Tag Archives: plugin

That Welcome Message (WordPress Greet Box Plugin)

I’ve been trying out something new here and at Speed Force over the last two weeks: a customized welcome message to readers who come in from certain web services, particularly social networks where I’m also set up. Twitter users see a link to my Twitter profile, for instance, and LiveJournal users see a link to the syndication feed for this blog. In theory, it should only show you the welcome box once (or once a week at the most), depending on whether you allow cookies.

I’d actually tried out a similar idea when I first launched Speed Force this summer, but the implementation I used did all the processing on the server, so it wasn’t compatible with caching. (It also only detected two built-in sites and one custom site, and I didn’t feel like hacking it up to add more.)

So when Weblog Tools Collection mentioned a new plugin called Referrer Detector, I figured I’d give it a whirl. It didn’t quite work right with my setup at the time. I fixed the bugs I could, and reported the issues to the author, then tried out a similar plugin — which, as it turned out, had inspired him to write his own — called WP Greet Box. It also had a few hiccups, and again I reported the issues I’d encountered. Both plugins went into a period of heavy development over the next few days.

I’ve settled on WP Greet Box, which seems to be more flexible than Referrer Detector (though the latter seems to be getting more attention). The author has also been very responsive to both problems and suggestions.

Spam Switch

With the recent rash of Trackback spam, I finally bit the bullet and am now experimenting with Akismet in addition to Spam Karma. I’m not sure how well they work together, or, at this point, which plugin processes the comment first. Update: I’m trying Akismet on its own for now. Or, more precisely, Akismet as the sole second line of defense. Bad Behavior is still holding the front line.

Update (Feb 14): I’m now back to using Spam Karma 2, but with a plugin that uses Akismet as one of the score components. This seems to be working well, as SK is able to block the ridiculous stuff (100 porn links in one comment, etc.), and Akismet is able to catch the trackback spam that’s been passing SK2 by temporarily including an inbound link.

The big problem I had with Akismet was that aside from the age of the target post, the blocked comments weren’t sorted or filtered in the admin interface. I was having to look through ~30 comments a day for false positives. Spam Karma will show only the borderline comments by default, and uses a table structure that makes it easier to skim.

This way, though, I get the proverbial best of both worlds.

Automattic Stats, or PHP 5.2.2 vs. WordPress XMLRPC

Experimenting with the new Automattic Stats Plugin that uses the WordPress.com statistics infrastructure to track traffic. So far, so good… except for one problem. Titles and links are missing from all the “most visited” posts. They’re just listed as numeric IDs.

Update: Actually, today’s posts seem OK. The plugin seems to just send the blog ID and post ID. I’ve been trying to figure out how the central server is retrieving the permalink and title. It doesn’t look like Bad Behavior is blocking it. And it doesn’t seem to be using the RSS feed, since posts that are still on the front page (and presumably still in the feed) are also showing up as numbers. *grumble*

Update 2: I just noticed that all of the number-only posts show the same placeholder graph showing “Region A” vs. “Region B” for 2003-2005.

Update 3: It’s a problem with WordPress’ XMLRPC interface, and affects other uses (like connecting with Flock). I’ve got a workaround, though (see comments).

Update 4 (May 10): Thanks to the pingback below from dot unplanned, it’s confirmed to be a bug in PHP 5.2.2. With any luck, the workaround will cease to be necessary when the next PHP bugfix is released.

Bunny’s Technorati Tags and WordPress 2.0

Solved! To make Bunny’s Technorati Tags fully compatible with WordPress 2.0 you need to change two lines in the add_tags_textinput() function.

Just replace this:

function add_tags_textinput() {
	global $postdata;
	$tags = get_post_meta($postdata->ID, 'tags', true);

with this:

function add_tags_textinput() {
	global $post_ID;
	$tags = get_post_meta($post_ID, 'tags', true);

The problem is that it will show existing tags, or let you add a new tag, but it will lose tags when you edit a post. It’s not able to retrieve the tags to fill in the form field, apparently because $postdata isn’t returning the ID it expects.

I’ve submitted the fix to wp-plugins.org, so if the author is keeping track of tickets there, the fix should show up in the next version of the plugin.

Update Jan. 3: The plugin author has released version 0.5 with a slightly different fix (plus a few other improvements), and it’s now compatible with WordPress 2.0.

Accidental Blogspam

I just got a complaint about the latest comment on Another One Bites the Dust. Apparently the previous commenter (who checked the “Subscribe to comments” box) either entered someone else’s email address or forgot visiting the site. It’s a name123@example.com-style address, so it could easily have been a typo.

Either way, the new comment notice went out, and the recipient sent me a spam complaint. I apologized and removed him from the update list, but it moves “accidental spam” from a theoretical risk to an observed problem. I’ve disabled the subscription plugin until I have a chance to figure this out.

The good news is that Subscribe to Comments 2.0 is out now, so I should be able to upgrade when I get a chance. The bad news is that it doesn’t seem to have added a confirmation step, meaning it’s still (effectively) opt-out. Sure, you have to opt-in to get it in the first place…but the fact is that anyone can opt you in just by giving your email address instead of their own.