Troubleshooting WordPress

This is an attempt to explain a pattern of troubleshooting WordPress through a specific event and perhaps reinforce the need for me to be humble in all interactions with people. So even if you never have this problem this might be useful. Symptoms An admin for one of our sites using FeedWordPress and suddenly can’t see any feeds in her syndicated sites view for that plugin. She sends me an email. I drop into the site and check. All looks good to me. Sadly. Sadly. Sadly. I respond to her and say it seems to be working on my end . . . has she tried another browser, computer, login/logout/restart etc. It’s easy to end up assuming the person reporting the problem is wrong by default. I get a fair number of emails. Many of them, probably most of them, report problems that are more human than mechanical. It’s easy to fall into a trap of assuming it’s a human issue, especially if a superficial inspection confirms that suspicion. It’s also called a trap for a reason. Avoid it if at all possible and if you fall into it please attempt to climb out.1 A bit later she indicates that she has done these things and the problem persists. I go back to the site. It still works for me. […]


Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-08-27

Twitter Bots Use Likes, RTs for Intimidation — Krebs on Security A huge collection of botted accounts — the vast majority of which should be easily detectable as such — may be able to abuse Twitter’s anti-abuse tools to temporarily shutter the accounts of real people suspected of being bots! Dominikus Baur – Data Visualization: Data Futures Data Futures is a live experiment about the connections between our data and ourselves. It is run in conference settings, with a large, real-time visualization on a projector, two moderators (Daniel and me) and the participants’ smartphones. Catalog of friendly, useful, artistic online bots, and resources that can help you make them | botwiki Software development 450 words per minute – Vincit –listen to the audio — And it’s not the kind of synthetic speech you hear in today’s smart assistants. I use a robotic-sounding voice which speaks at around 450 words per minute. For comparison, English is commonly spoken at around 120-150 words per minute. h/t boing boing Death of an earl – Thomas Morris Then Doctor West came, who advised a frying pan made red hot to be applied to the head… A ‘glyster’ is an enema. Tobacco enemas were widely used at this date in resuscitation – the standard treatment in cases of drowning. So although blowing tobacco smoke up a […]

echo wp_oembed_get fix

Pure click-bait gold, baby!1 You know I’m focused on those high-traffic titles. And now on to the show . . . I’m doing a site for the esteemed Jon Becker’s school law class. The goal is to take tweets that exemplify really bad legal choices by public school administrators. They even have a hashtag – #schoollawwtf. Since we’re taking tweets into WordPress for further analysis we end up with some weird constraints. I can’t rely on useful titles if we want to automate this as the tweet content might contain any number of things and the regex to try to purify it wouldn’t be worth the hassle. New content wouldn’t have any body text either because it’s just a tweet. Granted, I could duplicate that text in the body but I didn’t really see much point in that. I opted to stick the tweet URL in a custom field. That soon led me to the handy wp_oembed_get function which was new to me.2 That worked very nicely for display on single posts (screenshot and code snippet below). Where it ended up failing me was when we needed to display a bunch of tweets in need of analysis. All I had were the Twitter oEmbed element to show and clicking on them would take you to Twitter-land rather than to thee […]