Bugs and WP 3.0.1 testing

I have finally had some time to do testing against WordPress 3.0.1 and in the process, I have ran into a couple bugs that I need to fix.  So far I haven’t found any issues running against WP 3.0.1 itself, the things I’ve run into would be an issue with any version of WordPress.  These are known issues:

  • Critical:  Adding a Season will fail with an error regarding an Unsupported Action.  This failure is due to a typo in a constant.  I am not aware of a work-around.
  • Critical:  The Users tab on the Manage menu yields a blank screen.  The cause is unknown and I am not aware of a work-around.

I hope to have these bugs fixed later this week and fully qualify WordPress 3.0.1.

WordPress 3.0 upgrade not so clean

I updated WordPress to 3.0 the other day and surprisingly, had quite a few problems.  In particular, the LifeStream plugin doesn’t seem to be very happy.  The update process for WordPress itself failed once but succeeded when I ran it again.  I had to actually delete LifeStream and re-add it and even then, it wasn’t quite happy.  The updater never returned but WordPress seems to be operating ok.  This is the first time in 4+ years of using WordPress that I’ve run into anything like this.  Hopefully it will not be a big issue as I have a number of sites I need to update.

wp-SwimTeam v0.2.482 released!

This afternoon I uploaded v0.2.482 of wp-SwimTeam.  This release introduces the new Jobs module (aka Volunteers).  Please back up your database before upgrading as this version changes the structure of one of the tables and introduces two others.

Please let me know if you have any problems with this version.  I’ve done a fair amount of testing and I have it up and running on the MacDolphins web site.

The jobs module introduces two new short codes:

  • wpst_job_descriptions
  • wpst_meet_job_assignments

Example usage of these two new short codes can be found on the wp-SwimTeam demo site here and here.

There is also a new release of the phpHtmlLib plugin which wp-SwimTeam requires available.  This build addresses a minor issue exposed in WordPress 3.0 beta testing.

Hopefully the new Jobs module will be helpful for your team, I know it will be helpful for mine!

Early WordPress 3.0 testing

WordPress 3.0 is expected to be out sometime in May.  I figured I ought to do some basic testing to see if changes to WordPress would have any significant impact on wp-SwimTeam.

I have a Linux Virtual Machine which I have set up such that I can always run the bleeding edge of WordPress – right out of the Subversion repository.  When a new version of WordPress is ready to come out I update my Linux VM with the current state of WordPress and the current state of wp-SwimTeam and run some tests.

I started doing this a couple weeks ago and got busy and never finished it.  This morning, I got back to it.  It turns out, it didn’t run very well.  Both wp-SwimTeam and phpHtmlLib plugins were calling deprecated WordPress functions.  In releases prior to 3.0, there were no warnings about calling a deprecated function but 3.0 has a new warning feature.  The way it is implemented, the warnings actually caused a failure with phpHtmlLib which resulted in WordPress not successfully loading.

I have fixed the problems in both plugins and committed the changes.  However, I have not released new builds yet so until I do, I advise sticking with the 2.9.x release of WordPress.  I expect a new build later this week at the latest.

Sandbox Swim Team Theme

This evening I posted a new Sandbox based theme called Sandbox Swim Team.  This theme is designed for Swim Team web sites.  Like the LEGO and Soccer themes I have done recently, this theme is widget ready and has styling for a number of plugins I use regularly.  This theme has a number of options to support custom header images, color scheme choices, and themed login pages.  You can see this theme in action on the MacGregor Downs MacDolphins web site.

image  image

Sandbox-LEGO theme update

Sandbox LEGO ThemeThis afternoon I posted an update to my Sandbox-LEGO theme.  In the process of developing my CASL Soccer theme I had figured out how to do a couple things which I have wanted to incorporate into Sandbox-LEGO.  It wasn’t a lot of work but I also decided to spend the time to re-write the Bourne Shell script which I use to generate CSS files for the various color schemes.  Instead of duplicating a bunch of code I implemented it as a series of functions which are called with the various color settings.  Fairly trivial looking back on it, not sure why I hadn’t done it in the first place.  It should make adding a new color scheme much faster.

Setting up a multi-blog installation

The CASL Ambassadors web site is actually a collection of WordPress blogs – the main site plus one for each of six age group teams.  When I initially set it up I tried using WordPress-MU but my hosting solution wasn’t capable for MU’s requirements.  Then I tried a plugin called WP-Hive which allows a collection of blogs to share some common infrastructure.  Wp-Hive looked promising but I ran into some concerns which kept me from using it.

Ultimately I ended up setting up a separate blog for each site and hoped to come back to it at some point.  That point was a couple weeks ago when I decided to do some maintenance on the sites.  I ended up using the main installation as a parent and linked (using Unix symbolic links) all of the sub-domain sites back to parent.  The only exception was the wp-content directory which is a real directory (so uploads can be unique) but within wp-content I linked back to the parent’s themes and plugins.

This worked pretty well – if I install a plugin or theme for the main site it is available for all of the sub-domain sites and when I upgrade WordPress, all of the sub-domain sites are upgraded as well.  Once I got this running, I wanted to share the users across all blogs.

After several attempts and numerous Google searches, I ended up following the directions in this thread and this thread and got everything to work.  I don’t particularly care for having to modify one of the core WordPress files since it will go away the next time I update WordPress but none of the other solutions I tried worked.

Trying out WordPress Facebook Connect plugin

I have been doing some testing with the WordPress Facebook Connect plugin.  There are a couple sites I work with, particularly our swim team web site, MacDolphins.org, where I need users to login and add data to the site.  Each year when we do swim team registration I get lots of questions about how to register, forgotten usernames and passwords, etc.  With the popularity of Facebook, I am thinking that leveraging Facebook login credentials could make things a lot easier for me and our swim team parents.

As a test, I have installed it on the site I am putting together for my youngest daughter’s soccer team (CASL Sharks) to see  how it works.  For the most part, I am impressed – it pretty much works as advertised.  I was able to login using my Facebook login and once my user was added to the WordPress user tables, I could change my permissions to allow my Facebook user id to post.  I still need to do some work to support Facebook Connect for comments but the instructions look pretty straight forward.  I think this would work well for the NCLTC and NCLUG sites as well although Facebook Connect requires PHP5 and those sites are hosted on a PHP4 based server so I’ll have to sort that out.

Flickr-Gallery Plugin – good stuff!

I use Flickr to host my photos and I’ve always wanted a better way to present them on WordPress blogs and this weekend I think I found it.  Flickr-Gallery is a great plugin.  It is easy to set up and use and it integrates well with my theme.  It has a nice selection of short code options.

The only thing I use which is missing is the ability to link or preferably, display, a slide show.  I shoot a lot of pictures of our kids activities (skateboarding, soccer, basketball, swim team, etc.) and sharing them as a Flickr slide show is something I do frequently.

I found a solution to the missing slide show by using the Light Window plugin in conjunction with the Flickr URL for the slide show I am interested in presenting.