New plugins: RecentComments and PrivateBlog

I've added a couple of new plugins to the plugins page.

The RecentComments plugin is a sidebar panel that shows a list of the most recently posted plugins. It's got configuration options to control the display of the poster's name and the entry it's posted to.

The new verions of PrivateBlog, which used to be part of the standard set, lets you block access to a blog by all except a given list of logged-in users. You can allow access by username or by group membership. In addition to redirecting pages, the new version also blanks out all entries, articles, and comments that might be displayed by other plugins (like in the sidebar). However, this only works for dynamic PHP pages: static files like RSS feeds are not blocked. So if you really want the blog to be truly private, you might want to consider turning off the RSS plugins.

Also, I fixed some broken and missing links on the plugins page. The two plugins I added yesterday now have links associated with them and the links to the two editor plugins are fixed now.

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Comments #

    Recent Comments: useful

    Okay, I uploaded the plugins (to /userdata/plugins), they do work; Recent Comments is really useful for sites dedicated at lively discussions (where comments count as much as posts) - another useful functionality.

    Actually, I only now begin to appreciate the modularity that is generated by the consistent use of plugins - most things can be turned on and off at will, which makes things really flexible and handy. I've even had some wicked ideas - for instance, why not *hiding* the sidebar altogether ("sidebar_hide.php" as a plugin)? This could provide for some nice advantages in terms of presentation: By default, only display a login link and/or a sidebar link in the Site Map, display the sidebar only when logged in and/or called for (link clicked, not "mouseover" or some other dreadfully jumpy things...). Don't get me wrong: I don't need that myself (I like my options visible and ready), but people who wish for a cleaner design, yet don't want to give up on any features might be thankful for that. NOTE: THIS IS NOT A FEATURE REQUEST - just thinking about possible additional uses... If it's hard to do or doesn't seem sensible to you, just forget about it.

    M.

    • Comment posted on Thursday 14 Dec 2006 at 5:34pm
    • By MoonMind

    Interesting thought

    Interesting.... After thinking about it for a minute, that is actually possible. In fact, I can think of a couple of ways to do it. I wouldn't want to make such a plugin standard, but one could definitely be written. It might be a cool proof of concept, kind of like the PrivateBlog plugin was.

    The only real complication with this is that you have to adjust the theme stylesheets to make the content area fill the rest of the page. The easy way would be to have the plugin inject a stylesheet into the page (which is simple to do) that adjusts the width of the content area and sets the following sidebar style:
    #sidebar { display: none; }
    The down side of this is that you're still sending a bunch of extra markup, but it might be possible to have a plugin that unregisters the event handlers for all the sidebar plugins. That would require it to be loaded last, but it would be workable.

    A better solution might be to send the markup to the client and inject a JavaScript into the page (which is also simple) that hides the sidebar on page load and provides a menubar link to toggle the display on and off. It could even set a cookie to remember the last setting across visits.

    In fact, now that I think about it, that doesn't sound too hard to implement at all. My JavaScript isn't that great, but the PHP part should be pretty simple.

    Issue with PrivateBlog

    I wonder if anyone else ran into trouble with PrivateBlog? I had to disable it (posted about it in another comment since I had attributed it to LnBlog itself) - is this an issue with my server or a bug in the script?

    M.

    • Comment posted on Thursday 14 Dec 2006 at 5:34pm
    • By MoonMind

    Well...

    Frankly, I'd be surprised if anyone else even tried it. It worked for me on my test server, but that doesn't mean much. It might not even be the plugin, if I understood your problem correctly. See my response here:
    http://www.skepticats.com/lnblog/entries/2006/06/24_2358/comments/#comment2006-06-28_204635

    I think I'll post that as a regular entry filed under tutorials, just so other people will be more likely to see it.

    Maybe change default settings?

    I'm not sure, but as I said in my other post, after installing PrivateBlog, it seems to have been enabled right away. What happened to me must have been caused by that behaviour, since I already had a PrivateBlog plugin, but no issues whatsoever before installation of the updated version. Either the old version didn't work, or the default setting was different. Or else, I'm being REALLY tired lately (which isn't too improbable, sadly)...

    M.

    • Comment posted on Thursday 14 Dec 2006 at 5:34pm
    • By MoonMind

    A change of defaults

    I forgot to mention this, but previous releases did include a default list of disabled plugins. This was used for the few standard plugins that were either redundant or unneeded and so should not be loaded unless specifically requested. PrivateBlog was on that list, as were the Google search panel and the alternate archives panel.

    However, in the last release, these unused standard plugins were removed and moved over to the plugins page as stand-alone downloads. With that, the need for a default disabled plugins list was obviously gone, so I cleared it.

    Sorry for the troulbe. I probably should have made that explicit, but I just didn't think of it at the time.

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