WP_PingPreserver

For a while, I’ve been a bit annoyed with WordPress losing pings (those automatic links on your blog when someone links to you) that should be coming to my posts. I noticed that when I or an external blog link to more than one of my posts only one ping would register in my comments. For example, if someone writes that:

Scott has written WordPress plugins to make it easier to write about code, generate monster avatars and generate unique geometric shapes for each commentor.

I would want a ping to appear on each of those linked posts, both to thank the linking blog for writing about me and to provide useful information to the reader (and to increase my comment counts). Yet WordPress only puts a ping on the first linked page.

It took me a little while to figure out why WordPress kept losing my pings since I wasn’t even sure if it was a problem on the sending or receiving end but it turns out WordPress is filtering pings because it thinks the comments are coming too fast. I’ll put the details below but if you just want to make sure all the pings intended for your blog actually reach it then here is the plugin for you.

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Creating a (Better) Fake Post with a WordPress Plugin

I was looking to create a fake page in a WordPress plugin I’m working on in my (all too limited) spare time. It may seem a little silly to try to create a fake page with a plugin but this could be useful for any plugin that will display information to the readers of the blog (outside the admin panel), like statistics, contact pages or about pages. Luckily there is a handy tutorial for creating a fake posts. But although the plugin cleverly tricks WordPress into displaying a post created dynamically by the plugin itself, WordPress is clever enough to know something is wrong and sends a 404 error before sending the plugin-created content. Although many browsers will still display the page, this is a problem for any text-based browser or if you want the page to be indexed by search engines and (for me at least) just kind of grates to know my magnificent new plugin isn’t actually performing correctly. Anyway, this happens because WP->handle_404() called by WP->main() in classes.php checks how many posts were found which, in this case, is 0 since there is no real post for the requested URL. To get around this problem, we need to make sure we trick WordPress before this function is called. Luckily we can catch WordPress immediately after it (unsuccessfully) looks for posts before any other function can figure out anything is wrong by using the the_posts filter.

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WP_CodeShield

I’ve been burned a few times in WordPress when posting something like:

This is how you make text italic: This is italic.

when I actually wanted:

This is how you make text italic: <em>This is italic.</em>

Of course it’s not too hard to remember to encode the special characters but this is WordPress and things are supposed to be easy. So I thought I would throw together a simple WordPress plugin to convert HTML special characters inside <code></code> tags. That was a few months ago and I got the plugin most of the way done and then got distracted with other things. But after reading about another person having the same annoyance, I decided I should finish the plugin.

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WP_Identicon

An example of WP_IdenticonAn example of WP_Identicon

A couple weeks ago I made a WordPress plugin to generate unique monsters for each commenter. Don Park came up with the original idea for representing users with geometric shapes. Since I already had the framework in place I thought I’d make a WordPress plugin for the original geometric Identicons. If you want to visually represent users (but maybe you don’t like monsters so much?) then this plugin is for you.

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WP_MonsterID

An example of MonsterID

I was skimming Simon Willison’s blog (I know his uncle) when I came across this cool idea for automatic avatar generation. Well to tell the truth, I took one look at the title “Visual Security: 9-block IP Identification” and deleted the link from my RSS reader but the next day a link based on that idea came up for generating a unique monster avatar for each user that did catch my interest. After all if it’s got monsters, it has got to be interesting.

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