Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

Weaknotes for w/o 4 August 2019

After my previous tribulations, I finally got Webmentions (or at least pings between my own entries) to display on my posts. That involved a lot of trial and error to find the right PHP code to display comments in WordPress, which is a lot more difficult than you might imagine.

I suppose the presumption is that 99% of users will just install a theme someone else has written, while the 1% that create themes are already versed in PHP — leaving the likes of me out in the cold, more or less. Alas, another example of the advancing web pulling up the latter behind it. (See also: people who compress their CSS into an unreadable block simply to save a few kilobytes — why?!)

Anyway, since I only want to display Webmentions and not actual comments, I kept the code as simple as possible, and once I cracked the logic of what to put where, it worked like a charm. (I’ve since changed it to also display my older trackbacks/pingbacks, but I might turn that off as the output is on the ugly side.)

The next step was styling up the generated text as I wanted, and that part went a bit easier than expected. An addition I made to my functions.php file while I was figuring all this out generates enough distinct class tags that applying CSS to the required elements was a simple enough task, though ultimately it’s a bodge job (using the display:none property for bits that are still visible in the HTML source, for instance) because the code that the Webmentions plugin generates cannot itself be edited through WordPress settings. More control over that part would be helpful — perhaps via functions.php? — especially since there’s an errant capitalisation of ‘article’ that I can’t ignore.


Last Tuesday I went to Rathmines for the press screening of the new Quentin Tarantino film. Actually, I took the Luas (right around the corner from where my coach drops me off) to Ranelagh and walked the 10 minutes from there to the Stella Theatre. Sony laid on breakfast at the Stella Diner next door, which if I’m honest was my main reason for going; QT I can take or leave. I filled up on buttery, peppery scrambled egg.

The film, as it happens, is one of QT’s better ones (I’ll be writing up my review this week) but the Stella cinema was, in retrospect, not the best place to see it.

The building looks fabulous; the new owners did a fantastic job with the theme and the furnishings. Seats have oodles of legroom, space to put your things and ottomans to put your feet up (they open for storage, too). But the place ultimately tips over the edge of form over function. The huge leather armchairs are too roomy to get a comfortable viewing position, and make it far too much a solitary experience even if you were with a friend or loved one. And the resonance in the auditorium made the dialogue in the film hard to hear quite often. Apparently tickets cost around €20 to see a film there; I wouldn’t even pay half that much for the experience.


I needed to clean my phone screen during the week (I keep my phone in an Otterbox Defender because I’m a klutz, but dust and grime can still get in) so I went for the microfibre cloth I keep in my camera bag, which led me to checking if the battery in my DSLR still had any juice — lo and behold, it did! Just enough, even though I last used it around two years ago.

That’s pretty amazing for an 11-year-old piece of modern electronics. It’s a Canon EOS 450D and it really has been one of my better purchases. I should also use it more, now it’s got a fully charged battery again. The case just needs a little love as the stitching came off one of the velcro fasteners. Nothing that can’t be fixed.


As I finish this off, it’s a bank holiday here, so I’ll be spending the rest of this afternoon watching Triplemanía.