Using circleci.com for automated WordPress plugin testing.

A few months ago, one of the teams I work with went on the hunt for a good continuous integration service for running tests on the code we write.  We jumped on the unit test bandwagon at the beginning of the year and wanted to really amp up the quality of our product by having tests run on every commit.  I was tasked with this job (and anyone who knows me knows I LOVE playing with new things, so it was a task I was looking forward to doing)

Most WordPress users are familiar with travis-ci.org and the internets were full of instructions for getting things plugged in and up with travis.  Unfortunately, our project is inside a private github repo so we couldn’t use the free travis plan to run our tests on and the premium plan was a bit to pricey for our first attempt at this.  So after searching around, I stumbled on circle.  From all appearances, circle looked like it would work very similarly to travis and bonus points were that their plans are much cheaper – so great for getting started with.

FireHost and WordPress Multi-site… how well do they play together?

Recently, one of my clients purchased a server with FireHost.com.  We’d been on the search for a new web host for some time now to serve as the infrastructure supporting upcoming web applications we have in the works.  We needed a company who is well recommended, and will help us scale and scale quickly.

You pay a more for a host like this  but it’s part of the investment costs you need to make if you want to be positioned well for solid growth as a business.

Anyways, the purpose of this post is NOT to discredit or gripe about yet another hosting company that fails to live up to expectations. We actually really like the setup we have at FireHost. Although getting things setup were a bit of a pain – their support has been very prompt and generally okay.  No, this post is more of a fyi for folks who are in a similar situation as us.  I couldn’t find any information on this subject on the nets so thought I’d post my own findings.

WP 3.7 drops with an interesting surprise…

I thought I was following the development of WordPress 3.7 fairly closely but something totally missed my notice and only caught my attention when a plugin I develop stopped working with the latest version of WordPress.

The culprit?

do_action( 'save_post', $post_ID, $post, $update );

Notice anything different?  The difference is that this hook used to only have 2 parameters, “$post_ID”, and “$post” but NOW it has a third one, “$update”.  It’s actually a nice addition as it makes it super easy to determine whether the post is being updated or not.  However, due to the way I hooked into this action (with a function that had extra parameters on it), Organize Series broke.  Easy enough fix, but quirky enough that I thought it deserved a post as I haven’t seen anybody mention this little addition!

 

Organize Series 2.1.7 Released

I knew I wanted to get the next version of Organize Series out the door and with the surprise (well maybe not quite a surprise) release of WordPress 2.9 I decided to get my butt in gear and finish off the threads needed.  As far as I know Organize Series works fine with WordPress 2.9 (I’m running it fine on my websites) but if you notice any problems report them to the support forums as usual.

This release is mostly bug fixes.  Please make sure you read through the changelog if you want all the details.  Some of you will be happy with some persistent bugs you’ve been dealing with (I hope!).

What’s next?  Well, I have had a number of different feature requests that have come my way.  Some I may be doing as custom work in the new year (that means getting paid to implement) and others I have quoted on but I think it’s outside of the budget of those wanting them.  I’m strongly considering doing some work on some plugins to Organize Series that will implement some of the most requested features and offer it up for sale on a service like the wpplugins app store for a nominal amount (between $10-20).   Anything I do this way will still be release GPL etc. but it will be a way for me to still contribute new features to Organize Series and help pay my bills as well.   The core Organize Series plugin of course will still always be offered free of charge and I will continue to do maintenance and bug fixes on it going forward.  All I would be doing is offering new features as a paid option.

Organize Series 2.1.5 has galloped in…

I just finished getting the next version of my super duper series plugin for WordPress launched to the wild.  Organize Series 2.1.5 has got some neat stuff in it:

  • New Feature: A bundled plugin called “Organize Series Publisher”.  You don’t have to activate it if you don’t want but it’s there if you want to try it out!  This new add-on for Organize Series is a take-off of the Issues-Manager plugin created by Jonathan Brinley and was sponsored by Amanda Giles who hired me to port Issues-Manager so it works with Organize Series.  Amanda graciously agreed to have this released to all users of Organize Series!  Basically, this add-on allows you to set a series so any posts assigned to it won’t publish until you explicitly publish the whole series.  Read more about it on the Organize Series Plugin Page
  • New Feature: custom base for series permalinks.  Yeah, now you can change ‘series’ to something like ‘myawesomesequenceofposts’…well, you can..
  • New Feature: Added a new function for you power users who want to be able to fully control the output of series data.  get_series_ordered() has joined the party and you can thank Amanda for it too!  With this function you can get series data from the database and manipulate it however you want when it’s returned.  Do the tango with it if you want! Uh…yeah…

Organize Series 2.1.1 released – Major Bug Fix

A pretty major bug slipped through with the release of Organize Series 2.1.  What happens with the bug is when someone posts a comment to a post that is part of a series, that post will lose it’s series information.  Not good.  Organize Series 2.1.1 should fix that.  You’ll want to upgrade as soon as possible.

Organize Series 2.1 Released

At long last, another update to my flagship WordPress Plugin (well, really the only WordPress plugin I’ve developed…)!  This is a significant release which is why I skipped doing a version 2.0.9 and went right to 2.1.  A couple of quick notes about this release.

  1. Organize Series 2.1 will only work with WordPress 2.8 and higher.   The code was starting to get bloated with trying to support all the previous releases and I really don’t have the time to keep supporting earlier versions of WordPress.   If you really need to use Organize Series with an earlier version of WordPress then I suggest you keep using Organize Series 2.0.8.
  2. Because of some of the feature add-ons you really should read the note about upgrading (read this – scroll down a bit for the upgrade notes)  so you don’t have any unexpected stuff happen.
  3. Going forward I’m still going to be offering limited support via my support forums.  What does limited mean? It means I will answer basic questions that don’t take me a lot of time to answer and I will also respond to bug reports (and work on fixing them).  However, I am unable to devote any more time to significant usage related questions or new feature requests.  Feel free to post such requests in the forums and there may be other users willing to help you.   Another option is to contact me and hire me to do custom work for you related to Organize Series.

Donate Friday

If you’ve used Twitter for any length of time you’ve probably noticed the phenomenom called “Follow Friday” where people tweet about people they think are worth following and actively search out new people to follow themselves.   If anything, “Follow Friday” shows us how something can gain traction when it’s simple and consistent.  Probably not too many people heard about it when it first started but because the few that did kept doing it and used a common hashtag – it quickly gained a following (pardon the pun) in the twitter realm.

I’m writing this post because of my love for WordPress and especially all the developers out there who contribute code to both the opensource project and the thousands of plugins and themes that make it such a great tool for all of us.  There has been discussion over the years of ways in which we can express appreciation to the developers who freely offer up their code to the world to use (and all the hours put into developing, maintaining, and supporting that code) but as a plugin developer myself (only one at that),  although I’ve appreciated gratitude sent my way and reviews posted on people’s blogs nothing has stoked me more than seeing that little notification from PayPal that someone has donated a sum of money to me.  The dollar amount doesn’t really matter – it’s more the realization that someone thinks what I’ve invested so much time in worthwhile enough to pay for.