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ProPhoto Plugins Updated

As I mentioned in my last post, all ProPhoto-related plugins were removed from the official WordPress.org plugin repository because they only provided functionality for users of ProPhoto, which is not a free theme.

In the last few days since the removal of the plugins, I’ve moved our two main plugins, ProPhoto3 Compatibility Patches and ProPhoto Tweaks, to our Amazon S3 server and modified them so that they will update themselves from that location in the future.

What you need to do:

If you’re using either the ProPhoto3 Compatibility Patches plugins (which you should be using if you’re still using P3) or the ProPhoto Tweaks plugin, then you’ll need to follow these steps:

  1. Download the plugin file you need from below, without unzipping it
  2. Log in to your site admin area and go to “Plugins” => “Installed”
  3. Click to delete the old version of the same plugin
  4. Click the “Add new” button
  5. Click the “Upload” link near the top of the screen
  6. Upload the zip file you downloaded in step 1
  7. Click to activate the new plugin

Tweaks Plugin Zip    P3 Compat Plugin Zip   

If you’re having trouble, the individual tutorials for each plugin have a lot more information and include detailed step-by-step instructions with screenshots: P3 Compat Tutorial, Tweaks Tutorial.

ProPhoto plugins removed from WordPress.org

For some years now, we’ve published and maintained a handful of free WordPress plugins that offer features and fixes for ProPhoto users. We just announced one a few weeks ago, our “ProPhoto Tweaks” plugin. We also maintain compatibility for old ProPhoto versions (like P2 and P3) with the latest version of WordPress by patching them through a free plugin instead of releasing updates to the old themes themselves. So, we have a plugin for compatibility patches for P2 and one for P3 as well. These plugins are hosted in the official WordPress.org repository. This means they can be found by searching from within your WordPress admin area, are installed and updated with one click, and you receive notifications when there are updates available.

What happened last week

At some point late last week, all of our plugins related to ProPhoto were removed from the WordPress.org repository without notification or explanation. After some digging I was able to make contact with someone from WordPress who informed me that our plugins were removed because they only are beneficial to users of ProPhoto, which is not a free theme, and so they didn’t want them in the repository. I’ve read their detailed guidelines on what is permissible for plugins extremely carefully and can see no way in which I violated them. They even explicitly say that “serviceware” is permissible — free plugins which provide functionality for paid services and products. But, it doesn’t really matter as there is no appeal process. Someone decided they shouldn’t be in there, so they are all gone now. That’s their right and we have to respect it.

Where we go from here

Even though we have been removed from the WordPress repository, we still plan on maintaining these plugins as well as releasing other plugins in the future. It just means that we will have to host the plugins ourselves, and do a little fancy-footwork to have our plugins check our site for new versions and update themselves from our servers instead of looking for that data on the WordPress repository.

We’re currently in the process of re-coding all of the plugins so that they check our site for updates and update themselves from our servers instead of WordPress.org. The transition will take a couple of days. Once we’ve got updates ready, everyone will need to delete their ProPhoto related plugins and reinstall the new versions. This will only take about 30 seconds (we’ll create a detailed tutorial), and once you’re updated to the new versions, they will work just like normal plugins, and you will be able to update them with a single click when an update is available.

Facebook comments will be delayed…

Unfortunately, because of how many users depend on these plugins, we need to fix this issue before we do any more development on P4, so Facebook Comments are going to be delayed by about a week.

New 'add-on' designs added to our store

In the last 24 hours we’ve added 8 totally new designs to our design store.  As usual, there is a range of styles, layouts and price-points to choose from:

Colbin  by: The Thoughtful Type

Mod by: La Lune

Jillian Sweet by: The Thoughtful Type

Hampton by: Seaside Creative

Madison by: Rikki Dy-Liacco

Malibu by: Seaside Creative

Sofia by: Rikki Dy-Liacco

We also had 2 older designs that were updated for ProPhoto 4  and re-released:

Simply Classic by: Custom Photography Blogs

Lifestyle by: Rikki Dy-Liacco

Improved Like Box Widget

As I mentioned in my previous post about the most recent auto-update we’ve pushed, as a part of our ongoing efforts to improve Facebook integration, we’ve now re-built the Facebook Like Box widget. The main differences from this particular rebuild are:

  • we’ve switched to the new and recommended HTML5/JavaScriptSDK Facebook API, instead of using hard-coded IFRAME elements
  • we now have built-in customization and live preview instead of copy/pasting code from Facebook

The new HTML5 API

Switching to the new HTML5/JavascriptSDK API means we no longer hard-code IFRAME elements into your site. Instead, simple, valid HTML5 placeholders are left in place in your markup, and the Facebook JavaScript code turns it into the correctly customized Like Box.

The new API is the currently suggested way to do Facebook integration, and we’re in the process of moving all of our Facebook elements to the new API. The new API gives us more flexibility and intelligence in dealing with Facebook elements and events, and degrades better (and faster) when Facebook isn’t loading quickly or properly.

The new customizer with live preview

In ProPhoto3 and older builds of P4, the Facebook Like Box widget was just a glorified text-box, where you pasted in code that you had to generate on Facebook’s developer page:

This was annoying and error-prone. The new method gives you all of the Facebook-permitted customization options right in the widget editing screen, and shows you a live preview of your Like Box, which is much better:

ProPhoto will automatically and seamlessly convert your old-style Like Box to the new format, so there’s no need to do anything if you made a Like Box before the new format was released. As soon as your ProPhoto4 site updates to the latest build, the Like Boxes will be converted.

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