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

Google Spell Checker

30th Mar 2006 Danny

Spel rite uzing "Google Spell"

Pre-Phoenix users of b2evolution may remember using the built-in spell-checker, based on A spell check window popped open, the utility often took its sweet time to load, it often terminated or hung when it encountered certain XHTML tags and it had a clunky interface. It's not surprising that the spell check button has disappeared in the publicly available, alpha version of Phoenix. In addition, the simple (English-only) spell checker plug-in that ships with v1.6 and CVS versions of Phoenix, doesn't work. This prompted us to write our own and make some improvements.

Google Spell

Introducing the Astonish Me! "Google Spell" plug-in. It provides an easy-to-use, multilingual spell checker for the Back Office write/edit pane and (optionally) for comment forms.

It's called "Google Spell" because it uses the Google Spell Check API and functions similarly to the spell checker in Gmail. If you have a Gmail account, then you may already be familiar with the interface.

The API call is made using AJAX, which allows spell checking right in the Back Office edit window (and/or comment form). No more annoying pop-ups or page refreshes. It utilizes a word-frequency algorithm, which means that it will recognize commonly used proper nouns. This reduces the number of words it 'thinks' are incorrect. It also skips over many XHTML tags, attributes and CSS class names, further speeding up the process. Because Google handles the dictionary end of things, technology words are covered. If that weren't enough, Google Spell is multi-lingual, currently supporting eight different languages: Dansk, Deutsch, English, Español, Français, Italiano, Nederlands, Polski, Português, Suomi and Svenska.

Google Spell was inspired by and is based upon GoogieSpell, written by Amir Salihefendic and released under the GPL. It's been tested in the PC versions of MSIE 6(sp2), FireFox 1.5 & Opera 8.5. JavaScript must be enabled for Google Spell to function. If JavaScript is disabled, the controls never show up, so it degrades nicely. We believe that JavaScript should only add functionality to a page.

Summary of Benefits

  • No annoying pop-up windows.
  • No flicker or waits from page refreshes.
  • Multilingual (8 languages currently supported).
  • Three east steps to get it installed.
  • Intuitive, Gmail-like interface is easy to use.
  • Recognition of many XHTML tags, attributes and CSS class names.
  • Recognition of commonly used proper nouns.
  • Up-to-date checking of technology words.
  • Fewer 'false positives' means less time spent spell checking.
  • Quickly spell-check: scan entry for highlighted, suspect words.
  • Check any length post (no length limit).

Google Spell Demonstration

<-- Controls Show Up Here (JavaScript required)

Don't take our word for it. Go on, give it a test drive. Spell check the text in the box, or be creative and type your own. (Keep in mind that we log everything that gets typed into the window, so no cussing, credit card numbers or passwords. On second thought, credit card numbers are OKAY, just be sure to enter the expiry date and the 3-number security code off the back. ;) )

Like it? Get your copy today, courtesy of AstonishMe!

(Next: Installation for your version of Phoenix.).

  1. Introduction
  2. Installation (v1.6)
  3. Installation (v1.8)
  4. Usage & Styling
  5. 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

Display Code Plugin

30th Dec 2005 stk
Introduction & Example

At Last: <Tags> Not &lt;Tags&gt;

If you have tried posting XHMTL, PHP, CSS or other code into a blog entry, then you'll appreciate the "Display Code" plugin. It provides an easy-to-use, functional and good-looking way of inserting code directly into a post. The best part? Code characters are converted to entity values on-the-fly! The code in your post will always look identical to the code in your original script!

No longer do you need to pre-process code using 3rd-party scripts like Simple Code. They had their place, but now the conversion engine is built into b2evolution, via this remarkable plugin. The plugin also adds line-numbers and alternating line colors, which can be customized to suit your site, via CSS styling. Plus, the code you enter is "real code", both when you enter it and when you edit it! (You no longer have to wade through entity values when you need to modify a line). :D

Demonstration & Benefits

The features of this Astonish Me! "display code" plugin are listed below (in a code-like demonstration of the plugin).


(1Fontscolors and numbers are styled via CSS (customizable).
(2Line numbers are deployed as background-imageswhich means:
    aVisitors can cut'n-paste code from your site.
    b) Line numbers stay where they belong, on your site.
(3) Works in both fixed-width & liquid layouts.  
(4) Code is rendered as entity values "on-the-fly", which means:
    a) No pre-processing required, paste code into post - EASY!
    b) Code is "real code" (not entity values) ALL THE TIME.
    c) Makes it easy to modify the code in a post.
(5) White-space is preserved.
(6) It's easy to deploy and easy to use.
(7It's XHTML(strict) and CSS 2.0 valid.
(8) It "auto-senses" code block length. 
    a) Over 26 lines?  --> vertical scroll bar is applied.
    b) Under 26 lines? --> no vertical scroll (like here).
(9) If the line is too long ... it wraps automatically.
    a) When visitors cut'n-pasteline returns are preserved.
(10Codedtested and styled for both Mozilla and IE browsers.
(11BB-Code stylingsuch as <strong>BOLD</strong>, <span style="color:blue"><strong>COLOR</strong></span> & <span style="color:#000"><em>ITALICS</em></spanmay be applied.
    a) <span style="background-color:#ff9">(Including highlighting capability)</span>
    bBBcode can be used, as normalin the post.
(12No accidental conversion of smilies ;)
    aSmilies can be used, as normalin the post.

Designed for b2evolution "Summer" v1.8 or higher.

If you display computer code on your site, then you'll want this Astonish Me! "Display Code" plugin. Read on for intallation, usage and other documentation.

  1. Introduction & Example
  2. [v1.8] Install Instructions
  3. Using the Plug-in
  4. FAQS & Enhancements