Software, Development, and WordPress

Category: Projects (Page 2 of 31)

Posts introducing, updating, and covering various projects to which I’ve contributed or that I maintain.

Building Backcast, Part 1

TL;DR: I listen to quite a few podcasts and want to make sure that I’m backing them up for posterity. There are apps for this, yes, but I’m a fan of reading how other developers work on their projects. I’ve never written about building something from the ground up. It’s personally edifying and it helps others who are also building things, as well.

This is the first post in a series in which I will talk about building a small application (that will eventually be a WordPress plugin) for backing up podcasts as provided by an XML export from Overcast.


This may be a painful read for some who are experienced developers (so maybe don’t read it). Or maybe it won’t be. But one of the things I recently heard, in a podcast no less, sums up both the point of this project and the project I’m working on:

[the podcaster] simply created a type of show he wanted to hear and hope others shared his taste and a similar desire. 

I, like many of you, am a fan of listening to podcasts and do so for a significant amount of time during my week. My favorite podcast application is Overcast which provides an XML export of all of the podcasts to which I’m subscribed and to the episodes of each podcast.

For a long time (as in over a year which, given last year, has felt like a long time), I’ve wanted to work on an application for backing up my podcasts with the ultimate goal of turning it into a WordPress plugin.

But then I had the idea that maybe I’d start from scratch. And I don’t mean “software developer scratch.” I mean starting from nothing.

  • No web server,
  • No database,
  • No libraries,
  • Just an IDE and PHP,
  • And then I’ll go from there.

Like anyone, the time to work on stuff like this is limited, but this is something I want to build for myself. And given that I like to read other people’s experience with doing this kind of stuff, I’m going to share the process from beginning to end.

I hope to document all of the little problems, frustrations, idiosyncrasies, good ideas, bad ideas, and random thing that go throughout the process of putting this thing together.

So if that sounds like something interesting, then feel free to continue reading.

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Introducing Remove Empty Shortcodes

Last week, I discussed everything that went my decision on retiring site memberships. For those who were members (or even read the initial idea), you may recall that I was using Restrict Content Pro to power the site.

When retiring the memberships, I wanted to make sure I was able to maintain the integrity of all of the posts that I’d published simply without the shortcode that comes with RCP.

What started off as a simple plugin to remove the RCP shortcode turned into a plugin to remove all empty shortcodes. I’m opting to open the plugin’s repository so anyone can access it (or contribute issues, code, or create their own fork from it).

At the time of this writing, the plugin is at 0.4.0 so there’s not much to expect. But I enjoy reading the what and why other developers do in their projects, so I’m going to do so with Remove Empty Shortcodes.

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Tags Without Links 1.4.0

A few years ago (as in about five years ago), I released a simple plugin called Tags Without Links. You can read the initial post, too.

In the post, I mention:

In a few recent client projects, I’ve had the need to display WordPress tags without links. Sure, this is relatively easy to do with a foreach loop, but I got tired of writing the same code.

Last week, when I signed into GitHub, I noticed that others were still forking this plugin. And since so much time has passed, there’s still utility in this plugin, and since my development style has changed so much, I opted to refactor the plugin.

Tags Without Links 1.4.0

So the latest version of Tags Without Links is available, but this post will also describe some of the changes I’ve made (for those who are interested in such).

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Easier Excerpts 1.9.0 (with Gutenberg Support)

It’s been almost three years since I released the first version of Easier Excerpts. It remains one of my simplest plugins (with Scheduled Post Shortcut being the other); however, it’s one that I dogfood the most.

Now that WordPress 5.0 is out (and, at the time of this writing, WordPress 5.0.2), Gutenberg is out, as well. And with the new editor comes a new way to write excerpts.

So, before the holiday break, I pushed an update to Easier Excerpts that has support for both editors.

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