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KB Plugins blog

The best Wordpress plugins are free

KB Easy PicasaWeb v1.3

New features: Better CSS styling options, private PicasaWeb albums, preview only the first few photos in an album, etc. Enjoy .

KB Gradebook help

Kyle Jones created a very helpful video tutorial explaining how to use KB Gradebook and demonstrating its features. Check it out.

I haven’t updated this plugin since releasing it some time ago. The reason is simple: I no longer use WordPress for course websites. Instead, I use a custom syllabus editor that I wrote, with grade viewing (basically the same code as this plugin) integrated. But although wp.org tells you that this plugin is only tested through WP 2.5, I hear that it still works just fine in more recent versions of WordPress.

Behold! A new version of KB Advanced RSS!!

Now that I’m out of graduate school and working a real job, I rarely have time to work on my plugins. Apologies. I’ve even tried to pass on development of my plugins to others, and have had a handful of qualified volunteers step up. But today I found the time to rewrite the KB Advanced RSS widget (by far my most popular plugin), so I’ll place those volunteers’ names in a file and maintain development of the plugin for a while yet.

Punchline: The plugin has been updated (finally). I hope that the update solves the major problems.

The source of the problems: Turns out that in WP 2.8 they introduced some major changes into the way plugin authors need to interact with the widgets code. Those changes forced me to rewrite the entire plugin.

This was not a very friendly thing for the WP developers to do to plugin devs like me, but whatever.

Before upgrading to v2.8 of the plugin, read this: Because the WordPress developers dramatically re-wrote the widgets API in WP 2.8, I had to rewrite this plugin completely. Updating to v2.8 of the plugin will correct many annoying bugs. But, alas, it will also (most likely) cause you to lose all the options you may have set in a previous version of this plugin. Sorry. I don’t foresee this happening more than once.

Wanted: Plugin developer to take over my RSS plugin

If you want to take over my KB Advanced RSS plugin, please get in touch. It is shamefully outdated, but I don’t have the time to maintain it anymore.

I made a similar advertisement several months ago. Somebody replied and said he would upload a new version to wordpress.org within a couple weeks. He never did. So now I’m advertising again.

Bugfix in the hooks database

Prior to indexing WP 2.8, I made a long-overdue fix to my WordPress hooks index. It now indexes hooks called by do_action_ref_array(), something that earlier versions omitted.

As a result, you may find that some hooks that were defined prior to 2.8 show up in my site as being added in 2.8. Well, now you know why. When I have more time, I’ll go back and re-index all the earlier versions to correct this.

800 WordPress hooks

The official WordPress documentation lists just over 380 hooks. Yet according to my hooks directory, that’s fewer than half of the 800 action and filter hooks included in WordPress 2.7 Sheesh. (Click the chart to enlarge.)

Updated: KB Easy Picasaweb

v1.2.2 has some minor fixes:

First: Some cosmetic changes to make the admin screen look a little better in WP 2.7.

Second: The plugin now recognizes any google domain (e.g. google.dk, google.co.uk), not just google.com. You complain, I listen. Eventually.

A Plug for a New Site

This blog is mainly for updates about my WordPress plugins–which, frankly, haven’t had much attention from me lately, since I’m frantically trying to finish my dissertation.

But in the meantime, check out AbstractPolitics.com , summarizing the latest research from leading political scientists in an easy-to-read digest.

Political scientists aren’t pundits; that is, the point of their research isn’t generally to predict whether Obama or Clinton will be the nominee. Instead, they try to identify broader patterns in politics.

For example, why do some Congressional races attract strong challengers, while others attract no challenger at all (or a political novice)? It matters .

And why is it that some people can speak of the “worthy opposition,” while others assume that if you belong to the opposing party you must be an idiot? It turns out that TV has something to do with it .

How about turnout? Why is it so low? Is there anything we could do to improve it? Well, yes. But it’s a brutal method .

Check it out. Have fun.