NamesCo, WordPress & the iPad

There is an application for the iPad that allows you to manage your WordPress blogs directly, its actually a bit basic but hopefully that will improve over time. However I simply could not get it to talk to this blog – it would just keep throwing a ‘Blog returned invalid data’ error.

Turns out in their infinite wisdom NamesCo (our web hosts) have decided xml-rpc is bad

The standard xmlrpc.php script is quite commonly installed with many free blogging. Unfortunately, it is quite easy to exploit and often abused by amateur ‘hackers’ and spamming groups for malicious purposes.

However, most users that have the script on their sites don’t actually use it, therefore we have decided to block access to that filename to protect those users.

If you wish to use an XMLRPC service, simply rename the file to something like ‘xmlrpc_post.php’ and reference that script instead in your posting service.

Which seems a bit like saying SkyDiving is dangerous so you cant do it – but its ok to put on a parachute and jump out of plane as long as you call it PlaneJumping instead.

So in order to get it the iPad application to work we first have to rename the xmlrpc.php script to e.g. planejumping.php – you can call it anything you like NamesCo have just blocked access to files called xmlrpc.php.

But that’s not enough because clearly wordpress expects this file to be called xmlrpc.php and the file name is unfortunately not configurable.

Instead you have to hack the wordpress php scripts by hand at the current release (3.1) that means updating these files

planejumping.php (previously known as xmlrpc.php)
wp-includes/class-wp-xmlrpc-server.php
wp-includes/general-template.php

Simply replace all references to xmlrpc.php in these files to planejumping.php instead and you should be good to go.

A New Look

The old blog has been a bit neglected these last six months or so.

A couple of trips to New Zealand was the start of it all, dodged the earthquakes and managed to fit in a trip down to see Pete & Sinead in Dunedin. Also been spending more time on twitter since last summer, first following the events of the ‘epic swindle’ that saw the Dumb & Dumber finally kicked out of Anfield. Then the unmitigated disaster that was Roy Hodgson followed by the second coming of King Kenny – safe to say the club is now in the right hands both off and on the field and future looks a lot brighter.

So to freshen it up we’ve got a new theme (Coraline) and after much faffing I’ve finally managed to get the WordPress iPad application to talk to the blog. Turns out our hosting company decided to deliberately break the functionality, so a small amount of hacking was required to get it to work – but more of that another time.