Category: WordPress

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Translations Updater and Easy Digital Downloads

My Translations Updater Composer library also works for any plugins or themes that are using EDD Software Licensing. I have recently written about the basic purpose and function of the Translations Updater library.

EDD Software Licensing Integration

As of EDD Software Licensing v3.6, there are a couple of action hooks in the plugin/theme updater samples that allow for this integration. As part of the setup for using EDD SL, you need to create a new EDD SL updater class with a configuration array customized to your plugin.

This array is contains data regarding the specific plugin or theme that uses EDD Software Licensing. Integration with the Translations Updater library only requires the addition of 2 elements to the configuration array and a slightly different command that runs the translations updater.

The additional array elements are a designation to where the translations repository is hosted, GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab, or Gitea, and the URI to the repository.

‘git’ => ‘bitbucket’,
‘languages’ => ‘https://bitbucket.org/afragen/test-language-pack,

Specific instructions are in the GitHub repository.

Filed under: code, WordPressTagged with: ,
Translation icon

Translations Updater

As part of the GitHub Updater I introduced a process for independent language pack updating. The normal process is to include translation files, as part of your plugins, in a /languages directory inside of your plugin and load them via load_plugin_textdomain(). This also works for themes.

Decoupled Language Packs

If your plugin is in the dot org plugin directory you benefit from translations that are done by the community on GlotPress. If your particular WordPress installation is localized and the plugin has a translation file for that locale, the translation file will be automatically added and none of the other unused translation files will be added.

These translations take precedence over those included in your plugin as of WordPress 4.6. If there are updates for the translation file, they will be added via the normal dashboard update process.

This allows for a decoupled language pack updating experience where the plugin doesn’t need to include additional files that can contribute significantly to the overall plugin size; but can benefit from maintaining the translations independently from the main plugin.

Get Your Own Decoupled Language Packs

The language pack updating method I created in GitHub Updater works in the same manner as in the dot org plugin directory. The developer maintains a separate repository that contains the language packs and the Translations Updater code independently installs the needed translation files. This allows for a more efficient method of distribution of language packs and allows the main plugin and translations to be developed and maintained separately.

composer require

Recently I have converted the Translations Updater to a Composer library. In this way it can be installed in any plugin or theme via composer require afragen/translations-updater:dev-master and decoupled language pack updating can be used. This does require a separate, public repository that contains the translations files.

I have created a Language Pack Maker library that will create the language packs from a folder of translation MO/PO files and create a language-pack.json file that contains the data regarding the current state of all the language packs.

Real World Example

I maintain the translations for GitHub Updater using this method. What I do is maintain the public repository of translations and take PRs for updated or new translations. These PRs are only for the MO/PO files. I would then update the repository locally where I would run the Language Pack Maker and then push the new language packs and language-pack.json to the public repository.

As always, ask questions. I’m happy to explain in more detail as needed.

Filed under: code, WordPress
zip archive icon

Install a Zipfile with GitHub Updater

If you maintain your codebase on GitHub, or another git host, the standard download of your repository from within GitHub is an automatically generated zipfile created from your repository. GitHub Updater uses this generated zipfile when it updates or installs a repository from GitHub.

Build Processes

Sometimes your project may require build tools such as Grunt, Gulp, Webpack, or some other process. The built project is usually added as a release asset to your release. GitHub Updater is capable of updating using this release asset.

PHP Fatal

Recently a problem and discussion arose about installing a plugin via either GitHub Updater’s Remote Install function or as a download of a GitHub repository. Obviously if the plugin requires a build process to be functional a PHP fatal error is likely to occur as some files will only exist after the completion of the build process.

Solution

I created a solution where a Zipfile was merely one more type of git host for Remote Installation using GitHub Updater. You may either drop a local file path into the Plugin URI field or insert the URI to the remote zipfile.

Zipfile install
Install from a Zipfile or URI of Zipfile

I was actually pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to add this functionality.

Filed under: code, WordPress
wp-config file

WordPress Debugging

It is inevitable. At some point when running a WordPress site you will have a conflict, an error, or worst case – a PHP Fatal leading to a WSOD (White Screen of Death).

My goal is to provide the means with which you should be able to view and hopefully understand, to some degree, the errors so that the most appropriate person can provide a solution.

Why is it Inevitable?

By virtue of the shear number of different WordPress plugins, themes, and PHP versions, there are bound to be interactions that cause issues. Hopefully these issues don’t bring down your site. But some will.

Types of Errors

There are a few basic types of errors common to WordPress sites. Primarily all are PHP errors. There are 3 primary types of PHP errors: PHP Fatal, PHP Warning, and PHP Notice.

Under most circumstances you might not even be aware of either the PHP Warning or PHP Notice errors as they commonly only display in your PHP error log. A PHP Fatal error is the most common cause of the WSOD, but again you won’t see the actual error outside of an error log.

By default WordPress doesn’t display these errors to the user. You can adjust certain settings within wp-config.php to bring these errors to display and/or log them to a WordPress specific debug.log.

For many, modifying the wp-config.php file is a daunting task that in and of itself, can bring your site down. I’ve tried to simplify this with the creation of my WP Debugging plugin.

My plugin will add settings to wp-config.php. More specifically setting WP_DEBUG to true and setting WP_DEBUG_LOG to true. There are a number of additional settings that can also set to assist in debugging.

xDebug Isn’t the Only Way

Tom McFarlin has written extensively about coding and debugging.

In this member’s only post, Tom explains many of the individual settings that can assist in debugging a WordPress site using only native WordPress functions.

Automate All the Things

WP Debugging is a plugin I wrote to automatically add many of WordPress’ built-in settings on plugin activation and remove them on plugin deactivation.

Additionally, the plugin automatically installs and activates 2 additional plugins, Query Monitor by John Billion and Debug Quick Look by Andrew Norcross. These plugins are required, though that can be modified by the user, only because I made that decision.

Query Monitor is an established development plugin that provides a wealth of information for debugging. Debug Quick Look is a wonderful plugin whose sole function is to display the debug.log that WordPress writes debugging errors to when WP_DEBUG_LOG is set to true.

There are also two optional plugin dependencies that request to be installed, Debug Bar and GitHub Updater. The purpose of installing GitHub Updater is to keep the WP Debugging plugin updated.

Looking in the Logs

Viewing the debug.log will allow you to gain insight into the cause of the error. Often these errors will provide a stack trace pointing to exactly the file, function, or line of the error. They will definitely aid the developer.

Debugging is a art. One that you will only gain proficiency in through practice. It is my goal to help bring this information closer to you as simply as possible via the WP Debugging plugin.

You can read more about the specifics of what the WP Debugging plugin does on GitHub and, as always, PRs are happily considered on the develop branch.

Filed under: code, WordPressTagged with: , ,

GitHub Updater and Gitea

Gitea is the new kid on the block for creating a self-hosted git server. Gitea is written in Go and is highly performant with very low overhead. In fact, Gitea is so efficient you can run it on a Raspberry Pi. There’s another post coming about that. 😉

As with most integrations of new git servers into GitHub Updater it all starts with an issue and a user willing to help. In this case, the user was Marco Berchart.

Over the years, I’ve continued to refactor GitHub Updater to become more OOP based and adding Gitea support definitely shows that this was the way to go. Adding support for Gitea was far and away the simplest integration yet. Much of this has to do with API closely following the GitHub API.

Marco was kind enough to start by creating  a PR and we were able to work on a branch until it was complete and able to be merged. There is a demo site at https://try.gitea.io where a test account can be created. There is no guarantee any sort of persistence and don’t expect your data, or possibly even your user, to be around long term. Marco was able to provide an account on his Gitea instance for me to test. I couldn’t have finished the integration with this access.

Since then I have figured out how to install Gitea on a Raspberry Pi. I’ve actually done the process several times and even updated both Go and Gitea. It makes testing much easier for me and it makes setting up your own local git server for less than $100 simple.

Filed under: code, computer, WordPressTagged with: ,