Coppermine Plugins

Thanks to Matthew Maude we now have a bundle of two new plugins to integrate with the Coppermine-Gallery:

  • serendipity_plugin_coppermine takes care of embedding Gallery images into your sidebar
  • serendipity_event_cpgselector allows you to insert images from the Gallery into your entries (kind of replaces the internal Serendipity media gallery)

I myself do not use the Coppermine Gallery, but Matthew's plugins look very promising. Feel free to look into the plugins if you're using Coppermine and report your experiences! :-)

Plugins should be available via Spartacus or CVS: plugin_coppermine and event_cpgselector.

Spartacus Problems identified

The debugging modifications I described recently helped to identify a problem with our Spartacus Remote Repository Tool

The problem occured only in a bunch of plugins. Our plugins repository sometimes contains directories with both a sidebar plugin AND an event plugin in that same folder. Even though the Spartacus Plugin properly fetches the files, it would only transfer the name of the directory depending on whether you first installed the event plugin or the sidebar plugin.

An example for this is the My Calendar plugin. In our repository, the files are in a folder called "serendipity_event_mycalendar". If you now installed that plugin via the Sidebar Plugin Manager, Spartacus would create a folder "serendipity_plugin_mycalendar" and of course fail when later trying to load the plugin from that directory.

Thus, an updated version 1.2 of Spartacus now fixes the problem, and returns the right target directory.

Note that you could also bypass the wrong behaviour of Spartacus in earlier versions by just installing the "other" plugin. That means if you tried to install the Calendar as Sidebar plugin, just try it again via the Event plugin.

If you care to notice why we often have plugins as both Event and Sidebar plugins: Basically we enforced a strict separation of those two plugins to make it easier for the user to differ if a plugin is shown in a sidebar, or if it enhances the flexibilities of Serendipity. And because only Sidebar plugins can be "moved around" graphically (via left/right side and placement) it would be hard to make an Event plugin have a Sidebar component and move that around.

Having trouble with Spartacus?

Since some users occasionaly report having trouble with Spartacus and me having too little debugging information on what's going on, I have updated the Spartacus Plugin to be more verbose.

It now tells you what it's fetching and where it's saving the information. Anyone having trouble, please download the plugin here and save it in your plugin directory.

Here's a list of the reasons why Spartacus usually fails:

  • Spartacus has no write privileges to your plugins/ directory. It needs write access to download plugins and store it on your server.
  • Your Server's PHP module/firewall settings do not allow a PHP utility to open socket connections to other hosts and download files
  • The SourceForge ViewCVS service has sporadic problems and timeouts or does not deliver content
  • The plugin is successfully downloaded (so they files are on your server) but the plugin fails to install properly. This may be because your server saves the files without propper read permissions to Serendipity depending on your server setup. Or Safe Mode restrictions do not allow to include a file as the ownership of them differs.

Please alway check those issues above, and then please report any additional problems. I am eager to solve them, but since the problem heavily relies on propper permissions and outgoing connection, it's not always possible for me to fix those errors in the PHP-code.

Thanks for your feedback!

Voting / Poll Plugin

Also requested quite often on the forums was a Voting/Poll plugin. Evan Nemerson did some groundwork on this quite some time ago, but it was lacking granular control over multiple Polls.

I have not committed a majorly revamped plugin which lets you delete and maintain multiple votings. The plugin is very basic, but it can be easily enhanced in the future as it has its own tables.

The new plugin comes with a bundle of a sidebar and an event plugin which should both be installed for full integration into your blog. The plugin has been committed to CVS where it will show up shortly in Spartacus or the usual places.

New Static Pages

I have just committed an update to the serendipity_event_staticpage plugin (now version 2.0)

It can now hold indefinite numbers of static pages in a seperate DB table and gives you a new menu item to maintain your static pages. This is both more intuitively, does not crowd the plugins table and therefore is much faster.

If you have suggestions how to further improve the static page plugin, please raise your voice. :-)