WordPress Wednesday News: WordCamp Israel Full, Tag Frustration, Security Tips and Plugins, Drupal, wPhone, WP-Cache, Akismet, and Mailing Lists

Filed as Features on October 11, 2007 2:54 am

More issues with WordPress 2.3. WordCamp Israel sold out. Tags frustrating WordPress.com bloggers. WordPress security Plugins and whitepaper. Integrate Drupal and WordPress. New iPhone WordPress Plugin for all mobile phones. WP-Cache grief. Brags on Akismet and Auntie Akismet. Alex Skelton takes on WordPress mailing lists. And more WordPress news.

WordPress News

WordPress 2.3 Released: WordPress 2.3 is available for download. For information on features and issues with WordPress 2.3, see:

WordCamp Israel Sold Out: The news is in and the registration is filled and closed with over 50 on the waiting list for the October 25 WordCamp Israel conference. Wow! I’m going to be there, talking about blogging and WordPress, along with some of the best of the best of Israeli bloggers.

International WordCamps: So far, we’ve got the following international and US WordCamps in the works. Most of these WordCamps are working hard to get as much sponsorship as possible so the event will be free. They will need volunteers, and advanced registration is required – so sign up as fast as you can. Space is usually limited:

Weblog Tools Collection WordPress Wishlist: The WordPress Wishlist for October from Weblog Tools Collection includes reader requests for specific Plugins or changes to WordPress. This month covers conditional testing for WordPress Theme development for random content, customized XML feed files, and showcase WordPress Themes screenshots via thumbnail on a WordPress Page or post.

Image Thumbnail Link to Image in Blog Post: While we are on the subject of requesting specific WordPress Plugins, I’m frequently asked how to create a thumbnail image with a link that, when clicked, takes the reader to a view of the larger image within a post in your WordPress Theme. Typically, a thumbnail link takes the reader to either a white page with the large image or uses a lightbox Javascript technique. Many want to see the image “within” your WordPress Theme’s look for a single post, with the header, sidebar, etc. Anyone up for the challenge of creating the Thumbnail Image Link to Post View WordPress Plugin? Or coming up with a better name?

WordPress 2.4 Digest: In his WordPress Weekly Digest, Peter Westwood keeps us up to date on the activity for the next version of WordPress. This week, he shares about the changes on the database table prepare switch, changes to the WordPress generator tags, improvements in the MySQL functions via the $wpdb class, and new sanitization functions for database URLs, among other changes and improvements.

WordPress Security WhitePaper: Blog Security has written a WordPress Security Whitepaper on how to secure WordPress against security flaws and other worries. It also includes information on “must-have” WordPress Plugins to help improve the security of your WordPress blog. It is available as a PDF file.

Integrate Drupal with WordPress: Erwin Terong offers a tutorial on how to integrate Drupal with WordPress, running a special Drupal module to incorporate a WordPress blog into Drupal as a module.

The WordPress Podcast: Charles Stricklin has been busy with two WordPress Podcasts back to back. Episode 30: Weblog Tools Collection Plugin Competition Winners covers the winners of the Weblog Tools Collection 2007 Plugin Competition, and news about WordPress 2.3. Last week’s podcast covered news on WordPress 2.3 and WordPress.com, and includes me, Lorelle, and co-hosts, Charles Stricklin and Aaron Brazell. The previous WordPress Podcast is still available with WordCamp memories, theme hijackers and vulnerabilities, and even more WordPress news and information.

Errors Reported with wp-comments template files: Quick Online Tips reports that Google is finding 405 Errors with the wp-comments-post.php. Comments post fine but the error code persists even after disabling comment WordPress Plugins. Others are reporting that they are having the same trouble with WordPress 2.3. If you’ve come up with an answer, check in and let them know.

WordPress on Your Calendar: Here are some WordPress-related dates and events to put on your calendar as found on the WordPress Roadmap and the WordPress Meetup Group Listings (subject to change):

If you are having a WordPress-related event that isn’t on the calendar, post them below or via email.

Vote for WordPress Ideas: Did you know you could have your say in how WordPress works? You can add your idea and vote on any of the ideas to push them to the top in getting them added or removed from WordPress future versions. The section on WordPress is an open forum for you to have your say. Why not take advantage of it and add your voice to the vote.

WordPress.com News

WordPress.com W logoThe WordPress.com Debate Over Global Versus Local Tags: As mentioned last week, many WordPress.com bloggers are confused and frustrated with the new native tag feature. Some WordPress Themes feature global links, links to tags of all WordPress.com bloggers with the same tag, and others feature local links, posts on your own blog using the same tag. Most want local links and are requesting either being given a choice or making the links be local. You can read more about this in the WordPress.com Support Forum discussions on Why Do Some Themes Have Local Tags Instead Of Global Tags? and Any update on turning off global tags or letting users know they are not local?.

Ads on WordPress.com Blogs: In a discussion on the WordPress.com Support Forum about ads on WordPress.com blogs, many are expressing their concern about how the ads work on WordPress.com. Matt Mullenweg replies that WordPress.com is doing their best to keep the ads at a minimum using the Who Sees Ads WordPress Plugin by PlanetOzh.

We take lots of steps to ensure that nothing looks sploggy, for example on a short post that we would normally show an ad on we don’t because we don’t want to shadow the content. You should only ever see one ad block on your screen at normal resolutions, if at all. The whole system is tweaked constantly and I believe it looks good on every page now, and if it doesn’t it’s a bug.

WordPress.com Offers Category to Tag Converter: WordPress.com now offers the ability to convert your categories to tags using the new WordPress 2.3 built-in tag feature. The converter allows users to convert specific categories, not all of them, to tags. This is great for those who have too many categories and want to remove them and make them tags, but beware. You cannot undo this. Once the posts have been removed from those categories and the tags applied, they will drop into the uncategorized or your default category, or in the other categories associated with that post. If you make a mistake, you will have to manually re-categorize those posts again.

AnswerLinks for WordPress.com Bloggers: WordPress.com announced the addition of AnswerLinks to the Write Post panel of WordPress.com blogs. Click on the “A” AnswerLink in your post editor and it will find words in your blog post you can add a “definition link” to more information from Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, and the American Heritage Dictionary. Based upon the AnswerLink WordPress Plugin by Alex King, this is a fast way to add links to information off your blog to help you readers understand who you are talking about when you mention Matt Mullenweg in a blog post.

What’s Hot on WordPress.com? The hottest blogs on WordPress.com were:

The hottest blog posts on WordPress.com were:

WordPress Plugins and Themes News

WordPress Plugins DatabaseWPhone WordPress Plugin: the WPhone WordPress Plugin, the answer to a challenge put out by Matt Mullenweg on the WP-Hackers Mailing List less than a month ago. Stephane Daury, Doug Stewart, and Viper007bond have come up with a custom Administration Panel interface while interacting with your WordPress install via any mobile devices, though designed and coded specifically for the iPhone and iPod touch. Great work!

WP-Cache Bug: Many are reporting on the WP-Cache Bug which can shut your site down when using the popular WP-Cache WordPress Plugin. It seems to happen when the cached pages equals the expired pages, fairly consistently. Currently, the only fix is to turn off the Plugin, clear your cache files, and then activate it again – until it happens again. I’m looking for more on this. Do you know a better fix?

Fix for the Flickr Photo Album WordPress Plugin: Ajay D. Souza has a fix for the Flickr Photo Album WordPress Plugin so it will work with WordPress 2.3. The Flickr Photo Album WordPress Plugin is very popular and many have been asking for this fix.

New Plugins for WordPress 2.3: I’ve found two new WordPress Plugins for WordPress 2.3. These specifically deal with disabling the new update features for checking for new versions of WordPress and WordPress Plugins. Disable WordPress Core Update WordPress Plugin and Disable WordPress Plugin Updates WordPress Plugin.

WYSIWYGPro WordPress Plugin: Improvements and updates are in the latest release of the popular WYSIWYGPro WordPress Plugin which replaces the default editor in WordPress with WysiwygPro, a powerful commercially supported HTML editor that includes a file manager so that you can easily insert images, document, Flash, QuickTime and Windows Media.

WP-Scanner WordPress Plugin Updated: The WP-Scanner WordPress Plugin has been updated again with backdoor checks, backup file checks, and a number of “dangerous file checks” to make sure your WordPress blog is secure.

Inspector WordPress Plugin: Blog Security reviewed the new Inspector WordPress Plugin, a new security Plugin which, with some development and testing, help offer extra protection for WordPress blogs in the future. Currently, the Plugin monitors requests to your WordPress blog with the intent to disrupt attacker’s actions.

WordPress Comment Ninja Greasemonkey Script: Engtech of Internet Duct Tape has come up with WordPress Comment Ninja Greasemonkey Script, another incredibly powerful script for WordPress, WordPress.com, Edublogs, and any WordPress blog to speed up and improve the handling of your blog’s comments. It includes the ability to respond “instantly” to comments from the Comments Panel via your blog, or email, or both. However, it does not replace the WordPress Plugins which use Ajax to “inject” your comment from the Comments Panel into your WordPress blog. It actually opens a tab with your blog post and inserts the comment, with a link to the comment from the person you are responding to, in the post. It’s novel, and doesn’t save much bandwidth, but does speed up the comment response time a bit, allowing the page to load in the background, ignored, until you are done going through your comments. Then you move backwards in your tab queue and close the tabs.

Who Sees Ads WordPress Plugin Updated: Who Sees Ads WordPress Plugin has been updated again. It was also announced that this Plugin is being used on WordPress.com blogs to restrict ads to unregistered readers. The update includes fixes for the popular, but conflicting WordPress Plugins: ImageManager and WP-Contact-Form.

Finding WordPress Plugins: For more WordPress Plugins see the official WordPress Plugin Directory, which now lists 1,025 plugins and 1,599,562 downloads, the WordPress Plugins Database, and Weblog Tools Collection of WordPress Plugins released daily.

Most Popular WordPress Themes: The WordPress Theme Viewer lists the most popular WordPress Themes:

WordPress Techniques and Tips

Here are some featured articles and videos from around the WordPress Community and the , the online manual for WordPress Users, the source to turn to first for your WordPress help.

NOTE: If you would like your WordPress tip and technique included in this list, see Tips For Writing Good WordPress Tips.

WordPress Community News

WordPress Community graphicbbPress Updated: bbPress 0.8.3 is out with improved searching and compatibility with WordPress 2.3, along with some bug fixes. A new BB_Query_Class has been introduced which removes the old method of custom views but brings new and better functions.

Problogger Darren Rowse brags on Akismet: Darren Rowse brags about how Akismet has saved him a “month of work” in time by catching and handling comment spam so efficiently, especially as his site just reached 2 million coment spams caught.

Let’s assume that if I had to moderate spam comments manually here at ProBlogger that it would take around 2 seconds to do each one (I think it could be more than that as it can take a while to track them all down – I know this because when Akismet’s server has gone down for an hour or so it takes forever).

* 2,000,000 comment spams X 2 seconds = 4,000,000 seconds needed for moderating comments.
* 4,000,000 seconds = 66666.666667 minutes
* 66666.666667 minutes = 1111.111111 hours
* 1111.111111 hours = 46.2962 days

Akismet has saved me 46.29 days in the last 18 months. That’s 1.5 months (working non stop 24 hours a day).

If you are using Akismet to fight comment spam, and it also helps you save time and energy, consider saving even more with Internet Duct Tape’s Akismet Auntie Spam Firefox Greasemonkey Script. The latest version by Engtech separates your comment spam list into the number of unique or duplicated comments. Instead of having to search through all the comment spam looking for false/positives, all the “unique”, one-time-only comment spams are culled from the list for you to peruse. Below that are lists of comments repeated twice, three times, four, twelve, twenty, or hundreds of times. You don’t have to look at any of those as those are the “hammer comment spammers” who pound your blog comments relentlessly with redundant comments. Your energy can now be focused on the unique comments, where you are more likely to find incorrectly caught comments.

The WP-Hackers Mailing List: Andy Skelton takes on the WP-hackers mailing list with issues that confront many of the various WordPress mailing lists: too many subscribers, too little participation, too much noise.

The wp-hackers list now serves something near 1,000 email addresses. I don’t know how big it was when I joined two years ago. I do know that the list traffic has grown to become nearly unbearable. I know that there are busier lists. I am speaking not just about the amount of traffic, but the productivity of the list as a whole.

…I would be overjoyed to wake up tomorrow and find wp-hackers messages flooding my inbox if they were mostly productive. The banter, the academic opinions, the griping and nagging and off-topic fussing, these are the things that turned me from a hopeful reader and a contributor into a pessimistic lurker.

….Today it was proposed during the IRC meetup that we monthly post a set of rules or guidelines and be more strict about curtailing off-topic and counterproductive list activity. Assuming the manifestation of rules can proceed trouble-free, I’m happy with that.

We need to make these mailing lists as productive as possible and focus on their intent, not social networking or time wasting. The same applies to the IRC Chats for WordPress. There are too many brilliant people who want to contribute to WordPress development, but don’t want to waste time with time wasters. Andy asks us to all “think before you send”, a great guideline for all the mailing lists, and let’s get back to work. The real work.

Want a Job with WordPress and Automattic? Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, is hiring. Interested?

WordPress Jobs: WordPress Jobs is a new “service” announced by Weblog Tools Collection. It features jobs for WordPress experts and WordPress experts looking for work. Currently, the service is free as it is still in beta testing. Give it try.

Looking for a WordPress Expert? Do you want a custom WordPress blog? Want to convert your website into a WordPress blog or use WordPress as a CMS? If you are looking for an expert in WordPress Themes, WordPress development, WordPress Plugins, or other WordPress-related expertise, check out the list of WordPress Consultants on , the parent company of WordPress, the WordPress Jobs listings, and the WP-Pro mailing list.

WordPress Installed For Free: If you have problems installing the full version of WordPress, visit Installing WordPress for Free (aka Install4Free WordPress). This free, volunteer-driven service is limited to personal blogs only, and they help only with installations, not upgrades.

Using WordPress in Your Blog’s Name: Just a reminder. WordPress is a trademark and you are not allowed to use WordPress in your blog’s name or URL unless you have permission of and . Currently, they are lax about enforcing this, but why run the risk of being forced to change your blog’s name and URL? Get permission or don’t use it. Also, remember, it’s spelled “WordPress” not “WordPress”. Oh, and Plugin is Plugin, not plug-in (what you put into a wall electrical socket).

Even More WordPress News?

Past WordPress Wednesday News Reports

WordPress News Sources


Each Wednesday on is WordPress Wednesday, featuring the news around the WordPress Community. If you have a WordPress news item or tip to suggest, please contact me at this special email address: lorelleonwordpress@gmail.com

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  1. By mpb posted on October 11, 2007 at 6:40 pm
    Want an avatar? Get a gravatar! • You can link to this comment

    re: AnswerLinks for WordPress.com Bloggers

    When I tried this–
    1) it only highlights terms of its choosing, not ones that I think need looking up. This cannot be altered.
    2) the entire post is re-written (not just the link to the look-up), even if you *don’t* select the suggested look-up. Extra coding of paragraphs, line breaks, and divisions are added. I think my horizontal rule code was changed. Fortunately, I caught all this before saving.
    3) guess why the re-write? Snap-view is added. Pretty sneaky.

    Reply

  2. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on October 12, 2007 at 3:49 am
    Want an avatar? Get a gravatar! • You can link to this comment

    @mpb:

    Oh, good to know. I haven’t tried it yet. But why should Snap Preview be added when you’ve turned it off globally? That’s nasty. I’ll check to see if there’s discussion on this in the forums. Thanks!

    Reply

  3. israel » WordPress Wednesday News: WordCamp Israel Full, Tag Frustration …October 14, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Your words are your own, so be nice and helpful if you can. If this is the first time you're posting a comment, it might go into moderation. Don't worry, it's not lost, so there's no need to repost it! We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it please.

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