Dec 222012

Every year around this time I have a new release of Suffusion. This year though, it is going to be a new release of Photonic. Maybe there will be one more before the New Year, depending on how much my family manages to push me out of the house.

This version of Photonic has the following highlights:

  1. I rewrote the Picasa Processor to be DOM-based instead of event-based. While that is techno-speak, not entirely relevant to you as a user, what it means is that I was able to make a few things more elegant and easy for me to achieve. So …
  2. … There is now an option to let users display the image title instead of the description in Picasa. To use it, go to Photonic → Settings → Picasa → Picasa Settings → Photo titles.
  3. Nested collections in Flickr were not working correctly. A warning was showing up, and collections were getting repeated. This should be working fine now.
  4. I have also fixed an erroneous link for the Flickr collections’ thumbnails. Clicking on them should now take you to the right page
  5. Picasa thumbnails in the popup window now have the same dimensions as those in the main page.

Hope you like this release. I have some pretty big plans for the plugin, like extending support to Zenfolio and Facebook, adding the capability to use more lightbox libraries etc. You can rate / review Photonic at the official WP page.

Dec 132012

I was hoping version 4.4.4 would go live on 12.12.12, which unfortunately was missed by a day. Here are the updates in this version:

  1. I removed the two shortcodes in the theme that could be classified as “post content” shortcodes – suffusion-widgets and suffusion-multic (along with its companionsuffusion-column). This is thanks to the guideline change from the review team, as mentioned in my previous post.
  2. JQuery 1.8.3 bundled with WP 3.5 was causing a conflict, resulting in problems in featured content display. That has been addressed. Sorry for not catching this prior to the WP 3.5 go-live.

I have also updated the Suffusion Shortcodes plugin to version 1.01. There was a small problem causing clashes with other non-plugin shortcodes in the previous version. This version should work just fine. You will need this version if you were using any of the removed shortcodes from Suffusion itself.

The other plugin updated is Suffusion BuddyPress Pack, which had a typo in one line, resulting in a script not loading.

Dec 102012

It surely looks like Suffusion’s loss if Photonic’s gain! I have pushed in the latest version of Photonic, which has some nice additions:

  1. Instagram Support:
    This was something that didn’t take long to develop. Even with my workload I managed to do most of the work last weekend and finished the rest this weekend. Instagram is now supported to the extent it is possible to support it! You can display photos that you post, in addition to popular photos. You can also search for photos by location and tags. In addition you can list out the users who follow you or are followed by you. The complete Instagram demo has been made available. The demo page is currently being worked on, however you can see all the examples in action there.
  2. Helpers:
    I pulled Photonic into its own menu item. Rather than nesting under Settings in your dashboard, Photonic is a new tab on the left. This has helped me create a new “Helpers” page for the back-end. Therein you can find things such as your Flickr ID or Instagram ID, without having to scramble across the web.
  3. This was an unreported bug: for authenticated users clicking on a Flickr Gallery thumbnail wasn’t showing a popup with the gallery photos. I have fixed this.
  4. I have also added the capability to let your external URLs (such as Flickr or Instagram URLs) in a new tab. You can configure the setting from Photonic → Settings → Generic Options → Generic Settings → External Link Handling.

I now have a pretty good framework in place for Photonic. If there is any source that supports OAuth 1 or OAuth 2, it should be fairly easy to add the nuts and bolts in place for it. The tricky part is obviously handling the galleries, photos etc.

One piece of good news is that I now have access to Zenfolio. So that is the next source in my line of sight is Zenfolio. The bad thing about Zenfolio is that it doesn’t use OAuth 1 or OAuth 2; it uses its own authentication. That makes things a bit more challenging.

Another source obviously on my radar is Facebook. However the preponderance of Facebook plugins makes me wonder if I can add value in that area. I will also be focusing on the social aspects of the plugin, like letting users share photos on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, among other things. In addition I will focus on more layout options, and extending Lightbox support to other non-GPL scripts.

Before I close, I would like to thank all of you for your support in response to my previous post. I shall be responding to each of you individually. The thing is, Suffusion has reached a point beyond which new features are hard to add. However I will work to keep the theme up to date, and if any new feature strikes me as being worthy of development I will definitely work on it. I will also work with you on the support forum to help resolve issues.

If you like my work, I encourage you to rate and review it – making money has never been a goal of my open source projects, but garnering your goodwill definitely has. Photonic’s review page is here, Suffusion’s here and FontMeister’s here.

Nov 292012

I just released a minor update to the Suffusion BuddyPress Pack. There was a report of it referencing a missing file for the latest BP version, resulting in a 404 error in the back-end. This update should take care of it.

I have also submitted a version of Suffusion for approval, however it has not been picked up by a reviewer yet.

Nov 252012

I have been on a roll with respect to Photonic the last few week, only punctuated by the Thanksgiving weekend here in the US.

The latest version of the plugin has the following updates:

  1. The component now has support for collections. However, please note that the Collections API in is very quirky. It requires authentication, but then it only lets a user see his own collections after logging in. In other words, there way no way the API would let you show all your collections by a single call to a visitor – instead the visitor will see his collections after authentication. I have logged this as an issue, but I have no idea when it will get resolved. Naturally there was no point in offering such functionality.
    So what have I provided? I have built the capability to show a named collection. You could use this kind of an invocation, and it will show the photos in the specified collection:

    [gallery type='500px' view='collections' view_id='xyz']

    In the above, xyz is the collection id. Instead of view='collections' you could use view='sets'. They are synonymous in parlance. How do you know the collection id? There is no programmatic way to do so. However you can see the URL of a photo in a collection, e.g., and pick the portion after “from=set/”. So here the collection id is 265673. This is a photo from Michael Stuart, a Photonic user who has graciously consented to let me showcase his photos for the demos.

  2. The prior versions had an issue with authenticating in, which I have taken care of.
  3. I have added the capability to show fewer pictures on an archive page than in the single page/post. You can configure the settings from Settings → Photonic → Generic Options → Layouts.
  4. I have changed the Flickr module to be predominantly PHP-based, moving away from JavaScript. The reason for this switch is that the JS was causing some conflicts with some plugins. Additionally having a PHP-based solution will let you make use of caching much better.

That’s it for this release. My workload is increasing again from tomorrow, so updates will not be as frequent or heavy as they have been the last couple of weeks.

Nov 202012

Version 1.26 of Photonic had a minor bug with the display of the login button – under some circumstances the button wouldn’t show up at all. I have patched this and made a new version, 1.27 available.

Do give it a try and let me know what you think.

Nov 182012

I just released version 1.26 of Photonic, capping a few weeks of hectic development. First was the responsive version of Suffusion, then support for Font Squirrel in FontMeister, and now, OAuth2 support in Photonic for authentication in Picasa.

So this version of Photonic features:

  1. Support for private photos in Picasa
    This was a feature that took me quite some time and a few aborted attempts to develop. While Flickr, and SmugMug use OAuth1 for authentication, Picasa uses OAuth2. The mechanisms for authentication differ, and it took me quite some time to figure out how to work with OAuth2. Thanks to Marcel Bokhorst, a suffurer, whose Add Links to Facebook plugin uses OAuth2 authentication. Marcel was gracious to help me with some OAuth2 concepts, which I have been able to put to use here.
    To enable private photo setup for Picasa:
    1. Go to the Google API Console.
    2. Create a “Client ID for web applications”. For the “Redirect URI” remember to include the URL of your WP homepage. E.g In my case the URI was
    3. Go to Settings → Photonic → Picasa → Picasa Settings, and put in your new Client ID and Client Secret.
    4. On the same screen enable private photo access and save.

    Now when you visit a page with Picasa photos, it will show a box to log in. Without logging in that page will show all photos with public access, but once you log in you will be able to see private photos as well, to which you have been given access.

  2. Ability to show single photos in
    Just like single photos in Flickr, you can now show single photos from The syntax is simple:
    [gallery type='500px' view='photos' view_id='4041547']

    This will show a single photo. The above shows a photo by Colin:

    Enjoying the sunshine

    Enjoying the sunshine
    A pretty girl sunning her self in a park in Madrid.
  3. More skins for Colorbox
    I have added a few other Colorbox skins. You can pick any that you like, from Settings → Photonic → Generic Options → JS Library Settings.

The reason I am excited about this release is that I can now consider integrating Instagram and potentially Facebook.

As usual, if you like this release, please do consider leaving a review for Photonic.

Nov 132012

Finally I have managed to complete the new version of FontMeister. The biggest feature of this release is the support for Font Squirrel. This is a big deal because at present FontMeister is the only WP plugin to support Font Squirrel.

Unlike other services such as Google Fonts or Typekit, Font Squirrel poses a unique challenge because it doesn’t provide hosted fonts. Instead you have to download @font-face kits from Font Squirrel to use the fonts. So I wrote the code to download the file, unzip it, and make the fonts available.

I did come across one issue, though. My local installation sometimes failed to download larger @font-face kits. The problem would resolve itself if I attempted the download after some time, but would resurface again if I attempted to download other big files. I put this down to some WP configurations at my end, since I had no such issues on a public installation of the plugin.

Sep 212012

Version 4.3.2 of Suffusion has been on a painfully slow “go-live” process. While the plugin was approved about 5 days back, it hasn’t been made live yet, meaning you cannot use it for at least a few more days. In the meanwhile my request for a new plugin, “Suffusion Shortcodes” got approved.

As mentioned earlier, this plugin is essentially a collection of shortcodes available within Suffusion. The primary audience for this plugin are the folks who have used the shortcodes of Suffusion extensively and feel that it is shackling them from moving to other themes. By using this plugin you will be able to keep all your content absolutely safe. I am undecided on whether I will continue with enhancing the shortcodes within Suffusion itself in the future, but I know for sure that if I make any shortcode improvements, they will definitely be in this plugin. So even if you are a Suffusion user, I encourage you to download this plugin. The plugin is active from its official WP page. The list of shortcodes and their usage can be found here.

Sep 212012

I managed to track down the oddest bug I have seen in code in a long time when I worked to release version 1.25 of Photonic. After the last release quite a few users noticed that the module had stopped working. This was particularly surprising to me because I could see working perfectly on my local install, but failing elsewhere, such as the demo site. I never would have guessed, but the problem was that my development environment is a 64-bit machine while my live environment is a 32-bit machine. That was causing the maximum possible integer in PHP to be evaluated differently on the two platforms, and since I was comparing dates using this number as a bound, the 64-bit and 32-bit machines were returning differing results.

Anyway, this is the gist of this version of Photonic:

  1. Fixed the above issue.
  2. There was an issue that you wouldn’t have noticed if you weren’t connected to the web – trying to view a gallery while not connected would result in a fatal error. This has been taken care of.

Hope this fixes the issues for you.