Blog server updates

Blog.uvm.edu has seen some updates recently as I fit it in-between my other work. Not much finished, but things looking better.

I’ve overhauled the activity stream so that it is vastly better looking, though it’s still getting tweaked.  Any input is welcome.  The whole point is so that people can find out what interesting things others at UVM are saying or doing.

The blog and user directories have been tidied up so that they at least look UVMish.

I’ve also been working on a couple oft-requested plugins such as the ability to subscribe to notices of new articles on a blog, as well as a contact form.  If you’d like other functionality not already present, just let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

UVM Blogs updates

I just upgraded UVM Blogs to WordPress 3.1.2.  It’s a pretty minor update, so I’m not expecting issues.

Last night, I also rolled out the new UVM theme for the top-level blog.  Ooh, pretty. :-)  Among other things, it brings the most recent several posts from people’s blogs onto the home page.

I’m also working on adding a few requested plugins for Google Maps integration and more advanced gallery support, and need to re-add the global announcement feature that was removed from WordPress 3.1.

WordPress 3.0

I’m working on the upgrade of this site to WordPress 3.0.  Unfortunately, the upgrade from a rather-customize installed of WordPress MU is “special”, but the test server is… mostly… working at this point.  There are still a number of broken plugins, though.  Hopefully, we’ll get there next week.

XML-RPC

We’ve given up for now trying to get the XML-RPC interface to WordPress both to require SSL and to actually work consistently across third-party applications, and are switching to a mode of offering but not requiring SSL for XML-RPC, and ensuring that authentication is done with a non-NetID password. Users will be able to generate a WordPress “passcode” that will work for XML-RPC apps, while still logging in with their NetID when using a web browser.

This is being tested currently and should be put in production soon.

Working through remaining blog issues

Allowing non-UVM people to create blog accounts without allowing them to also create blogs is just about ready.  (WPMU ties the two together for some reason.)  Test-user Sam confirms that it appears to be working as expected on the test server.  The only remaining issue is preventing UVM people from creating accounts this way, when they should just be logging in with their NetID.

Known issues

The new blog.uvm.edu is starting to get migration requests.  We’ve installed a couple plugins SAA people wanted, installed a theme I wanted, and fixed a couple issues.  We still know about:

  • user account creation is not yet working for non-UVM people.  I have a fix, but it requires some testing before I can roll it out.
  • There seems to be a sporadic issue when a blog owner adds new users to a blog who don’t already have blog.uvm.edu accounts.  I’m not yet sure what triggers the issue.
  • We need to install some more useful plugins and themes, and we need one or a couple UVM-looking themes.
  • NetID authentication does not yet work with the XML-RPC publishing interface.
  • look into “delete blog” behavior since it tells the user it removes the account as well