Archive for Development

Calendar Development Version

I’ve quickly pushed out a new development release of Calendar to address some style issues. I’ve not added this as a proper release as there are some more issues I want to fix before I take that step. None the less, success has been reported with this version in the forums. You can download it here.

To get the benefit of the fixed styles, tick the reset styles box on the calendar options page after installing. If you’ve made style changes you’ll want to save the contents of the CSS box before doing this!

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Calendar 1.2.3 Released

Calendar version 1.2.3 has been released. You can download it from WordPress or from my own site. Thanks to all who helped with testing and especially to those who offered solutions to discovered issues.

This release sees a whole raft of important bug fixes, if you have a minor issue with your current install it will almost certainly be fixed in this version.

In addition to fixes, a number of enhancements have been added

  • Full support for WordPress 3.0
  • Recurring events by weekday (ie. 3rd Sunday of every month)
  • Ability to list today’s and upcoming events on posts/pages using tags

Hope you continue to enjoy using Calendar!

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Swindon Mountain Biking

Got an e-mail from someone who has started a mountain biking site for Swindon who is using my Calendar plugin. Could this be the push that finally makes me “get on my bike”? If I collect my bike from St. Albans this weekend it would give me little excuse to not have a go on some of the local trails!

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New RouterTech Website

It has been a long time coming but last weekend RouterTech finally received a face lift. We are now sporting a new design, layout and a considerably more feature-packed forum, as well as improved navigation and a more intuitive page hierarchy.

Keen eyes will note very quickly that the site is far from finished but the whole team are putting in daily effort to bring site up to standard and we hope to achieve a finished look in the next week or so. If you are a regular visitor there is an area of the forum for asking questions about the site and raising issues and we encourage you to make use of this area if you spot anything amiss.

One of the big additions is that RouterTech now sports a blog which I was inspired to add through my own work with WordPress and my recent visit to WordCamp UK. I intend to write articles here concerning the world of routing and also my views on the direction of the project. As one of it’s founders I’m concious that I spend no where near enough time communicating with users and I hope that the blog portion of the site will go some way towards remedying this.

A big hurdle for us at the moment is the unwillingness of hardware companies to embrace the GPL under which they are supposed to release their software which in turn holds us back somewhat in our ability to make something available that budding developers can make immediate use of. We’ve been open source all the way but some of the companies out there don’t half make things hard. As I try to spend a little more time on the RouterTech project in the coming weeks, I intend to make this issue my main focus and will be sure to keep everyone updated about my progress.

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Calendar Translations

The first translations have begun to trickle through for Calendar; German, Spanish and Galician. You can download these translations in the translations thread on the calendar forums.

Many thanks to those who have taken the time to translate and who have shared their work with others by submitting it to me for publication. If you have translated Calendar into your native language, please submit your PO file to me for compilation and distribution.

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Forum registration issues

It has recently come to my attention that users of Calendar were having trouble registering on my support forums so they could ask questions – activation e-mails were not arriving.

I have now fixed the issue with the server that was causing these e-mails to fail and have ensured that all outstanding messages have been sent, so anyone who registered so they could ask a question and hadn’t yet had got their account activated should now be able to do so.

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Calendar 1.2.2 Released

Calendar version 1.2.2 has been released. You can download it from WordPress or from my own site. Thanks to all who helped with testing and especially to those who offered solutions to discovered issues.

Keen eyes will notice that 1.2.2 supports WordPress 2.8 but the latest stable version of WordPress is 2.7.1. All this means is that I have tested compatibility with the latest 2.8 beta in readiness for it’s stable release date.

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Calendar 1.2.2 Beta Released

As promised in my post just a day or two ago, Calendar for WordPress 1.2.2 has now been released in beta. You can download it here.

In addition to the promised new features and bug fixes detailed in the last post, the following have also been squeezed in.

  • Corrected a couple of spelling mistakes in the default English language text
  • Fixed a Calendar admin panel issue where URLs would grow in length if certain options were chosen consecutively
  • Ensured that, should an error be thrown due to problematic user entry, the entered data would remain on screen for easy correction

As always, please be aware that this is beta software. It might have bugs or errors and using it on a live site would be unwise. If you are tech-savvy and wish to test this release then I would be most grateful for your feedback and bug reports in the comments on this post. If not then the non-beta full release will be made available when WordPress 2.8 comes out of beta which looks to be any day now.

As an aside, it seems fitting that a new version of Calendar is being released now as the total number of Calendar downloads has recently exceeded 30,000!

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New Calendar release afoot

I’m currently working on an interim release of calendar, version 1.2.2. This should be ready by the start of next week. I say interim because this is simply a precursor to a brand new release, 1.3, which will be packed with new and requested features. This bumper new version should grace the internet with it’s presence in August.

As usual I will be looking for beta testers for the new release so for everyone who is interested in testing this, please keep an eye on my blog for the release announcement next week.

Features and bug fixes being added in the 1.2.2 version include:

  • Full gettext language support
  • Fixed bug with subscribers permissions variable
  • Improved README and FAQ
  • Changed link back to point here instead of old business site
  • Fixed bug with function call to capture blog URL
  • Neatened some rough edges in the back-end styles
  • Fully tested WPMU support
  • Support for WordPress 2.8
  • Improved error catching
  • Fix implemented for ambiguous error messages
  • Improved widget behaviour by abstracting legacy calls from widget calls

I hope you will enjoy the new release and would, at this stage, like to thank all those who have reported bugs. I do listen, even if I don’t reply and I hope this list of fixes shows that this is the case. As above, testers be sure to keep a look out for the beta version!

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Photo Blogging

Readers probably wouldn’t have taken much notice of the recent photo posts here and here on my site. The thing is though, these are a result of a bit of ingenious behind the scenes code that allows me to snap a picture with my BlackBerry camera and blog it in seconds thus allowing me to start a photo blog category that comprises of quick snippets with a photo for when a picture is more appropriate and I’m no where near a computer.

The real power behind this is Flickr but as those who know me will testify, I don’t like to use external services that take people away from my site, so I devised a way to bring the convenience of mobile Flickr uploads to my blog rather than to Flickr.

To begin with, the easy bit. I registered a Flickr account and installed the Flickr application on my BlackBerry. Now I can take a photo with the BlackBerry and send it to my Flickr photo stream with a title and a caption in a few seconds. Now comes the hard bit. Getting the stream on my blog and removing any Flickr artifacts along the way.

The saving grace here is that Flickr provides an RSS2 feed of any users photostream (so long as it’s set to public). In addition to this, there is a popular WordPress plugin called Feed WordPress that allows the syndication of RSS feeds onto your blog. I installed this plugin and subscribed to my Flickr feed with it. Now I was getting all photos posted to Flickr on my blog, I just had some cleaning up to do, and annoyingly, this is what took the time and effort.

Firstly Feed WordPress is designed to list all feeds coming into a blog as contributors so you can give appropriate credit. In my case though it was my own Flickr feed so I wanted to avoid this link category being shown on my site. To fix this I specifically excluded the category Feed WordPress had earmarked for contributors by specifying it in the arguments of the theme function that displays the links list. Users who are using a theme with widgets or who haven’t customised their site as much as I have might be able to use widgets to do this.

Secondly I had to change some Feed WordPress settings to get perfect operation. Mainly forcing all “posts” from Flickr to go into my Photo Blog category and also to ensure that all these would be attributed to my username. I also entered the default Flickr e-mail address,, as an allowed user such that my Flickr entries would be syndicated without going through moderation. This would be a security risk if I wasn’t the only person who could add feeds to my syndication list or post to feeds already earmarked for syndication but as neither of these situations are true its ok.

Finally I needed to ensure that the actual body of the post appearing on my site showed the proper content. By proper content I mean a good sized image, linked to the original and showing nothing else alongside it but the caption and no reference to Flickr.

To do this I used a custom code modification to Feed WordPress which would extract the true location of the picture in the Flickr feed and store it as an attribute of the post. For those wishing to replicate what I have done here, the code below needs to be entered inside the SyndicatedPost class, at around line 1100 in the feedwordpress.php file of the Feed WordPress plugin.

if (isset($this->item['']['content@url'])) :
$this->post['meta']['flickr_original_image'] = $this->item['']['content@url'];

In addition to the Feed WordPress modification I also added a plugin hook that would parse the content of all posts in the Photo Blog category in order to retrieve the image location stored with the above code, correctly display it and to parse the remaining text for the caption thus remove references to Flickr. In the code below the number 36 refers to the id of my Photo Blog category.

Plugin Name: Fix Flickr Posts
Plugin URI:
Description: This plugin removes cruft from the posts imported from flickr
Author: Kieran O'Shea
Author URI:
Version: 1.0

// Apply function to remove content from posts in the correct category
function fixFlickr($content) {
global $post;

$first_cat_id = get_the_category($post->ID);
$first_cat_id = $first_cat_id[0];
$first_cat_id = $first_cat_id->cat_ID;

$flickr_image = get_post_custom($post->ID);
$flickr_image = $flickr_image['flickr_original_image'][0];

if ($first_cat_id == 36)
$photo_bit = '<a href="'.$flickr_image.'"><img src="'.$flickr_image.'" width="450" alt="'.$post->post_title.'" border="0" /></a>';
$pwned = explode('<p>',$content);
$pwned = $pwned[3];
$text_bit = '<p>'.$pwned;
$content = $text_bit.'<div style="text-align:center;border:0;">'.$photo_bit.'</div>';
return $content;

// Add filter to the_content
add_filter('the_content', 'fixFlickr');
add_filter('the_excerpt', 'fixFlickr');
add_filter('the_content_rss', 'fixFlickr');
add_filter('the_excerpt_rss', 'fixFlickr');

And there we have it, my own photo blog that leverages power from the Flickr system but which displays in my own way on my own site. If you want to try this by all means test out the above method and code but I must stress that this method is unsupported by me or anyone else. If you try it and get it to work, please comment below. It is worth noting that any phone with a camera and a Flickr upload program designed for it will work in place of a BlackBerry. To all that succeed with this method, happy photo blogging!

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