Keep Up-to-Date with BOPIT

12th Aug 2007 stk
Introduction

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enough - "BOPIT"), that provides you with a list of all known plug-ins and skins - and if any that you have are outdated!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.

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

Search Cloud (Zeitgeist)

3rd May 2007 stk
Introduction

How Visitors Land on Your Blog

Who hasn't looked through their b2evolution back-office statistics page, marveling at all the unusual search terms that visitors employed to find your blog posts? Some are funny. Some are strange. Some might even be downright scary. All of the terms are 'feedback' and says something about your audience and your blog.

We've made a plug-in that moves these obscure, sometimes humorous, search terms to your front page and displays them a cloud-like fashion. In a nutshell, it gathers all of the search terms from the hitlog (last 30 days, by default), from one (or all) of your blogs. It sorts them and tallies the most popular ones. Using parameters, you tell the plug-in how many of the most popular terms to show, in what order and where they should show. Finally, you can style the cloud of terms to your liking, using CSS.

Before you know it ... you've added a "search cloud" to your b2evolution blog! If you want to be fancy, you will call it a "zeitgeist" (which is a German term meaning "the spirit of the times") and claim you got the idea from Google (but really, we got it from here).

We've added features we're sure you'll like. For high-traffic websites, there's caching capability (user-defined cache period), to save server resources. For installations with multiple blogs, you can decide which blog to use. You can display as many (or as few) terms as you like. Each term is linked to the post entry it 'found'. Call it your "Zeitgeist", your "Search Cloud" or whatever you want ... because you can easily alter the title. It even has the ability to filter objectionable words. And of course, you can completely control the styling, with access to the default xhtml and CSS. We didn't think of everything, but we did code in some flexibility. ;)

Contents
  1. Introduction
  2. Installation (v1.8.x & v1.9x)
  3. Styling the Cloud
  4. The Future
 
 
 
 

Take control of your Blog All

26th Dec 2006 ¥åßßå

This hack allows you to choose which blogs appear in your all blog, which is quite useful if you run a multi-user blog system as each user can have their own Blog All (which could include their main blog and linkblog etc)

Probably the best way to do this is by using a pseudo stub file for each blog all

Create a stub with the following code :-

PHP:

<?php
/**
 * This file is a stub file for displaying a blog, using evoSkins.
 *
 * This file will set some display parameters and then let b2evolution handle
 * the display by calling an evoSkin. (skins are in the /skins folder.)
 *
 * Note: You only need to use this stub file for advanced use of b2evolution.
 * Most of the time, calling your blog through index.php will be enough.
 *
 * Same display without using skins: a_noskin.php
 *
 * b2evolution - {@link http://b2evolution.net/}
 * Released under GNU GPL License - {@link http://b2evolution.net/about/license.html}
 * @copyright (c)2003-2006 by Francois PLANQUE - {@link http://fplanque.net/}
 *
 * @package evoskins
 * @subpackage noskin
 */
 
# First, select which blog you want to display here!
# You can find these numbers in the back-office under the Blogs section.
# You can also create new blogs over there. If you do, you may duplicate this file for the new blog.
$blog 2;       // 2 is for "demo blog A" or your upgraded blog (depends on your install)
 
# You could *force* a specific skin here with this setting: (otherwise, default will be used)
# $skin = 'basic';
 
# This setting retricts posts to those published, thus hiding drafts.
# You should not have to change this.
$show_statuses array();
 
# You could *force* a specific link blog here with this setting: (otherwise, default will be used)
# $linkblog = 4;
 
# This is the list of categories to restrict the linkblog to (cats will be displayed recursively)
# Example: $linkblog_cat = '4,6,7';
$linkblog_cat '';
 
# This is the array if categories to restrict the linkblog to (non recursive)
# Example: $linkblog_catsel = array( 4, 6, 7 );
$linkblog_catsel array( );
 
# Here you can set a limit before which posts will be ignored
# You can use a unix timestamp value or 'now' which will hide all posts in the past
$timestamp_min '';
 
# Here you can set a limit after which posts will be ignored
# You can use a unix timestamp value or 'now' which will hide all posts in the future
$timestamp_max 'now';
 
# Additionnaly, you can set other values (see URL params in the manual)...
# $order = 'ASC'; // This for example would display the blog in chronological order...
 
<span style="color:red">/*</span>
<span style="color:red"> * Pick your blogs</span>
<span style="color:red"> */</span>
 
 
<span style="color:red">$am_blog_all['include_blogs'] = array(31,119); //array of blog ID's to include in the pseudo blog all</span>
<span style="color:red">$blog=1// don't change this or your blog will wander off to another dimension</span>
 
 
/**
 * That's it, now let b2evolution do the rest! :)
 */
require_once dirname(__FILE__).'/conf/_config.php';
 
require $inc_path.'_blog_main.inc.php';
?>

Next, crack open inc/_blog_main.inc.php and make the following change :-

PHP:

// Note: even if we request the same post, the following will do more restrictions (dates, etc.)
<span style="color:red">    if( empty( $am_blog_all ) ) $am_blog_all array();</span>
    $MainList = & new ItemList(
        $blog$show_statuses$p$m$w$cat$catsel$author$order,
        $orderby$posts$paged$poststart$postend$s$sentence$exact,
        $preview$unit$timestamp_min$timestamp_max$title$dstart<span style="color:red">, '#'$am_blog_all</span> );

Finally, crack open inc/model/_itemlist.class.php and make the following changes :-

PHP:

// FINALIZE WHERE CLAUSE:
        if( !empty($this->ItemQuery->where) )
        {
            $where 'WHERE '.$this->ItemQuery->where.$where;
        }
        else
        {
            $where 'WHERE 1 '.$where;
        }
 
<span style="color:red">        if( !empty( $params['include_blogs'] ) ) $where .= ' and cat_blog_ID in ('.implode','$params['include_blogs'] ).')'// we want to restrict to multiple blogs</span>
        /*
         * RUN QUERY NOW:
         */

Cool huh? ;)

¥

 
 
 
 

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="http://www.blah.com"> 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.

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

Allowing Longer URLs for Permalinks

15th Jan 2006 stk
Question & No-hack Options

A member asks, "Can I change the maximum allowed length for permalink URLs?"

The answer: YES

We present three possible solutions. Two do not involve a core hack. If you want the hack option, follow the easy step-by-step directions. Both the pre-Phoenix versions of b2evolution (v0.9.0.x) and post-Phoenix versions (v1.6+) are covered. We also take a look at the believe that having a longer permalink URL helps page rankings (i.e., SEO). You might be surprised by the information presented.

We hope that you find this article useful and appreciate your questions and feedback.

Question from a member:

Where can I change the maximum allowed length (in characters) of the permalinks for a post?

There appear to be three possible solutions:

  1. Don't use really long URL's Long URLs are ugly, using them isn't doing your visitors any favors and long URLs can break in an email (a broken URL is an unlinked URL). Generally speaking, URLs should be short, easy to type and unique.

    You can specify a long title (e.g., Watch Me Kill The President! (Jan 13) "Ridiculous In America" on ABC ), but then a shorter "URL Title" (e.g., killing_the_president). There is a spot for this in the Back Office. You don't HAVE TO use your title as the default "URL Title". Many people do this when they have a long title.

    We recommend this 'short URL' solution over anything else.

    HOWEVER ... search engines parse the title for words .. (not sure how they handle the underscores) but you *might* end up with better rankings with a long (and descriptive) title. (We've discovered some interesting information regarding rankings and URLs, which you can read about on the last page, below).

  2. Use "Post called up by its URL title". A possible solution if your server supports "clean urls" or "extra-path info". (To set this option in the back office, go to ... settings --> Link Options --> select the "Use extra-path into" box.

    Instead of "URL title", try "Post on archive page, located by it's title". This may achieve most of what you're looking for, as it yields the full title in the URL and doesn't require any core file hacking.

  3. Hack your b2evolution installation to allow for longer URLs. There are some changes you must make to enable really LONG urls. Here's what you do ...(depending on which version you have, select the correct page, below). Unsure?

******************************************************************************
Contents
  1. Question & No-hack Options
  2. Dawn (v0.9.1.0) or Earlier
  3. Phoenix (v1.6 Alpha) or Newer
  4. Longer URLs & Page Ranking
 
 
 
 
 

B.O.P.I.T