Category Archives: Web sites

Ebay turning off ‘Active Content’

eBay has been nagging about turning off ‘Active Content’ for about a year now.

“From June 2017, you’ll no longer be able to use active content when creating your listings. Find out how it affects your listings.”

During that time I have had a ‘look’ at and they quote:

“Examples of active content include JavaScript, Flash, plug-ins and form actions.”

BUT…. and it is a big BUT for me, when you get into the ‘fine print’ this also includes a number of standard HTML4 tags like center and table… 

AND THEN….  (yes I am shouting) we are “Mobile Non-Compatible”… GASP, SHOCK, HORROR….

Ok, I have had a Valium and calmed myself from apoplexy… (Exaggeration level = 2.6)

I do a lot with eBay for various reasons, including my redundant household items that I need to dispose of and I have been using eBay since 2000 to vend my reproduction toy boxes, ephemera, and toy car spare parts. It is a hobby but has been a major aspect of my life for almost 30 years. 

So if you have read this far, you are probably looking at trying to fix your eBay listings for the first time in a decade. While you were ‘warned’ ages ago, the eBay communications have been sadly lacking in being explicit, resulting in it now being June 2017 and your listings will be changed even though you never had any ‘active content’ in the first place. BUT… you did, ‘wo is me’, use HTML4 and it is now time to use HTML5….  Argghhh… 

OK, so now that my rant is ended. What to do ?

Perhaps the easy way is to get someone else to help, the old ‘phone  friend’ technique. 

There are a number of sites that appear reputable and offer themes or designs for ebay templates. 

http://www.i-ways.net offer (and is linked from ebay) a mobile-friendly testing service. 

Try http://www.i-ways.net/mobile-friendly/en-au/ to test one of your listings…  mine failed miserably. 

The following links are to the posts that I have created as I step through the minefield that is ‘creating compliant listings for ebay’.

First up this is the eBay seller information page on Active Content. http://sellercentre.ebay.com.au/activecontent

Which details lots of stuff about Java, hit counters, etc. and buried down towards the end of the page is the, oh yeah, stop using these HTML4 Elements as well and a list of the dozen tags that will no longer be supported. 

Among these are the common ones for centering your ad and setting font styles, etc. There are some that I would not have used anyway., like ‘<applet>’

So eBay then recommend the i-ways.net “Free eBay Template Service” but be warned that they want to know everything about you in exchange for the service, so the “price” is your information and a direct connection to your eBay account. I opted to register but did not connect my ebay store at this stage. 

If you are doing the same, have some images ready! (png or jpg formats)

Store Logo 400 x 140px (3Mbyte max file size) and Store Banner 1200x550px (5Mbyte max file size).  

 

[links coming soon…]

 

 

Magento Wget Download

If you use Linux servers, are working with Magento, and want to download the latest version or patches then the Magento site is not as friendly as you might want.

The download process is java driven and does not provide a link for the download, just a browser based download to your local computer.

I work mobile a lot and I do not want to download 22Mbyte files to my notebook over 3G and then have to upload from my notebook to the server. It is just a waste of time and bandwidth.

So I went searching for the path that we need to use and for the latest tar.gz file for magento this is what works.

http://www.magentocommerce.com/downloads/assets/1.9.1.0/magento-1.9.1.0.tar.gz

From what I can see, and assuming that they do not change the process, http://www.magentocommerce.com/downloads/assets/ followed by the version number as a directory, and then the file name should provide a full download path.

In this case this combo downloaded the latest release for me to my Linux server.

# wget http://www.magentocommerce.com/downloads/assets/1.9.1.1/magento-1.9.1.1.tar.gz

A word of warning!

When extracting the tar.gz file, Magento do not provide a unique version path for the contents. All versions use the root path of ‘magento’ so assuming you always download to the same path you may have magento-1.9.1.0.tar.gz right alongside magento-1.9.1.1.tar.gz and extracting the newer version will extract it into the magento directory over the top of existing magento directory. The result of this is that your new version is potentially saddled with artifacts from the earlier version. Delete the magento directory and start again.

A 4 step process could be:

1. Clean up from previous downloads

#rmdir magento   // or //  #rm -Rf magento

2. wget the new version

# wget http://www.magentocommerce.com/downloads/assets/1.9.1.1/magento-1.9.1.1.tar.gz

3. Prepare a directory ready for the extract of the new version

#mkdir magento-1.9.1.1

4. and finally extract the file contents from the tar.gz file, into the stated directory, and strip the first directory from the path that is stored within the archive, i.e. /magento/

#tar zxvf magento-1.9.1.1.tar.gz -C magento-1.9.1.1 --strip-components=1

Next, carry on as usual with your backup existing, copy the new files, etc, etc.

(Solved!) NextGEN Gallery works only with a role….

WordPress, MultiSite, NextGEN Gallery and this annoying message “Sorry, NextGEN Gallery works only with a role called administrator.”

Dashboard Error Nextgen Gallery WordPress Multisite

NextGEN Gallery error Administrator role

I noted a lot of older posts on the WordPress support site that lead nowhere to find a resolution, or, as someone else posted, they went poof! into a bug report hidden from the public.

Have I really solved this issue ? Yes, for the specific site that I am working on. Will this be the same issue for you? Maybe not, but here are the details.

So to be clear I am using the latest WordPress version and the latest NextGEN Gallery version in a multi-site configuration with about 6 sites within it. The nature of the issue is that the stated error message persists in the dashboard / admin view for a sub-site. It was not all sub-sites and when I did a proper review it was in fact only in one sub-site that the error displayed.

So I checked the php script just to confirm that the error message was telling the truth or at least was not a case of poor translation and it wasn’t. The actual script is at the bottom of this post but it is not relevant beyond confirming that it is a ‘role’ issue.

Wordpress Multisite Users Panel with no users

There were no users for the sub-site

Next I questioned, if I am the administrator for the main site and most of the sub-sites, why is there no administrator role?

Sure enough a check of the Users page for all the sites revealed that I was correctly in that role for all but the site that was giving the error.

This is where it got tricky, the sub-site was the #2 sub-site and the oldest sub-site, aside from the main site and when I tried to add an existing user or a new user to the subsite it completed but still did not show a user.

Empty WordPress Roles

The role dropdown is not populated.

The Role drop-down was not populating and therefore the concept of administrator was not available to be set for the user.

I experimented for a while with different settings, comparing sub-sites and trying to fathom why this was happening. The end result was no reason for it, other than I think this original blog #2 may have pre-dated a major upgrade in WordPress Multisite and perhaps there was some artifact or setting missing as a result.

In any case, I did a backup of the database, created a new subsite, ran an export of the #2 subsite, ran an import of the same data into the new subsite, and bingo!  There is now a new user with a role of Administrator and the NextGen error is no longer appearing.

The final clean up was to rename the old #2 site and archive it. Then rename the new site to the same as the old one, tweak the settings for theme, menu, widgets, and url, and the transition was done. All up this should take you less than 15 minutes to do.

Does it resolve the actual issue, no, but I think the error is not actually a NextGEN issue, but an issue with the WordPress site. If you have read this far, you probably have a similar problem, I hope this works for you.

 

NextGen nggallery_install Function

Now dont panic, the following code is just for my records, there is no need to change it. This is the piece of the PHP function that generates the error and I include it here just to confirm that the error is generated when there is not an available administrator role for the site.

	// Set the capabilities for the administrator
	$role = get_role('administrator');
	// We need this role, no other chance
	if ( empty($role) ) {
		update_option( "ngg_init_check", __('Sorry, NextGEN Gallery works only with a role called administrator',"nggallery") );
		return;
	}

	$role->add_cap('NextGEN Gallery overview');
	$role->add_cap('NextGEN Use TinyMCE');
	$role->add_cap('NextGEN Upload images');
	$role->add_cap('NextGEN Manage gallery');
	$role->add_cap('NextGEN Manage tags');
	$role->add_cap('NextGEN Manage others gallery');
	$role->add_cap('NextGEN Edit album');
	$role->add_cap('NextGEN Change style');
	$role->add_cap('NextGEN Change options');

Responsive Frameworks: Bootstrap, Foundation, and others

Search for ‘compare responsive frameworks’ and you are lead to an array of blog posts and commentaries on the topic.

I do not propose to reiterate stuff already said by others, but simply to consider what the frameworks might mean for me and the environment that I intend to apply a framework to.

My references are currently:

Regardless, of which framework, apparently consideration of which stylesheet language is used by the framework is another consideration. Is one ‘better’ than another or just ‘different’ ?

…and I have a lot of reading to do. My goal is to better understand options beyond the non-responsive Blueprint CSS framework that I have been using with osCmax.