Mary Dickson Diaz

Code, Life, Learning

Tag: html

you might be using pingbacks wrong if…

You all know about pingbacks, right? It’s a tool for seeing when other websites are linking to your content. Used correctly, they help facilitate a dialogue between two pages/people, build friendships, end war, etc.

Except… here on my page, it’s exclusively a conversation with myself where I am regularly sent emails asking if I want to approve my own links on the site. And usually I’m like, sure, she seems trustworthy, she is the *sole admin and contributor* so that’s probably ok. There’s no way to “pre-approve all links from this site to this site” so I’m stuck doing it on a case by case basis, leaving these weird pingback links that I don’t want or need. All along I’ve thought “this can’t be right” but only recently figured out how to fix. It is *not* intuitive, as I will attempt to show you here as I rain down shame upon WordPress, but it is also an easy fix.

The WordPress user interface for linking to content on your own site is deliberately (?) deceptive.

So what happens is that anytime I link to content on this page, let’s say I want to send you to my page about bots, I click the word “bots” and the following screen pops up:

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 8.53.40 AM

See how it helpfully has a “link to existing content” section? So that’s what I’ve been using. Let’s look for bots and find my page (or post or whatever)…

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 8.54.02 AM

And…. done! So what happens now is that I get an email saying “A new pingback on the page “bots” is waiting for your approval from Website: Mary Dickson Diaz. Options: Approve it, Trash it, Spam It. Please visit moderation panel.” And I have to click “yes, approve it” because the site is treating it exactly the way it would handle a real pingback from an external site (if someone wants to give me a pingback to test this out, that would be rad) or a new commenter. And THEN once I hit approve, it adds a little comment-type remark on the bottom of the page with a note that the content’s been linked to elsewhere.

Obviously I don’t want to go through all that, right? That’s overkill when I just wanted to link you to my stupid page about bots.

INSTEAD… what you can do to get the page to make an internal, relative link instead of an absolute link (which sets the wheels in motion for a pingback) is to do exactly what I did in the steps above, but then remove the “”. Keep the backslash in front of your post link. Like so:

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 8.54.30 AM

I like to open links in a new tab because I am notorious for clicking down rabbit holes and forgetting how I got there and what I was trying to do in the first place.

So simple! Why isn’t this part of the standard user interface? Why did I have to google all that to figure it out? These are questions I have for you, WordPress, ruiner of inboxes.


I don’t know a lot about migrating website content. I do know that how you link to internal pages can make life easy or difficult if you later decide to change the structure of your page (let’s say I decide I want everything here to live in instead, or I change my domain name to I believe that relative vs. absolute linking is almost always the best way to go, but others can chime in if I’m wrong.

Better links, cleaner site, less email. What could go wrong?


two down, one to go


View from the plane over Greenland.

Now I remember.

After I spent an intense month learning about html/css/javascript/jquery the plan was to keep working on so I’d have an opportunity to keep practicing with it. Remember that? The plan? The plan to look out for Future Mary?

Right, so, that didn’t happen, and consequentially I spent a lot of time this weekend re-learning (googling) how to do stuff with jquery. But readers, *I MADE A THING.*

I made two things for you, actually.

First, my very favorite thing: books! I made you a library in Ruby. It needs a bunch of work still, but if you know what you’re doing, you can add books to your library and put them on shelves by genre (or whatever). Given more time and resources I would go ALL OUT with this assignment (alphabetizing is my favorite meditation technique), but I am trying to keep it simple. If I have more time before it needs to get submitted, I’ll add authors and ID #s to the books to increase sorting abilities and functionality. I’ll also add a “librarian” function to walk you through all the stuff you can do in the library. What’s holding me back from the latter is figuring out how to generate and keep track of new Class instances within a function when I need it to be able to do stuff before knowing what the instance variables are going to be. Clear as mud?

And second, I dredged up enough knowledge about html/css/javascript/jquery (why hasn’t anyone come up with a catchy nickname for this language crew yet. HCJJ?) to make a simple to-do list. Here you can go play with it if you’d like: simple html to-do list. It is certainly the worst to-do list I’ve ever encountered, and has all sorts of usability issues, but it does meet the stated criteria and I think it’s probably best to keep expectations low in this category. Lower. Lower. There you go.

The last mini-project I’m working on is a Rails application. I’ve yet to tackle the Rails part of Ruby on Rails, so this will be an adventure. Last week I got everything installed, so I’ll probably re-start my Treehouse subscription for a tutorial this week, and focus on getting that done and tweaking everything else.

Stuff is starting to come together in exciting ways.

Some links! Not code related, sorry!

  • #blacklivesmatter protestors go to Chicago and film the Mike Brown gallery exhibit. Must watch. Curious what my legit artsy friends think about this (what you will probably say is there are bad galleries and bad artists and this is both, and then some).
  • “F*ck that,” a guided meditation for our times. <–you need this. I need this. The world needs this.
  • I’m generally wary of “I did TFA and it sucked so TFA sucks” stories, so I wasn’t putting much stock in “Teach For America: Counter-Narratives” until the organization went and published a “response” to the alumni authors of the book before the dang thing has even been published. So now of course I want to buy 10 copies. Their response, which I will not link to, says “In particular, a small group of former corps members involved in the book have chosen to focus on past experiences that are not in line with how we operate. … It’s not productive to address in this space every critique in this book, but here’s what we have to say about some of the contributors’ bigger misconceptions.” I repeat: the book. is not. out. yet. They have not been provided an advance copy. (UPDATE: on July 27 TFA clarified that they received a copy from the publisher on July 8. Why they couldn’t just say that when first questioned…) The editor of the book doesn’t even have his copy yet. Just more PR spin and refusal to listen (read) from an org whose #1 critical feedback from alumni is that they are too focused on PR and they don’t listen.
  • Uhhh… I am probably hella guilty of this, but I’m trying (from xkcd).


This week, I’m shifting gears a bit to knock out the html/css prework required for my upcoming Code Fellows Foundations I class.

The Code Academy html/css track gets the job done, but is a bit tedious. Often they ask you to “create a paragraph” “make three links” “add three pictures that link to webpages” etc. Since it’s all practice and not a real page, there’s a lot of ‘hello I am a heading’ ‘I’m a new paragraph and here’s a link’, ‘I’m a list item’, ‘me too’ and pictures of bunnies linked to BORING.

Ok so you’d like some more interesting text/pictures to use while doing your tutorials? Check these out…

ChaoticShiny: random RPG themed text generator. I’m fond of “constellations”: “These eleven dim stars form the shape of a winged man. The constellation represents a prophesized messiah.”

Random Text Generator: don’t care for LARPing? Ok fine, here is plain boring text. But at least you don’t have to write it yourself. free high-res photos for either corporate or public use. (You can also search google images for photos with creative commons license, but this is easy.)

Lorempixel: you specific a size and theme, it spits out a picture. Choose a “random” option for a picture that changes each time it loads!

Placekitten: ” ” (with kittens)

Random User Generator: I haven’t used this yet, but gives you a random profile for creating social media tools, I guess. Cool! …stop clicking through the pretty colors and get back to coding, Mary.

© 2023 Mary Dickson Diaz

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑