WPJax September 2014


My notes from this month's "WordPress Sampler" meeting of WPJax at Modis. Folks in our group range from business owners and students to advanced developers. Here are some of their recommendations and insights, primarily from Elizabeth, Clint, and Jonathan.

Themes and Development

Stock Photos and Shopping


Jonathan also shared his experience finding, tracking, and repairing a bug in the WordPress Core that has existed for years.

I encourage you to contact Clint, Jonathan, or Elizabeth for your WordPress design needs. And thanks again to Modis and to Tim and Rebecca for the venue and the refreshments!

Good questions and a bunch of tips from everyone else attending rounded out this excellent session. We've got a great group going, and much talent on the move here in the "Bold New City of the South!"

Prevent WordPress from asking FTP details


When installing a new plugin, or upgrading an existing theme, plugin, or WordPress itself, you may be asked for FTP details. But, you say, I thought I had this configured to update directly. Here's how to force WordPress to upgrade without FTP.

In your wp-config.php file, add a line near the top:

define('FS_METHOD', 'direct');

This forces WordPress to write to files directly. Once this is done, you will get error messages that better explain what isn't working.

For example, you may need group write privileges on the wp-content/upgrade directory:

chmod g+w wp-content/upgrade

If you get this error:

Could not remove the old plugin.

you will also need to ensure there is group write on all the plugins themselves:

chmod -R g+w wp-content/plugins

Getting Flash to work under Chromium on Fedora


I had already downloaded and installed Flash for Firefox, following these instructions but could not get it to work as a plugin on Chromium.

Success is yours when you type "about:plugins" into the location bar of Chromium and the Flash player appears.

Fortunately, it turned out to be pretty simple to just link Firefox's plugin into Chromium: As root, do this:

cd /usr/lib64/chromium-browser/plugins/
ln -s /usr/lib64/mozilla/plugins-wrapped/nswrapper_32_64.libflashplayer.so .

Wordpress 3.0 Menus, A Disaster Waiting to Happen


After reading Justin Tadlock's excellent writeup of Wordpress 3.0 navigation menus (nav-menus), I am seriously disappointed and annoyed at this new feature.

A nightmare to maintain, spaghetti bowl of desynchronization, is what these new menus are. They statically replicate what we already had dynamic widgets for. In database lingo, they violate third normal form.

Post and page descriptions are computed from the page content AT ADD TIME; if you update a post or page, its description is not updated, so you have to remember to manually edit each menu entry each time you edit something. Adding pages, or changing a page’s Order, or changing a page’s Parent, does not change the menu, you have to manually go replicate all your changes in two places.

Nor can I find any way to write a widget that creates menu items, like my http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/hierarchical-pages/ , which would solve the above problems by creating menus on the fly, based on your current page location, the N latest posts, or other inputs.

In short, the new menus should have been a widget, that could be inserted anywhere, instead of a whole new structure. What a mess.