Fine Tuning the iBlog Engine

Recently updated a variety of themes. Sadly, a few had to be removed as they were not as “forward compatible” as I would like. Themes need to be coded in a consistent way for smoother integration of updates, plugins, widgets, etc. A few were just too goofily written, or beyond my skills and energy to update. Theme descriptions now emphasize layout, extra schemes, custom headers, and theme toolkits.

Microcontents received more attention. I’ve added the much demanded “quicktag” buttons to the edit form. But first . . .,

For some reason I have long struggled to determine, the occasional trackback is simple lost in cyberspace. You know you are a victim when the receiving blog never gets a comment yet the sending post says the trackback has been pinged. Once upon a time this was common to posts that were saved as drafts when they pinged and then later published. But recent bugs have led me to believe it is more a random function of the web server. Because the trackbacks are happening “in house” they happen more quickly than the server will allow. Trackbacks seem instantaneous, but they are not. They travel first to a holding pen to wait while the server does other things. What things? I have no idea, but the database shows an entry into a field where they wait to be cleared. When users ping multiple trackbacks quickly, or at least before those waiting have been cleared, the server spews them out as best it can. Then the odd one gets dumped.

Anyway, I’ve added a Reset Trackbacks field to clear the “Already Pinged” field. Works like a charm. I thought this fix would result in receiving multiple “human spam” comments, not the case. If the receiving blog already has the trackback waiting in moderation, a second one doesn’t get through. Oh, and the fix is written as a plugin I can easily remove if it proves unecesary after future core upgrades.

Comments now have a live preview. A few themes, Rin, even have quicktags in the comments. Looks doable for other themes. I wish I could code one plugin to fix all themes, but it doesn’t look possible. I’d have to delete the comment form from all themes and replace with a one-form-for-all, or edit each theme one by one. Both solutions are a chore. I can generate a list of themes by popularity and go from there, I guess. I’ve tried browser tools(Firefox), but the result is terrible, ugly, or overly nerdy and slows an already sluggish Firefox to a crawl on pages with multiple text areas. Deconstructing the Rin theme, led me in the direction I needed to code the microcontent renderer with quicktags. There was a real “Aha!” when it finally worked.

I couple annoyances still exist with the STJ gallery plugin, and the Image Manager plugin. Both use scripts that seem to interfere with each other. A tonne of code in the gallery plugin needs be updated to be compatable with WordPress’s roles and capabilities. I’ve figured out a little at a time, POGE.

Oh, a super cool Lightbox plugin now exists in the Dashboard–>Plugins. iBox still functions for those students who coded their own blog headers. But Lightbox is the future, and simpler.

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