It was sure nice to see the way one of the SPLOTs hatched in 2014 is being used at Coventry University:

When I can pry some time I enjoy diving into the code and improving, adding features. And rolling over bugs.

Maybe 2 years ago, someone trying to use the TRU Writer at University of Victoria reported an issue with the automatic login of the secret user used. A lot of back and forth, and I thought I had sorted out some issue of secure cookies, but I think they gave up.

Then recently, someone using the theme at Charles Sturt University reported a similar problem and at the same time Grant Potter was seeing it on one of his test sites.

Without going into too much gory WordPress detail, in all this exchange I believe the problem has been solved, and I have implemented a much simpler means of setting up SPLOT sites- the autologin is handled more behind the scenes, and it is no longer necessary to copy the secret user password over to the theme options.

Furthermore, as soon as a final submission is done, the secret user is cleanly logged out (previously we saw them crop up when making comments elsewhere on the site or in a multisite setup).

And to help with new site setups, I have some code that displays admin notices on the dashboard to remind a site owner of recommended/required plugins (once dismissed, they will go away). It works great, and provides a link to either install or activate as appropriate. I lifted this from code from JetPack’s Dependency Scripts by removing code related to JetPack modules and keeping the parts that check the plugins.

Much of this will not be visible to any user, but the shining continues. I’ve updated the themes for TRU Writer and TRU Collector. The other SPLOTs will soon get the shine treatment, aiming for making them available soon as one click installs from Reclaim Hosting’ cpanel.

I never heard back from the person from Charles Sturt University who reported the issue, but I tried their URL, and was excited to see how they were using the TRU Writer– check out iTeach

It’s a place for CSU staff and faculty to share teaching and learning (not just tech) practices, for example Online Peer Assessment – An Honest Account From A First Time User.

Like The Compendium of Bothersome Beasties from the Coventry University presentation linked in the intro, the real joy of SPLOTting is seeing all the unexpected, creative ways people put these themes to use.


Featured Image: Modified Marbles flickr photo by Maria Eklind shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license by adding a SPLOT logo draped over the shiny marble.

If this kind of stuff has value, please support me by tossing a one time PayPal kibble or monthly on Patreon
Become a patron at Patreon!
Profile Picture for CogDog The Blog
An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *