Salzburg and Those Love Locks

comments 6
Photography

In an earlier post (The Salzach River at Salzburg) I lamented that I had not taken any photos of the love locks on the railings of the pedestrian bridge across the River Salzach.

Well, maybe not – but I found something among the photos…

Here’s the river – new town on the north side to the left, old town on the south side to the right. But peer closely and there is the ‘love locks’ pedestrian bridge at the bottom left of the photo.

Beyond the big green bump of a hill in the middle ground is the Villa Trapp, where the Von Trapp family lived before they left for Italy to escape the nazis.

And nearer in the foreground on the northern bank is the house where Mozart lived for a number of years before moving to Vienna. You can visit it.

We did and it is wonderfully interesting, not least for the collection of pre-pianos (I think I just invented that word).

Tamara especially was in heaven, being a huge fan of Mozart. She bought some CDs of musicians playing the instruments of the period.

One CD we have been listening to – on ‘pre-piano’ and violin – is terrific. There is a strain in the music – is it slightly darker, with a minor sound – that   is somehow missing from modern instruments. Well, not missing, but different.

The Old City on the South Bank Of the River

Here is a view from the north side, looking towards the old town on the south side, with the castle on the hill – actually the biggest fortress in Europe. Should you ever go there, note that the funicular takes you to the top of hill but not to the fortress.

To get to that you have to walk up a series of steep, steep paths. Enjoy!

On one of the main streets in the old town is the house where Mozart was born. We visited it and it was especially nice for Tamara (did I mention she is a big Mozart fan, already…) and for me.

We looked out of one of the upper windows at one point and imagined what it must have been like it those days.

We also visited Mozart’s house in Vienna, but that’s another story.

But the real interest for the purpose of this post is the bridge! The love locks bridge – getting a bit closer to being able to show a photo of it.

Closer To The Love Locks

And here is the nearest I can get to it, a crop from the photo above – and I think you can see that it is a brass/bronze colour – and that is the colour caused by the density of all those love locks.

Mission accomplished!

Will It Collapse?

With all those bits of hardened steel locked onto the bridge you can see why I wondered whether the locks might bring the bridge down, simply cause it to collapse under the weight.

The Sound Of Music Tour

If you want to visit the Villa Trapp, where the Von Trapp family lived before they left for Italy to escape the nazis, and see all the other things associated with The Sound Of Music, then perhaps the tour is just the thing. I cannot comment because we did not take the tour.

But we did take the all-day tour around the lakes and mountains in the Alps south of Salzburg. And because it was hop-on-hop-off, we were able to hop off at a couple of places and then catch the bus onward.

Here’s an iPhone photo of the clear waters of the Fuschl am See in the village of Sankt Gilgen. It felt positively privileged to the sitting there sipping coffee.


Street Singer

Leave a comment
Photography

His voice is deep, quite quiet, melancholy, a nice rounded sound.

I am not sure what songs he sings – it’s muffled because he sings with his head down, and my hearing is not that acute. Maybe something from Leonard Cohen or Bob Dylan. He’s not young, very tanned face. Keeps his clothes neat.

Smiled when I said I enjoyed listening to him when I pass.

The World Is Falling Apart

comments 5
Environment

The world is falling apart while we stare at yesterday.

Prompted by my wife reading the magazine from the the Ocean Film Festival that we went to last night – that the fish in the sea have reduced by half since 1980. And that by 2050, at the current rate, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea.

And prompted by looking at the plastic dish that the cod steaks came in that I had bought in the supermarket. The plastic was thick enough, strong enough to make a bucket out of. I weighed it: 30g for a one-time use plastic container to hold two pieces of fish.

About The photo

Here’s the original, to which I added the second ‘painting’ and the wording.

WordPress Problems with Safari Browser

comments 6
WordPress

These are problems I am getting using the Safari Browser with WordPress. When I say ‘WordPress’, I mean WordPress.com specifically. I don’t have any issues with WordPress.org

I think both of the following issues relate to how the browser talks to the WordPress.com servers, but I don’t really know.

Here are the two issues:

I want to like you

The first act a problem I have had for a few months trying to ‘like’ a WP.com post in Safari.

I am logged in to WP.com but when I click to like someone’s post – nothing happens.

That is, nothing happens unless and until I go to the comment field and click the WordPress icon.

Then I can ‘like’ a post.

It happens in Safari in iOS as well, except the browser refreshes as though it is opening a new window.

Oops not found

Another issue in Safari is specific to when I write posts with Gutenberg.

What happens is that when I click ‘ Preview on a post I have not yet published, it goes to a ‘page not found’.

It doesn’t recognise the Preview at all. This is the kind of URL it brings up. (Note that I have changed the URL to ‘dot’ so that it doesn’t try to be a live link.)

https://photographworks dot me/?p=10521

However, I can go to ‘All Posts’ and click ‘Preview’ from there and it works. 

https://photographworks.wordpress dot com/?p=10521&preview=true

I wonder whether the issue is connected to the fact that I have a custom domain (photographworks dot me)

Are you getting similar behaviour?

Anyone else getting similar behaviour in Safari?

Caxton Gutenberg Plugin

comments 4
WordPress

For the first time since I started using Gutenberg I am really impressed. And strangely, perhaps, I am impressed by creating a page that looks more like a newspaper.

I can’t create anything like it here on WP.com because it needs the Caxton plugin (get it from the WordPress.org repository) to make it work. That is only for self-hosted sites or the Business plan on WP.com.

The plugin is made by the people at PootlePress and here is the layout I was able to do in a few minutes with my typing fingers beating out what was crossing my mind.

The different columns, the different text sizes, they are all east to set and adjust and play with within Caxton.

This is the layout – at a reduced size so I can get it on this page:



I really like the newspaper style layout. I think it will come to WP.com soon because it opens up a lot of possibilities for people who want to get back to well laid out, text heavy pages – like newspapers.

Meanwhile, it is possible – as you can see here – to set quotes in large type, like this in WP.com:

Each uncaring and unthinking person has access to weapons of war. A tweet ricochets off another tweet and spins off into another social media platform. Like a pinball machine full of pinballs, the machine gets hot and melts down. Anger, frustration, good old-fashioned annoyance – they have nowhere they want to go except deeper into the furnace.

And the furnace spits them out. It doesn’t need them except as examples of persons. It doesn’t care about them except for whatever trace they leave behind in the the social weave. If they all disappeared tomorrow, their loss would be calculated in loss of engagement, followers, likes, and shares.

Adding Products in WooCommerce / Gutenberg

Leave a comment
WordPress

I raised the following support ticket on WooCommerce:


“I have been using Gutenberg as a plugin on a couple of sites since last January, but until now not on a WooCommerce site. I just activated Gutenberg on a WooCommerce test site and also activated the WooCommerce Gutenberg Products block plugin.

I see how Gutenberg works on posts and pages but I don’t see any ‘Gutenberg’ on Product pages.

I thought it might be that the theme I am using was not yet G’berg compatible but it’s the same in the default TwentySeventeen theme, so I switched back.

What is the situation with Gutenberg and adding products and Product pages?”


Reply – Automattic to me:

“The reason you are unable to see Gutenberg when you add a new product is because this is not currently a functionality it provides.”


Reply – me to Automattic:

“Thank you for explaining that adding new products is not yet a feature of Gutenberg.

  • Is adding new products with Gutenberg in the pipeline?
  • If so, is there a rough date when this will be implemented so that one will be able to add new products with Gutenberg and edit single product pages with Gutenberg?
  • Will it be another plugin or will it be part of WooCommerce itself?
  • Is it likely to be added by the time Gutenberg is added to core?”

My thoughts

Gutenberg is slated to be incorporated in WordPress core in version 5. Automattic have just announced that version 5 is due for release on November 19. If more time is needed, there’s a backup proposed release date of January 2019.

So I am baffled why WooCommerce is not fully functional with Gutenberg even at this late stage.

I don’t underestimate the coding skills needed to get WooCommerce to work with Gutenberg (or Gutenberg to work with WooCommerce). But WooCommerce is a big part of WordPress ( 4+ million active installations) – so I am really surprised at what I learned.

Update

I got an answer from someone in a Facebook group who pointed me to the discussion group for WooCommerce developers on Github. In it, Mike Jolley said back in May that:

Since WooCommerce is not optimised for the Gutenberg editor we’ve decided to keep the old editor for now so sites do not break when WordPress 5.0 is released. Products are not content focussed so using Gutenberg with our meta box placed awkwardly at the bottom is not ideal.

And back in February, Cladiu Lodromanean said:

It’s just temporary until we develop nice Gutenberg-compatible screens for Products/Orders/etc. When Gutenberg is merged into WP core and released we will be ready with the Products block in WooCommerce 3.4 but editing products and orders in Gutenberg will come in a future WooCommerce release.

So now I know and I will be following the discussion on Github more closely.

That said, what this illustrates for me is that WooCommerce has a communication problem. They should be giving a roadmap to users and not just to developers.

I just gave feedback saying that.

Somewhere Warm in WooCommerce

comments 2
WordPress

Tamara and I have a self-hosted WordPress site where we sell greeting cards.

The e-commerce on the site is handled by a plugin named WooCommerce, that you may have heard of. 

Recently I had an issue with an additional plugin used to make bundles of products.

It is built on top of WooCommerce and it is an official WooCommerce plugin but it is not built by the WooCommerce team themselves.

It is built by a third party team of three developers who go under the name of Somewhere Warm.

They are based in Greece, so when I raised the issue at WooCommerce I was directed to the developers to help me.

We worked to isolate the issue and eventually tracked it down to a permissions issue in the database that for some reason must have happened when I first added the plugin and it was talking to the database.

This is what Jason at Somewhere Warm said:

We had an internal discussion about this issue with our lead developer and it turns out that in the past, we’ve seen this caused by incorrect database access permissions: If thewp_woocommerce_bundled_itemmeta and wp_woocommerce_bundled_items tables don’t exist in your database, then this usually indicates that the DB user in your wp-config.php file doesn’t have the required permissions to create new tables.

In the end I had to delete some permission keys (they showed me how) and it’s fixed now and everything is running smoothly.

Why Did It Happen

The database user (that’s me) has full permissions, so there’s no reason that the permissions issue occurred. So why did it?

Anyone who has been running a website that involves a database (as WordPress does) will have seen the message ‘Error Establishing a Database Connection’ when the code is unable to speak to the database in the back end. 

So maybe there was a temporary glitch when the connection was broken just when I was uploading the code. 

Whatever the reason, how was I going to solve it? As it turned out, the developer was able to pinpoint a possible issue, and that worked.

If not though, what would I have done?

I have to be thankful that I have had no issues with WooCommerce in the time I have been using it, and luckily, the issue here was easily solved.

It made me think though that one of the issues that you get when running a website is that when things don’t work as you expect you can’t just complain to someone else and expect them to fix it.

If someone else is running the show then you can complain to them. When you build it yourself, you have to figure it out yourself.

Code is often built on libraries of more specific code. Over time it becomes like the Tower of Babel built on foundations that become increasingly shaky, endangering the structure above.

In the case of WordPress and WooCommerce I have added other plugins. Perhaps they were in conflict with this one?

I have added snippets of php code. Perhaps they were in conflict with this plugin?

As I’ve explained – it was a permissions issue and it was easy to correct. But if it had not been that, then what?

four greeting cards on a wooden shelf