Last weekend, Björn and I spoke at WordCamp Netherlands, and while preparing the presentation I figured that one of the things I was going talk about would probably work as a WordPress plugin. It’s been ages since I last released a plugin, mostly because there’s a solution out there for almost everything you can possibly run into. This specific little fix however proved to be an exception to that rule.
More New WordPress plugin: RT Filter Page List
Noel Tock, who’s at WP On Tour with me, just released a brand new WordPress plugin that lets you accept Stripe payments. Stripe is a new, highly developer-friendly payment solution. They have low rates for processing and a great API. Right now, you can only use Stripe to accept payments if you’re in the US, but if you are, you can accept money from all over the world.
More Easily accept credit card donations with WP-Stripe
A few days ago, @bakkel tweeted about WP Time Machine. This WordPress backup solution turned out to be exactly what I’d been looking for. It gathers all the relevant bits (like your blog’s database, uploaded images, etc) and uploads them to Dropbox, Amazon’s S3 or FTP. It even adds a file with comprehensive restore instructions. I’ve argued before that backups need to be absolutely painless, and with this plugin they are.
More WP Time Machine – free off-site backups for WordPress
I don’t make a habit out of “reblogging” or linkdumping, but since a lot of WordPress people seem to be finding their way to my blog, I wanted to write about this. I got an email regarding a new WordPress plugin called BlogPress SEO this morning. Normally, I would have considered reviewing it, but fortunately I’d already read Joost de Valk’s review-of-sorts. And so should you. BlogPress SEO is spam. It’s a link farm, and goes against every rule Google and other search engines have about linking. Read all about it on yoast.com.
When I first started using WPMU, the now-integrated multisite version of WordPress, I found it strange that there were no built-in tools to aggregate content onto the main blog. It seemed to me that that was something plenty of people would want to do. Sure, there were plugins and hacks, but none of them were as polished as I’d like them to be.
Fortunately, things have changed. WordPress 3.0 now has multisite capabilities built right into it, and Bjorn Wijers, a friend of mine and one of Holland’s top WordPress developers, has created a really cool plugin to handle content aggregation. Called bbAggregate, this plugin doesn’t just collect posts from blogs to be displayed on the home page, it allows you to display aggregated content on any of your network’s blogs. And to do this it introduces the concept of streams.
More bbAggregate lets you mix and match WordPress content
I’ve been promising a new version of WP-Cumulus for a long time. I’ve tried working with more experienced PHP developers, but it’s been hard to find a really good one who’s able to devote time to the project. I still think a plugin like this should be a team effort, but for now I’m going to kick things back into motion again myself.
What’s ready at this point is a much cleaner rewrite of the plugin files, with the display logic in a neat little class that port authors will hopefully be able to reuse. I’ve also got a Flash movie that uses a user-defined system font, as a result is much smaller, and supports unicode tags.
More WP-Cumulus 2.0 is finally in development (again)
There’s been a lot of controversy over Apple’s decision to ban Flash (and Java for that matter) from the iPhone since the day it was released. Now, with the iPad about to hit retail, there’s been more debate on whether this was a technical decision or not, and whether it’s a severe limitation for the devices, or a blessing. Being both a Flash developer, an iPhone OS user an open source advocate, I thought I’d weigh in on the conversation.
Before I get started though, let me point out that I’m not a fan of Flash. I think it’s a real shame that there’s no open, official standard that lets web designers do the things Flash can. Adobe has the web in an awkward stranglehold right now, and I’d love to see that change. But the reality is that Flash is an integral part of the web today.
More My thoughts on Flash and the iPad
I hate having to do this, but I’m going to be closing the comments on most of the WP-Cumulus related posts on this blog. Because some have several hundred comments, they’ve become impossible to read and I find that the same questions keep getting asked over and over again. I’ve tried to patiently answer all of them, but I’m no longer able to keep up. Blog comments just aren’t a very good support mechanism.
If your question is about WP-Cumulus, the original WordPress plugin, not one of its ports or variations, please post it in the WordPress forums. This allows others to find the answers, and chances are your question has been discussed already. The forums are an invaluable resource, and offer a much better platform for WP-Cumulus support. If you add the “wp-cumulus” tag to your thread, I’ll almost certainly see it.
I’ll also try to update the FAQ more often. It’s a little out of date, but definitely still a good place to start. Oh, and for more info, see my support page.
WP-Cumulus has been ported to quite a few other platforms. I keep bumping into it, often on sites not running WordPress. I’ve given up trying to post about all of these spin-off projects, but this one feels a little special. Gautam Gupta has created a bbPress version. As far as I’m aware this is the first port to another Automattic project (I’m still waiting for a wordpress.com ‘port’, come on Matt 😉 ).
So, if you want your forum tags to fly like your blog tags, head over to http://bbpress.org/plugins/topic/bb-cumulus/ for the download.
Please update your copy of WP-Cumulus to 1.23 asap. For most users it should only take two clicks.
The should not affect how WP-Cumulus works on WordPress blogs. But there have been a number of ports and other projects that use the Flash movie. I urge the authors of those projects to examine the new Flash movie, and see if it still works in/with their product. The exploit is not unique to WordPress, and they may need to modify the security check to fit their project.