Tag Archives: wordpress

Double Trouble

One of the great things about WordPress is the community and the number of great plugins that can do amazing things with little effort.

But all that code, as any good developer will tell you, is a liability. How do you pick a plugin that not only meets your requirements now, but will both continue to do so? WordPress advances. APIs change. Plugins need love too.

Many moons ago I settled upon Flickr Gallery, a plugin that allows you to import Flickr images just by adding a short-code to posts. I thought there was value in keeping all my public photos in one place and, at that time, WordPress had poor media management facilities. The plugin seemed popular and well supported.

Flash forward to 2015 and, well, it doesn’t work. It hasn’t been updated for nearly five years and where I should see pictures I only see blanks.

But I’m a developer. How hard can it be to fix?

Groan! Have I ever said how much I hate web development?

Anyway… two hours later I find that there are not one but two problems. I find this after fixing the first problem in a server running on my local machine but find that it still doesn’t work here.

The first problem is that Flickr now requires SSL access to its API. In code terms, open phpFlickr.php and change the following lines:

 var $rest_endpoint = 'http://api.flickr.com/services/rest/';
 var $upload_endpoint = 'http://api.flickr.com/services/upload/';
 var $replace_endpoint = 'http://api.flickr.com/services/replace/';


 var $rest_endpoint = 'https://api.flickr.com/services/rest/';
 var $upload_endpoint = 'https://api.flickr.com/services/upload/';
 var $replace_endpoint = 'https://api.flickr.com/services/replace/';

I found the cause of the second problem when I realised that none of the flickr code was getting called. It turns out that I have the Jetpack plugin and that also uses the “flickr” shortcode, though the syntax for using it is slightly different.

(I find it odd that there’s no error or warning flagging the conflict. This took far longer to track down than it needed to.)

I tried disabling that option in the Jetpack plugin but that didn’t work. In the end, I added the following code to flickr-gallery.php, just before the “add_shortcode(‘flickr’…” line:

if (shortcode_exists('flickr')) {

Very much cheating… but it does work.

I’m trying to figure out if there’s a way of distributing the change in a more user-friendly format.


So there I was, trying to be a good Internet citizen. I updated my web server to use the latest version of Linux and… Boom! It would display the first post and then just peter out.

Unfortunately I don’t have the time or patience right now to track down exactly what the problem is — presumably something to do with PHP — so here you go: a new theme. It’s one of the ones I considered before I switched last time. A bit more minimal, more monochrome than last time. I like the minimal, and the lack of colour makes the pictures pop a bit more so it’s not all bad.

I just hadn’t planned on switching just yet…

My delicious.com bookmarks for June 3rd through June 11th

Welcome back

You may have noticed that ZX81.org.uk has been offline for at least twenty-fours hours. I don’t know exactly how long, but I first noticed about this time yesterday.

At the moment I have no idea what happened. The company hosting the site have not been terribly forthcoming — no response to the support tickets I raised, no public announcement of the down time — which in a sense is even more disappointing that the downtime. No system is 100% reliable, but you should at least communicate with those most affected.

I am considering whether to move to a different provider (recommendations encouraged), but in the meantime I am hoping that things have returned to normal.

My del.icio.us bookmarks for July 15th through July 16th

  • Ars Book Review: "Patent Failure" – Interesting book review about the effect of patents on an industry. Apparently cost more money than they make in anything but chemical and pharmaceuticals.
  • Lucky to be a Programmer – I don't program as much as I used to but this explains why I love to when I get the chance.
  • WordPress 2.6 – Usual drill. I've upgraded to the latest version of WordPress, the underlying software of ZX81.org.uk. If you see anything wrong please let me know!
  • 20 Amazing Facts About  Voting in the USA – Still in any doubt that computerised voting machines are a bad idea for free and fair elections?

My del.icio.us bookmarks for April 25th through April 30th

  • An elephant never forgets? George W. Bush's lost e-mails – "The administration has chafed at external oversight and shown a tendency to come up with dubious legal justifications for ignoring laws it doesn't agree with." Just what is Mr Bush trying to hide?
  • WordPress 2.5.1 – I just upgraded to the newest version of WordPress. Looks good as far as I can see but let me know if you spot anything untoward.
  • Madonna, Hard Candy – "It's about grooves rather than memorable songs, and Madonna just doesn't make for a convincing soul diva [as she] sings them with the emotional engagement of a sat-nav suggesting a right turn onto the A23."