Hiztory

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This page exists as a landing page to support the Hiztory WordPress plugin. You may find additional information on our blog by searching the hiztory Tag: hiztory tag.

The hiztory plugin will render historical births, deaths, events, and aviation history in your WordPress website with shortcode. Although Hiztory was originally built for one of our aviation websites , and despite aviation content being a clear focus moving forward, it hasn’t detracted us form building upon the data and adding multiple other modules that relate to various interest groups or countries. Despite not having released too many of these other components into the wild (just yet), many of them are available from the Hiztory API .

Installing Hiztory

Like any plugin that you’ve ever installed into WordPress, it can be installed in a number of different ways.

The easiest method of installation is via the ‘Install Plugins’ menu on your own WordPress blog via  Plugins  ->  Add New  in the left hand menu. Search for “hiztory“. Since it’s essentially a misspelled word, we’re the only result with that keyword. Click Install Now… then Activate.

Of course, you could just download ZIP Image the zip file directly and then either upload it via the Upload option on the ‘Install Plugin’ administration page referenced above, or you could FTP the contents into your wp-content/plugins directory.

Settings

Once you click on Activate, you’ll see a Settings menu. Select it. Alternatively, you will now be able to select the History Shortcode option from your Settings menu.

The Hiztory shortcode generator is a form that’ll construct shortcode based on the (non-default) options your select.

By clicking on  Get Shortcode  at this point we’ll just generate default usage by way of nothing other than the [hiztory] shortcode.

The default output provides us with one historical aviation event. You’ll likely want to change this!

Olympic Airways Flight 954, a DC-6, crashed into Mt. Parnes while on approach to Athens-Ellinikon International Airport. All 90 passengers and crew on board are killed. - 8th December 1969

Using the shortcode generator, and as an example, we’ll generate three results that’ll be cached locally for two hours. We’ll also change the formatting of the date so it renders as Sun 3rd Dec, 1944… and we’ll apply style to the date with html tags.

[hiztory number="3" datetags="em,strong" dateformat="D jS M, Y" cache="7200"]

 

You should note that the datetags, or the html formatting for the date, doesn’t include the < or > tag; this is automatically applied with the results.

The shortcode will generate the following result:

  • Landed: Space shuttle Columbia STS-9 at 18:47:24 EDT (23:47:24 UTC) Edwards AFB, Runway 17. Mission highlights: First Spacelab mission. - Thu 8th Dec, 1983
  • The first African-American NASA astronaut, Maj. Robert Henry Lawrence, Jr., is killed in the crash of a Lockheed F-104D Starfighter, 57-1327, of the 6515th Organizational Maintenance Squadron, while practicing zoom landings with Maj. Harvey Royer at Edwards AFB, California. Lawrence was flying backseat on the mission as the instructor pilot for a flight test trainee learning the steep-descent glide technique intended for the cancelled Boeing X-20 Dyna-Soar program. The pilot of the aircraft successfully ejected and survived the accident, but with major injuries. The F-104 they were flying came in too low and hit the runway. Royer ejected, but Lawrence was killed. He left behind a wife and one son. - Fri 8th Dec, 1967
  • Southwest Airlines Flight 1248, a Boeing 737-700, slides off the runway during landing at Chicago Midway International Airport in Chicago in heavy snow. None of the people on board are injured, but the plane hits two automobiles on the ground, killing a six-year-old boy. - Thu 8th Dec, 2005

Of course, you can choose not to display results in a list (as is the default case). In the next example, we’ll retrieve three historical events and format them in a block of text. By default, we’ll add the <br> tags after each event (you can change this in the option titled ‘After post HTML‘).

[hiztory number="3" type="events" datetags="strong" returnaslist="0" dateformat="l jS M, Y" cache="7200"]

Result:

Galileo Earth-1 Flyby - Saturday 8th Dec, 1990
"God Said, Ha!" closes at Lyceum Theater NYC after 22 performances - Sunday 8th Dec, 1996
8th Billboard Music Awards: LeAnn Rimes and Spice Girls win - Monday 8th Dec, 1997

Retrieving Results for Another Date

By default, we’ll select the date associated with your WordPress installation in making our request to the API. At times, however, it might be necessary to render results for another arbitrary date.

By unticking the option that says “Yes, use WordPress blog time of for data requests?”, a date option appears. Keep in mind that this is a static date reference that won’t change over time.

Other Features

Some other features of the shortcode generation include:

  • Events relating to deaths, births, events and aviation.
  • Results between 1 and 15.
  • Custom separator between the content and date.
  • Defined or custom date format (using PHP’s date() function).

Using Shortcode in a Sidebar?

By default, WordPress doesn’t enable the filter that permits you to use shortcode in a sidebar widget. If you plan on using this plugin, a sidebar widget is probably the most appropriate place to display random history. To enable shortcode in widgets, we’ve create a simple form that’ll activate that function globally; it works outside our plugin as well.

If you’re using our custom functions plugin, this filter is enabled by default, so you don’t have to activate it.

RSS Feeds

There are a number of RSS feeds available that generate random output for each day.

Births: http://www.hiztory.org/rss/birth.rss
Deaths: http://www.hiztory.org/rss/death.rss
Events: http://www.hiztory.org/rss/event.rss
Aviation: http://www.hiztory.org/rss/aviation.rss

The feeds can be consumed by most blogs and other CMS platforms by way of widgets and other types of integrated functionality. Certainly, in WordPress, there are countless plugins that’ll render feeds in different ways – not to mention shortcode, including our own.

The feeds are based on Australian Eastern Standard Time. If you’re elsewhere in the world, you can access a local feed using the following format:

http://www.hiztory.org/10/23/aviation.rss

Format is as follows: http://www.hiztory.org/[month]/[date]/[data-type].rss

The Future

We’ll build upon both the API and this plugin based almost exclusively on the feedback we receive. Some of the features that we’ll be including sooner rather than later include the following:

  • Ability to render results beyond the 15 limit currently imposed.
  • The API will shortly permit multiple events from multiple user defined categories (at the moment we only allow one category per request).
  • Geo-specific history queries
  • Additional categories (tech, marine, science, space, rail, country specific etc.).
  • Keyword filtering.

Shortcode Attributes

While the shortcode generator from the Settings menu will create the appropriate string of shortcode, you may choose to build it manually using the following shortcode attributes.

type

The type relates to the category of history to be returned. For example, type="aviation" or type="deaths". Various categories will be added to the plugin shortly.

month

The month is a two-digit representation of the month. Used in company with date. Only used when requesting history that isn’t for “today”.

date

The date is a two-digit representation of the date. Used in company with month. Only used when requesting history that isn’t for “today”.

number

The number determines how many results are returned. At this stage, anything between 1 and 15 is accepted.

useblogdate

The attribute useblogdate will force the request to be made using your WordPress website timezone. Defaults to true so usually shouldn’t be touched.

returnaslist

By default we’ll return the history in a list (it just looks better). To disable this and return it a block of code, use returnaslist="0".

after

To return HTML after each history event, use after="
"
. Replace the <br> with whatever HTML is required.

datetags

The datetags relates to the HTML wrapped around the returned date. You should note that the datetags, or the html formatting for the date, doesnt include the < or > tag; this is automatically applied with the results.

separator

The separator is the character that seperates the text from the date.

dateformat

The dateformat relates to how the date is rendered. For a full list of options see the PHP manual . Defaults to ‘jS F Y’.

linkify

If linkify="1" (it’s linkify="0" by default), we’ll attempt to match text in the history to your WordPress website tags. If they match, we’ll link the history text to the appropriate tag link.

cache

By default we’ll cache results locally in your database for an hour (cache="3600"). To alter the time results are cached use, say, cache="1800" (30 minutes). Querying the hiztory API too frequently may result in throttling.

The plugin will continue to be developed so ensure you subscribe to our Facebook page to be updated of changes.

Plugin Title: Hiztory
Description: The hiztory plugin will render historical births, deaths, events, and aviation history in your WordPress website with shortcode.
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