Tag Archives: vquence

My first released WordPress plugin

A screenshot of the gallery that the external video plugin creates

I’m pretty proud of this, which is why I’m dedicating a short blog post to it: today, John and I released my first WordPress plugin as open source to the WordPress plugins site.

It’s got the boring name “External Videos” and builds a bridge between your WordPress instance and videos of channels on a video hosting site – currently supported are YouTube, Vimeo, and DotSub.

It does this by using a brand-new feature to be introduced in WordPress 3: custom post types.

Check out the screenshots on the plugins page to see more – I’m unfortunately not yet running this Website with WordPress 3, so am not yet using this plugin’s features.

In the admin interface of WordPress, you enter the video channels that you want to pull videos from. Then it goes and pulls the videos with their metadata from these sites and creates video posts for them. That pulling is done once a day to update with new posts. The videos can be looked at in the admin interface under a separate video post section. They can be linked to WordPress posts and pages where the video may be discussed in context.

The video posts can be exposed on the WordPress site through a gallery, which is created by a short code, that can be added to any WordPress page. The gallery of thumbnails clicks through to an overlay with each video and its metadata as well as a link to the related WordPress post.

You can also add a widget to the side bar of the WordPress site with links to the most recent videos.

There are many more features that I want to develop for this plugin. I’d of course like to move it to HTML5 video instead of Adobe Flash. But for now I am happy with it.

I’d like to say thank you to John Ferlito, who helped with some of the coding, to Jeff Waugh for suggesting that it would best be developed using the new post types feature, and to Senator Kate Lundy and Pia Waugh at her office, who funded a part of the development. I am hoping they will find it useful to give their awesome collection of videos better exposure.

NOTE: you can post your issues with this plugin now to the wordpress forum at http://wordpress.org/tags/external-videos

Talk at SLUG on Vquence’s use of open source software

Yesterday, I gave a talk at SLUG (the Sydney Linux Users Group) about the open source software that we’re using in Vquence. The talk was basically structured into three areas: open source software in business operations, in software development, and in system operations. John joined in for the harder questions on the systems operations. We also explained how we’ve set our systems up so we are scalable on data (in particular on video slices, images and video use statistics) at a minimum cost – which includes the use of Amazon’s EC2 and S3 services. We also use reverse proxies to be scalable with bandwidth cost. Here are the talk slides.