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Archive: 7 March 2005

Gatekeeper 1.5 RC1

Now playing: WP-Gatekeeper 1.5 RC1, a complete overhaul of the Gatekeeper plugin.  This version is compatible with WordPress 1.5, and is basically plug-and-play.  Why “basically”?  Because like Windows, there are situations where the plug doesn’t lead straight to play—but more on those in a bit.

First, if you’re using the default WordPress template or a template that uses the same markup, then literally all you have to do is install and activate the plugin.  The challenge will be placed into the comment form using the same markup patterns used for the other inputs (name, email, and so on).  In fact, this will happen for any theme that uses the same markup as the WP 1.5 default.  In cases where the plugin can’t find the appropriate markup pattern, it will insert the challenge just after after the textarea element in the comment form.

So suppose that you’ve completely altered your comment form markup, and what’s more, you don’t want the challenge appearing after the textarea element.  No problem: insert a call to gatekeeper_pose_challenge at whatever point in the form you want the challenge to appear, surround it with whatever markup is needed, and you’ll be good to go.  That’s the kind of situation where you have to do a little more work than simple plug-and-play.  Otherwise, the installation should be quick and painless.

There is a potential exception: non-UNIX servers.  I think I have things set up so it shouldn’t matter, but I may well be wrong, not having other servers on which to test.  So if you run into trouble, disable the plugin and everything should go back to normal (unless you added gatekeeper_pose_challenge to your comment forms, in which case you’ll have to remove those too).  Let me know if you hit trouble, and we’ll see about getting it fixed before going final.

I’m running GK 1.5 on meyerweb now, and everything seems to be proceeding without incident.  My upgrade problems earlier today were due to forgetting to pull out the hooks I’d hacked into wp-comments-post.php and other files for the old version of Gatekeeper.  Those hooks are no longer needed in GK 1.5, and leaving them in place broke commenting.

If you were thinking about using Gatekeeper but were put off by the long DIY instructions in the old version, then now’s the time to try it out.  It’s easy to install, and even easier to back out if you run into trouble.

I’d like to thank Scott Sauyet for helping me with a number of the new routines and features in GK 1.5, including the use of the built-in options table instead of having to set up a separate table for Gatekeeper, the form-scanning routines, and more.

Comments Are Back

Thanks to some version skew problems with WP-Gatekeeper, I managed to break commenting last night.  I believe I have things fixed now, but if not, leave me a comment.  I kid!  Speaking of WP-Gatekeeper, the new 1.5 version is almost ready to go, so if you’re interested, stay tuned.

The Home Stretch

As I mentioned a while back, my friend Dave is running, biking, and swimming in the Strawberry Fields Triathlon this coming Saturday.  For those who missed the original post, the short version is that he undertook this effort to do something constructive in response to his wife’s battle with Stage II Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  His fundraising efforts have been eminently successful: as I write this, he’s up to $10,325.00 in donations, exceeding his original goal of ten thousand dollars.  He’s raised the goal to $12,000, so if you wanted to make a last-minute donation and push the donation thermometer over his stated goal once again, then now’s the time.

To do so would be a fantastic way to help Dave and Kim celebrate a wonderful turn of events.  As Dave wrote last Thursday:

It’s official — Kim is cancer-free! Her scans have come back completely clean and according to her doctor, she requires no further treatment! Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and kind words and generous donations throughout this process. Next Saturday is the triathlon and the closing of this chapter of our lives. Neither one of us will forget the kindness and support we’ve received from treasured friends and total strangers alike — thank you all so much!!

Dave’s told me that the generosity of meyerweb readers was an important part of his meeting his original fundraising goal—so to his thanks, I add my own heartfelt appreciation.

March 2005
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