Autoblog Featured Image Import

I'm using the new version 4.0 release of Autoblog. Basic import and post creation from an RSS feed works well. However, a very frustrating issue is occurring; the featured image that is grabbed is allowed to remain in the original post. It would be nice to have an option to strip ONLY the image that Autoblog grabbed and assigned as the featured image, in order to eliminate messy and unprofessional looking posts. From researching this issue here, it appears to be a reoccurring topic of frustration. Hopefully my proposed solution will be relatively trivial to implement, considering the "strip images" plugin option.

Unfortunately, I'm also unable to get the "strip images" plugin feature to actually work... I see the option in the dashboard, I turn it on, and it neither works blank or with test text.

Thoughts?

  • DTuloJr

    Autoblog is currently being tested internally and is currently inaccessible. I can look into putting it into a public test site if you'd like. As to the issue, let me see if I can clarify what I (and others) want, and what is occurring.

    1. When Autoblog finds an image and attaches it to a post as a featured image, if the image it found is in the body of the original post that it is going to create, I want Autoblog to strip the original image from the body of the post it is creating so that its not duplicated when shown to an end-user.

    2. What is occurring is that Autoblog finds an image in the body of the original post, crops and copies the cropped image to the local system, and leaves the image in the body of the post it is creating. When the post is displayed, there are now two "featured" images; a true featured image, and the body of the post that still contains the code for the original image.

    3. I also want an option to copy all images from the original body of the post, cropped according to specifications or without alteration, attach them to the post for display in post-specific galleries, and strip them from the body of the post. My understanding is that the "strip images" plugin should enable some of this functionality, but I cannot get it to function.

    David

  • Jack Kitterhing

    Hi there David,

    Hope you're well today and thanks for the clarification.

    Could you post some screenshots of what's happening please? Would it be possible to get a link to the feed you are importing please?

    AutoBlog can only pull in an image if it's shown within the feed, if that makes sense? So it must be attached as either media in the feed or shown as a full feed, the featured image import only imports on image and attaches that as a featured image.

    Whereas image import, imports all detected images, it sounds like there may indeed be some image importing issues here and I'd be more than happy to help you get this resolved :slight_smile:

    Thank you!

    Kind Regards
    Jack.

  • DTuloJr

    Okay, let me try to be as nice and politically correct as possible. :slight_smile:

    Many others have posted about the same issue with Autoblog and a multitude of other RSS import plugins being used for WordPress. Very few developers actually seem to have grasped the issue that we repeatedly point out. I'm not entirely sure any developer or forum staff of WPMU have understood the exact and primary issue, either. So I will attempt to explain again. Screenshots won't necessarily help, though a bit of code example might.

    First and foremost, the primary reason this is a non-issue for many, and a major issue for others, is directly due to WordPress themes. Some themes are Featured Image aware, and others are oblivious or non-dependent upon them for certain layouts. To illustrate this issue, you must choose a theme and layout that require or support the Featured Image of a post.

    Then simply use Autoblog with the Featured Image Import add-on enabled to pull in a feed, grab the first image in each feed item, and attach it to the post as its Featured Image. You can use Joystiq's RSS feed as a great source for this example. http://www.joystiq.com/rss.xml

    When a WordPress post is created by Autoblog from a Joystiq feed item, the entire text of the feed item is imported, including the IMG tag item right at the beginning. Autoblog's Featured Image Import add-on pulls in the first IMG and attaches it correctly as the Featured Image to the post it just created... but it does NOTHING to the IMG tag itself that it just placed into the WordPress post content.

    When the post is displayed in a Featuerd Image-aware theme, the Featured Image is properly emblazoned where the post layout wants it to be... and then the post text faithfully renders right below the Featured Image... which would now include a duplicate of the Featured Image because the IMG tag that the Featured Image was imported from is still present at the beginning of the WordPress post text (import the Joystiq feed to see an example of this).

    <img alt="" src="http://source.source.com/Feature-Image.jpg" /> Text text text text text text

    Hence, we need an option to remove any image from the created WordPress post that Autoblog has attached to that post as its Featured Image, in order to prevent it from being displayed twice; first as the Featured Image, and second as an image hotlinked in its original location to its original source.

    One solution to this is to remove ALL IMG tags from imported feed items... such as by using the Strip Images add-on. Unfortunately, I have not been able to get that add-on to function.

    As Autoblog seems to include no actual debugging or additional logging functionality, I don't know if the Strip Images add-on is actually called and its regular expression method does not find a match, or if the add-on is somehow truly non-functional. It would be helpful for Autoblog to have some additional logging mechanism available for us to use rather than always swamp you guys for support.

  • DTuloJr

    I've tested this on multiple servers-- a GoDaddy dev host and a completely localized (BitNami) install. Everything is currently running WordPress 3.8.1 and Autoblog 4.0.5.

    In addition to the Strip Image plugin not appearing to function at all, I've encountered a very unexpected problem with the "Original posts date" feature. Autoblog is somehow transposing post date fields. The imported post date field is being set to GMT, and the imported post date GMT field is being set to the correct time for the original post date.

    As a test, use the Joystiq RSS feed (http://www.joystiq.com/rss.xml) and the Original Posts Date setting. (I've tested with others, including FeedBurner).

    A Joystiq RSS feed example:

    WordPress Site GMT_OFFSET: -8
    RSS Feed Item PUBDATE: 2014-02-22 17:30:00 -0500
    POST_DATE: 2014-02-22 22:30:00
    POST_DATE_GMT: 2014-02-22 14:30:00

    I have tested other RSS feed-to-post products that rely on a SimplePie backend (FeedWordPress, WP RSS Aggregator, and more), and the date/GMT transposition issue appears unique to Autoblog.

    Can you recreate the issues?

  • Eugene Manuilov

    Hi @DTuloJr

    Thanks for reporting this issues. I have released the new version of the plugin, which contains fixes for strip images addon and original date issues. Also it contains improvements for images importing when an image contains spaces in the name. Finally there are a couple more fixes and changes in the new release.

    So could you please upgrade your plugin and check it out? Please, let me know how it works.

    Regards,
    Eugene

  • DTuloJr

    I can confirm that utilizing both the Featured Image Import option and Original Date setting with the Strip Images add-on now works as expected.

    It would be nice to have a couple of additional options for Strip Images:
    Strip Single Image Chosen as Featured Image if in Post Body
    Strip All Images
    Strip All HTML Tags
    Allow Only the Following HTML Tags

    I will continue further testing of other add-ons, but those the items noted above were critical and all major outstanding issues were resolved. Strip Images will allow those of us who use the Featured Image to avoid a double-image issue with Featured Image aware theme post pages. Thank you!

  • Eugene Manuilov

    Glad to see that it works now as it should! Let me know if you find something else to look at.

    It would be nice to have a couple of additional options for Strip Images:
    Strip Single Image Chosen as Featured Image if in Post Body
    Strip All Images
    Strip All HTML Tags
    Allow Only the Following HTML Tags

    Could you please create a new thread for this request? So we will be able to mark it as feature request and bookmark internally.

    Thanks,
    Eugene

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