One of the major bits of infrastructure for the new CETIS websites is a WordPress-mu based blog server. The point of this being that everyone in the organisation gets to have their own blogs and thereby feed the general production of cetis news through what they write in said blogs. Look I’m doing it now! Enough with the meta-blogging though. The serious technical challenge was to integrate WordPress-mu with our LDAP directory so as to give staff rights to sign on using their standard password and create as many blogs as they each fancy. WordPress of course doesn’t quite do this out of the box but I’m not the first person to try this.
It being a small world, Alistair Young from UHI made this plugin for WordPress 1.5 Pat Cavit took it onward somewhat and then William Gray did some some more work taking it to 1.5.2. Of course this is all single-user WordPress, a year-old (WordPress is up to version 2 now) – and inevitably mu is slightly different again….
These efforts now seem to have coalesced into a single WPMU plugin – available at:
I’s suggest that people start with that stuff.
So I took some code – I think it was Pat Cavit’s and started working. As with many system integration projects I started out being hopeful that it would just work. It didn’t. Then I thought perhaps there was a nice clean way it could be hooked in. I couldn’t see one. Then I thought I’ll just step myself through the code and hack it into place. This approach paid off and we now have a working installation.
And it works a treat. CETIS staff can now go to blogs.cetis.org.uk and sign themselves up. A user entry is created in the wordpress database – used for keeping profile information and so that the rest of the tables have a user id number to key to – but the password is always queried from the directory. With this done, the user can create as many blogs as they jolly well like. Pretty good if you ask me.
The modified files are:
And some new files added:
Once the dust has settled on on the servers and everything here at CETIS is properly behaving I’ll spend some time re-factoring and trying to get my work in line with the likes of Alistair, Pat et al. for both WP2 and WPmu.
MEANWHILE due to popular demand here is a zip file of the work I have done so far:
From a wider point of view having this kind of plugin available should be a boon to system administrators of organisations large and small looking for a nice reliable blogging solution which they can roll out to a whole bunch of users without having to create yet another authentication nightmare. Great!