Upgrading WordPress and MySql on 1and1

Upgrading WordPress is trivial now. I wanted to upgrade from 2.8 to 2.9, so I went to my dashboard and pressed the “Please update now” link. I got a few warnings, a message to make sure I did a backup first, and then finally a button I could press to do the upgrade.

Only it didn’t work. WordPress 2.9 needs MySql 5.0 or higher. Crap. I had a 4.something MySql version. I went to the 1and1 control panel. No way to upgrade. No way migrate. S.O.L. When I had created my blog and the database for it, which didn’t seem like all that long ago, the default on 1and1 was to create a 4.x database. Now I was in trouble.

Hey, no problem I thought. I was told to do a backup before the upgrade, and I had done that. I used the phpMyAdmin tool to do the backup, I could do a restore to a new 5.x table the same way, right? Not exactly. I had a LOT of data in my database. 1and1 will only let you import 2meg. I had 4 times that. I needed to reduce some data.

I know, compression! First I tried to do the data dump with zip compression. Then I found out that the import tool didn’t support it. Sheesh. Then I tried the gzip compression. For me, this resulted in exactly the same file size. This wasn’t working at all. I just need to get rid of some data. Continue reading

Just found the Hongkiat site

I have been looking around for inspiration for a site redesign. I have a few things going on in my head for little touches and stuff, but I still don’t have a handle on the core colors I want to go with. I was searching google for “backgrounds”, “photoshop abstracts”, and other things when I stumbled upon www.hongkiat.com.

This is a pretty cool site. It has just about everything. Well, actually, a lot of the content is an agregation of other content, so they have stuff like 40 cool abstract and background photoshop tutorials,  60 useful photoshop actions, 41 great looking free wordpress themes, and so on. There is a lot of content collected here.

There is material here on photoshop, wordpress, icons, backgrounds, and more. A lot of is is more “design” and “photo-retouching” related, but it seems like I will spend some time here looking around.

Zen Photo Press

I am not sure how I missed this. There is a plugin for WordPress called ZenPhotoPress. I even had ideas of trying to do this myself. Anyway, what this does, is allow you to get your photo’s from Zen Photo into your wordpress blog. It is built into the visual editor (tiny mce).

I have been working on a gallery with Zen Photo with my Cyberward theme. Still trying to decide what I want to do with it, but I think that I will move to migrate my family photos over to Zen Photo instead of Gallery.

Zen Photo just seems better in my opinion. Gallery (actually Gallery2) seems slow and burdened. Too many things activated and going on by default.¬† Zen Photo has fewer plugins, but that’s ok by me. It seems much easier to hack on too. I guess now I just need to time to do this.

CwExif Plugin Appreciated

The other day I finished the CwExif plugin. I got the idea originaly from posts that Gavin Gough, and Matt Brandon did where they were wishing for some easy way to get the EXIF data displayed.

Gavin today called me a “very nice man.”¬† Also that I¬†was a¬†”geeky Canadian”. We Canadian programmers take that to be the highest compliment. :-)¬†I was quite tickled. It is great when you get to create something that someone really wanted, and doubly when they go out of their way to say thank you.

I am glad that it is what he was looking for. I hope to make some improvements and options for display in the future, but will keep the “title” display¬†that works now.¬†

If you give it a try and have issues or suggestions. Leave a comment on the CwExif plugin page.

First Version of CwExif is out

I now have a first version of CwExif that can be downloaded. This is a new WordPress plugin that will show exif data for an image uploaded to the wordpress library in the title tag. There is a button on the media admin screen that will take the exif data and put it into the title tag. On hover, the data will be displayed.

This is just the first version. There is much more that I want to do with this plugin, but you have to start somewhere.

Get it here.

CwExif is almost done

I have been working on a plugin for WordPress that will display the EXIF data for an image. It turned out to be harder than I thought. First of all, there are very few working libraries that will access the data in an image. Second, this is my first WordPress plugin, and the documentation is not what I had hopped. So… to start, and get something out there, I have scaled back abit.

The first iteration of the plugin will simple replace the title of the image (displayed on hover) with the some meta data captured by WordPress. This will be things like f-stop and shutter speed. Eventually I would like more data, but I will have to go outside of WordPress to get it. Second, I will need to beef up the display options. Using the title is not what I wanted. I would like to have a hover give a proper note, or a click with a lightbox effect. I will get to those later.

So, the first release of this plugin will be soon. I have it working within the media library, but when you are adding an image, the admin panel uses a pop-up with a different form. I just need to get it working either way.

Lameda Plugin

Here is another plugin, Lameda, that uses the exif data that comes from the images as uploaded into WordPress. Lets take a picture:

Tulip in the Rain

Here is the exif data when you put this tag in your post: [lameda_exif id=556]


The thing with this, is you still have to go into the post html and find out what the wordpress id of the image is. Still a bit of a pain. I like that it is pulling this from wordpress. Looks like wordpress stores this in the post_metadata table in an entry about the image. Not all data is saved, just some of the more basic ones like those shown. We just need a more automated, and visually appealing way to show it.

Exzo WordPress Plugin

Exzo is the Exif and Zoom Image plugin for wordpress. I thought I would try it out. It is supposed to display some exif info around your pictures. Not sure it will work for me. I already post my photos on flickr, and just link to them here, but it seems like an interresting idea. One issue is that there is no way to pop in the image using the library tool. You need to goto the library and find out the image name, then in the HTML tab of the blog editor, you can add a statement like this:

[exzo url="" title=""]dsc_0021[/exzo]

That will get you this image on my site:


Most of the styling and which exif data that shows up is all customizeable. But I have a couple of issues. First, there seems to be an issue in the plugin where is doesn’t reference the zoom.css file. I had to modify exzo.php to point to it correctly. Second, the included lightbox effect isn’t so hot. The biggest issue is that the image pops up full size. Other versions I have seen try to scale the image for the viewport.

It does look like you could opt to just show the exif data though, like this :


Exzo plugin example

What would be really neat is if instead of the formatting of the picture, and the need to use this tag, is if via javascript, it could just attach itself to the image and display on a hover, or a click or something. Hmmm… that would be interesting…

WordPress 2.7 Upgrade Complete

Wordpress LogoI have finished the upgrade to WordPress 2.7. This took awile, as I wanted to make sure that my theme and the plugins I was using would work.

The theme is working fine now. There were a few things I needed to do. First was fix up the comments. The new wordpress supports threaded comments, but my theme did not. Now it does. Also, Pages didn’t allow comments, and didn’t show when the page was created which I wanted. Oh yea, I added gravitars, the little pictures beside the posters post.

I switched the download plugin as noted earlier, and that was a big pain. When I tried to get it running on the updated site, I couldn’t activate the plugin. In the end I found out that it must have been corrupted files in the file transfer. I reinstalled it from a new zip, and reapplied my changes, and now it works.

So… the only thing really missing is the images at the top of the page. I really need to get those updated. With the gap there, it kinda looks like crap.

Found new File Download Manager

I found a new plugin that I will use when I move to WordPress 2.7, which should be soon. It is called Drain Hole. This is a pretty spiffy plugin. It allows you to create different “holes” or folders to contain downloads. These folders can have different permissions assigned to them. The individual files can be versioned, although the file name appears to need to be the same. You can then use tags on your page to reference the files. One of the really interesting things is that it makes use of templates for those tags. So you can create a template to display a file, or list of files. You use a different set of tags in these templates that reside inside your own theme folder. I like this idea. I am already trying to think of ways to use it ouside of this plugin.

While playing with this plugin I discovered a bug. I couldn’t update/save the attributes for a file. I was trying to assign a custom icon, and the display name, but nothing would stick. Hunting this down I found out why php debugging, especially ajax calls really sucks. Anyway, I finally discovered what the issue was; a variable that was not initialized. It must be the particular combination of WordPress (2.7), PHP(4.5), and MySql(5.0) that I was playing with, because I can’t belive that this doesn’t work for everyone that uses this plugin.

Turns out that the developer has a tracker, so I created a bug with my solution. I am going to be moving to this from the Download Manager plugin I was using.