form and substance of communication

avatar July 2nd, 2011

mootools gravatar box

Here it is a new WordPress plugin that auto-detects and shows in real-time the Gravatar image when users are filling the comment form.

Fork of the Gravatar Box plugin by Otto, based on the MooTools javascript framework (instead of jQuery), with a nice fading effect.

It’s easy to use and configure, further and more easily customizable options will be available in a near future release.

Please visit the plugin page on WordPress for more details.

shoppingcart April 13th, 2011

e-commerce made easy

The WordPress developer’s universe is continuosly expanding and the quality of the latest community releases, as the Bravenewcode vs. Jakob Nielsen case demonstrates, are capable of competing at the same level of professional products, which often cannot rely on the same ease of use.
The WP E-Commerce extension plugin disclosed infinite possibilities for turning a blog into a full featured online shopping site.

To improve User Experience, add new functions and simplify the checkout process, while solving some issues of the originary 3.8 version, I’ve made:

  • a “Buy Now” button compatible with the PayPal Express payment method (not only Standard), checking whether user registration is required to proceed
  • a new Paypal Express merchant gateway, capable of transmitting a detailed product list and automatically pre-filling some form fields

UPDATE: since version 3.8.3, the WPEC plugin implements a Paypal Express payment gateway updated to API version 71 and to many of the features introduced by me. However some further improvements are still possible, such as pre-filling forms in Paypal with data submitted to the site, or a detailed list of items in the payment receipts.

Take a look to the additional patches and fixes that I made available to the WPEC community on the official support forums

Among dozens of WordPress plugins involving content indexing, Collapsing Archives and Collapsing Categories by Rob Felty are able to manage hierarchy and nesting better than any other.

Since the effects and some of the script core depend on the jQuery framework, I had been missing a corresponding MooTools plugin not involving page overloads. Even the SuperSlider-Menu seems to me too invasive.

When editing the PHP code of the plugins in order to match the MooTools Slider, I’ve been hardly inspired by the neat and solid script provided byShawn Milker. Most of the widget features of the jQuery counterparts have been preserved, including cookies. Now, the remaining page and link plugins of the same series might be converted as well.

MooTools 1.11 versions:

MooTools 1.2.5 versions:

In the WordPress official plugin directory, with docs, changelog and version archive:
Moo Collapsing Archives
Moo Collapsing Categories


The extremely useful qTranslate plugin for WordPress can translate the same blog in multiple languages, including the content and interface elements. Customization is one of its key features: according to the browser language or by explicit administration setting, the plugin chooses and displays the appropriate translation for texts, excerpts and page titles.

However, the author is willing to implement permalink translation in future versions, and at the moment we still need to install the qTranslateSlug unofficial patch to get also slugs in specific languages.

The primary code implies manual adding of a function in sidebar.php or in another template file to generate the language select code, so I’ve wrapped everything in a widget traced from the normal qTranslate one:


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