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Most Recent Post Feed in User Dashboard gone Missing (22 posts)

  1. agreda
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    After searching here and posting on other forums, I'm at my wits ends trying to figure out what happened to a feature that used to show the most recent post from a specified blog in all user dashboards across the network.

    Does this mock screenshot look familiar to anyone?

    In short, the most recent blog post from our main site used to appear in a notice at the top of all user dashboards along with a dismiss link.

    At one point in time I remember setting the feed from which to pull post titles, but for the life of me I cannot remember if this was done via a plugin or some native WP Admin option. After extensively reviewing all our plugins, however, I can't help but think this was a WP feature that has been removed.

    Since updating to WP(MS) 3.1.2 the blog post notice no longer appears in any dashboards. We used to show these recent posts on multiple installs, and now none of them display the notice.

    The feeds from which these notices were showing posts all validate. I've reviewed the WP changelogs and don't notice any related feature that has been removed. None of our plugins have been updated in the time frame that relates to the notice no longer appearing.

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  2. Piet
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Hi Agreda, Yeah I noticed the exact same thing too and I saw the thread you are referring to over at wpmudev.org.

    As there seems not an awful lot of feedback on this subject, I have decided not to wait for a solution and implemented my own feed. It works for multisite (obviously), but it can basically be installed on any WP install, single or multi.

    Please have a look at my solution over at http://wpti.ps/?p=99

  3. agreda
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Thanks! I'll look into that. I am happy to know though that it's not just me. Bit surprised, however, that nobody knew about this feed option, or cared to explain how/why it disappeared.

  4. Piet
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    You're welcome!

    I also was very surprised that there is close to none info available on this and was happy to see on wpmudev that you asked a question on this forum!

    If my solution works for you, perhaps you can be so kind to leave a response on the wpti.ps site about it?

    Thanks!

  5. agreda
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    If my solution works for you, perhaps you can be so kind to leave a response

    Sure, if I ever get around to implementing it. I just hate hacking core files since that must be done again for WP every update. Thanks again.

  6. Piet
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Hi Agreda, It's not core files I am hacking here.

    It is the functions.php file of your Child theme and an additional file that you have to make from scratch.
    Upload both files to your server (theme folder) and you're good to go.

    Hacking core files is very bad practice and should never be published as a solution.

  7. agreda
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Right, hacking "core" theme files. ;-)

    Problem is, this solution would only work on sites using the edited theme, not across our entire network with 100+ themes to choose from.

    Thanks again though!

  8. Piet
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    I wouldn't know how to "inject" a line of code into the functions file of each theme. But I am sure if it would be packaged as a plugin it could work very well. The only thing is that I don't have any experience yet with making a plugin like that. Bit busy now also working on sites for clients, but will let you know if I come up with something in the future...

  9. Piet
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    OK very basic plugin is ready, still need to work on an admin panel so user can add rss URL without having to hack the plugin files before uploading. You can download the plugin from http://wpti.ps/downloads/wtdashboardfeed.zip

    For now (due to the lack of an admin panel) all you need to do is to unzip the package and edit 2 files:
    - wtdbfeed.php line 44, the header of the box
    - wtrss.php, located in the php folder line 2, the actual feed

    Then upload the main plugin folder (wtdashboardfeed) to your plugins directory.

    Network activate and all your 100 blogs show the new dashboard widget with the feed of your choice!

  10. Piet
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Now properly released as plugin: Multisite Dashboard Feed Widget plugin. More information and download via http://wpti.ps/?p=103

  11. agreda
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    That was quick, thanks! We'll give it a world on our test site soon.

  12. Piet
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Please let me know in the comments on wptips how it is working for you! And perhaps you can let them know over at the wpmu forum as I don't have access there...

  13. agreda
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    FYI: In case you missed it, WMPU.org announced your new plugin at http://wpmu.org/daily-tip-new-multisite-dashboard-feed-widget-in-the-wordpress-plugin-repository/

  14. Piet
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Oh, that is very cool! Thanks for letting me know. I did see that you wrote something about it in the forums over there, but this one is new for me :)

  15. agreda
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Hi Piet, I've been testing the plugin on our dev install and am encountering some issues.

    First, the widget seems to work fine with a basic doamin.com/feed. Our goal however, is to only show posts from specific blogs via feeds generated by WPMU Dev plugins...

    FEED 1: Validates with recommendations, and breaks dashboard widget:
    http://tripawds.com/wp-content/recent-featured-posts-feed.php
    ^ This feed pulls posts only from specific sites on the network. Ideally, we want to use this feed, but the widget includes no content at all when it is used.

    FEED 2: Validates with recommendations and works in widget:
    http://tripawds.net/wp-content/recent-global-posts-feed.php
    ^ This feed pulls posts from all blogs on the network

    FEED 3: Validates w/o exception and works in widget:
    http://tripawds.com/wp-content/recent-global-posts-feed.php
    ^ This feed pulls posts from all blogs on the network

    The other issue I'm noticing, using the last feed above which seems to work fine is that the widget is not updating the same on different sites across the network. It seems once the widget displays, it does not update when other posts are published to the feed. Does the widget only update according to some schedule?

    To clarify, I confirmed the widget was displaying posts from the validated feed. I published a new post to the feed, then visited another dashboard and it showed in the list of posts. But upon visiting the previous dashboard, the new post was not in the widget. Hope this makes sense! Thanks again for all your efforts.

  16. Piet
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Hi agreda, thanks for your feedback.

    To start with the last problem first, that is something WordPress related: by default feeds are refreshed every 12 hours. And that is exactly why on a Dashboard where you already have installed the widget on, the new post doesn't show up for another 12 hours. On a fresh install the new post indeed shows immediately.
    To change this, you would need to change the default feed-refreshing time, which you can actually do by adding the following 2 lines to your functions.php file:

    add_filter( 'wp_feed_cache_transient_lifetime',
                 create_function('$a', 'return 600;') );

    When I get to make the options for the plugin, I will probably also address this refresh time.

    Are you sure that your first problem is not related to the refreshing time? And what exactly do you mean with "Validates with recommendations"?

    Thanks,
    Piet

  17. agreda
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Thanks for the quick reply! The issue of the widget breaking with certain feeds but not others is not related to the refresh time. When feed 1 is used, the yellow box includes no content at all and is only about 5px high.

    An option for controlling that refresh time will be quite beneficial since the widget will appear on numerous site throughout the network, which all use different themes, and the feed may get new posts multiple times a day.

    what exactly do you mean with "Validates with recommendations"?

    Plug those feed urls I posted into feedvalidator.org or validator.w3.org and you'll see what I mean. Feeds 1 & 2 include posts that contain object or iframe tags in the description and content items. These feeds therefor validate, but with recommendations to remove those tags for best compatibility with all readers.

    What I find most perplexing is how the second one works, while the first one, which we hope to use, does not. :-\

  18. Piet
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Hi agreda,
    Just tried your FEED 1 on my sandbox and it works just fine, screenshot: http://senl.in/lbWBql

    Perhaps you didn't delete line 2 in the file msrss.php? The start of msrss.php with your feed in it should look like:

    <?php
    $rss = fetch_feed('http://tripawds.com/wp-content/recent-featured-posts-feed.php');
    if (!is_wp_error($rss)) { // Checks that the object is created correctly
    // etcetera

    That a particular feed doesn't validate (or validates with recommendations) is nothing the widget can do about I think, that is a problem with the feed itself, no?

  19. agreda
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Perhaps you didn't delete line 2 in the file msrss.php?

    You might consider adding that to the install instructions, it wasn't in the readme. I see now how the widget was likely breaking because the feed was coming from a different domain than the $url.

    After your suggested edit, the widget appears to be behaving exactly as expected! :-) Can't wait for that refresh option. Just kidding no rush, you've done some great work on this and I plan to write about it soon. Thanks again!

    That a particular feed doesn't validate (or validates with recommendations) is nothing the widget can do about

    Correct, howver, some readers – and therefore certain widgets, I presume – just require squeaky clean feeds. Others parse object, iframe and other content just fine.

  20. Piet
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    You might consider adding that to the install instructions, it wasn't in the readme.

    Oh, but it is!
    You must have read over it, but it is clearly written under "Installation" in the readme.txt, on my website and on the WordPress Plugin directory: (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/multisite-dashboard-feed-widget/installation/).

    I will make it clearer though, have already added some lines to the files itself to explain it better, you will see that in the next release...

    Thanks for the additional compliments, always good to hear :)

    Regarding validation of feeds, I actually don't have too much knowledge of that. Maybe in the (probably not so nearby) future, I can integrate sth that if the feed doesn't validate, it at least gives a warning to the user, so then it will be people's own choice to continue or do sth about it... For that to work though I will have some reading into the subject to do :)

  21. I completely missed this thread as it was not in the multisite forums at all. If it relates to multisite and it outside the forum I miss it.

    I hadn't noticed that the feeds were missing or removed myself. On one install, it was still there - no idea why. On the newer install yes it's gone. No idea why it was removed or when. I did see the plugin was created, so thanks.

  22. agreda
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Thanks for checking in Andrea! At the time I started this topic, I didn't realize the missing dashboard feed was multisite-specific.

    FYI to All: I just posted a detailed review for Piet's plugin, including details about how I added a feed for specific blogs on the network.

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