Relevanssi WP Search fixed; Twitter Digest Pointing to Larger Twitter API Questions

1. Relevanssi Search

The latest update of Relevanssi, version 3.3.4, seems to have handled the problems mentioned in my “interim report” – so I am using it now on the blog, and searches will now include all comments as well as posts, with the exception of Wall comments. Including the Wall tends to produce results with large numbers of misleading hits. Ideally, and perhaps with not too great difficulty, a separate, narrow search of Wall Comments could be set up, but it’s a low priority for me, especially since I’m always on the verge of dropping the Wall anyway. I’d have some further suggestions for the developer on presenting the plug-in and guiding new users, but I don’t have the time right now for a full improving WP Search with Relevanssi post. Maybe later.

2. Twitter Digest

I now realize that my initial guesses regarding production of truncated links were off (though the unnecessary excursion to Regular Expressions-land was educational). Instead, I’ve discovered a problem that is in some ways much simpler, though not easy for me at my present level of knowledge of the Twitter API and REST functions to solve. (I’m not even sure if I have just correctly stated the nature of the problem!)

I’ll put the problem here in something more like common language, prefatory to writing it up and grabbing examples:

Though I still think there might be some relatively infrequently arising RegEx or other problems in tweet re-formatting, after reviewing the “raw take” from Twitter prior to processing of output, the problem clearly originates there, or rather in the simple way that the Twitter Digest plug-in handles the data.

 In short, in the case of retweets, the Twitter “fetch” provides two “text”‘s associated with user ID Strings. The plug-in takes the first “text” associated with the present user’s ID string. Unfortunately, this text will be in the old “RT” + “@twitterusername” format, meaning that tweets get cut off, sometimes extensively, to fit the 140 character limit. The original retweeted tweet is present in the Twitter data, in full, but is associated with the other (prior, retweeted) user’s ID String.

I will need to know how, in the case of retweets, how to get the second “text” rather than the first, and process it in order with regular tweets.  Most twitter clients and Twitter itself use the second “original tweet” on user timelines unless the user/re-tweeter has actually manually entered “RT @[user-name”]”, or used a modified “quote” format, in order to re-tweet. So clearly it’s a problem that is both solvable and quite commonly solved in Twitter applications.

Though I don’t know how to do this yet, I haven’t given up hope of stumbling across a readymade solution or near-solution somewhere, perhaps in one of the many existing Twitter for WP plug-ins. If I don’t find what I need, I may create a “StackExchange” post on the subject. I am not sure how long it will take me to figure out how to do what I need to do, but this knowledge might eventually be very useful for developing more advanced twitter applications, for instance by utilizing some of the other information that Twitter Digest and similar applications fetch but don’t do anything with – such as full image URLs, user avatars, user background and profile images, data on favorites and retweets, and so on.



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Writing since ancient times, blogging, e-commercing, and site installing-designing-maintaining since 2001; WordPress theme and plugin configuring and developing since 2004 or so; a lifelong freelancer, not associated nor to be associated with any company, publication, party, university, church, or other institution. 

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    Noted & Quoted

    TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

    For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

    The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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    Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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    [E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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