As you may be aware, I dabble here and there on the fringes of the software development world. Mostly I goof around with my own personal projects (like this site) that don’t really benefit anybody but me, but occasionally I find and report bugs in open source products and—on rare occasion—I even contribute code. My one claim to fame (ha, right) is that I contributed some code to allow Keith Solomon’s ‘Configurable Tag Cloud Widget‘ plugin for WordPress to display the list of tags as a drop down selector (you can see me mentioned in the changelog for version 5.0).

Since I’m a stickler for my site passing XHTML validation, and the way WordPress handles image galleries doesn’t validate, I was very happy to stumble upon Matt Martz’s WordPress plugin called ‘Gallery Shortcode Style to Head’. This plugin rearranges where WordPress puts the gallery style code and permits WordPress galleries to pass XHTML validation.

Well, I discovered a small issue with the plugin, figured out what was happening, figured out how to fix it, and offered my patch to the author. He promptly wrote me back to say that he was planning to discontinue the plugin, and asked if I’d be interested in taking ownership of it. So—as Matt announces on his site—I am now the owner of the ‘Gallery Shortcode Style to Head‘ WordPress plugin (which can also be found in the WordPress Plugin Directory). Go figure!

My future plans for the plugin are pretty simple. First, I’m going to try and get a minor release out in the next week or two to address the small issue that led to this whole thing ;-). That is assuming that I figure out exactly how this whole WordPress Plugin Directory works (bear with me; I’m learning). Second, I’m going to try and keep it working properly with any new WordPress releases until XHTML validation is fixed on galleries.

As a related side project, I’m going to try and develop a real solution in the WordPress code base and see if I can’t get a patch for it into their next release (I already have an open bug for this issue). It’s about time I started actually contributing to some of these larger open source products I use every day, right?

Lastly, I’ve discovered that my site is not well oriented for any sort of active software project . . . there really isn’t a good way with my current writing-oriented navigation structure to have blog-style updates and a static ‘home page’ all tied to a single piece of software. Once again, I’ll ask you to bear with me. I’ll be doing some rework on some of my menus, categories, and tags over the next week or two to handle this project better on the site (and allow for taking on new software projects in the future). In the short term, you’ll find the plugin under ‘Miscellaneous > Web & Software > Gallery Shortcode Style to Head’.