Posts met de tag « blog»:

nov 11 2007

WordPress user roles vs the XML-RPC interface

Blogging platform WordPress (in it’s current version 2.3) allows for 5 user roles:

  • Administrator: Somebody who has access to all the administration features
  • Editor: Somebody who can publish posts, manage posts as well as manage other people’s posts, etc.
  • Author: Somebody who can publish and manage their own posts
  • Contributor: Somebody who can write and manage their posts but not publish posts
  • Subscriber: Somebody who can read comments/comment/receive news letters, etc.

Another feature is the XML-RPC-interface. With this, you can use an external editor to publish on your blog. Say you have a desktop program, or a webservice: as soon as you provide it with the url to the xmlrpc.php in your installation, a username and a password, that application can start posting on your blog right away. Increasingly useful, in these web 2.0 interconnected API-flooded times.

So far for the good news. The bad news being that these two features don’t combine well, at all…

The xmlrpc-implementation in WordPress is such that it can only accept posts from a user with the role of administrator or editor. For other users, it replies with a simple “Sorry, you don’t have sufficient rights to perform this action”. Thus, if you want to use some of the post restrictions of the other roles in combination with the xmlrpc, you’re out of luck!

Here’s an example of a not so nutty setup, where this leads to frustration:

  • Say you want replicate on your blog all the useful links you find around the web and post to del.icio.us.
  • The delicious site offers a feature for this, albeit a bare-bones one. You can set a time to publish, a blog category where the post is gonna end up, a blog number (in case you have more than one blog in your wordpress installation), a username and a password. This sets up sort of a CRON-job, so that every day at the designated time, your links are bundled into a post and sent to the xmlrpc.php of this wordpress-installation (see e.g. Michel or Eskimokaka for these kind of posts).
  • Being a tad paranoid never hurt anyone, so you set up a user especially for postings from del.icio.us (it’s not a very good idea to start giving away your administrator password on external sites).
  • You give this delicious-user on your blog the role of “contributor”, as you don’t want the posts from delicious to appear on the site right away. Why? So that you can still tinker with titles or tags or abolish a post if you encountered only one useful link on a given day…
  • All set to go. You post some useful links. Wait for a day. Look for a draft post from user “delicious”. Nothing.
  • Check google, wordpress codex, forums: all lead to the same conclusion: not possible. the del.icio.us user has to have at least editor-rights…
  • So the choice is either to abandon the external posting, or live with the fact that their postings end up on the site right away and have to be edited, tagged, bundled etc… later.

Bummer. The text on the WordPress-homepage “WordPress is what you use when you want to work with your blogging software, not fight it” got a sour smile from me tonight…

Anyone who knows a graceful workaround or wordpress-plugin for this problem?


nov 4 2007

How to remove a photo from your Flickr-photostream

Screenshot of the screen in Flickr where you can upload both the date taken and the date uploaded

Besides being a great photo gallery site, Flickr offers also a lot of tools for photo management, storage, external use through the API …. Sometimes these two uses collide.

Case in point: the photostream. This is a blog-like representation of your photos, newest to oldest, and it is the default view on your photo collection for someone visiting your profile on Flickr. Now say you want to blog about a screenshot or post ten slightly different versions of a photo to discuss them on a photoforum. Then the photostream suddenly gets pretty uninteresting.

This had me puzzled for a while, wondering if a Flickr-Pro-account would be the right tool for me. Until I found out there IS a (non-obvious) way to get rid of a photo from your photostream. Sort of.

Go to “Organize“and then select your photo (or a batch of photos) from the bottom list. The obvious choice then would be to click “Edit Dates”. This however only acts on the “date taken” of the photo, leaving it on top of the photostream…
Instead choose “Edit Photos” and then “Title, Description and tags“. In the window that opens there is another “Dates” option, and this one gives you the possibility to change both the “date taken” and the “date uploaded”.

Choose a date in the past for “date uploaded” and voilą: the picture is out of the photostream, yet still available (e.g. for blogging it, posting it to a forum etc…). Unlike a “replace” of a photo, this operation doesn’t change the file location…

The “sort of” from the third paragraph is of course also true: the photo with the changed date is still in the photostream, just in a different place. Changing it a few seconds back allows you to change the order of the photostream, changing it to a date in the past moves it even further back. The possibility that a visitor looking at your photo collection gets puzzled by a photo you uploaded just for a photo correction, a blog post and so on, just has become much smaller.


okt 19 2007

Slideoo: a cool tool for displaying your Flickr-photos

New to this blog: a flash-based banner on top displaying photo’s from my flickr-photostream. It’s on the homepage and on the archive page for this post (so if you don’t see it right now head over there

Was tempted into making this after reading on Mashable about a Belgian startup called Positiveluck, who just launched this service called Slideoo (or is it Slide∞ ?).

Writing a tutorial for this webservice would be quite simple:

  1. Go to slideoo.com

  2. enter a Flickr username (Preferably your own, if you don’t want to go into lengthy arguments with Flickr-users about whether or not an API can steal data)
  3. choose between a photoset or the photostream (newest photos on top) of that user
  4. Customize if you want small, thumbnail, medium or large images, and set options for width and the number of pictures to fetch)
  5. Hit “Create your Slideoo”.

Slideoo then quickly compiles the images into a horizontally scrolling flash-movie. It also provides you with the embed code to integrate your slideshow into the platform of your choice (Typepad, Myspace, Facebook, Blogger … most popular social networks and major blog platforms are represented through the magic of the cool widget-distribution network Gigya.

Cool, ain’t it? It ain’t eyepopping as other flickr-mashups as e.g. Tiltviewer, but I bet that will make you grow tired of it less quickly.

There is still room for improvement in the service, certainly:
The top functionality wanted would be to have a “random” function, so that on each reload the displayed photos would be different.
Another one is to distribute the flash-file, as integrating the thing on your blog now risks slowing down your site in two ways: the flickr-api has got to respond (but that’s taken care of by internet-giant Yahoo), ąnd slideoo has got to be able to handle the traffic.
And third: I’m sure some smart kid could write this in javascript + ajax instead of Flash, which could render it more accessible.