Jun 13

Feedwordpress Advanced Filters 0.5.9 : Bug Fixing Release

Today I will be releasing a new version of Feedwordpress Advanced Filters, version 0.5.9. Yes, it’s really close to number 0.6 and initially I was hoping I wouldn’t have to include another release before that, but I have encountered lately a number of important bugs that needed fixing.

Most important fix is that in a number of circumstances posts would filter normally when called manually, but would fail when a cron was doing the updating. Another important one is the category keyword filter that would fail when multiple keywords where being used.

Apart from that I can announce a few new cool things in Feedwordpress Advanced Filters. On request ( I was pointed in this way by a comment on this blog, thanks! ) it’s now possible to add images from your feed to the WordPress ‘Featured Image’ functionality. It’s now also possible to exclude several images from processing or remove them.

Unit Testing

To prevent serious bugs from roaring their ugly heads in the feature I’m setting up a Unit Testing infrastructure which I hope will guard the quality of the plugin.

Give your feeds and feedback

Parsing feeds is often a struggle between not being able to control what the input is like ( and often including a lot of garbage ) and needing your output to be perfect. Myself I’m testing with various mutilated feeds to ensure even exceptions are not a breaking point for Feedwordpress Advanced Filters.

Help development by reporting weird occurrences, feeds that might not break things and of course if you have cool ideas about what should be included in the plugin; you are more than welcome.

May 13

How-to clean CSS stylesheets fast

Just another quick tip but might be useful for you, lazy web developers, out there. Recently I needed to clean CSS stylesheets for one of my projects which has a theme from years ago ( 2007 or 2008 ) and needless to say many changes where done since.

I didn’t want to manually try half of the selectors and see if it would change anything somehow so I started to look for some online tools to do this tasks. There are quite a few but in the end I went for a Firebug extension called ‘ Dust-me selectors‘.

The way it works is quite inventive. Instead of trying to scan and parse your pages you can simply select ‘scan’ and click around your site. Every selector encountered is listed as ‘used’ so in the end you end up with a list of unused selectors which you can export to another file.

If you have a very polluted stylesheet you can just replace to old one (backup!) with the new one and start working from there by deleting the UNUSED tags Dust Me creates and rebuilding whatever needed to be done anyway. In my case I just a diff tool to just for differences and work my way through the stylesheet in this matter.

Hint: If you are scanning your pages be sure to click through every possible page. Especially unfolding menu’s and selectors like a:hover, a:visited are sometimes ‘forgotten’ while being in use.


Dust-me selectors is not a magic stick which will output very clean CSS just by the click of a button but is a very useful tool to help you in cleaning CSS stylesheets in an organized way.

Apr 13

Custom filter in Feedwordpress Advanced Filters

I already posted earlier that Feedwordpress Advanced Filters now supports the possibility to add your own custom filters.

One of the core features of FAF has always been to be able to easily extend the feature set. With the most recent version it’s easy to drop your own filter into FAF. This post will also serve as the beginning of some public documentation.

Warning! After this it will get a bit technical
Continue reading →

Apr 13

Feedwordpress Advanced Filters 0.5.5

Feedwordpress Advanced Filters version 0.5.5 has been released. This is mainly a bug fixing release. Important to know is that the option to add you own custom filter is now enabled. I will write about this new feature in a later post.

See the changelog for the bugs fixed.

You can get the latest version via the WordPress auto-update or download the plugin from the WordPress site.

For the next version I have a multitude of enhancements and new features on my list:

  • Filter for expiring posts. Posts will be unpublished or deleted after a certain time.
  • Filter for checking and fixing URL’s (i.e a www link without http:// resulting in incorrect links )
  • A page where you can overview all your filter settings on all feeds
  • A filter to search for duplicated posts and ignore the new ones based on a certain threshold ( i.e posts who are 99% the same are ignored )

Since of course my time is also limited I’m wondering which of these to do first or maybe concentrate on something totally different ( multi-language support for instance ). You can help me by providing feedback of which features you are dearly waiting for by commenting or contacting me. Or just to say ‘yeah’ of course.

Apr 13

FeedWordPress Advanced Filters version 0.5 released!

After my november announcement of the plugin I was working on, I’m happy to present a decent version of Feedwordpress Advanced Filters.


Decent that is with a nice interface, everything working and fairly stable. I have been using the plugin in development for a while already and a few people were interested at testing the alpha-versions as well. For me it works like a charm, so I’m pretty excited about releasing this plugin today.

You can get the plugin and view information about it at the plugin page!



Mar 13

Fotoxx : The IrFanView of Linux?

For years I have been telling people that using Linux is great for almost everything, except for quickly editing and uploading a bunch of photos. I have tried many many image programs (Krita, Gtumb, F-spot, Ristretto, ImageMagick, Gimp etc etc) and while a lot of them are useful for lot’s of things I yet had to find anything close to IrfanView on Windows. My usual method is selecting a picture from the gallery, then crop, resize, sharpen and save the image somewhere else for uploading.

Often I used IrfanView on Wine, but of course that is also suboptimal and not really comfortable. Even apart from some quirks that Wine seems to introduce. Gimp always seems to be a bit ‘too much’ when just wanting to quickly edit a bunch of photos.

Today I ran into Fotoxx ( which sounds a little weird ) by accident and I was happily surprised by the amount of features it has while keeping stuff simple. The interface is clunky and takes some time to get used to. Hopefully this will be a matter of attention in future versions to come.


Features include everything I need for daily life like crop ( called ‘trim’ ), resizing, sharpen and everything else you might except from fast, simple photo editing software. There is also a gallery which does what it needs to do, but also suffers from bad design decisions ( like single-click map navigating, why? ).


Another good thing is that Fotoxx comes with a lot of batch-filter options, in case you need to transform a whole bunch of images. I didn’t look at this closely but might come in handy if you are stuck with a use load of similar photo editing you have to do.

Concluding, I don’t think it’s a perfect solution yet but it certainly is much better than what I have seen so far. In some ironic way it looks like IrFanView since the latter’s interface is also far from being perfect. Be aware of very old versions that some distributions still seem to carry by default. You can get the latest packages here.

If you are aware of better solutions for a good Linux image editor share it in the comments!

Jan 13

Regular expressions – test online

I have been fiddling around with Regular Expressions these days. As most people who ever tried it know that you can do about anything but it is at the same time nearly impossible.

Instead of making a test page, altering and refreshing minor changes all day I decided to look around a bit for a handy tool. There are a lot of them out there but I found a nice one.

The cool thing is you can easily switch between modes, modifiers and it automatically refreshed. The only minor point is that it is sometimes hard to see the difference between no match and an expression crash.

Check it out: Online regular expressions tester

Let me know if you found a better one!

Nov 12

Feedwordpress Filters (announcement)

Update: Feedwordpress Advanced Filters has been released, see this page.

Avid readers of this blog (hi mom!) know that I dive a lot into the Feedwordpress plugin. But still some things are not satisfying enough for me.

RSS is a great technique to get data, but unfortunately some of the sites I gather my feeds from are, let’s say, not very good. A lot of feeds out there need editing and molding to make it decent. This is one of the reasons I need Feedwordpress filters to shape the content a little bit.

Continue reading →

Nov 12

PHP 5.4 and call-time-pass-by-reference

A word of warning. I just updated to PHP 5.4 which broke my installation because call-time-pass-by-reference has been removed in this version. See: passing by reference.

Along with some other functions you shouldn’t be using anymore anyway. See the incompatible list.

For up-to-date plugins and software this shouldn’t be a problem since it was deprecated for a while already.

For me it notably breaks the Feedwordpress plugin in WordPress and gives a fatal error, which is annoying. A simple solution is present but you need to dive into the code and replace a few lines. See the solution here.

I fear older plugins of various kinds are also vulnerable for this problem, so I advice to check your installation locally against a new php version to see if any problems arise before your host decides to upgrade their installation!

Nov 12

WordPress Update_option and serialize

I ran into this interesting feature yesterday I was not aware of. If you are trying to put options WordPress using Update_option serializing the data before actually causes unexpected behaviour.

The catch is that WordPress already serializes data send to the function. When invoking get_option the data will be unserialized. Obviously this causes an error if you try to unserialize the whole thing after that.

In short, just push an unserialized array unto update_option and everything will be fine!

$foobar = get_option("stuff");

See this blog post for more backgrounds.