We shifted some of our default comment settings in rampages. This is an attempt to give students better insight into what setting options they have and why they might make certain choices. DISCUSSIONS IN WORDPRESS Commenting is one feature of WordPress that you can control so that it behaves in ways that match your personal goals. You have lots of choices between shutting commenting off entirely and opening comments completely. You can find your discussion preferences at Dashboard>Settings>Discussion. A screenshot of what you’ll see there is included below. Default article settings The first portion, default article settings, are of these options all checked by default. Article tends to just mean blog post but might also apply to other things. The first option, attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article, is about your post notifying another site that you linked to them in your blog post. That’s handy if you’re looking to make connections between your site and others but may be something you want to uncheck if you’re discussing sensitive topics or simply don’t wish to seek out conversation with individuals outside VCU. The second option, allow link notifications from other blogs, allows other blogs to alert you that your post or page was referenced in their post. Once again, this could help build community and it […]
Obscuring emails in WordPress . . . the comments edition. This is likely overkill but given that VCU has concerns about student emails being divulged via group emails we figured it wouldn’t hurt. I don’t want a class requiring commenting on student sites and that resulting in student unintentionally divulging their VCU emails because they’re logged in. You can see more details on email concerns at VCU (and likely other Virginia universities) at the VCU House Bill 1 site. This is going to go into our production code soon but seems to be working fine in development land. If you’re not a super-admin you will no longer see emails in the main comments view. In the quick edit view, I opted to get a little more nuanced. Email addresses without VCU in them will show normally. I figured this might be useful for contacting outside people. VCU has three or four email patterns but all of them have VCU in the address so I opted to just look for VCU in the email string using strpos. If it finds VCU then it spits back a generic sanitized email, firstname.lastname@example.org I thought this would make it more obvious that there wasn’t an error but that emails were being cleaned intentionally. And finally, the single comment edit view. Thanks to Jeremy Felt […]
We had some trouble with the selected display name not showing up correctly in comments. It worked fine in themes which displayed post and page authors but comments was often incorrect. That wasn’t good from a user experience perspective and also concerned me a bit in terms of what students might expect to be showing vs what actually was showing. A bit of Google-ing prior to trying to write it from scratch led me to this post which I was able to add to a network activated plugin and be done with the issue. I tend to link in the source of stuff I used to solve the problem1 in the plugin. That gives me an embedded reference/footnote in case I ever need to revisit it and it provides a kind of credit as well. Good for me. Possibly even good for the author of the fix. Having a plugin network activated for fixes of this type is also handy. It keeps the plugin numbers down and ends up being a single place for adding/removing/troubleshooting random custom functions like this. 1 Harvard may not agree.
Image from page 981 of “A system of instruction in X-ray methods and medical uses of light, hot-air, vibration and high-frequency currents : a pictorial system of teaching by clinical instruction plates with explanatory text : a series of photographic cli flickr photo by Internet Archive Book Images shared with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) This is a bit odd but if you work in education it’s quite possible it’ll come up . . . Sometimes people just want the blog comments in a nice friendly CSV file. That might be for grading, it might be for further analysis in Voyant or something like that. What I need to do is write a little plugin for the export like Alan did for posts but until I get around to that I took advantage of another plugin Alan wrote to expand comments to the 100 most recent comments. So since I have lots of comments available in the feed, I can just use the =IMPORTXML function to port right into Google Sheets. There’s probably a smart way to parse out multiple XML fields at a time but this seems to work ok. All the functions I used are broken down in the sheet embedded below. Most are simply some version of IMPORTXML(b1,”//title”). B1 is the URL for the feed and the […]
Functional is a kind way to describe this . . . but it’s hard to argue with computers doing tedious work that was previously done by hand. The goal here was to automate the collection of the comments on 300 or so posts from the CDC’s Facebook page so they could be analyzed. Ebola is in the mix which leads to some comments that may very well rival YouTube comments in terms of causing me sadness. We did end up with around 34,000 comments which would have been hand copied in the past. So some karma balance was achieved. wTake all this with a grain or two of salt. It works but may very well be illegal in some states or do things in a way that would make real programmers weep. Consider my programming skills to be like a man trying to swat flies with a broomstick- lots of furious action, panting, cursing, and every so often I will kill a fly and celebrate wildly.1 The Facebook This was my first experience trying to do anything with Facebook. The hardest part here for me was just getting the stupid access token needed to get at the JSON feeds. I eventually found the secretly named Facebook Login Example. Part of my issue was that I thought I could skip the […]
flickr photo shared by duncan under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC ) license It’s particularly helpful in a rather specific situation- i.e. one where you’re doing a mother blog and want to see all the student comments (like Allen did with the #thoughtvectors reader) but since we have students using their blogs for more than one class things get messy fast. Enter me asking smarter people on Twitter, almost going to the forsaken land of Yahoo Pipes,1 and being saved by Google liking Mark more than me. So anyway, here’s the structure to get the comments for specific categories/tags. by name – http://bionicteaching.com/comments/feed/?category_name=apple by category ID – http://bionicteaching.com/comments/feed/?cat=18 by tag name – http://bionicteaching.com/comments/feed/?tag=tutorial-2 This is one of those things that barely rates a post but given I didn’t know how to do it maybe it’ll help some other wanderer and for people who want this it’ll be really useful. Thanks to Mark, Alan, and Martin for helping me out. 1 I like Yahoo Pipes but one has to assume Yahoo will kill it dead very soon . . . although I’ve been hearing that for several years.