Archive for July, 2012

I wanted a way to highlight search terms on the search results page (the way search engines do), by surrounding the text with <span class=whatever></span>, but simply doing preg_replace($re, '<span class=whatever>$0</span>', $text) replaces things inside any HTML tags as well. There are some solutions on the web, but the simplest one I found involves generating a new regular expression. I'd like something I can pass in the regular expression to match and the replacement text, something exactly equivalent to preg_replace.

What I came up with:

function preg_replace_text ($pattern, $replacement, $subject){
	// only replace text that is not inside tags. Assumes $subject is valid HTML and surrounded by tags
	// the (?<=>) is a lookbehind assertion to make sure the match starts with a >
	return preg_replace_callback('/(?<=>)[^<]*/', function($matches) use ($pattern, $replacement) {
		return preg_replace($pattern, $replacement, $matches[0]);
	}, $subject);

Hope this is useful to someone.

They suckered me into helping redesign the website for my daughter's school (don't worry—if you're looking at it before July 27, 2012 it's not my design), and they wanted to go with a WordPress site so lots of people could edit it easily. It seemed like a good idea, but it took 4 weeks of tweaking to get it to the point that everyone liked it.

One thing I wanted to do was have a single settings page for all the relevant options (secretary's email, reCaptcha info for forms), etc. While there are tutorials out there, nothing really hung together for me until I started playing with it. To make it simple, I created a single function that would implement all the settings. It uses PHP 5.3, with namespaces and closures (both of which make life much easier by not polluting the global namespace).

The key is to put all the plugin's code under a single unique namespace, and use that namespace as the index for all the options.

Calling it is simple:

namespace MyUniqueName;
$title="Title for the Plugins Page (short enough to fit in the settings menu)";
plugin_settings($title, $defaults);

$defaults is an array of 'key' => $array, where the $array is array('default value', 'descriptive text', 'callback function'), where 'callback function' is the callable used to display the input element for that option. It can be a string representing the name of the function (prepended with the namespace!) or an anonymous function itself. It is passed a single argument, array('key' => $key), where $key is the key used in the original array.

Use the options as $options = get_option(__NAMESPACE__); $my_option = $options[$key];.

A simple callback function for a text box is:

function text_callback($args){
	$name = $args['key'];
	$ns = __NAMESPACE__; // note that __NAMESPACE__ is used as the index for the options in the database
	$options = get_option($ns);
	echo "<input name='{$ns}[$name]' value='{$options[$name]}' />";		

And to make it simpler, I created a function generator to do exactly this: textbox($size=40) returns a callback function to output a text box of $size characters.

So a sample $defaults would be:

$defaults = array(
  'email' => array('', 'Main Email Address', textbox()),
  'principal' => array('Ed Rooney', 'Principal\'s Full name', textbox(80))
Continue reading ‘Simplifying the Settings API for WordPress’ »

I've been asked to help update my daughter's school website (it's not terrible now, just dated and hard to update), and they have some official "branding" with specific colors and fonts. The colors are easy (though I had to explain to the PR person that just because we have Pantone colors doesn't mean I can get the website colors to match on everyone's monitors) but custom fonts are more complicated. Luckily, Paul Irish has worked out all the cross-browser bugs and FontSquirrel does all the work for you. I don't have anything to add.