WordPress widgets — On This Day and Goodreads

After updating to WordPress 4.6.1 recently, I also updated all my plugins, and decided to spend some time messing around with the site a bit.

First, I found that updating the On This Day plugin broke something; it started showing a PHP error. After looking at the code a bit, I figured out that just changing something in the widget config would fix the problem. If I was more ambitious, I would actually go ahead and see if I could fix the error in the PHP code, and maybe even see if I could get the original author to merge it in. But I don’t have the energy for that right now. We’re in the middle of a late summer heat wave, and I’m not up for PHP debugging right now. Maybe next week.

After messing with that a bit, I noticed that Jetpack had added a Goodreads widget recently. I like the idea of showing what I’m currently reading in the sidebar, so I added and configured it, but couldn’t get it to display anything. This is possibly because I have my Goodreads profile set to private. (Or at least partially private.)

I’d previously messed around with adding a Goodreads widget, using a general-purpose RSS widget, but (for some reason) had never added it to my live site. Looking back at that, I see that there’s a key associated with the RSS feed URL, so that’s probably the issue with the Jetpack widget; it doesn’t have the key (or anyplace to enter it in the widget config). And looking at the RSS widget that I’d experimented with previously, I see that I’d have to expose the key on my site to use that one. So I guess I should leave my “currently reading” list off this site, since I’m not sure what else somebody could do with that key.

Goodreads also has a customizable HTML/JavaScript widget that I could use, and which probably works with private profiles (without exposing the key), but I’m not sure I want to add that right now, since I don’t want to go down the road of starting to add miscellaneous JavaScript widgets all over my home page. (Been there; done that.) So if you want to know what I’m reading, you’ll have to add me as a friend on Goodreads, I guess.

After some spelunking into the Goodreads account settings, I’m a bit confused about all this though. I’m not entirely sure which stuff in Goodreads is public and which is private, and I’m pretty sure the “currently reading” list isn’t private. So I really think this is a rabbit hole I shouldn’t have gone down at all.

The weather app on my phone says it’s 86 degrees out, and feels like 96, so I should really stop messing around on the computer and go get an iced coffee or something.

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