Photonic Version 2.32 – New Instagram (or not), New PHP (for sure)

Version 2.32 of Photonic is now out. I posted a few days back about the likely disruption of Instagram galleries. This is now officially a reality. Due to COVID-19 Facebook has had to suspend their Individual Verification process. So, while they have established that Photonic is good to go, they are not yet sure about me. As a net result I am in an unfortunate position of having to release code that works with a key that doesn’t yet work!

The following is the summary of changes in this release:

  1. New Instagram API
    Instagram is stopping support of its legacy API on March 30th. I happen to fall in a small category of “Individual developers”, who until recently did not have an option to use their API (which was only allowed for businesses). Once they made a limited API available to individuals I made changes to Photonic to support this. Instagram requires all developers to submit their apps for approval. It now also requires businesses and individuals to go through a verification process. Typically this takes around 2-3 days, however, with COVID-19 messing with everything they were able to approve my app… but not me!

    So, as a net result, Photonic will not work for you on your Instagram galleries – the old API would have stopped on 30th anyway, and the new one is not going to work until my verification is complete. Please switch to a different plugin for Instagram to avoid disruption. I have posted on the official WP support forum as well as this site with a heads-up, but in case you missed it, I apologise.

  2. More Instagram Changes
    The new API forced my hand with regards to one change for Instagram: the default layout is now a Justified Grid. This is because Instagram has stopped providing images of different sizes, thereby making a square gallery of predefined sizes almost impossible.

    Another change that I was able to build out was the support for carousels.

  3. RIP Old PHP
    In this release I have formally started cutting the cord with old PHP releases. I have switched Photonic to use the array “short syntax”, which only works if you are on PHP 5.6+. Note that WP itself has been on PHP 5.6+ for the last two major releases, so this should not be a deal-breaker. Also, PHP is currently at version 7.3, and even 5.6 is close to its end at this point. I will switch more code to use new features in the next iteration.
  4. Miscellaneous Changes
    • Videos from Google Photos no longer require the size parameter. Google released a way to get the largest video, which is what I display in the lightbox now.
    • With WP 5.4 really close, one upcoming change is that WP will make all images lazy-load. While this is a good concept for locally hosted images, for externally hosted images this plays havoc, particularly if you are trying a fancy layout such as Justified Grid or Mosaic. So I have added code that will force “eager loading” of all images.
    • I have moved authentication functions on the admin dashboard to their own file.
    • I have updated the compatibility information to reflect the latest supported versions for the plugin.
  5. Bug Fixes
    • The “Load More” button was not working for SmugMug galleries in the “Gallery Builder Wizard”. This has been addressed
    • This was a weird one: I had some code in place that was adding attributes to the gallery shortcode even if an alternative shortcode was being used. However, this was causing problems for some plugins that rely on a very strict set of attributes for the gallery shortcode (incorrectly so, if I might add). I have modified the code to stop doing this.

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