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Friday, December 16th, 2005

Hopefully They’re All Asleep Now…

… and I can catch my breath. What is it with me and the Dutch? I first noticed it when I was writing my triumphant announcement that I had solved my installation problem with the you-know-what-wireless-card and the you-know-what-operating-system, and wanted to acknowledge those most helpful in solving my problem – of the three, two were from the Netherlands. Next I had my tense, but civil, discourse with the owner of Virtual Identity – who turned out to be Dutch. It was through tracing him that I discovered that Gelderland was a real place – when I had heard Heath Ledger singing about it in “A Knight’s Tale“, I could have sworn that it was made up. Then I noticed that one of the few hits when Googling for “gregrperry” was a site that did nothing but log useragents, which had somehow picked up my customized useragent (yeah, that’s vanity, isn’t it?) I clicked the link to it in Google and was greeted with the phrases “Deze user-agent is nieuw, bedankt! User-agents die hier eerder waren:” When I clicked the “Translate to English” button on my Googlebar, I got garbage; probably because, like me, it thought the language was German. But driven by curiosity, I whoised the site and got an address in the now familiar Netherlands. “Ah-ha!” I said, “Does Babelfish have Dutch-to-English? Probably not.” But defiantly, it did. So I got a pretty clean translation, but the connection grew.

Then I get this comment, which leads to a blog post, from a guy who searched Google.nl using the terms “wordpress show current visitors and guest in sidebar“, where I was (at the time) fourth on the list of 13,700 results. I snidely remarked that one person commenting was a big deal, but he said he would tell his friends. This guy has plenty of friends. Here’s the locations of my non-bot, not-me visitors since his comment:

1 United States - Richmond, California
2 United States - Blacklick, Ohio
3 United States - Montgomery, Alabama
4 Netherlands - Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
5 Netherlands - Alkmaar, Noord-Holland
6 Netherlands - Vlaardingen, Zuid-Holland
7 Saudi Arabia - Riyadh, Ar Riyad
8 Saudi Arabia - Riyadh, Ar Riyad
9 Germany - Eppendorf, Hamburg
10 Netherlands - Montfoort, Utrecht
11 Netherlands - Capelle Aan Den IJssel, Zuid-Hol...
12 Netherlands - Loet, Zuid-Holland
13 Netherlands - Montfoort, Utrecht
14 United Kingdom - London, Lambeth
15 Netherlands - Zaanstad, Noord-Holland
16 Netherlands - Vlaardingen, Zuid-Holland
17 Hungary - Budapest
18 United States - Williamsburg, Virginia
19 Netherlands - Montfoort, Utrecht
20 United States - Mifflin, Pennsylvania
21 Netherlands - Zaanstad, Noord-Holland
22 Netherlands - Etten, Noord-Brabant
23 Hungary - Szeged
24 South Africa - Lynnwood, Gauteng
25 Netherlands - Leidschendam, Zuid-Holland
26 Netherlands - Leersum, Utrecht
27 Netherlands - Vlaardingen, Zuid-Holland
28 Netherlands - Zaanstad, Noord-Holland
29 Netherlands - Wildervank, Groningen
30 Netherlands - Utrecht
31 Netherlands - Leersum, Utrecht
32 Andorra - Les Escaldes, Escaldes-Engordany
33 Netherlands - Capelle Aan Den IJssel, Zuid-Hol...
34 Netherlands - Tilburg, Noord-Brabant
35 Netherlands - Leersum, Utrecht
36 Netherlands - Alphen Aan Den Rijn, Zuid-Holland
37 United Kingdom - Shawford, Hampshire
38 United Kingdom - Marsden, Kirklees
39 Netherlands - The Hague, Zuid-Holland
40 Germany - Hamburg-Eimsbttel, Hamburg
41 United States - Wayland, Massachusetts
42 Germany - Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg
43 Netherlands - Opmeer, Noord-Holland
44 Netherlands - Montfoort, Utrecht
45 United Kingdom - Leeds
46 Netherlands - Montfoort, Utrecht
47 Netherlands - Achterste Hermalen, Noord-Brabant
48 Belgium - Gemeldorp, Oost-Vlaanderen
49 Spain - Pueblo Nuevo, Cataluna
50 Sweden - Sdertlje, Stockholms Lan
51 Netherlands - Opmeer, Noord-Holland
52 France - Paris, Ile-de-France
53 Netherlands - Montfoort, Utrecht

30 out of 53 visitors were from the Netherlands. WTF! That’s some traffic power.

Posted by Greg as My Website at 22:48 PST

1 Comment »

Holy Crap!

I’ve been looking at the differences between the published version of the WordPress plugin WP-UserOnline and my hacked implementation of it, and boy did I go to town! I even modified the database table the plugin created so I could add the ability to show visitors’ useragents as well – I remember doing it using mysqladmin. Definitely not a casual hack, although I could probably publish how to modify the installer to do the same thing.

Unfortunately, I can’t even post my own versions of the files without sorting through and publishing a new readme file – in my version, I changed the way the plugin accesses the underlying WordPress database tables. So I’m looking at a lot of nit-picking work just documenting my hacks. I have to wonder whether it’s more efficient to just start my own plugin. I guess I’ll wait for the masses to weigh in on that issue.

Posted by Greg as My Website, Programming at 11:50 PST

1 Comment »

Trackback Worked

My trackback to Vincent’s post (which quoted me) somehow worked. Maybe it’s because we’re both WordPress blogs, or maybe I somehow fixed what was preventing them from working earlier. Just thought it was cool.

Posted by Greg as My Website at 06:05 PST

Comments Off on Trackback Worked

Me and My Big Mouth

Aren’t search engines truly amazing? Somebody noticed my old WordPress User Online plugin gripe, and not only asked me how I got the original plugin working, but how to implement some of the things I was describing I wanted to do. So by popular demand (yes, one person, especially if he claims to be representing others as well, is enough to constitute “popular demand” in my tiny little stake on the Web), I am pulled back into the plugin programming business. About time. I’ve been too caught up in relatively inconsequential tweaking and need to get back to hardcore coding to achieve my goal of truly learning PHP.

Vincent, I am very interested to developing a plugin along the lines I laid out earlier, and would welcome feedback on where to take it. But first, let’s figure out how I got the old usersonline plugin to work and how I get it in the sidebar, so we can at least have that. I don’t remember how I did it off the top of my head but I’m sure I can figure it out. Unfortunately, it’s a pretty busy time of year, so bear with me.

First, to answer my own old question, I had figured out why the plugin recognized me from one place but not at another. It relied on the comment_author_ cookie, which records the name I gave when I wrote a comment, and I hadn’t used the computer at the second place to write any comments – it hadn’t taken me too long to realize that commenting on my own posts was silly.

To answer your question, I installed the WP-UserOnline (WP-UO) by GaMerZ back when I was using WordPress version 1.5.1.3 and found a few problems with it. I started reporting the issues I found on the author’s forums but managed to beat anyone else to the workarounds, so I reported those too. Or something like that. I was pretty frustrated because the author’s style and methodology was so completely different than mine, and he hadn’t followed the plugin guidelines at the Codex.

One of the thing that might stop the whole plugin from working at all when you upgraded to WP 1.5 or higher is that the original plugin relied on hacks that would have been eliminated with file replacement during an upgrade. I ended up upgrading to 1.5.2 less than two weeks after I started with WP-UO, and had to re-hack certain files. Thankfully, I have learned to keep good documentation on any hacks, and have a record of what I did. I also see from earlier posts (unfortunately, I didn’t document everything I did to tweak this plugin) that I was only able to go to the WP-UO page from the root directory of my blog because of a problem handling permalinks, but somehow I solved that.

I’m going to pull all my WP-UO files off my site and run a compare to the originals. When I get back we’ll take a look at the differences, but I just wanted to let you know that I was on it.

Posted by Greg as My Website, Programming at 06:01 PST

3 Comments »