive tells the browser what to do with incoming strings of text. Here is the simple example:

BOLD
— the rough equivalent of [strong] BOLD [/strong] –or– (b) BOLD (/b) ….again I’m using arbitrary beginning and ending brackets instead of “<” and “>” so as not to confuse the post the site will generate. Essentially in markup symantics, the directive %strong% indicates a change to the input string; the %/strong% (<—note the fwd-slash) indicates it is over. Ok…let’s give this a try… If WP 4.3’s WYSYWIG editor STILL bugs out on the “code” markup, I will post a snapshot this time instead of replacing all the greater-than & less-than symbols with ‘[‘ & ‘]’sTEST! 

  1. Dashboard –> Appearance –> Editor –> open footer.php
  2. Make a local backup copy of “footer.php” in case you screw it up
  3. delete or comment out the code snippet pictured below
  4. Update file (this will recompile the site with updated PHP script)
  5. Visit site – (for QA/QC)

*UPDATE* “code” does not work w/in a WP post – It’s likely that the markup itself is followed by another markup using the less-than ‘<‘ sign – this exception is either not coded into WordPress’ WYSYWIG editor or fails on the front-end of common browsers. I really don’t have the interest to solve this, so here is a snapshot of the code I removed:

//coment_out or delete

Let’s note what I removed in ditching the above:

  • A banner link to WP.com (or .org….)
  • A banner link to another webdev’s site

Let’s note what I DID NOT remove* (you won’t want to either. Directly above the call to a footer class, there is this command – “…do_action(‘generate_after_footer_widgets’);?> This fuction will return widgets embedded at the bottom of the page; MY content, so it stays. In my case, currently there are three footer widgets here– a plug for my fledgling podcast, links to other pages on the site and a calendar.

This test was successful on previous versions of WP v4 and is currently working no problemo on WP v4.3 running on a reliable server courtesy of Media Temple.
If you find the content here informational, entertaining, laughable or get SOME form of enjoyment out of it, you’d be doing us all a great big favor by checking out one of our generous sponsors. As always, there is no need to buy anything…not from me or any site plugged by me ever, but browsing Google Adwords-audited sponsors is of no danger to anyone. A banner ad may or may not appear below – the WP 4.3 testing continues….

Here is a less Object-Oriented example…this Stylesheets’s “original” author, or OP as I called one above, wrote so much unwanted junk AND script-kittied (nee plagiarized) so much of other’s that he mentions it’s “OK not to link to my site in the footer, but credit appreciated.” Sorry…. f— his “credit” take a look at the code:another footer removal example

Ok so as a courtesy you can see some names were changed and the Web site is bogus. Exercise: What PHP and HTML can we safely comment-out or outright delete?  To give you a hint this code will generate the following at the bottom of your page:

BlahBlahhoohooblahh 2015 WordPress Theme by www.someUnwantedBacklink.com Another Boring Theme

(another thing worth noting is that function ‘.date(“Y”)’ in this case will read the date from your computer, extract the year as a 4-digit integer and print it using the style defined for <p> in the stylesheet, I say this because it may not be 2015 when you read this and I don’t want to confuse anybody)

Ok…..ready? Here is a KISS-simple solution to wipe out all that nonsense (or rewrite/replace it with your own…link to an associated page or your client, whatver’s clever, You strip this down to:

</footer> </body> </html>

TaDaaa!

Is any of my content helping? If so…could do me a solid and visit one of my generous sponsors? I could really use the help. You don’t have to buy anything….that is part of The SoCal Picayune, Self-Similarity Studios and Tapper7.com promise: ads are clearly labeled, separated from site content and no financial obligation is ever expected of audience members. That said ….

*A note for beginning front-end developers: If I need to tell you why >? was not deleted, this is perhaps too advanced a tutorial – be careful not to remove /body or /html at the end of the file — again — make a BACKUP before changing HTML/JS/PHP etc. inside your page or it could be kablammo; you won’t destroy the site, but you WILL take it down and need to FTP as an administrator and swap out the PHP file to get your site back up. Unless you have unrestricted access to the backbone of your site … this will lead to a call for tech support from GoDaddy or whomever you use…and who the hell knows how long that will take? Learn as much about PHP, FTP, mySQL, HTML, CSS, JS and common contruction tools like Website Builder, cPanel and WordPress if you are a small operation – it will save you time, $ –and trust me it’s NOT COMPLICATED. These are not programming languages, they are scripts and applications – if you can put together a mean-looking Power-Point; you can do this!).
More posts, stories and podcasts coming soon, -t. []

Music Composition – Building Simplicity part 1 – Drum Corps & I-IV-V-I ….

Let’s go back in time for a moment. We’re 16 again, in the end-zone of some HS football field. Sixty-five of our brothers and sisters surround us for horn-arc. We attentively wait on our Caption Head … maybe it’s Jim Prime, Jim Ott, Rick South, Gail Royer, Jack or John Meehan, Greg Flores, Gordon Henderson, Jim MacFarlane, Gary Kean or Dean Westman. He raises his hands and our horns come up as one. He does two things-

  1. He gives us a “thumbs up”
  2. He smiles

For the uninitiated, the thumbs up signals the “F Tuning” sequence; the smile indicates his joy in conducting this and hearing us perform it , it is also our joy to play it for you. I’m going to bridge the gap between complexity of musical form, aesthetic & structure with our innate ability to enjoy music – no matter if you are a casual listener, a fan, a performer, a student, a pro, or a snobby hack with OCD.

The director brings up his hands and we breathe deep, from the bottom, set our lips and articulate a a unison C in three octaves. Then (perhaps with index and pinky extended to indicate an interval is about to be laid down, he cues the next fermata). The lead barry and sopranos pop up to the perfect fifth: G. Possibly adding another digit to indicate a completing of the major triad, with the next downbeat, seconds arise to the major third – E. –> The I chord is now constructed.

With four digits to signal the IV chord, he cues it and the line moves to an F Major triad – F, A & C. Now with all digits exposed to signal the V chord – he drops the downbeat and we move into G Major – G, B & D. To complete the progression, he gives another big, happy, open downbeat to signal a return home – to the root – I –> C Major again. It rings, it’s in tune, balanced, glorious…it is a moment of sheer joy for all within hearing range.

Why do we “like” F Tuning so much? What makes it happy? Why is the director, performers and audience smiling? That is a question for signal analysts and the neurosciences – what I CAN tell you is what the I-IV-V-I progression expresses artistically, or…at least what is theoretically “saying.” (Hence the study of music theory). I’ve read hundreds of articles and books on this, I’ll be using my own interpretation of the aesthetic. It is open for debate, difficult to define in words – you may have a better or more succinct or poetic way of putting it…for those who wish to learn basic chord progression and the artistic theory associated with F Tuning, I hope to shed some light on what your ears have been telling you all these years.

  1. As the director, I’m going to present the audience with an idea– in this case, the idea is the “color” C. It is plaintive and simple. Though in three octaves it is really just one note. Sixty-six men & women paint it for you.
  2. By cueing the perfect fifth, I’m telling you that “We are going to paint more for you.” The G’s fit just right, like an old baseball mit.
  3. When I layer in the third, I inform you that I’m continuing to “fill in” the picture of a C Major triad. Can you feel the symmetry? Does it appeal to your logical/analytical side? Your creative side? I hope it appeals to both. I’ve given you the WHAT – this piece of art is based on the key of C Major. – What happens next is a bit of a quandary.
  4. I cue the subdominat IV chord –> F Major….In moving to the IV, it signifies a turn inward…it’s as though I’m communicating internally, or perhaps with the performers, but not you…not exactly…not yet. In lyrical music, a IV following a I often contains 1st-person phrases like “Is this a dream?” “How do I feel?” “I’m unsure of myself.” Perhaps (to the 1st-time listener of F Tuning) you are unsure as well…what will I (we) present next? Even though this chord is major (“happy” — sans dissonance), by following the I it evokes uncertainty.
  5. Moving into V –> G Major, I put you back into the picture. In lyrical passages, V’s that follow I & IV often contain verses in the third or second-person. That is; someone, or some group, is being addressed directly. “This is how you make me feel.” “I’ll always remember Dominique’s smile…” “We love our fans.” Subconciously, you should at least get the following message, “NOW you see (hear). NOW you know what I’m (we’re) doing.”
  6. Psychologically (for reasons unknown to me) the V chord following the I & IV send a strong signal that the I chord is coming back — NEXT. If I were to yell “CUT!” before the resolve to I, you are likely to get an uneasy, uncomfortable feeling. To wit, a “buzz-kill.” It’s like in 2nd grade choir when the teacher would play C, D, E, F, G, A, B …… (?????!!!!!) our seven year old brains freaked out a bit…dying to hear the C! You may remember this exercise… some students sang the C out-loud due to frustration. The want or NEED to hear the V resolve to I is even stronger. Scales and one-note-at-a-time patterns have got bupkis on chord progressions.
  7. With a final downbeat – I signal the return home – to I –> C Major. With the V chord, you “saw” … you “knew.” With the resolve…I publicly said, “Now …you understand.” (and tangentially, did you like it? Hopefully, you did).

I reconstructed “Thumbs Up” from memory (not that it’s hard to remember) about a year ago in MuseScore and exported a wave file so you can digitally stand with me in the arc and hear it once more, just don’t be surprised if I add I7 or I9 (“Amen”) to the second refrain & naturally the double high register in the third. It’s the virtual drum corps that lives in my PC. They’re learning.

These feelings, expressions, emotions and forms of communication innate to chord structure and progression can get quite complex, in future installments I’ll add examples to listen to and we’ll delve into far more complex progressions as we learn this together. It’s about time we understood a little bit about our favorite thing in the world, don’t you agree? -t

MuseScore https redirect error …. fixed ….

I’ve been using an open-source program called MuseScore to compose and arrange music for about two months. It is free and THAT attracted me since the closest answer to writing and testing music (without a large group of expert instrumentalists) is to purchase Adobe Audition…which goes for ~$300. I’ve been using the software extensively…they recently upgraded from v1.3 to v2 (and now 2.0.2) which shows improvements but is still loaded with bugs. My arrangement of “Adagio for Strings” was ready for publication three weeks ago but something went wrong when I uploaded it…playback of the Lead Soprano part was off — the whole thing sounded awful, so…glad that I decided to test it 3x + 3 ways before promoting it on FB or LinkedIn, I pulled the file off their servers. My attempt to repair the file led to the file ITSELF becoming corrupted – leaving over 48 hours of careful, creative, technical work in shambles.

Recently I repaired “Adagio” to the point that I’m happy to upload it to MuseScore’s server even though the harmonies from subito piano to the end still need work. To do this, I had to decide which score to pull. The company limits users to five scores total ….after that a “pro” ($) account is required, so I pulled Aerith’s Theme aka “Flowers Blooming in the Church.”

A few days ago I encouraged a potential client to “check out my Web site” to see what I’m capable of in terms of design, content creation…all that good stuff…..so I ping my site for first time in about a week…the main page loads slowly (as it usually does) but this time it redirects to my logged-out musescore account and notifies the reader that “the requested page is not available.”

Looked all over for a solution -no dice. It only just occurred to me that by yanking “Flowers” I’d inadvertently forced the main page of this site to try to embed a score that doesn’t exist (not on the server my page is making a call to). Instead of posting a dead link it kills the whole page and makes this writer seem less than competent when trying to advertise alleged “IT skills.”

This was an example of KISS. Simple problem had a simple solution ….there was no need to FTP in the back door or comb-over PHP code…it was a matter deleting a dead link in “edit post” mode which a child is completely capable of.

I apologize if this site crapped out on you over the past few days.

Mea Culpa. Lo Siento.

As a test, let’s embed “Adagio” ….which I don’t expect to tear down anytime soon. So far, reviews included “Not Bad,” and “I like it.”Adagio for Strings v3 arr. Tapper by Tapper7

WP should have PHP avail in the codex to automatically clear or notify the admin of dead links & or impossible calls to embeds that no longer exist. Meh….’till then I’ll just avoid making the same mistake. For your benefit I ran four external audits of this Web site including one by a close associate to insure that a) it works b) the redirect is gone c) the site is SAFE (malware/adware/spyware free) —-know that it was MY ERROR and not the security of this site.

To end on a positive note – this site remains spam free for nearly nine months and has NEVER been compromised since it’s inception.
-t

Looking for latest “posts” dear reader? ….

As we all know, I communicate far more effectively with my voice than my prose.  My last two “posts” were short podcasts showcasing my latest ensemble arrangements, and that of  an associate as well. I’m experimenting with the audio and keeping QC as tight as possible….Broadcasting is what I went school for. That and editing, computer programming and math. My prose always suffers from wordiness. My broadcasts are always clear and concise.
There should be link to my podcasts in Column one of this page and Column two…if not I’ll be adding it.
Best Practice for everyone is to lookup “TapCast” on iTunes. More multimedia content = more gooder.
TapCast is hosted by Tapper7.com and published on Stitcher & iTunes. Get tapped today!