WordPress themes

Hunting around for the ‘right’ theme – my hacks to Regulus by Ben Gillbanks are still doing an admirable job.

I’ve dragged the theme through a miriad of WordPress alphas, betas and releases; and added a stack of plugins and widgets to the side.

My ideal is a clean, two-column, widget-ready theme. Fast to load – and able to support the Gallery2 integations.

Fixing _weak_escape errors in WordPress 2.8

I’m hoping this saves someone some searching.

I upgraded a couple of blogs to WordPress 2.8 beta early this morning – and I had problems with a single plugin – Audit Trail by John Godley.

The symptom was that on login you got a blank screen and Apache/PHP threw this:

[Fri May 29 11:59:05 2009] [error] [client] PHP Fatal error:  Call to undefined method AT_Auditor::_weak_escape() in /www/<foo>/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 487, referer: http://<foo>/wp-login.php?redirect_to=/

The plugin itself is nicely written – and as part of the safety mechanism it uses wpdb::escape to explode out anything before injecting to the database.

One change in WP 2.8 looks like it affects this – login redirects are now urlencoded by default – http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/9817 – and that looks like it’s clashing with the line above.

The temporary fix for me is to modify part of the plugin to not call into wp::db – and instead assume that the url has already been exploded out.


line 173

//               $operation = wpdb::escape ($operation);

The risk for my implementation seems small – I’m only using audit-trail to track logins and logouts.

So if you are hunting down some generic <function>::_weak_escape errors in WordPress 2.8 beta – take a trawl through your plugins and see if there is a wpdb::escape call. There may be some relatively low impact fixes out there.

ZENworks for Toasters

This goes back a long, long way.

Summer 2000 I was talking to an audience of customers and resellers in South Africa about how the directory, identity-driven management and ZENworks specifically could manage anything. The concepts of management by exception and the extensibility of the Novell Directory Services (as it was then known) were ideal for this.

We were joking around concepts of management – and we came on ZENworks for Toasters.

Some Java fun in ConsoleOne – and we had a cool demo plugin for our internal Systems Engineers.




Adding movies to the family blog

I’ve finally got the movie to web thing down to a pretty efficient process.

Video (AVI or AVCHD) –> Sony Vegas –> Flash Video studio (convert to flv) –> Amazon S3

I’m using the Flash Video Player plugin for WordPress – it’s nice and clean. Using Amazon S3 lets me put video in a datacenter in the US or Europe for pennies. That means my servers at home and my uplink don’t get killed by family viewing the lastest videos; it also means a measurable improvement in their experience. Viewing a video served from Amazon S3 in Europe to grandpa via DSL in London is very acceptable.