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How to Unix tip: Find and remove files older than a certain time period

How to Unix tip: Find and remove files older than a certain time period

Unix Command line

If you find a directory such as /tmp/ filling up with old and uneeded files, here’s a quick tip for finding and removing what you don’t need anymore. Note that the delete function WILL remove everything it finds, so please understand exactly what it is you are doing here before running that command.

Command to find all files older than 5 days:
find . -mtime +5 -type f;

Command to delete all files older than 5 days (USE WITH CARE!):
find . -mtime +5 -type f -exec rm {} \;

From the man page for find:

-mtime n
     File’s data was last modified n*24 hours ago. See the comments
     for -atime to understand how rounding affects the interpretation
     of file modification times.

Hope that helps! Thanks for the pointers from this page.

How to fix 301 error when importing blog posts including images from a WordPress.com blog into a new WordPress.org blog

How to fix 301 error when importing blog posts including images from a WordPress.com blog into a new WordPress.org blog

Fourth of July night - Driving home

The current import script (as of WordPress 2.8.6) is broken when it comes to successfully importing images from WordPress.com. The error you see is something like

Remote file error: Remote file returned error response 301 Moved Permanently

Fixing this involves adding a couple of lines to a core WordPress file. Hopefully a future version of WordPress will include the working version.

Note that these instructions are for WordPress 2.8.6. Your version may be different, and you may need to play with this to get it to work for you. This worked for me, YMMV.

  1. Open wp-includes/functions.php
  2. Around line 1208 or so, you’ll find the wp_get_http function.
  3. Right below where it says $headers['response'] = $response['response']['code'];, add the following code (around line 1227):
    
    // added to fix 301 redirects for blog import code from WordPress.com
    if ((string)$response['response']['code'] == '301') {
    	$response = wp_remote_request($headers['location'], $options);
    	$headers = wp_remote_retrieve_headers($response);
    	$headers['response'] = $response['response']['code'];
    }
    
  4. Save the functions.php file and copy it back to the server.
  5. Re-run the import function (Tools > Import > WordPress). Don’t worry, it won’t make copies of the posts you’ve already imported, it will just download the images to your new blog.

To fix the references to the images so they’re being served off your new blog, you can either go through every post and manually correct them all, (not very fun), or better yet, download the Search and Replace plugin, activate it and do a search for all instances of the WordPress.com image server URL in all your posts (something like http://BLOGNAME.files.wordpress.com/ with your own new URL — http://BLOGNAME.com/wp-content/uploads/). Don’t forget to test the new URL structure before you do the search and replace, otherwise you’ll have to go back and fix it.

Hat-tip to Bill Zitomer for pointing out the link to this WordPress support forum page that had a good clue to the solution.

How to: Get rid of widows in your WordPress posts with Widon’t plugin

How to: Get rid of widows in your WordPress posts with Widon’t plugin

I was just working on making some updates to the backend WordPress code for the Principia Pilot website (http://principiapilot.org/) and noticed widows in some of the stories.

Widows are the typographic term for a single word on a line at the end of a paragraph. I thought about the solution to this problem (basically add a non-breaking space before the last word of a paragraph) and then realized probably someone had written a plugin to do exactly this.

I tried two different plugins and like this one the best because it doesn’t overwrite the rest of the excellent WordPress typographic niceties like converting straight quotes to curly quotes:

Widon’t Download latest version here

How to: Automatically add a default set of Custom Fields to each post in WordPress

How to: Automatically add a default set of Custom Fields to each post in WordPress

PrincipiaPilot.org screenshot showing Custom Fields being used in a template

One of the neat things about WordPress is how easy it is to add custom metadata to a given page or post that you can then use in a template to display structured information. I’ve been using this technique for a while now to extend the basic WordPress elements of title, body, excerpt, etc and allow the creation of easily editable information-rich content.

Before now I’ve used the built-in WordPress Custom Field functionality in the Add New screen where you select previously created custom fields from a drop-down list that is limited to only showing 30 items. This is quite cumbersome as you have select each field you want to add to the entry and enter the value, click the Add Custom Field button, then repeat for however many custom fields you want to use. Needless to say, this can be frustrating to have to remember to do every time, especially for non-technical clients.

The Old Way:

Selecting a Custom Field (the old way)

During a recent site conversion to WordPress that involves 4-6 custom fields for each post, we finally decided that there must be a better way, and ended up finding a WordPress plugin that is so good that it should probably be added to WordPress core, it is so highly useful. The plugin is called Custom Field Template and is developed by Hiroaki Miyashita.

The New Way:

Custom Field Template WordPress plugin screenshot

Using a simple set of options to define the template you want to use is easy. After downloading and activating the plugin, go to Settings > Custom Field Template to define your template. One is provided for you to show you the possible template values. You can set up two separate custom field template designs.

This is the code used to generate the Custom Field Template form shown in the screenshot above:

Template Instruction

<strong>Story Template Metadata Instructions <em>(All fields are optional)</em></strong><br /><br />
1. Use this form to enter metadata about this story.<br />
2. Each item will get assigned to the correct Custom Field for use in the display template.<br />
3. Click the <strong>Save</strong> button to save the values.<br />
<br />

Template Content

[summary_deck]
type = textarea
rows = 3
cols = 50
label = Summary Deck:

[byline_writer_name]
type = text
size = 35
label = Byline Writer Name:

[byline_writer_title]
type = text
size = 35
label = Byline Writer Title:

[byline_writer_picture_url]
type = text
size = 54
label = Byline Writer Picture URL:

[lead_photo_caption]
type = textarea
rows = 3
cols = 50
label = Lead Photo Caption:

[lead_photo_credit]
type = text
size = 35
label = Lead Photo Credit:

[lead_photo_url]
type = text
size = 54
label = Lead Photo URL:

Then set this setting to true by checking the box to make the form look prettier:
Custom Field Template WordPress plugin setting

Next, I tweaked the Admin CSS settings to right-justify the labels:

#cft dl { clear:both; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; }
#cft dt { float:left; font-weight:bold; margin:0; padding: 0 8px 0 0; text-align:right; width: 20%; }
#cft dt .hideKey { visibility:hidden; }
#cft dd { float:left; margin:0; text-align:left; width:70%; }
#cft dd p.label { font-weight:bold; margin:0; }
#cft_instruction { margin:10px; }

Click Update Options to save the settings and then go to Posts > Add New to see the form in action. You may need to go back and forth a couple of times to get your text field sizes just right and to put them in the right order you want them in.

Using the Custom Fields in a template

So how do these values get displayed on your page?

Simply edit your template PHP file to look for custom field values and then display them where you want them if they’re present.

This is how I do it for the Principia Pilot site. This code goes at the top of the template for single.php

<?php
// Retrieve custom meta values from post if they're present
$byline_writer_name = htmlspecialchars(get_post_meta($post->ID, "byline_writer_name", true));
$byline_writer_title = htmlspecialchars(get_post_meta($post->ID, "byline_writer_title", true));
$byline_writer_picture_url = htmlspecialchars(get_post_meta($post->ID, "byline_writer_picture_url", true));
$lead_photo_url = htmlspecialchars(get_post_meta($post->ID, "lead_photo_url", true));
$lead_photo_credit = htmlspecialchars(get_post_meta($post->ID, "lead_photo_credit", true));
$lead_photo_caption = htmlspecialchars(get_post_meta($post->ID, "lead_photo_caption", true));
$summary_deck = wptexturize(get_post_meta($post->ID, "summary_deck", true));
?>

Now each of the possible Custom Fields are available as PHP variables that can be checked for content.

This code example shows the “summary deck” being displayed on the page if it has been entered on the create content screen:

<?php
// Show summary deck if we have one
if ($summary_deck != "") {
    echo '<h3 class="summary-deck">' . $summary_deck . '</h3>';
}
?>

Using this excellent plugin, you can set up select lists, radio buttons, check boxes and more to help you populate your Custom Fields more easily if you prefer that to using simple text fields. You can also specify default values to use for the custom fields so you don’t have to type them in every time.

Plugin Default Template Options

These are the default options included by the plugin:
[Plan]
type = text
size = 35
label = Where are you going to go?

[Plan]
type = textfield
size = 35
hideKey = true

[Favorite Fruits]
type = checkbox
value = apple # orange # banana # grape
default = orange # grape

[Miles Walked]
type = radio
value = 0-9 # 10-19 # 20+
default = 10-19
clearButton = true

[Temper Level]
type = select
value = High # Medium # Low
default = Low

[Hidden Thought]
type = textarea
rows = 4
cols = 40
tinyMCE = true
mediaButton = true

Which displays a form that looks like this:
Custom Field Template WordPress plugin screenshot - Default form options

Summary

This plugin addresses a key need when using Custom Meta Fields in a WordPress custom template design — making it as easy as possible to enter values time after time on multiple pages or posts. There are a bunch of other neat options this plugin offers to make the authoring experience even easier. This is now on my “must install” list of essential WordPress plugins.

Please support Open Source by donating to the plugin author

If you use this and like it, I highly recommend sending a nice donation to the plugin author to help support ongoing development and to say thanks. This plugin will save you and your clients a lot of time and frustration. Thanks Hiroaki!


Requirements

Requires WordPress 2.1 or higher.

Click here to download Custom Field Template plugin from WordPress.org

Mac OS X voices for using with the ‘say’ command

Mac OS X voices for using with the ‘say’ command

A neat trick if you have a Mac OS X machine is to do this (make sure your speakers are turned on):

  1. Open Terminal.app
  2. Type in at the command line: say hello world

This will make your computer say “hello world” in the default voice (Victoria).

Here is a list of the other voices you can also use:

Female Voices

  • $ say -v Agnes "hello world"
  • $ say -v Kathy "hello world"
  • $ say -v Princess "hello world"
  • $ say -v Vicki "hello world"
  • $ say -v Victoria "hello world"

Male Voices

  • $ say -v Bruce "hello world"
  • $ say -v Fred "hello world"
  • $ say -v Junior "hello world"
  • $ say -v Ralph "hello world"

Novelty Voices

  • $ say -v Albert "hello world"
  • $ say -v "Bad News" "hello world"
  • $ say -v Bahh "hello world"
  • $ say -v Bells "hello world"
  • $ say -v Boing "hello world"
  • $ say -v Bubbles "hello world"
  • $ say -v Cellos "hello world"
  • $ say -v Deranged "hello world"
  • $ say -v "Good News" "hello world"
  • $ say -v Hysterical "hello world"
  • $ say -v "Pipe Organ" "hello world"
  • $ say -v Trinoids "hello world"
  • $ say -v Whisper "hello world"
  • $ say -v Zarvox "hello world"

Have fun. You can now add voices to your monitoring applications, or freak people out if they don’t know about this cool trick.

To learn about all of the functionality of the say program, type in man say in Terminal to learn more, or click here to view the online man page for say.