Posts tagged with “development”

Adventures with Chyrp Lite: theming 🐦

Out of the box, Chyrp Lite gave me just about everything I needed to rebuild my blog from the broken pieces of WordPress, but it gave me something else as well: functionality similar to Tumblr, which I find that I like very much. It even includes two themes that are described as "tumbleblog" themes. I especially like the theme called Umbra, as I have always liked dark themes, though I may still change some of the background colors. For example, I may want to modify it so that the background is blue like my main website and the template that I wrote for making basic websites. Still, the default theme called Blossom and the similar Topaz theme had some elements I found missing from Umbra and Sparrow, which are the "tumblelog" themes. I really like how the tumblelog themes have the navigation bar across the top, but I find that they don't show my pages. Not to worry though, it is very easy to modify them.

One thing to note is that the first time I tried to modify a theme by adding my site description as a subheading at the top of the page, the modification didn't appear. I even logged into the server and tried restarting my web services to no avail. I found out though that the reason my modifications were not appearing was due to the fact that my theme layouts were cached. Once I removed the cache folders, my modifications appeared correctly, and the caches never came back. From that point, the elements I wanted in Umbra that are in Blossom were very easy to add. All I needed to do was to first copy Umbra's main folder to a folder of a different name, edit the info.php file to differentiate it from Umbra in my list of themes, then copy the parts of the sidebar that I wanted from Blossom and paste them into my modified Umbra. Now my pages and categories show up on all pages and posts, just as they did in Blossom and Topaz, except across the top instead of going down the side, and my related posts show up underneath the categories on post pages. I decided not to copy the recent posts, since the index page is already showing the five most recent posts, so I don't feel like I need to show the links across the top to posts that are already linked on their titles. Related posts looks useful on individual post pages though, so I kept that feature.

My theming modifications are not complete by any stretch, but this is much easier even than what I did back in the day with Tumblr, and the software is still in active development. I mean I've visited the git repository more than 5 times over the past couple of weeks, and every time I look at the latest commit, it is never more than two days old. As I write this post, the latest commit is 18 hours old. So I'm confident that my new favorite blogging software will continue to be developed and maintained for a good long time. I also have my choice of database back ends, easy theme customization, post types similar to Tumblr, exactly the extensions I need that are all tested and known to work, very little I don't find useful, Markdown posts and pages, categories and free-form tags, screen reader accessibility right out of the box, a nice comment system included, complete with a moderation queue, locally generated text-based math captchas to prevent spam instead of the dreaded image verifications or third-party services, just about everything I could want in a lightweight and compact package. To sum it all up very nicely, I ❤️ Chyrp Lite 🐦

SimpleWebRTC.js: Maybe Not So Simple

I've been playing around with SimpleWebRTC.js and the very interesting-looking Talky website, which allows anyone to create a video chat room on-the-fly by entering it in a form or putting the name of the room at the end of the URL. I also looked at the SimpleWebRTC demo, because it seems to be a simpler version of Talky that I could use to get started. Apparently, something like this is extremely easy to implement, and can be set up in as little as 5 minutes. Sadly, it seems they were exaggerating just a bit when they said it could be set up in 5 minutes.


According to the website, SimpleWebRTC.js is a very simple modular library that allows developers to get a very basic WebRTC application up and running quickly and easily. There is some very basic documentation on the front page of the site that shows just how easy it can be, and a link to fork it on GitHub. All good so far. So I figured it would be fun to put a copy on my vps and play with it there. But the HTML and JavaScript on the page for some reason didn’t work for me. No problem, I decided that just for testing purposes, I would rip the source from the demo page. After all, it works there, so it should work on my VPS with minimal modifications. No such luck. Every time I enter anything into the form that is presented on the page, it just loops back to the same page with the same form, unlike the demo, which reloads the page, attaches the room name entered from the form to the end of the URL and appears to start the WebRTC chat room.


The SimpleWebRTC.js website does mention that if I’m planning to do anything other than development or testing, I need to set up my own signaling server. It recommends using a very small JavaScript library called SignalMaster. Fine, at this point, I’m thinking that my problems are caused by the fact that my copy of simplewebrtc.js is still configured to use the development signaling server that is provided for demo/testing purposes only, so I decided to try SignalMaster. And now I find an entirely new problem. I have read just about all there is to read about SignalMaster, which only has a GitHub page and a couple of very short blog posts around the internet, none of which tell me how I’m supposed to get this thing running as a server listening on a port. I did see something that mentioned that I may need node.js, but there were no instructions on how to get the server up and running. In the SignalMaster source tree, there are only 2 json files, a server.js file and the file that shows up on GitHub, which contains very little other than a very short explanation of what it does.


I like the idea, and I like the fact that it's open source, but it took less time to write this rather extensive blog post than it took to find out that there was no way I was going to be able to make SimpleWebRTC.js work on my server. So I guess since it took me several hours of messing with this thing only to find that something that is said to be usable within 5 minutes doesn’t work at all no matter what I try, and since there is too little documentation on how to make the signaling server run, I will have to table this project for now, and hope that the situation will improve with time.

Yeehaw! PicoSpeaker's official web site is up and fully functional.

I finally got it working. I will still use the Git repository on Gitlab, but PicoSpeaker, my flexible interface to SVox Pico on Linux, now has a fully functional web site at project is abandoned, website no longer works. And, in the traditional Kyle style, the full site source code is released into the public domain, and can be downloaded by clicking the bright green box at the bottom of any page. Enjoy, and God bless.

PicoSpeaker gets a new home

My little PicoSpeaker program is moving into a new home. The Git repo will still be on Github Gitlab where it's always been where it moved after the Microsoft takeover, but the downloads and all information about the program will soon be available from its official web site official website, now defunct. Enjoy the new look. Wow! I didn’t know I could do all this free of charge! Waaaaay cool!

Wow! This new HTML5 theme is much easier to hack on than the theme I was using.