Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Web Geekery Mode Engaged
December 14th, 2008

For a long time I have been putting off upgrading the Independent Fabrication Owners’ Club website, It’s been running on a legacy version of WordPress (version 2.3.3) for a lot longer than most people would be happy with. Indeed it was even compromised as a result, but I managed to fix that and patch it. Still with WordPress 2.7.0 now on the scene, it was time to catch up, especially when a large group of friends including Samuri, who all share the same host have just had their sites affected by a recent compromised server, caused in part by people running insecure software installations. It pays to keep up with the versions!

One of the key things holding back the move was the fact that the Disclose Secret plugin that had previously been used to keep the private members only content secure didn’t support versions 2.4 onwards fully. Part of the waiting game has been waiting for a suitable replacement to come along to let the upgrade take place and keep the content secure. The solution to that issue has come in the form of the Role Scoper plugin that offers even greater granularity to admins to control access.

Of course there are always other issues that you don’t expect to happen. One is that the TinyMCE WYSIWYG editor in 2.7 turned out to be a WYSI not WYG editor, corrupting hyperlink tags when you flicked between the visual and code views of the page. Turning off the visual editor in the profile fixes the issue, but loses some of the useful functionality of the application. I’ve tried replacing the wp-includes and wp-admin folders on the server in case there was a corrupted element that occurred during upload, but this made no difference. Haven’t had this issue for a while and a search of teh web hasn’t found any one else having the same issue…yet.

The other issue is that the RS Discuss forum plugin that I’d been using doesn’t work either and even after trying a patch that had been developed for WordPress MU, I still couldn’t get it to display posts. The solution to that has been to create an installation of BBPress on the server. I looked at PHPBB which is arguably the most popular solution for bulletin boards, but couldn’t find a neat way of integrating it into the WordPress user table. BBPress comes from the same team of developers as WordPress and has the option to integrate straight out of the box during the installation phase. That option didn’t work for me, but you can complete the install without it and create the link once the setup is complete.

The other useful thing was the offline for maintenance solution, which was simply to add in the following three lines to the .htaccess file in the Public HTML folder on the webserver. The first line shows the IP address of the computer you’re working from and creates an exception so that you can see the site. The only other requirement is to create a simple html page (maintenance.html) that tells the world why they can’t access the site. Neat solution.

RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} !^111\.11\.111\.111
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !/maintenance.html$ [NC]
RewriteRule .* /maintenance.html [R,L]

Integrating BBPress and WordPress 2.7 (Update)

Issues to date:

1. If the function that allows users to register with BBPress is left active then, when these users log-in to WordPress it breaks the WordPress site. If users are created in WordPress then they can access the BBPress forum without any issues.

2. Users are not automatically logged into BBPress if they are logged into WordPress.

Other Upgrade Issues (update)

Seems like WordPress 2.7 doesn’t like to play with Lightbox2. As a result the navigation within agallery of photos isn’t working anymore. Some discussion here.

July 30th, 2008

So I’m at a technology conference in Boston right now. It’ one of those places where you get bombarded with content – lots of people sharing what they are using to do certain things. One of the more interesting things I’ve discovered is Frappr. It’s the product of three UC Berkeley students and it’s rather neat. Here’s a map I’ve created:

The biggest issue with it in terms of integration is that it comes with some very complex imbed code. So the plan with the map above was to be able to add it to one of the Singletrackworld forums. Any way I’ve put a post up here to try and see if this gets any uptake.

Clustrmaps was also discussed in one session. Here’s a map for (see below) it’s really something that needs to be added to the sidebar or footer and it’s an aggregation tool so it will collate content over time. What would be really need was if it was possible to integrate it into Google Analytics to use visitor data to create a retrospective summary at install stage.

Locations of visitors to this page

Manchester Mountain Bikers
June 23rd, 2008

Manchester Mountain Bikers. Perhaps that should read Manchester Stockport Mountain Bikers. Anyway, one of the guys in Harry Halls gave me a card for these guys last time I was in. It’s a bloody good idea actually – the number of times we used to get people in asking for information about local clubs and had little to give out meant this was a definite opportunity that has been taken. Anyway these are some of the people behind the efforts in Reddish Vale and there’s a cyclocross race this Wednesday night…

I upgraded to Firefox 3 at work on release day (although not at home) and one thing that has iritated me today is that the Spell Checker in the browser no longer seems to work with WordPress. It’s been discussed here.

Mag Archive vs STW
May 28th, 2008

On my list of things to do for a long time has been integrating the Mag Archive more neatly into the Singletrackworld website. As the guys have been discussing a redesign for about the last 4 years it’s never been a very high priority, so for a long time it’s had a different look and feel which has always been a bit of a compromise.

The new Singletrack website looks great, so last night I spend a few hours putting together a new template for the site that integrates into the navigation and look and feel. It took another hour or so it iron out a few niggles, but I’m pretty happy with the end result. Take a look.

Singletrack Mag Archive

May 18th, 2008

For a little while I’ve been getting mildly irritated by a number of false user registrations coming through each day. In the past these accounts if left active have then resulted in unwanted SPAM comments. reCAPTCHA has been the logical choice for a long time to counter this, but it’s only been this weekend that a solution has come along that solves the issue. the solution I’m using at the moment is largely the work of this chap, you can read more about the plugin on his site, but there are one or two little bugs that have been highlighted so far.

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