New Plugin: WP Plugin Data

For better or worse, I’ve released a brand new plugin. It was one of those things I did spur of the moment because I wanted to implement something and the way I wanted to do it wasn’t available (insert some comment about necessity being the mother of invention here).

The new plugin is WP Plugin Data. It’s designed to use the Plugin API to get data about a specific plugin. John Blackbourn already wrote a plugin, Plugin Info, that does something similar. However, it requires that you set a Custom Field to the plugin name. I didn’t like this approach because I could only grab data for one plugin per a page.

So, using John’s plugin as a template, I wrote my own plugin that used shortcodes to add the data. And then I released it. This is why I love the GNU GPL. As for naming, I really hate it when plugins use the “WP” moniker in their titles. Typically, the plugin has absolutely no affiliation to WordPress and I feel the only reason they put “WP” in their name is to gain some form of (undeserved) recognition. For this reason, I really didn’t want to put “WP” in the title. However, I did end up using because this plugin actually does integrate itself into the backend using the API…so I feel the use is justified.

Anyway, enough about that.

Read more, or download version 0.5!

Google Chart API

I typically don’t blog about new Google stuff, especially APIs (application programming interfaces). However, this one is particularly cool because it allowed me to easily finish up a project that I had shelved for several months (maybe years? I’ll just call it ‘a while back’).

A while back, I had this idea to chart monthly blog frequency. I had found some code that did a pretty bang up job of making graphs using just PHP. However, it wasn’t the sleek looking graph I was hoping for. I had bookmarked a few sites that had Macromedia Flash applications that you could just drop the data into, but I never got around to playing with them.

Finally, Google introduced the Google Chart API. In a nut shell, I can easily create graphs such as:

Blog posts for Nov. 2007

This chart shows my blogging frequency for the month of November. The code I’m using on the back end is pretty crappy (I literally just patched some code I already had) and it can only handle a single month at a time.

Technical details to follow…
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