Auto Screenshots & New Project Site

Before Mark left us for the green dusty start-up fields of Austin TX we had a conversation about creating a better, faster way to do our examples page. The idea of having a resource like this is always popular but people don’t add content.1 My current belief is that it’s because it’s a hassle and despite good intentions people just don’t do it. After seeing what Mark did to associate users with their blogs in the mother blog plugin, I figured he could also automatically pull the theme, plugins, and admin email of any blog on our system based on the URL . . . and indeed he could. This theme requires Advanced Custom Fields and the Benson plugin to tie in the Angular stuff. The one thing he wasn’t able to do was to auto-generate the screenshot from the URL. I’ve looked into that in the past and done it in a variety of ways but none of them were quite satisfactory. I didn’t really want to end up reliant on a 3rd party system and then Mark sent me http2pic yesterday. So now I just needed to install it and get it working. That led to a bit of an adventure for me. There are directions on the github page but they’re written for someone who is a […]

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Google Spreadsheet Unique Item Count

Google sheets can do some neat tricks. Here’s how you can generate a chart of unique words submitted and their counts. The form for collecting a single word. Loading… The formula to paste in column C. All credit to this Stack Overflow post. =QUERY({B:B,B:B},”select Col1, count(Col2) where Col1 != ” group by Col1 label count(Col2) ‘Count’”,1) The embedded chart. In messing around with options around this, I was also looking at getting JSON data out of Google sheets. https://spreadsheets.google.com/feeds/list/1gwiU0j-o50m1L5yEU7OR-v9GSuxNyQeD5_zosjBpYvE/1/public/values?alt=json To break that down https://spreadsheets.google.com/feeds/list/YOUR_SHEETS_UNIQUE_ID/THE_NO_1_FOR_THE_FIRST_SHEET/public/values?alt=json It works with Benson as seen over here which is pretty neat. Although I haven’t gotten search working.

Benson, Discourse, and WordPress

It sounds like an exciting new buddy movie . . . but it’s an attempt to better integrate elements of our Discourse install in WordPress using Benson (a neat plugin Mark made that lets you use Angular w/in WordPress). I decided to look into this after seeing this example using Twig. Ordinarily, I’d do something like this using Discourse’s RSS feeds and probably manipulating it with FacetWP. I’m opting to look at these other options for a few reasons. One, with WordPress expanding JSON I want a better idea of how all that works in comparison to RSS. Two, I don’t really like duplicating all this content through the syndication option if I can achieve the same effect in other ways. I’m not so worried about space (although I don’t like to waste it) but there are occasionally issues with updates and duplications using RSS the way we do. I wonder if JSON will straighten some of that out. Angular also opens up a realm of options as you get closer to writing code rather than relying on plugins. And finally, I want to knit Discourse more tightly to WordPress. That’ll matter because of the strong resistance to “another site?” responses. What can you get out of Discourse via JSON? Short answer- lots of stuff. Much like WordPress you can […]