Monthly Archives: February 2011

Invite Anyone 0.8 and CloudSponge integration

Version 0.8 of my popular Invite Anyone plugin for BuddyPress has a brand new feature: optional integration with the CloudSponge service. CloudSponge is a service that acts as a front-end for a number of API address-book services (at the moment, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Windows Live/Hotmail/MSN, AOL, Plaxo, the Mac Address Book, and Microsoft Outlook). With CloudSponge turned on alongside Invite Anyone, members of your BuddyPress community can invite friends to join the site by dipping into their preferred address book and selecting the desired email addresses from an easy-to-use interface. This can be a powerful driver of membership and engagement. To sign up for CloudSponge and turn on IA integration, go to the Invite Anyone Dashboard panel (be sure to look in the Network Admin on 3.1 Multisite!).

CloudSponge is a paid service (though they have a free trial). If you decide to become a CloudSponge customer through Invite Anyone, I’ll receive a small portion of your membership fees as an affiliate bonus. You can think of this as a way to support future development on Invite Anyone, by making sure that I have money to purchase the beer and pizza that fuel so much of my code 🙂

Of course, CloudSponge is an optional add-on to Invite Anyone. The plugin itself, and all its existing features, will continue to be free. CloudSponge is a little something extra for those communities where a regular stream of new members is key to success.

Hardening BuddyPress Group Documents

The BuddyPress Group Documents plugin allows groups a handy way for users to share documents with fellow members of a BP group. It’s crucial to the work that is done on the CUNY Academic Commons. But, by default, the plugin stores documents in a subdirectory of your WP uploads folder (usually /wp-content/blogs.dir/ on multisite). That means that documents are available directly, to anyone who has the URL, regardless of the public/private/hidden status of groups. This isn’t a problem from within BuddyPress, since URLs for the documents only appear inside of the protected group interface. But if the URL is shared, then the document becomes publicly available. Worse, if someone posts the URL of a document in a public place, search engine bots will find it, and the contents of the document could end up in Google.

I wrote a few helper functions to change this behavior. The strategy is this: Move the files so that they are not accessible via URL, ie in a directory above the web root. (In my case, it’s a directory called bp-group-documents, just above my web root.) Then, catch requests of a certain type (I’ve chosen to go with a URL parameter get_group_doc=), and check them to see whether the current user has the adequate permission to access the document in question. Finally, make sure that all of the URLs and paths that BPGD uses to upload and display documents are filtered to the updated versions. I’ve provided my code below – use and modify at your pleasure. You should be able to place it in your plugins/bp-custom.php file, and then move your existing docs from their current location (probably something like wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/group-documents) to the new directory.

I also added a line to my .htaccess file to ensure that requests to the old URLs are redirected to the new, hardened URL. That line is this:
RewriteRule ^wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/group-documents/(.*) /?get_group_doc=$1 [R,L]
Obviously, you may have to modify it for different file paths.

EDITED Feb 8, 2011 to include the code for creating directories when none exist

[code language=”php”]
define( ‘BP_GROUP_DOCUMENTS_SECURE_PATH’, substr( ABSPATH, 0, strrpos( rtrim( ABSPATH, ‘/’ ), ‘/’ ) ) . ‘/bp-group-documents/’ );

function cac_filter_doc_url( $doc_url, $group_id, $file ) {
$url = bp_get_root_domain() . ‘?get_group_doc=’ . $group_id . ‘/’ . $file;
return $url;
add_filter( ‘bp_group_documents_file_url’, ‘cac_filter_doc_url’, 10, 3 );

function cac_filter_doc_path( $doc_url, $group_id, $file ) {
$document_dir = BP_GROUP_DOCUMENTS_SECURE_PATH . $group_id . ‘/’;

if ( !is_dir( $document_dir ) )
mkdir( $document_dir, 0755, true );

$path = BP_GROUP_DOCUMENTS_SECURE_PATH . $group_id . ‘/’ . $file;
return $path;
add_filter( ‘bp_group_documents_file_path’, ‘cac_filter_doc_path’, 10, 3 );

function cac_catch_group_doc_request() {
$error = false;

if ( empty( $_GET[‘get_group_doc’] ) )

$doc_id = $_GET[‘get_group_doc’];

// Check to see whether the current user has access to the doc in question
$file_deets = explode( ‘/’, $doc_id );
$group_id = $file_deets[0];
$group = new BP_Groups_Group( $group_id );

if ( empty( $group->id ) ) {
$error = array(
‘message’ => ‘That group does not exist.’,
‘redirect’ => bp_get_root_domain()
} else {
if ( $group->status != ‘public’ ) {
// If the group is not public, then the user must be logged in and
// a member of the group to download the document
if ( !is_user_logged_in() || !groups_is_user_member( bp_loggedin_user_id(), $group_id ) ) {
$error = array(
‘message’ => sprintf( ‘You must be a logged-in member of the group %s to access this document. If you are a member of the group, please log into the site and try again.’, $group->name ),
‘redirect’ => bp_get_group_permalink( $group )

// If we have gotten this far without an error, then the download can go through
if ( !$error ) {

$doc_path = BP_GROUP_DOCUMENTS_SECURE_PATH . $doc_id;

if ( file_exists( $doc_path ) ) {
$mime_type = mime_content_type( $doc_path );
$doc_size = filesize( $doc_path );

header(“Cache-Control: public, must-revalidate, post-check=0, pre-check=0”);
header(“Pragma: hack”);

header(“Content-Type: $mime_type; name='” . $file_deets[1] . “‘”);
header(“Content-Length: ” . $doc_size );

header(‘Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=”‘ . $file_deets[1] . ‘”‘);
header(“Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary”);
readfile( $doc_path );

} else {
// File does not exist
$error = array(
‘message’ => ‘The file could not be found.’,
‘redirect’ => bp_get_group_permalink( $group ) . ‘/documents’

// If we have gotten this far, there was an error. Add a message and redirect
bp_core_add_message( $error[‘message’], ‘error’ );
bp_core_redirect( $error[‘redirect’] );
add_filter( ‘wp’, ‘cac_catch_group_doc_request’, 1 );

if(!function_exists(‘mime_content_type’)) {

function mime_content_type($filename) {

$mime_types = array(

‘txt’ => ‘text/plain’,
‘htm’ => ‘text/html’,
‘html’ => ‘text/html’,
‘php’ => ‘text/html’,
‘css’ => ‘text/css’,
‘js’ => ‘application/javascript’,
‘json’ => ‘application/json’,
‘xml’ => ‘application/xml’,
‘swf’ => ‘application/x-shockwave-flash’,
‘flv’ => ‘video/x-flv’,

// images
‘png’ => ‘image/png’,
‘jpe’ => ‘image/jpeg’,
‘jpeg’ => ‘image/jpeg’,
‘jpg’ => ‘image/jpeg’,
‘gif’ => ‘image/gif’,
‘bmp’ => ‘image/bmp’,
‘ico’ => ‘image/’,
‘tiff’ => ‘image/tiff’,
‘tif’ => ‘image/tiff’,
‘svg’ => ‘image/svg+xml’,
‘svgz’ => ‘image/svg+xml’,

// archives
‘zip’ => ‘application/zip’,
‘rar’ => ‘application/x-rar-compressed’,
‘exe’ => ‘application/x-msdownload’,
‘msi’ => ‘application/x-msdownload’,
‘cab’ => ‘application/’,

// audio/video
‘mp3’ => ‘audio/mpeg’,
‘qt’ => ‘video/quicktime’,
‘mov’ => ‘video/quicktime’,

// adobe
‘pdf’ => ‘application/pdf’,
‘psd’ => ‘image/vnd.adobe.photoshop’,
‘ai’ => ‘application/postscript’,
‘eps’ => ‘application/postscript’,
‘ps’ => ‘application/postscript’,

// ms office
‘doc’ => ‘application/msword’,
‘rtf’ => ‘application/rtf’,
‘xls’ => ‘application/’,
‘ppt’ => ‘application/’,

// open office
‘odt’ => ‘application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text’,
‘ods’ => ‘application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.spreadsheet’,

$ext = strtolower(array_pop(explode(‘.’,$filename)));
if (array_key_exists($ext, $mime_types)) {
return $mime_types[$ext];
elseif (function_exists(‘finfo_open’)) {
$finfo = finfo_open(FILEINFO_MIME);
$mimetype = finfo_file($finfo, $filename);
return $mimetype;
else {
return ‘application/octet-stream’;


New WordPress plugin: Prezi WP

I had a request to allow Prezis to be embedded on the CUNY Academic Commons, but the one plugin I tried for that purpose seemed to be broken and overengineered. So I took an hour and wrote my own: Prezi WP. In brief, it gives you a [prezi] shortcode for easy embedding of those Mind Blowing, Non-Linear bad boys.

It’ll be in the repository soon enough, but for now you can read more and download it here.