Narwhal Microblog

Description

Narwhal magically turns most themes into powerful microblogs. It is lightweight, simple, and it will take on your theme’s look and feel (you may need to tweak with your own CSS). It adds a front-end new post area on your blog’s main page (or other pages if you so desire).

Narwhal started out (version 1.0) as a simple textarea and tag field with no admin settings. Soon after creating Narwhal 1.0, I realized that someone else had already done something similar with more features. They created their plugin many years ago and called it Posthaste. The author of Posthaste is Jon Smajda. But, his plugin hasn’t been updated in many years and so it’s time for it to be revived as Narwhal Microblog 2.0. I did some tweaks to fix some code warnings/errors, but much of the code is repurposed from the old Posthaste plugin. Then it turns out, the Posthaste plugin is repurposed Prologue/P2 code (WordPress themes).

A few notes about the plugin’s behavior:

  • In WordPress 2.7 and higher, you can select which fields you want to appear in the form and what pages you want the form to appear on. Settings are in “Settings -> Writing -> Narwhal Settings.”
  • If you leave the “Title:” field blank, it takes the first 40 characters of the post content and makes that the title.
  • If you leave the “Category:” box at its default setting it posts to your default category. However…
  • If you have a category named ‘asides’, it will put posts with empty titles into the ‘asides’ category even if you do not explicitly specify the ‘asides’ category in the dropdown. You can then style them as asides.
  • The included CSS is deliberately simple. If your theme already styles forms, it will probably inherit your theme’s styling. If you want to customize the appearance of the form, just customize your own css files.

Screenshots

  • Post form on the front-end of my blog with my blog's styling.

Installation

Just upload the narwhal-microblog directory to /wp-content/plugins/ and activate. You will find some basic settings within your Writing settings.

FAQ

Can I customize the automatic ‘asides’ behavior?

The plugin will automatically make any post categorized as aside, an aside. You can change the category name at the top of the narwhal-microblog.php file.

Help! I activated the plugin but the form isn’t showing up!

It’s possible your theme has get_sidebar() placed before the loop at the top of your theme (Most themes call get_sidebar() after the loop, but some do it before). This plugin attaches the form at the start of the loop, which usually works fine. In order to prevent the “Recent Posts” widget (or any other widgets which call multiple loops) from also causing the form to display, the plugin deactivates the form once get_sidebar() is called. So if get_sidebar() runs first, the form won’t appear in the “real loop” either.

If you’re willing to edit your theme’s index.php file, the fix is easy. Just place the following where you want the form to appear on your page (probably right before the loop):

<?php if(function_exists(posthasteForm)) { posthasteForm(); } ?>

Another option, if you have no other loops called on a page and would rather edit the plugin instead of your theme, is to comment out the action that removes the loop at get_sidebar(). Find the following line near the bottom of the plugin:

add_action('get_sidebar', removePosthasteInSidebar);

and comment it out by adding two slashes at the beginning of the line:

//add_action('get_sidebar', removePosthasteInSidebar);

Reviews

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Contributors & Developers

“Narwhal Microblog” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.

Contributors

Translate “Narwhal Microblog” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.

Changelog

2.1

  • Removed an unnecessary HTML bold tag that was hanging out in the post form’s intro, and added a success message which will appear after successfully publishing a post.

2.0

  • All new plugin essentially. Version 2.0 adds a title, category, and draft post option, along with admin settings.

1.0

  • First release. A simple textarea and tag field.