A bunch of WordPress plugins I use have been recently updated. For the most part, updating went smoothly and the newer versions remain shiny and useful.
Alas, confusion cropped up with a few of ‘em: CyStats, Filosofo Comments Preview (vs. WP-OpenID), Redirection, Search Everything, and Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP).
Upon upgrading to WordPress 2.6, CyStats v0.9 started to generate warnings on every page, whether or not I was logged in. Disabling that version of the plugin avoids publicly displaying the PHP warnings. According to Michael Weingärtner, CyStats’s developer, the cause is partially due to changes in WP 2.6. As a workaround, v0.9.2 no longer allows filtering of IP addresses, user-agents or page IDs. Regrettably for me, those filters aid in removing extraneous data. So for now StatPress, which has some filters, will supply my primary web statistics. It’s a shame, since CyStats provides such rich statistical information. (Developer’s site for CyStats.)
Update (13 Aug 2008): Thanks to Michael for fixing the warning display and options issues in version 0.9.4!
Filosofo Comments Preview vs. WP-OpenID
Newer versions of WP-OpenID since version 2.2.0 (now v2.2.2) no longer work with Comments Preview: authentication works, but somehow Filosofo’s plugin inhibits comments from being submitted. Since I depend more on previewing comments, I’ve decided to stick with 2.1.9 of WP-OpenID until Comments Preview is fixed. (Developer’s site for Comments Preview.)
Update (15 Aug 2008): Thanks to kasparsd for posting a workaround in the WordPress support forum. The fix tests for the existence of the
WordPressOpenID class (from WP-OpenID) in the Comments Preview code before checking whether comments textarea is empty.
The Redirection plugin is great for redirecting URLs from my old, static site —so much better than editing
.htaccess all the damn time! Version 2.0.4 is a big change from 1.7.26, which I had previously used: more tweakability, but more complex. My main tasks with it include tracking 404 errors for which I lack redirects, and logging how often redirections occur. The latter are displayed when initially viewing the plugin management page. But the complexity added yet another step to accessing the former. Sigh. I wish the 404 log would be the first to display when I use this tool. (Developer’s site for Redirection.)
At least since version 4.6.2 (now v4.7.1), Search Everything has failed to display search results in Manage Posts. Turning it off allows article searching in the admin pages. WordPress now searches through posts and pages, but the beauty of Search Everything is that it offers search-ability for comments, metadata and attachments. (Developer’s site for Search Everything.)
Version 2.0.4 of Yet Another Related Posts Plugin now includes tags and categories in calculating the “relatedness” of articles —among several other highly useful features, like sorting the list of related posts. It has become a vital aspect of my WordPress installation. Unfortunately, this new version introduced (or exposed) an issue with the
related_posts_exist() function, which, as its name implies, checks for existing articles. So when I use it in
single.php to customize the location of the related posts section, they fail to display and instead I get a big SQL error.
After some email discussion with the developer, it turns out that
related_posts_exist() is itself broken (not due to Mitcho’s own work). He was debating whether or not to remove this function, but I haven’t heard if he’s decided to expunge or fix it in a future version of YARPP. To use it in the past was, admittedly, somewhat hacky since it involved removing
the_post() from The Loop. Even though I’ve found a way to work with the YARPP settings to display related posts, it’s not in the location or style I’d prefer. (Developer’s site for YARPP.)
WordPress 2.6 smoothiness
During all this, I upgraded to WordPress v2.6, a process remaining as easy as cake. (Since I prefer cake over pie. And, because tracking diffs and version control are close to my heart, I love the new post revisions tool. Did I mention it also works with changes made from MarsEdit? I’m also interested to see how the new theme previewing will work when I make theme modifications.
Seeing the projected WordPress v2.7 to-do list makes me eager for the next version. They’ll integrate features from popular plugins such as threaded comments (finally!). But I do wish they’d add some features that other blog systems provide, such as:
- OpenID (proposed Idea). A non-trivial feature, but WordPress.com, LiveJournal, MySpace and Blogspot (Blogger) have it. These days you need to install the WP-OpenID plugin to add this kind of commenter authentication.
- Response via email in addition to blog comment response (proposed Idea). Owen Cutajar’s Comment Email Responder plugin does this. Otherwise, it’s annoying to copy, paste then send an email to a commenter as an additional task. Again, I’ve seen at least one other blog system (LiveJournal) implement this.
- Commenter-editable comments (proposed Idea). Isn’t it frustrating to see a typo in a comment you’ve just submitted, whether or not you previewed it beforehand? Yes, it still happens. A decent (read: thoughtful) blogging system should let the user to change her/his comment within a reasonable period of time. Unlike the above Wish Items, this is more a feature of forum software (e.g., bbPress, punBB, phpBB) than blogs.