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P4 Auto-update details, build #1289

Today we’re pushing a small free auto-update to ProPhoto4 for users on auto-upgrade-capable web hosts. This particular update is mostly to implement the strategy for dealing with the new media upload/insert functionality in WordPress 3.5 which outlined in my last blog post. Since WordPress 3.5 was released today, it’s time to push the promised auto-update.

Along with the compatibility issues for WordPress 3.5, there are also a handful of minor tweaks and bugfixes, as always. If you’re interested in all the details, see the changelog below.

-GOTCHA- If your host doesn’t do auto-updates, you can download the latest build from within your admin area under ProPhoto => Customize => Site Settings => Misc => ProPhoto Updates. Tutorial for updating from downloaded zip can be found here.-/-

Changelog

  • increase menu ajax-content fetcher timeout to 10 seconds from five seconds, prevent loading errors on slow sites
  • catch Acer 1500 tablet as tablet, not mobile
  • add unit tests for ensuring that NrImgTag doesn’t strip valid HTML5 attributes “role” and “data-X”
  • workaround problem in IE8 where imgs inside anchors set to display:inline-block lose width
  • identify google Nexus 7 as tablet, not mobile
  • let body overflow with scrollbar on iframed grid admin page instead of using media-queries to control height
  • fix default values and css text input alignment for Advanced > Extra Bg Imgs option areas
  • Adding ‘$’ icon to paid starter designs in Manage Designs screen
  • only hide Jetpack plugin messages on ProPhoto customize screen, not everywhere
  • workaround rendering issue in Firefox, set max-width of links in bio columns to 100% so that imgs within also are constrained properly
  • put “last-post” class on last article, since on search results, posts and pages are mixed, and last might be page, not post
  • force thumbswrap to have a text-align:left, counteract whacky html in posts, like people wrapping placeholders in <center> tags
  • fix line-height bug with WordPress pages widget list when child of anchor img with line-height set to zero causing long links to overlap themselves
  • fix slideshow thumbnail alignment problem on rtl sites
  • don’t show primary nav menu alignment option if pptclassic selected
    also: fix problem with jquery 1.8.2 for menu alignment
  • Switched to dynamic default contact form subject line
  • rework ppFolders to use wp_upload_dir()
  • don’t display post published date on mobile if the user has selected “do not show post date”
  • identify kindle devices as tablets, not mobile
  • make suckerfish navs play nice with rtl
  • be careful that excerpted post img css doesn’t get applied outside of #content div, as it can screw up .article-content that gets ajax-loaded into nav receptacles
  • set heirarchical flag to false when asking for pages, to ensure we see child pages as well
  • don’t show mobile masthead modification options that weren’t getting used anyway
  • allow for spaces before/after html attribute equals signs in ppImgTag, since they are legal, but rare, but were breaking the html parser
  • fix rare JavaScript bug on foreign-language media-upload screen
  • prevent first/last lightbox overlay image from being downloadable in IE
  • mobile CSS tweaks, fix scrolling content area, normalize padding for footer elements
  • ensure that vertical widget link font settings don’t get overridden by css selectors that include ID, like “#bio a”
  • don’t use hard-coded prev/next text for mobile older/newer posts links – respect user input
  • switch from WordPress .button-primary/secondary to .pp-button-primary/secondary so we have more stability between versions and completely control the appearance of those buttons
  • only modify the posts per page returned by wp_query once when using grid excerpts, so as not to mess with recent posts widgets and other things that run the same filter
  • force use of old upload/insert button instead of WP 3.5 new media manager, until that feature stabilizes and we can better support it
  • don’t show comments at all on attachment pages, these tend to be sources of spam comments, for some reason
  • refine css for wp 3.5, ensure gallery buttons don’t appear until imgs uploaded
  • handful of Windows compat fixes for uploading font and design zips with new ppFolders methodology
  • fix non-appearance of “custom” option for masthead_display which enables the custom flash header upload
  • change add_menu_page() capability test from “edit_themes” to “edit_theme_options” because constant DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT can bork the former

WordPress 3.5 Media Changes

The next major version of WordPress, version 3.5, is scheduled to be released sometime in the next fortnight. By far, the most significant and noticeable change in 3.5 is a complete re-vamp of the WordPress media uploader/inserter.

The old, familiar media upload/insert popup screen looks like this:

The new, improved media upload screen will look like this:

The good news

The new UI looks like a pretty big improvement over the old style. It’s much bigger, more usable, and has some cool built-in features like gallery reordering, multiple image selection. It even allows you to insert multiple images directly into your post at one time with a single click. Why the heck didn’t we think of that? Oh wait, we did, that’s been in ProPhoto for nearly 4 years as the much-beloved “Insert all” feature.

The bad news

Ah, but there is a bit of bad news. The new media uploader is so fundamentally different from the old one that it breaks almost all of the custom functionality that we’ve built into the upload process. That means just about everything related to creating, editing, managing, and inserting ProPhoto galleries doesn’t work in the new screen.

So now what…

We’ve known about the upcoming changes to WordPress for weeks, and it was clear early on that we would have the major issues we’re now facing. The way we looked at it, we had two options going forward:

  • hurry to develop a patch that would make ProPhoto play nice with the new uploader
  • force the use of the old uploader until the feature stabilizes and a solid patch is ready

Ultimately, we decided on the second option. What does that mean exactly? It means that right before WordPress 3.5 is released, we are going to push an auto-update to ProPhoto that completely disables the new media uploader, and substitutes the old one. Everything will work exactly as it always has, including all of your ProPhoto gallery management features. The only downside is that you won’t get to use the new and improved uploader for a time, and any plugins you are using that hook to the new uploader will not function correctly.

Then, in about 3-5 months, whenever WordPress 3.6 is ready (the next major version after 3.5), we will also be ready with another auto-update which will re-enable the new media uploader and make ProPhoto full compatible with the new UI and features. So you will get all the shiny new goodness of version 3.5’s new media uploader, just a few months behind the rest of the world.

But why not now?

The reason we are opting to wait a WordPress release cycle before supporting the new media uploader is that this new functionality represents the one of the most significant changes to WordPress that we’ve seen in 5 years. It’s not just an incremental improvement over the last upload screen, they threw everything out and started over, which we think was a good idea. It also means, however, that the feature is likely to be a tad unstable for the first few months. We expect to see a number of bug-fixes, enhancements, changes, and theme/plugin integration hooks added within the first couple months after 3.5 is released.

Because of that expectation, we felt it would be a waste of our time and development resources to code for the new feature now, when in all likelihood it will be evolving pretty fast even after it’s release. Much better, we feel, to wait for them to work the kinks out and then thoroughly prepare a robust patch that works well and will be stable and as bug-free as we can possibly make it.

What you need to do:

Basically, you don’t need to do anything. Sometime in the next week or two you’ll see that WordPress 3.5 is released. When you see the notification, you can upgrade right away. We will have pushed an auto update within hours of the release, so your ProPhoto site should have already updated. You can then take advantage of some of the other features of 3.5, but the media upload will just silently go on functioning as it has for all of time. Then, sometime next spring when WordPress is about to release 3.6, you’ll see an auto-update that will enable the new media uploader.

Changes Coming to Twitter Integration

We want to give you all a little bit of a heads-up that some changes are in store for ProPhoto’s twitter integration.

Twitter recently announced that they are changing their API and will be preventing the anonymous consumption of public twitter data. Unfortunately, much of our Twitter integration relies on being able to consume this public data without authentication. This means that as of March 2013, the following areas of Twitter integration in ProPhoto will no longer work:

  • Twitter feed menu dropdown item
  • ProPhoto Sliding Twitter widget
  • ProPhoto Twitter HTML widget

We’re exploring possible options to workaround the problem, but ultimately, we may have to discontinue these features. The ProPhoto Twitter.com widget will still work, but it is very limited in terms of its customizability because it is just an iFrame into Twitter.com. We may be able to walk users through a process of setting up a Twitter “app” so that they can make authenticated requests to the Twitter API, but we’ll have to see how complicated this is, or if possibly we can route all of our users through a central ProPhoto application that we create and maintain.

We’ll post again closer to March and give you a more concrete idea of what our approach will be to the API change.

Earn Money Talking About ProPhoto

Here at ProPhoto, we’ve never really done any advertising. We figured out early on that if we just focused on making a great product and supporting it like crazy, that our customers would do our advertising for us. One thing we have done almost since the beginning however, is offer our customers cash rewards for referring their friends and colleagues to us.

If you love ProPhoto and naturally find yourself recommending it to friends and online acquaintances, then you could be saving your friends money and earning a bunch of referral money at the same time. Many of our customers have earned back the cost of purchasing ProPhoto many times over just by giving out their personalized discount code.

How it works

Here’s how it works: if you don’t already have one, you need to go to this page and fill out a simple form so that we can generate for you what we call a “Quick-buck” code.

Once you submit your information, the next screen will show your custom referral code, plus a bunch of tips on how to use it.

Using your code

You can hand out your code anywhere you like. If you tell a friend about ProPhoto, give them your code. You earn $7 each time it is used. It doesn’t just earn you money, but it also works as a $10 discount code for them.

At the beginning of every month, you’ll receive an Email letting you know how many times your code was used, with the money being sent directly to your PayPal account.

As described on the screen shown when you sign up for your code, you can send or post links directly to our site with your quickbuck code embedded in the link. They look like this:

http://prophotoblogs.com/?qbr=YOUR_CODE_GOES_HERE

If anyone clicks on your link and then purchases ProPhoto in the next two weeks, your referral code will be credited for their purchase.

Ideas for sharing your code

Writing up a detailed review of ProPhoto on your website that includes your code is something that a lot of our customers have done with great success. Many of them have earned back the price of their purchase several times over just from a posted review.

Other common places for sharing your code:

  • Faceboook friends
  • Twitter followers
  • Forums you participate in
  • Google groups
  • skywriting
  • tatoos

Just be careful not to be spammy with where and how you share your code. Only give it out or post it where you’ve earned permission to share great resources with those that care about your opinion and might benefit from using ProPhoto.

Banner images

Over the years, many people have asked us for some advertising-type banner images to use when promoting ProPhoto with their quick buck referral link. If you want some of those, click here to download a zip file with a bunch of images.

Using your sites “ad banners” area

Your ProPhoto site actually makes it pretty darn easy to make some money promoting ProPhoto. If you want, you can always download the banner images linked above, and upload one of them as an ad banner under “ProPhoto” > “Customize” > “Footer” > “Ad Banners”. Set the link URL to your custom code link, as shown below:

The image will then appear in your site’s footer area, and every time a user clicks through that link and purchases ProPhoto, you’ll earn $7.

Embedding the video tour:

If you’re posting a post on your blog or on a forum with your code, you might want to embed the video tour. It will probably convince more people to use your code and buy the blog. Just copy and paste one of the embed code below:

Size Large:

<iframe width="853" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/GOID2JrzkiY?rel=0&amp;hd=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Size Medium:

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/GOID2JrzkiY?rel=0&amp;hd=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Size Small:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/GOID2JrzkiY?rel=0&amp;hd=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

If you’re posting your quick buck code on a WordPress blog and want to embed that video, just switch into HTML mode (it’s a tab in the upper right of the post-writing area) and paste the embed code in.

Directly linking to video tour

Or, if you’re not in a situation where you can embed the video tour, you can link directly to it using this link:

http://youtu.be/GOID2JrzkiY?hd=2

I got a code once, but lost it

If you got a quick-buck code at some point, but forgot what it was and can’t find it, you don’t need to get a new one, you can look up your existing code on the bottom of this page.

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