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EasyBlog Showcase and Module will not display Amazon images

  • scarney
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2 months 6 days ago #4000 by scarney
scarney created the topic: EasyBlog Showcase and Module will not display Amazon images
My web site is mostly created with EasyBlog. They have a couple modules that will not display the images that are in the Amazon pages generated by your scripts. I asked if they might know a way to get those images to display (that way I could continue using EasyBlog for these shopping pages. They would like to take a look at this but that would require us giving them a copy of your software and describing the steps to get the images into their documents.

I am happy to give this to them and to explain it but not if that is something you would not want me to do. I would like to show you here the two places on my site where the images do not show so you can decide if this is something you would like the StackIdea (EasyBlog developers) team to look at.

www.drcarney.com/help/information/books-of-interest
On this page you will see there is a showcase module that rotates and is displaying the two most recent entries. One of them is one of the Amazon Shopping Cart items and is displaying the product information instead of the image.

www.drcarney.com
I have a module on the home page titled "Resources & Results" and there is a new item I added with the title of "The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet" that also does not display it's Amazon Shopping Cart image.

It seems to me that getting this to work with EasyBlog would be a win/win/win

Please let me know how you would like me to proceed, or not proceed. :-)

Thank you, Sean Carney

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2 months 5 days ago - 2 months 5 days ago #4006 by boggler
boggler replied the topic: EasyBlog Showcase and Module will not display Amazon images
Please do not pass this on to another developer, it is a commercial extension.

I also think that it is unlikely that Easy Blog would be interested in trying to solve this for you. I assume from what you are saying (though it is a bit unclear), is that the problem you are having is that you want the Amazon image to display as a background image in the carousel.

In fact the image is there as part of the display, but it is further up the slide, and so is invisible. For some reason it is not being picked up by the carousel module.

Part of the issue is that Amazon images are not normal site images but must be hosted on the Amazon servers, possibly this is why the Easy blog carousel is not using them, it may only use locally hosted images. I don't think that this is an issue with the plugin, but with the carousel module.

Or it may be an issue with timing, possibly the Amazon plugin has not executed when the carousel module chooses its display, so it cannot pick up the Amazon content because it has not been generated yet. That actually seems to me to be a plausible reason why this is happening.

You can try altering the ordering of the content plugin in the Joomla plugin manager, make sure that the AmazonWS content plugin executes before any others.

Otherwise, if this does not solve the problem then probably you would need to modify the code in the carousel to execute content plugins before it picks up the output (unless there is a setting in the module to do that for you.)

If you want we could, as a custom programming job, adapt the carousel module to do this. However it seems to me that you could solve this by simply by uploading a small image of your own and writing some introductory text that could be picked up by the module. In that case you would probably find that it helps to disable content plugins in the carousel module if there is a setting to do this.

I also notice that you have this text at the top of the blog post:

This is a TEST, I repeat... This is a TEST... And, I need to add more test text here because I just discovered that the search engine will display the tag that I am using to display the Amazon Shopping Item if there are not enough characters in front of it to basically push it out of view.


The search engine should not do that at all, from the point of view of a search engine the Amazon content is just part of the page, you should just see the content whether viewed by a search engine or anything else.

If you are using something such as 'fetch as Google' then it is possible that you saw a cached version of the page from before you got it working, so saw the shortcode. But there is nothing that would make Google see the code instead of the output, it is rendered as normal html, as part of the page.
Last Edit: 2 months 5 days ago by boggler.

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2 months 5 days ago - 2 months 5 days ago #4009 by boggler
boggler replied the topic: EasyBlog Showcase and Module will not display Amazon images
I assume that the Easy Blog module is this one, it does not seem to have any options that control how it handles content plugins. https://stackideas.com/docs/easyblog/administrators/modules/showcase-module

It seems to me that you could solve this by setting the content source option in the Easy Blog module to 'intro text', putting a short intro text and image in the entry which you want the module to pick up, then putting your main Amazon content into the article full text.

Alternatively you could ask Easy blog to add some options that control how the module handles content plugins, ideally what you want is for it to execute them before it picks up the output. It is likely that they will charge you a hefty fee for custom programming for doing this.

Also be clear, this is not a defect in our plugin. It will work in any content that supports plugins, but it cannot control what that content does with them, and if a module choose not to handle it very well then this is not something that is an issue with the plugin.

I have gone to a good deal of trouble to help you with this and other questions, and I am very unhappy with your proposal that you can just hand over our code to another developer, over something that appears to be an issue with their extension, not ours.
Last Edit: 2 months 5 days ago by boggler.

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2 months 5 days ago - 2 months 4 days ago #4017 by scarney
scarney replied the topic: EasyBlog Showcase and Module will not display Amazon images
Thank you very much for your replies. I am sorry to have caused you to feel unhappy by my suggestion. I would like to let you know that your feelings on this subject are 100% proper as far as I am concerned. I would NEVER give away your software to another person or party because the license I have purchased does not allow for that.

OTOH, I do feel free to try to put developers together to solve issues that could be a benefit to all parties. This is what I hoped to accomplish here. I do not believe the images not displaying is caused by a problem in your code or a problem in their code. Both your code and their code are doing exactly what they were designed to do. Your code pulls and displays data from Amazon. Their code pulls images from their EasyBlog items.

The information you have suggested on how to make my dreams come true here are great and I am going to pass your suggestions on to the developers of EasyBlog at StackIdeas and I believe they will be grateful to hear your ideas. They have always been great to work with. In the long-run if the images your software pulls from Amazon could visibly display in their modules, I think all parties would win. You, them and me. :-)

As an example of this: I use templates from a company called JoomlaBamboo who also created a very useful tool to create modules of many different types called ZenTools and ZenTools2. I LOVE their module making tool but had a concern with my site because ZenTools would pull images and text from Joomla and K2 but not from EasyBlog. So, I contacted both parties (JoomlaBamboo and Stackideas) and they were really happy to exchange information back and forth (actually they shared their software with each other in that particular case) and make it work so that EasyBlog content displays in the ZenTools module maker. They considered it a win for everybody.

If I can't get, or afford to get, the Amazon images working within the EasyBlog modules I do have the option to just develop a whole separate Amazon Shopping Cart part of my site using Joomla for the content creation instead of EasyBlog. This way the EasyBlog software modules would not try to pull any images from the Amazon Shopping Cart and I would not have anything that appears to be broken. I look upon this as a decent option and will do that if it is too hard for them to get the Amazon images working in their modules.

I hope all of this makes sense, and sets you at ease that I would not infringe upon your intellectual property rights.

Thank you for all the help you have given so far. I do sometimes ask a lot of questions going forward because of my many years of working as an Applications Engineer at Apple. I am often looking at how to blend various applications. But, I don't do it to be malicious. :-)

I am looking forward to setting up a really great Amazon shopping cart service here and understand that with my questions I am pushing the boundaries a bit but have also decided that I will happily implement according to your designs.

Sean

PS. The idea about my just adding an EasyBlog image is reasonable. I had tried that but didn't like that it made a page where I had an image for EasyBlog to use and then the same image was pulled in and displayed just below that by your software. So, that is why I sort of dropped that idea. :-)
Last Edit: 2 months 4 days ago by scarney. Reason: typographical errors and some improved wording for clarity

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2 months 4 days ago - 2 months 4 days ago #4019 by scarney
scarney replied the topic: EasyBlog Showcase and Module will not display Amazon images
Again I want to thank you for helping me. I just logged into the StackIdeas forum to share with them some of your ideas and found that they had been giving this some more thought (they of course do NOT have a copy of your software) and think they won't be able to make the images display.

So, the answer for me is going to be to build the Amazon Shopping Cart experience with your software using the core joomla content articles. Then their modules will no longer try to display the images and I should be able to create a really nice shopping cart experience.

Sean
Last Edit: 2 months 4 days ago by scarney.

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2 months 4 days ago #4023 by boggler
boggler replied the topic: EasyBlog Showcase and Module will not display Amazon images
OK, no problem, it seems that I misunderstood what you meant.

What about my rather low-tech idea of using just the intro text as the content source for the module? Then to add a short intro and an image which could be picked up by the module? It seems to me that this would work. You can put the Amazon content in the article full-text. Does Easy Blog have an option to only show the full text (ie not the intro text) when in the article view? If so that would be even more useful.

It seems to me that this should work, sometimes a simple solution is the best one.

Did Stackidea say why they could not make the images display? Is it becase they are externally hosted? Unfortunately there is no cure for that, Amazon are very insistent in their terms and conditions that the images must be remain hosted on their server, you are not allowed to even cache copies locally. I think they are worried about copyright.

But I think that there would be no problem with you getting your own images, eg from the manufacturer or publisher (if they allow this) and using it instead of the Amazon image.

If the issue is not with the images being hosted externally then actually I don't see why they think it wouldn't work, as I mentioned before it is just an issue with timing, the content plugin needs to be triggered before the showcase module picks up the content for its output. If they are already thinking about this then they may well solve the issue for you.

It is actually not a problem that you ask a lot of questions, it is quite helpful really to know what users are thinking about
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2 months 3 days ago #4027 by scarney
scarney replied the topic: EasyBlog Showcase and Module will not display Amazon images
Thank you for your response. I had also thought about the same simple solution. And, except for the images management it would be a slam dunk for me. However, as our site grows in popularity it is very important to me to be able to prove ownership of any image that we publish and for books, etc... from Amazon that has proved to be a time consuming challenge in the past. I love your solution because it takes all of that problem away from us. :-)

The reason that the EasyBlog modules could not display the image is that they are pulling and displaying all the data from their database. Or at least from paths that are included in the database. And, with the shortcodes they would be receiving the images from Amazon and having to pull the image, possibly resize it, etc.... For images that are uploaded through their publishing system various sizes are created and the links are in the database so that is what they do.

I hope this makes sense. I am fine with the way it is turning out and think that just shifting this part of our site to using core joomla is probably the most simple solution at this point in time.

Sean

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2 months 3 days ago #4032 by scarney
scarney replied the topic: EasyBlog Showcase and Module will not display Amazon images
I always reserve the right to change my mind. I believe your suggestion is the best option I have and I will be implementing it either with EasyBlog or with Joomla. :-) Thanks again....

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2 months 2 days ago #4036 by boggler
boggler replied the topic: EasyBlog Showcase and Module will not display Amazon images
OK, I understand why Easy Blog are saying that it would not be practical.

I think it would be possible to write a showcase module for the Amazon items which displays with the externally hosted image.

In the meantime you might look at using our Featured Items Pro module: https://www.spiralscripts.co.uk/joomla-modules/mod-featured-items-pro-detail.html which is free. It was not written specifically to work with Amazon images, but actually I see no reason why it would not. You would not be able to use the 'Use GD for Images' option, and would need to enable the 'Trigger Content Plugins' options. As it is a free module we can't really offer support for it, but there is a good chance it will work. But it is not adapted to work with Easy Blog though, just the Joomla core content and K2 items.
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2 months 2 days ago #4037 by scarney
scarney replied the topic: EasyBlog Showcase and Module will not display Amazon images
I will take a look at that soon. Thank you for the suggestion. :-)

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2 months 14 hours ago #4048 by scarney
scarney replied the topic: EasyBlog Showcase and Module will not display Amazon images
Would the context string that StackIdeas provided us for EasyBlog work with this Featured Items Pro module?:

Easyblog context is easyblog.blog .

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1 month 4 weeks ago #4053 by boggler
boggler replied the topic: EasyBlog Showcase and Module will not display Amazon images
No, unfortunately not, the featured items pro module needs to read the content from the Joomla content table (or K2), if it were to work with Easy Blog then it would need to read the content from the Easy Blog tables, which it is not set up to do.
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