The software work has been completed and is now installed on thesaker.is. Saker has asked that I provide a write up on the work so here its.
Short version at bottom.
The work on this software naturally fell into two distinct and different project. The first was the modification to the wordpress software to allow commentators with ‘vignette privileges’ to comment without moderation on ‘vignette’ posts. The 2nd project was the gathering, reviewing and then granting ‘vignette’ privileges. The first project, WordPress modification , was somewhat intricate but minimal in lines of code. Testing for a value , correctly placing an ‘if’ statement and making a slight change in the program flow. Most likely no more than 30 lines of code changes in the WordPress software. This took several days and a few days of testing to ensure that it worked correctly. Now that thesaker.is was able to accept ‘vignette’ commentators the issue became how do we gather, review, and grant the necessary credentials. The first thought was just have everyone email Saker with the required info and create ‘vignette’ accounts for those approved by Saker. This would not work as each individual would compose a unique email. It may or may not contain the needed information and would require careful reading to extract the needed information. Saker would also be required to read each unique email to determine its disposition. A manual entry and creation of the new ‘vignette’ account would also be required. This was not going to work so another approach was required. What was needed was an online form so all required data was gathered and then provided in a form acceptable to computer input. The tool that I decided to use was ‘Google Forms’. Easy to use, ensures that required information is entered and then re-formats the data acceptable to both human (Saker needs to review) and computer use. The 2nd requirement was to find a computer tool that would create WordPress accounts from a computer generated file. WordPress has a featured called “plugins” that extend the capability of WordPress. I reviewed the plugins that took an input file containing required account creation data and created new WordPress accounts. I tried several ones and finally settled on one,”Import and export users”, that has high user marks and over 60,000 users. Now that the tools were selected the software to integrate these packages needed to be written. Two programs were required.The first program reformat the data provided by ‘Forms’ and reformat it to be acceptable to the ‘Import’ program. In addition it fired off email to let the commentator know status accepted/declined. The 2nd program ran after successful addition of the new ‘vignette’ account and did final cleanup of the account request. Now we had 5 components of our request work flow(forms,accept/decline,reformat,import,cleanup). These all needed to be tied together to work as one unified whole. Normally this is easy if all software is on same platform but this exists on three different environments (Google Cloud, our server and WordPress). These were all tied together using “Google Sheets” (review/disposition) and 3 ‘cron’ jobs (to execute the reformat,import,cleanup programs). Its all been tested and now works. It could take up to 24 hours to process your request if you enter it just at Saker’s bed time and the next day is very busy.
Note: Saker will provide link to request form when he is ready to review requests.
The short summary
- Fill out on-line form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSckNkK8DCmUUN5G5QwTZwmW5089TMj0oCIxOCu-PQ0NJx0FZA/viewform
- Saker will review the request and either accept or decline the request. The requester will receive an email informing them of Saker disposition. This could take 24 hours or more depending on Saker availability to review the request.
- A ‘Vignette’ user account will be created on the thesaker.is site with the login name requested on the initial form. Once the account has been created an email welcoming the individual will be sent. The email will also provide the necessary login details.
- After a successful login the individual will be able to comment without moderation on any of Saker’s Christian Vignette post.
Herb Swanson (webmaster)