Embedder version 1.3 Released – Major Upgrades Ahoy!

Time for a new version of the Embedder plugin before the winter holiday season kicks into high gear! Version 1.3 is probably the most significant release yet, for two reasons:

  1. The Manage Embeds administration page has been almost completely “ajaxified”, meaning that instead of having to wait for the whole page to refresh every time you click something, many of the functions now use the WordPress Ajax feature to communicate with the server, which makes everything work much faster than before.The coolest addition is the ability to move an embed from one group to another by dragging the embed and dropping it on a different group. Go on, give it a try!
  2. A new parser has been added to the Embedder plugin, which will eventually replace the WordPress shortcodes the plugin has been using to this point.The new parser (which uses the excellent NBBC BBCode Parser) completely solves the problems with nested embeds and adjacent embed tags with no workarounds necessary. It will also provide for additional features going forwards,  such as the BBCode-like default attributes (e.g. [mylink=http://yahoo.com] instead of [mylike url=http://yahoo.com]) and validation of attribute values, which will be important for your blog’s security if you want to allow BBCode-like embeds in your blog comments.

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Embedder version 1.2 Published

With Thanksgiving and piles of turkey safely tucked away, time for a new version of Embedder.

This update was prompted by the fact that someone noticed that Unicode characters (i.e. for languages like Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew and Arabic) were not working when you tried to put them in an embed.

Version 1.2 fixes that problem, and now you can use any characters you like (in the UTF-8 character set) in an embed. You can also use them in the an embed’s description too, though not in the name of an embed or group.

Also in this version, you can wrap your embeds with individual CSS styles (as if you were using the HTML style attribute). This increases the usefulness of wrapping embeds, and makes it easier too, since you do not have to create new style classes in your CSS style sheet.

To add wrap an existing embed with CSS styles, simply edit the embed’s settings. select the Wrap Embed option, and enter one or more styles into the CSS Style(s) input field.

Note, you can replace the CSS style values with embed attributes, and then you will be able to specify those values each time you use the embed in your blog.

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Stupid Embedder Tricks #2 : YouTube Video Embeds

Today we’re going to look at a couple of ways to create embeds for YouTube videos, demonstrating the flexibility of the Embedder plugin.

First we need to go and grab some embed code from YouTube. Any video will do, though it probably makes sense to start with one you are likely to want to embed. Click on the Embed button below the video, and a panel will appear with the HTML embed code and a range of options you can use to tailor the size and look of the video.

Once you have selected the options you want, just copy and paste the generated HTML into a new global embed on the Manage Embeds page and give the embed a suitable name, like youtube.

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(Oops) Embedder version 1.1.1 Released

Oops indeed. I just happened to stumble across a careless bug in the Embedder code which meant that you could lose an attribute settings every time you disabled then enabled an embed. It was an easy fix, so I thought it best to post a new version of the plugin with the fix to prevent user frustration, even though this is the third version in 24 hours!

I highly recommend you upgrade as soon as possible.

I have also included a small fix for imports that should help make it possible to post embeds on your blog for others to use. I will probably put up a new post in the near future to explain how to do it.

Hopefully this will be the last release for at least a couple of days, not least because I have so things to do before Turkey day arrives!

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Embedder version 1.1 Released

Well, it wasn’t my intention to put out another version of the Embedder plugin so soon after the last one, but I discovered that the tag the plugin places in front of all the exports (embed) clashes with the built-it embed shortcode, which doesn’t work well if you’re trying to paste an exported embed into a blog page (it strips the start tag out!!).

Before people started exporting anything, I thought it wise to update the plugin and use a less commonplace tag (it’s now emb_export). I could have removed the square-brackets as well, just to be sure, but I don’t think that it will be an issue going forward.

So please, if you have installed version 1.0, you should upgrade immediately to version 1.1.

Apologies to the handful of you who might have already exported an embed or two. You will either have to edit those exports (the begin and end tag) before you can use them in the future, or just export them again after you have upgraded to version 1.1.

I have made a couple of other small changes — the plugin now shows the empty groups you have (usually just “Default”) even if you haven’t created any embeds yet, which should be less confusing to new users, and I have added an edit settings link to the embed names in the table.

Finally, I have fixed the contextual help panels (though I suspect most people won’t need them).

Let me know if you find any other bugs by posting a message on the Support Forum.

UPDATE: Importing and exporting work fine, but I’ve been playing with the best way to include exported embeds in a web page, and it’s not as easy as it looks. WordPress fiddles with things like quotes and dashes, and when you try to import an export that’s been published on a web page, you will find that it doesn’t work because of WordPress’s interference.

I am working on making the importing code smarter, so that it can reverse the things WordPress might have done to it, but in the meantime, if you want to publish your embeds for others to use, I would recommend that you put them in a file and attach it to your post. Not ideal, but it will guarantee that importing will work correctly.

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Embedder Plugin v1.0 Posted – Groups and Import/Export

I have just finished uploading a brand-spanking new version of the Embedder Plugin—version 1.0.

Given the major new functions added to the plugin this time around—embed groups and the ability to export and import your embeds—I thought it was a good time to bump the plugin up to a new major version. Here is an overview of the new features:
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Stupid Embedder Tricks #1 – Custom Post Logos

You may have noticed the Embedder logo showing up all over the place on the blog. I used to do this for another plugin I wrote many moons ago—but to do it, I would have to cut and paste the same HTML code into every post I wanted it in.

There are a couple of nice templating plugins I could have used, I guess, but it always seemed like overkill for plugging in a little bit of HTML here and there. And if I wanted to change things later, I would still have to go back into each post and change everything by hand.

But, now that I have the Embedder plugin, it took me about five minutes to create a new global embed for the logo and make it show up automatically on every post in the Embedder Plugin category! The best thing is, if I want to change anything—the positioning, the image, or even which posts or pages I display it on, all I have to do is modify the embed’s settings. No editing of posts needed.

So here’s how you do it:
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Embeds Everywhere! Embedder Plugin v0.5 Posted

As you can see from the demo widget to the right, with this new version of the Embedder plugin, you can now use embeds in widgets too (including their titles!).

Simply create a global embed as usual, then use it in any widget you like. For the demo widget, I added a new Text Widget and added the text and embeds. The only thing I had to be careful of was setting the size of the video embed to fit the width of the widget, otherwise it’s just like using a global embed in a post or page.

Note: Since widgets do not belong to any specific post or page, you cannot use local embeds inside widgets.

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Hyper-Active Versions

I’ve been following the Embedder Plugin stats page on WordPress.org with some amusement over the last few days. Not because of the number of daily downloads, which is typical of a new plugin, but because of the statistics for the Active Versions of the plugin.

I can assure you that I have published just four versions—0.1, 0.2, 0.3, and 0.4—in a nice, calm, orderly fashion, but WordPress seems to have other ideas!

According to the Active Versions pie chart, there are no fewer than seven versions of the Embedder plugin out there:

0.2, 0.3, 1.0, 1.0.0 (!), 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3

And the numbers associated with these mostly mythical versions seem completely random.

I have no idea where the data is supposed to be coming from, or if I am doing something that’s confusing the system, so maybe it’s merely being clairvoyant—predicting a long and successful life for the Embedder plugin, and many more versions to come!

Well, I guess we shall have to wait and see… 🙂

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Embedder Plugin v0.4 Posted

I have just posted a new version of the Embedder Plugin.

This time, it’s to add support for embeds in post/page titles and comments.

Any local or global embed can be used in a title automatically (obviously local embeds only works for the title of the post they are attached to). The plugin will also remove all embeds from the title before the it is displayed in the browser title window since HTML is not processed up there anyway.  Remember though, the embed will be used everywhere the title is displayed, including the widget displaying the titles of recent posts.

Local and global embeds will now also work in comments, but you have to enabled them first since you don’t want to give users access to all the embeds automatically.

For global embeds, there is a new option you can select on an embed-by-embed basis, available in the Embed settings pages.

For local embeds, all you have to do is add a custom field to the post called embed-comments. You have to set a value for it, but the actual value doesn’t matter. When you add the embed-comments custom field, all local embeds are available in the comments.

One of the things you can use this feature for is to create a set of tags for users to style their comments with. WordPress already allows a limited number of HTML tags in comments (like <b>, <i>, etc.) but if you create a set of embeds for comments, you can provide users with richer (and easier to use) set of formatting features, like lists, colored text, and so on.

Just be careful not to allow any embedded JavaScript (unless you know exactly what you are doing) otherwise you might leave your bold exposed to a malicious hacker.

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