Print My Blog Transparency Reports – November 2018 to March 2019

5 minute read

I used to make my transparency on plugin development reports right in Open Collective, but I really prefer to keep them on my blog, like I outlined last time. So here’s all my old reports compounded into one blog post.


Reports From Open Collective

1.6.3, updated WordPress.org description, and comments feedback

published on March 29, 2019

This week was fairly quiet.

I noticed https://deadeasyfamilyhistory.org/print-my-blog wasn’t working for wordpress.com sites yesterday. It was because of an error I introduced in version 1.6.0. I managed to fix it fairly promptly though, so we’re back-in-business. (All self-hosted users wouldn’t have been affected).

In the process, I made a few changes to the plugin description on WordPress.org. I made the first two paragraphs much more succinct and easier on the eyes. (I realized this change was necessary because when I showed it to my brother, he basically got halfway through reading the first paragraph, then skimmed the rest… I suspect many other people do the same!) Unfortunately that broke the German translation 😞.

Lastly, I got some valuable feedback from Leac on https://wordpress.org/support/topic/option-to-print-comments-too/ about how comments are displayed in the plugin. But I’m going to wait further feedback before making a move on those items.

Also, I blogged about plugin development methodology: “The 5 Promises of Lazy Software Development” https://cmljnelson.blog/2019/03/28/the-5-promises-of-lazy-software-development/

Stats this week:

  • 200+ active installs
  • 2,228 downloads (+250 or so)
  • 7 five-star reviews
  • $17 annual donations
  • 2 languages

1.6 adds filtering by category, readme update, and translated into German

published on March 22, 2019

This week I released the work from previous weeks (which added filtering by categories and terms; foogallery support; handling polluted JSON) in 1.6.

I also updated the plugin’s description on wordpress.org (the “readme.txt file”). It first points out the uses of the plugin, then lets users know it’s supported by donations, then lists features, gives a few use-cases, and even mentions alternative tools. I made the change because I don’t want it to be a surprise that I’m looking for sponsors, and thought it could be better structured.

Also, I noticed just today that Harald Wenzel (https://twitter.com/Epiphanius1) entirely translated the plugin into German. Woot! That’s the first translation of the plugin.

Lastly, there was some bad news: a report this week that it caused so many requests on a site that it caused it to totally go down: https://wordpress.org/support/topic/author-filter-5/. I’ve followed up trying to find out more, because right now I’m in the dark about how it happened, and what can be done to avoid it in the future. If anyone else experiences this please work with me to identify the cause and find a fix so we can prevent this in the future.

There was also a request for the ability to filter by authors (first time that’s been requested; so it’s been logged but not sure if I’ll make that change right away).

Stats this week:

  • 200+ active installs
  • 2,017 downloads (+300 or so)
  • 7 five-star reviews (+1)
  • $17 annual donations
  • 2 languages (+German)

More foogallery support, filtering, and handling polluted JSON

published on March 15, 2019

This week I:

  • opened an issue asking FooGallery team about how to make sure dynamic images load without needing to scroll all the way down the page. They responded very quickly and investigated the issue, but didn’t come up with a solution
  • am getting the filtering posts by categories ready. The taxonomies available for filtering now also takes into account what post type you’re printing (posts or pages; and should work once custom post type support is added too)
  • figured out how to get Print My Blog to work even when other plugins accidentally add warnings or junk text to the REST API responses. See this commit if you’re interested.

The version to test is https://github.com/mnelson4/printmyblog/archive/BUG/foogallery-support.zip

Stats this week:

  • 200+ active installs (last week it was 100+)
  • 1,751 downloads
  • 6 five-star reviews
  • $17 annually in sponsorships (I have some ideas on how to improve this, but trying to first resolve those code issues mentioned above)

Filtering by categories. & debugging h foogallery and WPTouch

published on March 15, 2019 (intended for March 8, 2019)

Oups, this should have been published last week. (Wish I could retrodate it like with WordPress…)

This week, I’ve been working on:

  • Filtering by categories
  • Helping debug an issue when Print My Blog was used on http://siliconvalley.sla1.org/, possibly caused by the plugin WPTouch
  • Debug why foo gallery doesn’t appear in printouts

If anyone is able to test the upcoming version (which supports filtering posts by category) it can be downloaded here: https://github.com/mnelson4/printmyblog/archive/FET/filter-by-category.zip

First donation; 1.5.0; all post content is now optional; post IDs and dividers added

published on March 1, 2019

Print My Blog received its first donation this week! I blogged about that here on my personal blog. So thanks Dan and Furniture Bank (who also found an unexpected use for the plugin).

And I forgot to mention last week, J. Di Goia probably set a new record for the biggest printout using Print My Blog: 3145 posts!

What’s New

As of 1.5.0, all parts of the post can be removed, so you have more control over what gets into the printout.

Just want post titles, post URLs, and the excerpt? You can do that. Or do you want the full post content, with ID, URL, featured image, comments, and a divider at the end? You can get that instead.

Here’s a screenshot:

New, More Compact, Layout for Print Content Options

Oh, and you can now also include the post’s ID, URL, and an extra divider (to further help delineate between posts, which can be hard for posts with lots of big images).

Filtering posts by date or category is the next big ticket feature. See GitHub issue 6.

Also, other plugins’ shortcodes often go un-rendered (see GitHub issues 12 and 9), usually because they require Javascript that can’t be retrieved over the REST API (which is how we’re fetching all the posts). I created a WordPress core issue to begin to explore how this can be addressed.

Comments support, Show Post URLS and Enfold theme compatibility

published on February 22, 2019

This past week I spent 2 hours in forums/email answering some questions, and 3 hours developing and releasing some new features:

  • optionally showing post comments in printout (see https://wordpress.org/support/topic/option-to-print-comments-too/) which became version 1.4.0
  • Enfold theme compatibility (got contacted directly from my blog about it not working with this theme. I couldn’t quite reproduce the issue, but took a guess and got lucky on how to fix it!)
  • optionally show post/page URLs in printout (again, simple feature request directly from my blog)

Next main feature planned: filtering so you can only print posts in specific categories or date ranges (see https://wordpress.org/support/topic/feature-request-print-posts-in-specific-category-or-tag/)

Filled in Description

published on February 14, 2019

I finally just filled in the description of this collective. It took about an hour and a half, but it was probably good to work through it.

Older Personal Notes

Here’s a few older notes I jotted down about the plugin’s earlier progress, which may be interesting…

March 15, 2019

200 users, 1700 downloads, 6 5-star

Jan 11, 2019

50 users, 417 downloads, 3 5-star reviews.

Dec 2019

20 users (7 my own sites), 100 downloads, 2 5-star reviews. Probably 12 hours this month

Nov 2019

1 user, 30ish downloads. 1 5-star review (mine)
It took about 8 hours to get it here, so that it’s usable and published on WordPress.org.




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