Keep Up-to-Date with BOPIT

12th Aug 2007 stk

Update Your Plug-ins from the Back-Office

Ever spent hours working through a problem with a plug-in, only to discover that there's a new version that fixes it? Ever had to search all over the Internet to try to find help with a plug-in? Don't you wish there was a simple way to tell if a plug-in upgrade was available? Well now there is!

This plug-in will tell you, at a glance, if there's a newer version of a plug-in (or skin) your using. If there is, just click and you can download it! How great is that?

BOPIT works silently in the background and is tightly integrated with your existing b2evolution back-office "Plugins" tab. There's no annoying pop-up messages, nagging you to upgrade. There's no unwanted, automatic downloading. You simply get a visual cue (shaded background), that tells you if your plug-in is current, or if an upgrade is available. If one is available, just click the link and download it. Simple. Easy. Sweet.

There's more. BOPIT adds an extra "Tool" tab (called, strangly enough - "BOPIT"), that provides you with a list of all known plug-ins and skins - and if any that you have are outdated! Each of the supported plug-ins and skins will have a download link, a home page link and link to a support page or forum thread. No wandering all over the Internet, hunting for files!

AstonishMe rocks! Who else would bring you something as great as this, eh? Too bad only AstonishMe plug-ins are currently BOPIT-enabled. Wouldn't it be great if ALL plug-ins and skins were BOPIT-enabled? Well, they CAN BE. Developers ... it's easy to add your skin or plug-in to the BOPIT list. Head over to the "Developers" page, to find out more.

  1. Introduction
  2. Installation
  3. Developers ( revised )

Extra Comment Control

9th Jan 2007 ¥åßßå

Extra comment control at your fingertips

One of the drawbacks of b2evolution blogs is the lack of finesse when it comes to controling who can read or make comments. You either have to close the door on the whole world, or leave it wide open so everyman and his dog can wander in. There's no middle ground unless you fancy butchering a few of the core files to bend them to your needs.

B2evolution ships with the following 3 possible settings for comments :

  1. Open
    Everyman and his dog can read and make comments
  2. Closed
    Everyman and his dog can read comments, nobody (not even the dog) can leave comments
  3. Disabled
    What comments?

This plugin changes those options so you can specify exactly who comments are open/closed/disabled for. No longer do you have to let in the world just to allow your members the ability to comment. With this plugin you can choose from all of the following levels for each of the open/closed/disabled settings :-

  1. Anybody
  2. Registered users
  3. Blog members
  4. Blog editors
  5. Blog administrators
  6. Nobody

If this is the plugin for you then carry on to the installation instructions ....

  1. Introduction
  2. Installation

Allow Comments

22nd Aug 2006 ¥åßßå

Bypass Comment Moderation for Admin & Members

This is the plug-in that the world's been waiting for with bated breath ... well, two or three people here at AstonishMe, for sure! :p

It's a no-brainer addition to your blog. It'll end hours of frustration, turn you into one happy camper and heck, may even add years to your life. What's it do? Something that comment moderation should do, by default: It allows owners of a blog to comment, unmoderated, on their own blog; It allows members of a blog to comment, unmoderated, on blogs for which they're members!

"Doh!" you say, and rightly so, as it falls into the "Whose-blog-is-it-anyway?" category of feature additions.

Well, by golly, it's YOUR blog (and we make it so) ;)

If you employ comment moderation in the default install of b2evolution v1.8, you'll no doubt, quickly realize that your own comments are moderated, right along with the spamming visitor who's as slimy as green can be. What a travesty. Get this plug-in and correct this moderation faux pas. Allow administrators, members, and authors to comment on their own blogs and posts. Makes sense? We think so.

So much so, that we're making this plug-in free to all b2evolution users!

"Why?" you might ask, because you know it takes time to make these beneficial, valuable and life-extending plug-ins.

Because we're just great people! Because we know that you'll come to think of AstonishMe as your source for making your blog work the way YOU WANT IT TO. Because we're looking for a few good bloggers, interested in making their blog better, stronger, able to leap tall blogs, with high page ranks, in a single bound. Because, we know you want to sign up for membership and add some REAL pizzaz to your blog.

Set a "No-Link" Comment Policy

Oh, we've also included another useful feature, which keeps people from adding a URL to their comment. Whether it's a spammer or some schmoe making silly comments, leaving his URL to boost inbound links for his own page ranking, this setting will slam the linkage door in their self-serving faces. Use it to establish a no-link commenting policy for your blog. You'll know that the comments you get are real and not, in any way, a self-serving promotion, either for profit or page-ranking gain.

This plug-in is easy to install, easy to use. G'won ... you know you want it. Get it by moving on to "Installation and Usage". See you there. ;)

  1. Introduction
  2. Installation (v1.8) & Usage

Paged comments

7th Feb 2006 ¥åßßå

Taming Long Comment Lists

Does your blog receive lots of comments? If so, you're probably tired of scrolling down the screen each time you want see the newest comments. ( We know we are. :p ) Tame your long list of comments by paging them.

This skin modification will help you get control over lots of comments by putting them into pages. You can control the following:

  • Number of comments per page.
  • Sort order (New-to-old or old-to-new).
  • Styling and/or number of page controls.

The way it works is simple. Your comments appear, as normal, until they exceed your "number of comments per page". When they go over, a comment page is added, with page controls (i.e., newer comments | older comments ). The controls appear where you place them and we've added hooks so that you can style them to your liking in your CSS file. The code includes an internal bookmark, so when you scroll through pages of comments, each new page starts at the "top of comments" (rather than "top of entry"), which makes reading multiple pages of comments easier. We have also included an optional, easy core hack to keep view counts from incrementing for comment pages, should this be something you need.

To implement paged comments for your blog, follow the detailed instructions & use the cut'n-paste code on the next page. After you're finished installing, you'll likely want to style the page controls, which is covered on page 3 (CSS Styling), including some suggested CSS declarations. The last page (FAQs and Enhancements) discusses any questions we've received about paged comments and additional ways to make paged comments nicer.

  1. Introduction
  2. Installation instructions
  3. CSS Styling of Page Controls
  4. FAQs & Enhancements

Search Hi-Lite Plugin

19th Jan 2006 stk
Introduction & Comparison

This plugin has now been updated for the 2.x series, you can download it here ( AM Search Highlighter ). NOTE : For this version you do not have to make any changes to your skin ;)

More Accurate Search Results Plus Multi-Term Highlighting

It's not often that you can kill two birds with one stone and do it with panache. We believe the "Search Hi-Lite" plugin accomplishes this. As the name suggests, it will highlight multiple search terms with different, user-customizable, colors and styles. Now visitors can actually see the results that they're searching for, at a glance. That in itself is useful, but that's not all this plug-in accompllishes. This plug-in yields more ACCURATE search results than the search function that ships with b2evolution!

You are going to like this plug-in!

While making the proto-type, we discovered that a b2evolution search matched on text inside XHTML tags. A search for "http://" returns every post with an img tag <img src="http://blah.jpg" /> or a link <a href=""> in other words, just about every post in a blog! Not good.

When returns are not highlighted, this behavior is difficult to notice. Once we highlighted the terms, however, it became apparent that b2evo was returning unseen text and highlighting them lead to broken images, broken links and - in the worst case - a broken site (if served with a MIME type of "application/xhtml+xml"). It looked awful and was FAR from the desired result. We had to completely redesign the plug-in to work around (and ultimagely FIX) this behavior.

Or goal: Give visitors highlighted search returns that matched the search term(s), either as full words or contained within a larger word (limiting the search to text VISIBLE in the blog).

We have achieved this, via creative coding and modifications to the skin's main template file "_main.php". Note: No core files were harmed in the making of this plugin.

To demonstrate the difference between the standard b2evo search returns and our "Astonish Me! Hi-Lite Search" Plug-in, click the links below. In each case, the search if for "http://":

This simple test makes it clear that not only does this plugin provide obviously VISIBLE search returns, but they're also more relevant and accurate!

You want this plugin, don't you? (I warned you about that!) HA! For downloading and installation instructions ... search on the next page.

  1. Introduction & Comparison
  2. Install Instructions
  3. Usage & Considerations
  4. FAQs & Something Else