Photonic Version 2.84 – Miscellaneous Fixes, and Bye Bye Instagram

I released version 2.84 of Photonic after a long hiatus. There were a couple of reasons for the hiatus. Firstly, I have been really, really busy with the job that puts food on my table. Secondly, Photonic has been remarkably stable for a long time.

However, this change was necessitated due to one major change in an external source. So, here’s the change log:

  1. Removed Features
    1. Instagram is dead on Photonic. This happened some time back, actually, in mid-September 2022. I had even pinned a topic on the support forum. I have made no secret of the fact that Instagram is a crappy platform with a crappier API. But what takes the cake is Meta’s management of the API. Already the most restrictive and least capable API, Meta makes you go through hoops to have your API key approved. They added another layer to this, saying that to display photos via the API, you have to go through business verification. This is a total non-starter for me, since Aquoid is not a business, and Photonic is not developed by a business.

      If you are wondering why I don’t register it as a business, this is a slippery slope that I don’t want to touch. There is nothing to say that Meta will not charge for API use at a later point (similar to Twitter), and will not add more layers later. It was best to quit while I still have not sunk an inordinate amount of effort into this.

      The code for Instagram is still in the plugin, so if any enterprising business owner wants to use the code, register their own API key, go through Meta’s labyrinthine verification process, and deploy this code as their own plugin, be my guest! My code is licensed under GPL V3, so there is no restriction on usage as long as you are acknowledging my copyright.

    2. I had a neat feature for Instagram built into the plugin, which would email you if your authorization was close to expiring. Obviously, with Instagram support gone, I have removed that code.
  2. Added Features
    1. Native WordPress galleries have improved sorting options available in the Wizard.
    2. The nesting levels for SmugMug trees can now be controlled. This should help users who have a high number of folders and albums.
  3. Fixes
    1. For “No lightbox” scenarios, clicking on album thumbnails was leading to the first photo of the album instead of showing the album page. This should now be taking users to the album page.
    2. The global setting for modal vs. direct lightbox displays was ignoring the album header options for the modal.
    3. The “timeout” setting for slideshows was not being honoured.
  4. Changed Features
    1. Compatibility information has been updated. Photonic is compatible with WP 6.2.
    2. KSES filtering has been improved within the Wizard.

Happy photo-blogging!