Since we at Saturn provide wordpress as a CMS, and have more than a handful of experienced WordPress customizers, and themeres we have handled several challeges related to WordPress. The latest one being that the client was offered a facelift, and they wanted to preview the progress of integration. I searched the plugin repositories and blogs, found a lot of solutions, which include theme switchers, theme preview, and even suggestions to have a local copy. Well with our client, we could not think of a local copy, since the database dump itself was about 320GB and the images and videows was a whopping 1200 GB. Well after reading through the source of get_option, a wave struck me.
add_filter('pre_option_current_theme', 'new_theme_preview', 1, 0);
I added the above to the end of an active plugin, then created two files newtheme.php and oldtheme.php, containing code to set and remove the cookie. The files were put into the top level folder. Once I am done with the theming, I could remove all these manually.
setcookie ( 'ShowNewTheme', '1');
setcookie ( 'ShowNewTheme', false);
Yet another challenge, mostly like all other developers, ours at Saturn too believed that scheduled jobs could be run to the lowest frequency at every minute. This stands true if the job is handled only by *nix cron or by windows scheduler. For even further control one should write a Sleep-And-Run. I used to do this in shell script for most of my requirements. Just the other day some one challenged me to get done with one similar in php.
The outcome is a crude one, ServiceManager, which runs based on a configuration file and its run frequency. Best not to change the frequency or your configuration would never support anything less than the frequency as well as will only support multiples of the frequency. The configuration file is the famous ini file format with item names in square brackets, with configuration on two lines. The sample attached ServiceManager.ini should give an idea.
For sending status mails, with varying from addresses, for several of our projects at Saturn, we were using the phpmailer which uses our smtp server with authentication. Well our smtp host had a limitation of 250 emails per day. When our requirements grew out of this limit, mails started to pile up. Sure I could install exim4 or sendmail on my boxes, and that is what I did for immediate resolution. But here comes a new requirement, that the mails sent should be marked as such, and those which failed should be marked with the exact response of the receiving end mailserver.
At this point I thought about an SMTP direct to mail box Delivery system. My favorite language being PHP, and primary library being Google, I tried all possible ways, according to me, and they were not the right ones as I came to know later. All these did not get me in the right direction. And finally thought about writing one. Here too, being lazy, wanted to have the code from some ones work to ignite me. Okay I found the phpbb’s smtp.php referred on the net, and the function smtpmail from the same was the right choice.