WordPress Plugin: Extended Live Archive | setup

I just installed Sons Of Skadi’s Extended Live Archive plugin for wordpress because the archives page on this site was getting a little out of control and i wanted to test out a few wordpress plugins that might help to make things a little bit more usable. The Extended Live Archive plugin uses javascript and css (Ajax) to organize and sort all entries into categories, months, and years. The default css file that came with the plugin does a good job of setting up the layout so that everything seems to take up a lot less space. I’ll probably take a closer look at it some time in the next few days to tweak it a little.

On the down side, i noticed that the archives page takes a little longer to load initially (i don’t think it takes as long the second time). But the advantage of applying Ajax techniques to the archives is that it eliminates page refreshes, which means that browsing through the archives becomes a lot faster and easier as a whole.

Installing the plugin was fairly easy.

  1. Upload the entire “af-extended-live-archive” folder to your wordpress plugins directory.
  2. Add < ?php af_ela_super_archive(); ?> to your archives template.
  3. Enable the plugin in the wordpress admin.
  4. Navigate to the “Options » Ext. Live Archives” tab to recreate the cache.
  5. Add the css file (or copy and paste the code) to your site.
  6. Optionally, modify the css file to suit your needs.

So far, i’m really happy with it. The only potential problem that i saw was for people browsing the site with javascript disabled. These visitors would see nothing at all. Even though this is a pretty clean default result (as opposed to printing out some nasty error), i wanted everyone to be able to use the archives page.

As a quick solution, and because i had only hidden (commented out) the original code (xhtml) when i added the ajaxified archives code, i decide to simply add < noscript > < / noscript > tags around the old code that was commented out. This would effectively hide the old code from browsers with javascript enabled, while showing it only to visitors with javascript turned off. With the javascript fix in place, i think this plugin might be a keeper..

Comments 21

  1. Arno wrote:

    Glad to see you enjoyed it !

    Just wanted to clarify the first load time against second load time : it is indeed slower the first time since the actual cache files are created upon first display of the archive page. It should be quicker after that since the cache files are already there.

    BTW, stay tuned for another beta release pretty soon (which included some drastic code revamping for a yet quicker responsiveness)

    Posted 03 Oct 2005 at 1:02 pm
  2. elran wrote:

    hi Arno,

    thanks for clearing that up. i guess there’s always this kind of trade off when it comes to using Ajax, and javascript in general. the cache is loaded on the client’s side (in the browser). but after it’s been dowloaded once, you’ve got everything you need to browse the page without asking the remote server for anything more (no more page refreshes).

    not for everyone, but i think it might be ideal for something like an archives page (known for getting pretty messy). so good job, and i’ll definitely be looking out for that revamp..

    Posted 03 Oct 2005 at 11:30 pm
  3. maggie wrote:

    Hi, please can you help me with my problem by ‘Extended Live Archive’
    Message admin panel:
    Unable to create cache directory. Check your server credentials on the wp-content directory.
    Is this the mistake:
    af-extended-live-archive-options.php
    Line 87-91
    af_ela_reset_cache();
    $res = true;
    if( !is_dir($af_ela_cache_root) ) {
    if( !($res = mkdir($af_ela_cache_root)) ) {
    ?>
    Thank you for help!
    Best regards, Maggie

    Posted 11 Oct 2005 at 5:48 am
  4. elran wrote:

    hi maggie,

    sounds like you’re having a problem with permissions..

    the “af-extended-live-archive” folder must be writable by (at least) the server. in my case, i was able to just upload the folder and everything worked fine. you might have to set the permissions manually, or perhaps the permissions were getting changed when you uploaded.

    the folder attributes should be set to 755 (writable by the server only) or 777 (writeable by all)

    furthermore, nothing seemed to work for me until i navigated to the “Options” section and initialized the cache. Simply going to this page is all you have to do to initialize it.

    hopefully that’ll help out a bit, but i don’t think you’ll need to change any of the original php code though..

    Posted 11 Oct 2005 at 12:00 pm
  5. maggie wrote:

    hi elran,
    thanks,
    i set the attributes to 777 but it doen’t work.

    Perhaps i have the files on a wronge position?
    folder wp-content (755); folder plugins (755); folder af-extended-live-archive (777); file af-extended-live-archive-options.php (755), file af-extended-live-archive.php (755), folder includes (777); file af-ela-style.css (777), file af-ela.php (777), file af-elaAddLoadEvent.js (777), file af-extended-live-archive.js.php (777)

    regards, maggie

    Posted 12 Oct 2005 at 7:55 am
  6. elran wrote:

    maggie,

    those settings should have been more than enough to get the plugin working. there must be something else causing th problem.

    Have you tried downloading the new version (0.10beta-r4) that came out a few days ago? If not, you can download it from the Sons Of Skadi website.

    Try the new version, delete all the old files (including the cache folder af-extended-live-archive at wp-content) and see if that does the trick. Otherwise, try asking for help on the Support Forum.

    By the way, since posting this entry i have tried installing the plugin on 3 different wordpress sites so far and 2 out of 3 went smoothly, while the 3rd has been taking me days. i have no idea why the 3rd isn’t working for me but i’d suggest trying it on another (temporary / test) website if you can.. see if that works just to convince yourself that you’re not crazy…

    Posted 12 Oct 2005 at 11:37 am
  7. mac wrote:

    hi! my problem with the ‘extendet-live-archive’ is:
    the plugin ist uploaded, Option are setting
    now i added only in my sidebar – from there i want to start the Archiv.
    I think there is misstake! In the sidebar is this error: Could not open cache file for years
    Please can you help me.
    Thanks a lot.
    mac

    Posted 10 Nov 2005 at 8:43 am
  8. elran wrote:

    hi mac,

    not exactly sure what could be causing the cache file error..
    have you tried the newest version of Ext. Live Archives? oddly enough, i found that some installations worked with the new version while others worked well with the old version.

    also, clear you browser cache, cookies, temp files, anything that might be preventing you from seeing the changes you are making.

    finally, make sure you have a couple of posts already done so that there are actually archives to be created (ie: not just a bunch of empty categories with no posts)

    Posted 10 Nov 2005 at 1:32 pm
  9. mac wrote:

    hi elran,
    error: could not open cache file for years
    yes, there aren’t posts from 2 years, only month.
    i want to have a link ‘archiv’ in the sidebar and onClick open the ‘Ext. Live Archives’ in the main field.
    is it right, that i must write in the archives.ph?
    and the link in the sidebar??
    i don’t now what to do.
    mac

    Posted 11 Nov 2005 at 4:24 am
  10. mac wrote:

    sorry, i forgot something:
    is it right, that i must write in the archives.php
    and what funktion comes in the sidebar?

    thanks for help!

    Posted 12 Nov 2005 at 7:52 am
  11. mac wrote:

    oh! the funktion i want to write is not visible yet

    is it right, that i must write in the archives.php (php funktion) af_ela_super_archive (); (php funktion)

    Posted 12 Nov 2005 at 7:56 am
  12. admin wrote:

    hi mac,

    yes you must put the function <?php af_ela_super_archive(); ?> in your archives.php (or anywhere in the template file, i don’t think it will work in a page or post without additional plugins)

    Posted 12 Nov 2005 at 3:43 pm
  13. mac wrote:

    hi,
    for the link (i want to have a link ‘archiv’ in the sidebar and onClick open the ‘Ext. Live Archives’ in the main field.)
    i need which php-funktion?

    thanks,
    mac

    Posted 17 Nov 2005 at 1:47 pm
  14. Matt wrote:

    Hi,

    I’m trying to integrate UTW and ELA as i’ve seen on several sites. Basically, ELA show’s a third tab “By Tags”

    However I can’t for the life of me work out how people have done this?

    Any ideas or hints would be appreciated!

    Posted 20 Dec 2005 at 8:17 am
  15. elran wrote:

    matt: integrating tags into ELA sounds interesting. i don’t think i’ve seen that before. still, i might be able to help. but first, you gotta tell me what UTW stands for (cause it’s killing me).. then, if you could point out a couple of sites that are doing this integration with ELA and tags. that way, maybe i could take a look and get back to you with some ideas.

    Posted 20 Dec 2005 at 11:28 am
  16. matt wrote:

    Sorry! acronyms eh? UTW is ultimate tag warrior plugin. (http://www.neato.co.nz/ultimate-tag-warrior/)

    Extended live archive claims to have support for it (from the plugin control panel even!) but i’m mystified as to how it supports it!!

    see http://www.davidanaxagoras.com/live-archives/ for an example of integration.

    I know how to generate a tag-cloud using Ultimate tag warrior, so maybe it’s a case of just putting that somewhere within the ELA config, but every site i’ve seen with the tags tab seems very similar as if it’s automagic…but i’m stumped. I’ve found a chinese site which seems to possibly have instructions, but I don’t speak Chinese and translating it garbles it too much to be useful!!

    Thanks!! =)

    Posted 21 Dec 2005 at 3:26 pm
  17. elran wrote:

    oh right, that UTW..

    i totally forgot about ELA integration with Ultimate Tag Warrior, probably because i chose to use TechnoratiTagging instead (although i’m not sure why anymore).

    anyway, the first thing i did (after checking out the site you mentioned) was update my version of ULA to the most recent one (Version: 0.10beta-r10). Then, after glancing at some of the code, i realized that there were actually some settings under “Option>>Ext. Live Archive” that lets you customize the way UTW tags will be displayed. This makes me think that UTW is probably detected automatically by ELA and displays the tag aunder its own tab (the way you’ve seen all over).

    Going back to the code, i was able to confirm this theory with the following:

    if (file_exists(ABSPATH . 'wp-content/plugins/UltimateTagWarrior/ultimate-tag-warrior-core.php') && in_array('UltimateTagWarrior/ultimate-tag-warrior.php', get_option('active_plugins'))) {
    @include_once(ABSPATH . 'wp-content/plugins/UltimateTagWarrior/ultimate-tag-warrior-core.php');
    $utw_is_present=true;

    Also, this code seems to do another check for UTW just before it gets displayed on the screen:

    if($utw_is_present) $generator->buildTagsTable($settings['excluded_categories'], $idTags, $order, $orderparam);

    if($utw_is_present) $generator->buildPostsInTagsTable($settings['excluded_categories'], $settings['hide_pingbacks_and_trackbacks']);

    Finally, the next bit of code builds the “third” tab:

    function buildTagsTable($exclude='', $id = false, $order = false, $orderparam = 0) {
    global $utw_is_present;
    if($utw_is_present) {
    global $wpdb, $tabletags, $tablepost2tag;

    Anyway, all that to say that i think it should have worked automatically. If not, try updating to the most recent versions of both plugins. Unfortunately, i don’t actually have UTW installed and so i am not able to test integration with ELA on a live wp install at this time. If development between these two plugins continues to become integrated i may decide to switch over from TechnoratiTagging to UTW (as long as i don’t have to manually re-enter every tag on every post). Otherwise, i may try to hack ELA to work with the TechnoratiTagging plugin (as this might turn out to be easier than manually re-entering tags).

    But if you’re still having a problem, let me know if you can narrow it down some more, maybe we can isolate the particular problem. There really isn’t too much out there in terms of help files, but the more details you can provide, the better your chances at solving this problem.

    Posted 23 Dec 2005 at 2:29 am
  18. Matt wrote:

    Thanks for your help. I’ll give it a try. I only installed them both the other day, so I’d assume I have the latest versions, but will triple check when I get a chance! Bit busy at work today so I have to actually do something!! :-(

    ;-)

    cheers!

    Posted 23 Dec 2005 at 8:02 am
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