Adding dynamic classes to your custom WordPress widgets

I recently released an ad management plugin for WordPress called “Easy AdSense Ads & Scripts Manager“.

In this plugin we have a custom widget with option to remove the padding and borders (if any) added by the theme. I did not think much before implementing this feature and was expecting WordPress to have some kind of hook or filter to easily add a class to the widget wrapper and use it to remove the padding and border.

Option that lets you remove padding and borders from the widget

Unfortunately for some reason there is no easy hook or filter in this case. Very strange for WordPress.

But luckily there are two things available

  1. You can add any custom classes to your widget.
  2. There is $args['before_widget']

So here is what I did, use option one to add a custom class, which is actually a place holder which I would replace later. Like this

Now whenever the user checks the remove padding and border option,

I would simply replace this __eaa__ with the class eaa-clean like like below

I could have done this directly skipping the first step of adding a placeholder and directly using a regular expression on $args['before_widget'], but did not for the following reasons.

  1. It did not seem solid, and might fail in some cases.
  2. Since this a plugin that can be used in conjunction with any theme, I don’t have control over what $args['before_widget'] is going to be.

Complete implementation of this can be found on git

error: command ‘cc’ failed with exit status 1; Can’t install PIL, Pillow, MySql and other packages in Mavericks.

If you are getting the following error when installing python packages using PIP or easy_install, don’t worry. You have come to the right place for solution.

First make sure you have developer tools installed. You can install them by executing the following command in terminal

xcode-select --install

The clang errors are due to changes introduced in Xcode 5.1 and due to the way the Apple-supplied system Python 2.7 is built. You can tell them to shut up by adding these environment variables in terminal.

Error while installing PIL, Pillow, MySql on OSX Mavericks using PIP

2 Common errors while setting up phpMyAdmin on Mac OSX

You might encounter the following two errors while installing phpMyAdmin on OSX

  • Login without password is forbidden by the configuration ( See AllowNoPassword )
  • #2002 can not login tot the MySQL server

Here are the fixes for the above two errors.

1. Open phpMyAdmin configuration located at (phpMyAdmin Folder)/ and change

$cfg['Servers'][$i]['AllowNoPassword'] = False; to $cfg['Servers'][$i]['AllowNoPassword'] = true;

2. In the configuration file change  $cfg['Servers'][$i]['host'] = 'localhost'; to $cfg['Servers'][$i]['host'] = '';

Django | Set the defulat ordering rule for queries in the models

Though we can specify order explicitly in queries like below


it is repetitive and most of the times we will want to order by a particular field.

We can specify the order in the models like this

Restrict Django Templates From Deleting Data.

Django allows method calls inside template system. Though this is an useful feature, some of the methods will have side effects. Mostly the ones that alter data.
Say, for instance, you have a UserAccount object that has a delete() method. If a template includes something like {{ account.delete }}, where account is a UserAccount object, the object would be deleted when the template is rendered!

To prevent this, set the function attribute alters_data on the method:

def delete(self):
# Delete the account
delete.alters_data = True

The template system won’t execute any method marked in this way. Continuing the above example, if a template includes {{ account.delete }} and the delete() method has the alters_data=True, then the delete() method will not be executed when the template is rendered. Instead, it will fail silently.

What do Dollar and Caret ( $ and ^) sign in Django urls mean?

$ and ^ are regular expression characters that have a special meaning: the caret means “require that the pattern matches the start of the string,” and the dollar sign means “require that the pattern matches the end of the string.”

For example consider the  following url pattern

Without the dollar sign at the end it will match any url starting with hello like

  • hello/satish
  • hello/gandham/
  • hello/satish/123/pqr

Note: use url(r'^$', my_homepage_view), to match root.

Right way to break Django code for debugguing

Django traceback is a very helpful tool in Django development. It saves us from the boring tasking of writing print statements to track variables.

Traceback doesn’t kick when there is no error.  There may be no coding errors but there is a flaw in our application logic which we want to debug. In such cases we can trigger Django traceback by adding assert False in our code.


def hello_world(response):
test_var = "Something"
test_var2 = "another var"
assert false
return HttpResponse(test_var+test_var2)