Menu

Snippets

Yet another programmer blogging about code

PDF to OCR in Linux

SWMBO has a pile of PDF documents to process and extract information from, and over 50 of them are scanned which means — NO COPY/PASTE! Unless we rescan with OCR of course. On Windows, she’d probably just use Acrobat, but on Linux…

Why I moved comments to Disqus

Running a blog, even a low-volume out-of-the-way blog like mine, attracts spammers. It’s a simple fact of life. If you have comments turned on, you will get spam. There’s lots of ways to deal with that, but no way to stop it coming. Lately, it’s been hammering the server hosting my blog, so I decided to change how I was dealing with spam by essentially outsourcing most of the problem to Disqus.

Remove the WordPress post date filter on custom post type admin pages

WordPress custom post types can be very useful for storing all sorts of different types of data in WordPress — and I should really write a post about that some time. But the date a post was published, i.e. its post_date, isn’t important for many custom post types. So why have a drop-down list of dates to filter your custom posts types by if you don’t need it?

Stop CloudFlare Rocketscript breaking WordPress plugin scripts

CloudFlare offers a service called Rocketscript, which compresses, concatenates, and defers any JavaScript on your web pages. On some websites, it can make a significant difference to the apparent page load time, because it waits until the web browser has loaded the page before it loads and executes scripts. Of course, that sometimes means it breaks things! Fortunately, CloudFlare offers a way to avoid that, and it’s possible to use it on your WordPress plugin scripts.

WooCommerce quantity fields without spinners

WooCommerce uses HTML5 number fields for shop quantities, because they restrict the characters you can enter, and Safari on iPad/iPhone conveniently shows the number keyboard. Webkit and Opera/Presto add spinners (up/down arrows) to HTML5 number fields. WooCommerce also adds +/- buttons surrounding qty fields, because IE and Firefox don’t add spinners. WooCommerce then uses CSS to hide the spinners on Webkit:

Use WP Migrate DB Pro and keep your development environment settings

I’ve been using the fabulous WP Migrate DB Pro since June; it makes it really easy to duplicate the data from one WordPress website onto another, something that developers need to do frequently, and it handles the problems of moving serialised data from one server to another without breaking it. When pulling data from a production server to a development or test environment, it also (by design) replaces all your settings, which might mean that test emails go to your clients — can anyone say, “Dear Rich Bastard?” Thankfully, it also offers a couple of save-your-backside solutions.

eAccelerator and PHP closures don’t mix

I struck an odd problem recently with some code using closures. I use closures extensively for WordPress filter and action hooks when building custom plugins and themes for websites, and all usually works well on any version of PHP from 5.3 up. But I was finding that my closures weren’t being called on some PHP 5.4 websites. The problem was eAccelerator.

Replace query argument pagination with WordPress paged pretty URLs

When integrating non-WordPress PHP software into WordPress, sometimes the two butt heads over little things; pagination is one such thing. WordPress likes to move pagination into the pretty URL and out of query parameters. If your non-WordPress software generates content with URLs that have page= in query parameters, that means a redirect each time such a URL is fetched. A little regular expression magic can help fix that, with some assembly required.

WordPress WP_DEBUG_LOG without E_STRICT

As Debugging in WordPress explains, it’s easy to get good debugging information into a debug.log file while developing WordPress plugins and themes. Unfortunately, it sets the PHP error reporting level to E_ALL, which includes E_STRICT and can throw so much noise into the log that you can’t find the useful information. What we need is a way to turn on the debug log but specify the error reporting level.