Tagnetic Poetry 1.0 adds shortcode support

Tagnetic Poetry has been discontinued.

I guess it was about time I updated my Tagnetic Poetry plugin. WP-Cumulus’ lesser known brother now has shortcode support, as well as several other improvements. It’s not as mature as Cumulus, but it’s definitely stable enough to deserve a 1.0 version number.

The Flash movie now has support for the ‘xmlpath’ flashvar that WP-Cumulus has supported for a while now. This affects you only if you’re attempting to use it outside of the context of WordPress, but is very handy if you do. Putting more than one instance of the plugin on a page should also no longer cause issues, and several other little issues were fixed.
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WP-Cumulus ported to MediaWiki and ReloadCMS

Wikipedia logoIt’s getting hard to keep track of all the projects that are based on my little WordPress plugin. The most recent two are ports to MediaWiki and ReloadCMS. The latter is documented (in Russian) on opensoft.110mb.com and maintained by Victor Nabatov. My Russian is pretty poor, but I can see Cumulus tumbling about on the sidebar, so I guess it works :)

The MediaWiki port is listed as being beta, but the demonstration works beautifully. If I understand correctly it displays the categories on your wiki using ‘my’ Flash movie. Now if only they’d install it on Wikipedia… that would be so cool ;).

Cumulus as a Flex component

WP-Cumulus flex componentA while ago I was asked to do a Flex version of WP-Cumulus. Because I don’t know the first thing about Flex, I failed miserably :). But the fun thing about open source software is that anyone with the right skills can pick things up and create the version they need. Carlos Carvalha did just that and did a Flex version for use with Drupal. If Flex is your thing, you can download the files from Carlos’ page. Because this is a ‘modified version’ of my WordPress plugin, it is automatically licensed under GPL, and is thus free for you to use.

Carlos’ blog is pretty interesting btw. Definitely the first blog theme I’ve seen that’s built entirely in Flash.

Finally, a new WP-Cumulus update

It’s been a while since I released the last version of WP-Cumulus. I’ve been very busy with client work, but there were a few important little fixes and features I wanted to release. The most requested of those probably is that the Flash movie now supports the ‘target’ attribute. I’ve also made the XML path (from which the XML file is loaded) configurable. Both these features are of use only to people not using WordPress, but they were requested so frequently that I decided to add them in.
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On ZDNet, the recession and optimism

ZDNet screenshotI really should ‘egosurf‘ more. It was only because I was testing a seach engine yesterday that I stumbled across this post on ZDNet’s Linux and Open Source blog. In it, Dana Blankenhorn argues that social media make this recession different from previous ones, and that releasing open source software can help advertise your abilities as a media professional. And he does so by taking me as an example.

While it is true that WP-Cumulus has brought me some modest fame in the WordPress community, I wonder why Dana didn’t contact me to confirm some of the details in the story.
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Introducing Photo widget, floating thumbnails for your website

Photo widgetLots of people have contacted me, asking for a version of my Flickr widget that they could use on their website, without having to use Flickr (or Picasa). Doing such a version was easy enough, but I was hesitant to release it. The DIY version of WP-Cumulus has yielded more support requests than the actual WordPress plugin, and answering all the email has been taking a lot of my time.

One thing I could have done was to simply release the sources for the Flickr widget. But there’s a lot of Flickr/Picasa specific stuff in there that you would need to take out before being able to hook the movie up to another data source. So that would have made things harder for everyone.
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About WP-Cumulus 1.20′s compatibility mode

adobe flash logoFlash sucks. There, I’ve said it. Or to be more precise, using Flash in a web page sucks. Just about everyone has the plugin, but actually embedding a movie into a web page isn’t quite as easy as it could be. There are a number of options, all of which have pros and cons. And in most cases you’ll need to pass parameters to your little RIA and/or have it communicate with the outside world too, adding to the complexity.

About 90% of the email I get about WP-Cumulus is from people where the movie isn’t displaying as it should. In most cases, this is caused by relatively minor markup errors in their blog. I find it hard to explain why Flash can sometimes break if you forget to close a single tag.
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How to use WP-Cumulus shortcodes

Contrary to what I originally thought when I released WP-Cumulus, it seems most people prefer to use it on their blog’s sidebar. I estimate that at least 80% of users use the widget. But the plugin still has two other ways to embed the movie into your blog, and version 1.20 greatly improves the most important of those. Shortcodes can be incredibly useful, and version 1.20 of my plugin now properly supports them.
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Is anyone still using WordPress 2.3 or earlier?

WordPress logoI’ve been working on yet another upgrade to my WP-Cumulus plugin. It looks like it’s become a pretty major update with a couple of exciting new features, but as a result it will probably no longer support versions of WordPress prior to 2.5. One of the things I want to introduce is proper shortcode support, and that API was introduced in 2.5.

Does anyone still use 2.3.x? Or even older versions even? I’ve not been able to find any statistics on this, but I assume most people keep their installs up to date, right?

Amazing WP-Cumulus javascript port!

wp-cumulus javascriptI never thought this to be possible, but Dawid Fatyga just emailed me about his ‘Stratus‘ project. He’s recreated the 3D Flash movie from WP-Cumulus in Javascript. Sure, it’s no match for Flash’s ultra-smooth anti-aliased scaling (yet?), but that doesn’t really make it any less impressive.

Dawid stressed that it’s still very much a work in progress, and there’s still a lot that can be optimized. I had no success running it in Chrome, but it does work in Firefox. I’m sure that can be fixed. And with Chrome’s ultra-fast Javascript engine it will probaly fly.

Dawid is working towards a possible WordPress plugin implementation, which might mean some healthy competition for WP-Cumulus. I’d love to see if Javascript can beat Flash at its own game (being animation).

P.S. Dawid just emailed me that he’s only been working with Javascript for a few days. Go figure.