I recently mentioned a bit of weirdness with Firefox, WordPress and a plugin. Having removed the old plugin that was causing the annoying breakage, I was temporarily unable to add smilies to posts. Well, that’s not strictly true. I could add them, but only by typing in the code that WordPress translates into an image. And being a little old and often befuddled, I can’t remember them all. So the search was on for a plugin that would allow me to work as I like to.
I checked out a few, some of which don’t work under recent versions of WordPress, or which are set up to insert someone else’s selection of smilies, and didn’t seem too easy to make work with mine. But eventually, I found two plugins which fit together nicely.
First, there’s Smilies Themer. The stated purpose of this is to allow you to switch between different sets of smilies quickly and easily, which isn’t quite what I wanted to do, but it was close enough for me to have a look. It comes with a nice selection of smilies. Each set lives in a subfolder of the plugin and comprises the image files and a text file which tells the plugin what codes to translate into what icons. The syntax of the file is exactly the same as used in WordPress’s configuration files, so if you’re used to adding your own smilies by editing wp-config.php or vars.php, you’ll have no trouble adding a few ‘:-)’ => ‘aardvark.gif’; things, to match your preferred codes and image file names. If you’re happy with either the standard icons, or one of the many provided sets, you don’t need to do any of that, of course.
That would be nice enough, but insertion of the images involves clicking a toolbar button, then selecting what you want from a small popup window. Not ideal for me. But there’s an answer to that in the form of the Smilies Themer Toolbar, which adds a block to the WordPress edit page, which can be placed where you find it most useful. I’ve put it under the main edit box, which is where I used to park the one that I had to remove.
Now all that would be quite nice – it’s put me back where I was before, without having any display oddities. But there’s more! Yes, for the first time in ages, the comment form has smilies! All the other plugins I’d tried didn’t manage this with the fancy theme I’m using these days. This is because they all relied on the comment text box having the quite specific ID “comment”, which was fine in the days of less flashy themes, but no good at all for ajax-y things like Carrington, where the comment box has a dynamically generated unique ID, which is how it’s possible to post a reply to an individual comment. But this one seems to manage to get around that nicely.
I do like it when having to fix one problem leads to a solution to another one.
Bother. Buggrit. MUTTER. Looks like I spoke to soon. While everything was behaving nicely on the MacBook, now I’m typing on the iMac, the weird random flashage is still here. So what is it? video driver oddness? Something in this copy of Firefox that I don’t have on the MacBook? Random weirdness? More research later…