WordPress 2.2 Adds Tags

The NeoSmart Files noticed the addition of native tagging support to WordPress 2.2 in the SVN repository. What’s this mean for WordPress bloggers? Not much really, other than the fact you’ll no longer have to use a third-party plugin for tagging your posts or pages.

This is great for WordPress, tagging is something I expected to see with the release of 2.0, but that didn’t happen. Tags are something bloggers really want, native tags will just make WordPress an even more attractive blogging platform.

I’m going to have trouble leaving the Ultimate Tag Warrior plugin behind in favor of the new tagging system in WordPress 2.2. Ultimate Tag Warrior has been so nice to work with and is pretty much the de facto WordPress plugin for tags. Ultimate Tag Warrior has some features not found in the tag system native to WordPress 2.2, such as tag suggestions. Also, Ultimate Tag Warrior allows you to apply tags you’ve used previously to a post via a select form, something not found in WordPress 2.2 tags. Hopefully the WordPress team has those features planned for inclusion at some point.

Anyway, head over to The NeoSmart Files for more, they have a screenshot comparing Ultimate Tag Warrior to native tags in WordPress 2.2.

TwitThis Plugin For WordPress

TwitThis is cool. The TwitThis plugin adds a “TwitThis” badge for each post on your WordPress site. TwitThis doesn’t send tweets when you’re writing a new post or editing an existing post like the Twitter Updater plugin. TwitThis makes it easy for your readers to let the world know they’re reading one of your posts or performing some other action on your site.

TwitThis is an easy way for people to send Twitter messages about your
blog post or website. When visitors to your website click on the
TwitThis button or link, it takes the URL of the webpage and creates a
shorter URL using TinyURL. Then visitors can send this shortened URL
and a description of the web page to all of their friends on Twitter

If you don’t use WordPress, you can still make use of TwitThis. There’s a simple piece of javascript code you can insert on your page to get a TwitThis badge for non-WordPress websites. Head over to the TwitThis website for more information.

You can see TwitThis in action right here at longren.org. The TwitThis badge should be immediately below the Share This badge.

Twitter: Show Your Latest Entry On Your Blog

Want to show your latest entry to Twitter on your WordPress blog or website? It’s really very simple. Don’t be scared off by the vague instructions for adding a badge at the Twitter Badge page. The Twitter Badge page has some Flash badges at the very top and some javascript badges immediately below the Flash badges.

We’re mostly interested in the javascript badges. I don’t give two shits about Flash and refuse to add something to this site that will cause unnecessary lag just because it’s “pretty”. I’m a pretty devout follower of the K.I.S.S. philosophy. And besides, all we’re covering here is how to show your latest Twitter entry, pretty basic. Take a look below to see how I display “My Latest Twitter” in my sidebar.

1. Open your themes sidebar.php file (probably in /wp-content/themes/theme_name/).

2. Determine where you would like your Recent Twitter Status to appear in your sidebar.

3. Copy the following code and paste it into sidebar.php in the location you chose in step 2.

<div class="sb-lasttwitter">
<h2><a href="http://twitter.com/<em>yourTwitterUsername</em>/"><?php _e('My Latest Twitter'); ?></a></h2>
<ul><li>
### insert javascript for Twitter Badge here ###
</li></ul>
</div>

4. Open your themes style.css file and add a class called sb-lasttwitter. You can expand on the styling for the sb-lasttwitter class all you want. The CSS I use is below, it should work for most people as-is.

/*- most recent twitter*/
.sb-lasttwitter ul li {
	list-style-type: none;
	}

5. After adding the sb-lasttwitter CSS class, save your style.css file and upload the newly modified file to your website.

6. Login to your Twitter account and click the “Badge” link at the top.

7. Click the first javascript badge, it should automatically select all of the code when you click on it. Copy the selected javascript code to your clipboard (right-click and copy).

8. After you’ve copied the badge javascript, go back to sidebar.php and find the line that reads: ### insert javascript for Twitter Badge here ###. Replace that line with the javascript you copied from step 7.

9. Save sidebar.php and upload it to your website, it goes in the same directory you uploaded style.css to.

10. Done! Visit your blog to (hopefully) see your latest twitter in the sidebar.

Once you’re done with that you should see “My Latest Twitter” in your sidebar. Immediately below that text you should see your most recent Twitter and how long ago it was entered.

You should also note that the code from step 2 may not work for every WordPress theme, in fact, it probably won’t. However, you should be able to make a few simple changes to make it fit perfectly with your blog’s theme. My point is, you may have to modify that code (and the CSS) to make this show properly with the rest of your blog theme.

Please be aware that the Twitter javascript badge breaks XHTML 1.0 Transitional validation. Fortunately, it’s an easy fix to get pages including the Twitter javascript badge to validate again. Remember, this is the javascript we copied in step 7.

Anyway, to make it pass XHTML 1.0 Transitional validation, have a look at the very last line of the javascript, towards the end of the line, should look similar to this:

?callback=twitterCallback&count=1"></script> 

Replace the text above with the following text:

?callback=twitterCallback&amp;count=1"></script>

Modifying the last line of the javascript as described above will make your site/blog pass XHTML 1.0 Transitional validation, assuming nothing else in your site is broken. WDG has some good information on why this change will help your site pass validation.

If you have any problems with this, please let me know! I will try to help people as much as I can, no promises though. If there’s enough interest, I may end up throwing together a very simple wordpress plugin to do all this automatically. It would seem the only Twitter WordPress plugins currently available require the WordPress Widgets plugin, which I don’t use. I just want a simple plugin to include the basic javascript badge without the need for Widgets. If nothing pops up within the next few weeks I’ll probably get to work on a plugin of my own.

There are two full featured Twitter WordPress plugins currently in development, both should be fantastic. The first plugin is Twitter Tools from Alex King. Twitter Tools aims to provide full integration between Twitter and WordPress. The second plugin in development is Twitt-Twoo from Dean J. Robinson. Twitt-Twoo isn’t aiming to be a full integration plugin like Twitter Tools. Twitt-Twoo is much more basic, although I believe it will allow you to post to twitter right from the sidebar of your blog, provided you’re logged in. I’m not sure if that functionality will be included in Twitter Tools as well or not.

Good Bye Spam Karma 2. Hello Akismet.

Done Using Spam Karma 2Spam Karma 2 has served my well over the last year or two. As you can see from the image, SK2 stopped 76,264 pieces of comment spam from being published. Before Akismet was around, Spam Karma 2 was the plugin most people went to for spam protection.

Since Spam Karma 2 hasn’t been showing any signs of life lately, I’ve decided to ditch it in favor of Akismet. I know for a fact Akismet is being actively developed. Also, I know for a fact that Akismet fully supports WordPress 2.1. I’m pretty sure SK2 isn’t fully WordPress 2.1 compatible. I’m not sure though, I say that because I thought I read of some WordPress 2.1 users having lots of problems with SK2. I could be way off though, I can’t find whatever it was I thought I was reading now.

Anyway, Akismet is now protecting this blog from comment spam. I’m not anticipating any problems, but who knows. If you have problems posting comments please get in touch with me via the contact form.

WordPress Plugin: Thumbnail Viewer 1.1

1.1 is now old, go get the newest.

I’ve released version 1.1 of my Thumbnail Viewer plugin, which still needs an official homepage. This release was prompted by a problem with showing the quicktag when authoring a new post or page. The quicktag wasn’t showing on WordPress 2.1 installations. So, as a result, WordPress 2.0.x is no longer supported by the Thumbnail Viewer plugin. If you want to use this plugin you’ll need WordPress 2.1 or later. Really, the plugin should still work with WordPress 2.0.x, however the quicktag won’t be available when writing a new post.

The issues in Internet Explorer 7 I spoke about earlier haven’t been resolved, quite. I’d say the plugin works fine in 98% or more of all Internet Explorer 7 installations. I’ve only had problems on one installation of IE7. I’m pretty sure this problem isn’t even directly related to this plugin. I say that because the demo page for the code this plugin is based on won’t work either in that same IE7 install. So, it’s apparently a problem in the javascript this plugin is based on. I guess as of right now, I’m considering the div display problem in IE7 to be out of my control.

Anyway, click the images below for a demo.
Some CornSome Cracker JacksSome Peas

The above example was achieved with the following HTML:

Some Corn
Some Cracker Jacks
Some Peas

1.1 is now old, go get the newest.

Installation

  1. Extract wp-thumbnailviewer folder from .zip to wp-contents/plugins/.
  2. Go to Plugins in WordPress dashboard and activate Thumbnail Viewer.
  3. That’s it! Write a new post to use the quicktag button or simply add rel=thumbnail to any link tag.

Upgrading

  1. Simply overwrite everything in wp-contents/plugins/wp-thumbnailviewer/ with everything in the wp-thumbnailviewer folder from the zip file.
  2. That’s it! You should now be using the latest Thumbnail Viewer WordPress plugin.