WordPress 3.6 in April

The most recent version of WordPress got delayed but I feel it is for the good. The reason this time is because the features are not quite the way the community would like. There are some minor issues but will be fixed within the time span.

The reason I’m pretty pumped about this next major release is for ¬†two reasons:

Post Formats

Why post formats? They have been around for some time now. The reason I’m pretty pumped about it is because this is one thing that not many people know about it. It has been dormant for some, like myself until about a year ago. Have yet to use all of them and experiment with them all.

Media support

Media support is going to be one of the bigger one since I know there are sites that use WordPress more as a CMS than blogging/publishing tool. The thing that really got me very excited was the introduction of mediaelements.js to core.

WordPress now has video and audio playback?
WordPress now has video and audio playback?

Seeing those little brackets around the words audio and video made my heart leap a little bit. Almost brought a little teardrop to my eye. The reason I got super excited was because when I first started this personally run blog I was on the lookout for a plugin that was able to do video playback. I love taking videos and would love to be able to expand on that a little more as my web experience expands and progresses.

What does that mean for other people?

For other people it means that they will be able to expand a little more. I think sites that already use video or audio will be happy in that they will be able to use one less plugin. I will keep wondering as to how many more sites will be using the support to their advantage and how many developers will encourage the use.

Displaying the gallery count and the images

Sometime last week I had an idea that finally managed to come alive. More and more I have been getting more and more ideas when it comes to creating WordPress themes. The most recent one being a theme that – much like twenty-thirteen does – showcases post formats. I still have to work with audio, video as well as a few other formats but the one that really had me in a bit of a pickle was the image gallery.

When WordPress 3.5 was released it introduced a better method of media insertion. Extremely user-friendly. I fell in love with it when I saw the mock-ups in the make.wordpress.org blog. One thing that really intrigued me was the use of multiple galleries in a single post. I thought: this should make for great use of the Content Management System side of WordPress.

The Idea

My next thought was how to harness that and be able to display it for those that would like to know. Being a photographer by hobby I wondered how to get that information. The first thing was to count instances of a single gallery. The next would count the images in all the galleries. Simple. By first getting the gallery instance count I could now set a simple if/else statement for my output.

The code

Looking at some example galleries gave me some clue as to what to look for. The next step was to gather the needed information. Thankfully WordPress has some really simple, and neat, functions to help and make things a little easier. The one function that actually does most of the work is get_posts() by getting all the attachments in a given post. From there you can find how many instances a post has a simple regular expression matching magic.

So the first thing is to count how many images there are in the post. Now, we can use get_children but the thing I found interesting about that function is that it calls get_posts. I figured cut the middleman and just use get_posts instead. So my gallery page looks a little like:

// Get all the attachments
$attachments = get_posts ( array(
 'numberposts' => -1,
 'post_type' => 'attachment',
 'post_mime_type' => 'image',
 'post_parent' => get_the_ID(),
 'post_status' => 'inherit',
 ) );

// Count all the attachments
$total = count( $attachments );

Now, I know it may seem a little strange for some as to why I’m getting the post_type of ‘attachment’ but that is how WordPress handles media and posts in general from what I’ve learned. Next thing is to get the gallery shortcode.


Yes, I said shortcode. WordPress uses shortcodes on a given post to display certain things and a media gallery is a good example of this. The plus side is that there is a function that grabs that for us. At least the regular expression for the shortcode. Next, we store it for later use and grab the content as well:

// Get the content in order to find the gallery shortcode
$string = get_the_content();

// Get the gallery shortcode regex
$pattern = get_shortcode_regex();

With that we can now use PHP regular expression matching and match all the instances of [gallery] in a single post and store it for later use. With two PHP functions we now have the end result:

// Get all the attachments
$attachments = get_posts ( array(
    'numberposts'    => -1,
    'post_type'      => 'attachment',
    'post_mime_type' => 'image',
    'post_parent'    => get_the_ID(),
    'post_status'    => 'inherit',
    ) );

// Count all the attachments
$total = count( $attachments );

// Grab the permalink
$link = get_permalink();

// Get the content in order to find the gallery shortcode
$string = get_the_content();

// Get the gallery shortcode regex
$pattern = get_shortcode_regex();
preg_match_all( "/$pattern/s", $string, $matches );

// Count how many matches and store it for later use
$galleries = count( $matches[0] );

// IF there is only one gallery show just the image count else show both the gallery and image count
if ( $galleries > 1 ):
    $output = 'With <span class="gallery-count">%2$s</span> galleries with <span class="image-count">%1$s</span> images unique images.';
    $output = 'With <span class="image-count">%1$s</span> unique images.';

printf ( $output, $total, $galleries );

The result

The end result that I wanted was a simple line of text that provides simple information for a visitor. The one thing to note though is that if galleries share a photo it will not be counted twice.

Regular Expressions and I

The last two days have been a little weird for me since I’ve had this idea on how I want my image galleries to look like in the front page and I have yet to find the right solution.

I’ve had to resort to using what I’ve never really tried exploring just yet: Regular Expressions. Almost a year ago I tried to learn but got sidetracked with random other things like I usually do. This time I’m fully alert and ready to tackle this little task for a simple thing like finding numbers within a simple string.

The reason I’m having to resort to using regex is because for some reason I can’t seem to get a count for all the attachments from a single post that uses multiple galleries. It for some strange reason wants to only get the first galleries’ images and not the rest. It’s been driving me insane to an extent.

What I’m wanting to achieve sounds simple enough but for some reason it keeps giving me a headache that seems to not want to end.

The way the gallery will look sounds simple enough because all I want to display in the main/home/index page is one or two things. The first one being text that says how many galleries there are if there is more than one gallery being used in the post and how many images there are in the entire post. The second being a thumbnail of one image if there is only one gallery in the post.

The next stage is getting the styling for the gallery when it’s being viewed. Thankfully I am understanding what file is being queried thanks to the ‘debug’ plugin and the flowchart that I often try to use when I’m wanting to figure out what file to use. The file that will be next in my line up will be the attachment file. I’ve seen some good examples; they all seem to follow a common pattern which is good because I’ll be able to use a simple design.

In the meantime I still need to figure out how I’m going to count all the images in a single post that uses more than one gallery.

Looks like I’ll be reading and spending more time in front of a screen to solve my little dilemma.