How to make repeatable custom fields in WordPress without paying for Advanced Custom Fields (ACF)

I was using the free version of Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) when I needed a way to make a gallery field where you select some images, order them and it displays as a gallery on a certain page and that’s impossible with the free version of ACF. I couldn’t pay for the Pro version of ACF either, so I looked for an alternative and I found Custom Field Suite. It has a good amount of the basic fields plus a repeatable/loop field which lets you repeat groups of the basic fields, incredibly handy!

Webpack causes: jQuery not defined

Recently, I started using Webpack and I was requiring jQuery using ‘require(“jquery”)’ and then I started getting errors in my app like so:

jQuery not defined or $ not defined

Then I found this piece here which explained that Webpack doesn’t set any global variables, so you have to set them yourself. So I did this:

window.jQuery = require('jquery');
window.$ = window.jQuery;

Happily this solved my issues.

Problems integrating PayPal

Recently, I’ve been trying to integrate PayPal subscriptions into a website of mine but I’ve hit a few problems which I’ve managed to resolve thanks to PayPal’s support. Hopefully this will help others. Here we go.

I followed this integration guide and I’ve managed to create a product and a plan and then subscription and then use the link from the subscription to redirect to PayPal. However, when I tried to pay for the subscription using my sandbox account I got this error:

We're sorry, we couldn't set up your subscription using the funding source you've selected. Please try another funding source.

I was baffled for a while but then I contacted PayPal’s support which told me that I don’t have balance in the same currency in which was the subscription (my case was euro) so I went on this page and I created a new sandbox account based in Germany which automatically filled the account with 5000 euro. However, when I tried to pay again for the subscription using the new account I hit another similar problem, here is the error:

Sorry, we couldn't set up your subscription using the payment method you selected. Please try another payment method.


So I contacted PayPal’s support again and after some back and forth they told me that the sandbox account wasn’t verified and that they’ve verified it and now it was working, which I tested immediately and yes it was working.

Problem is, why sandbox accounts with automatically generated email addresses, which look something like this: [email protected], have to be verified at all and how can you do that if you don’t own the email address? Baffling. Even worse, I have a sandbox account set up with one of my email addresses, which is not verified, and I tried to verify it but I never got a verification email!

So, generally, I am quite disappointed by PayPal even though I’ve managed to solved my problem. Lack of documentation is frustrating. I even found pieces of their documentation that simply don’t work.

Integrating PayPal subscriptions NOT the right way

Recently, I started trying to integrate PayPal subsriptions into a project of mine, however, it turns out I’ve started by using the old PayPal PHP SDK which is not the recommended way anymore. The recommended way is using the new Checkout PHP SDK, however that one doesn’t support subscriptions so the way to integrate PayPal subscriptions is by making direct https calls to their API. In this post I’ll show you how I started integrating the subscriptions using the old, deprecated SDK in case somebody needs it. Note that it’s not full integration (I’ve only gotten to a certain point) and it’s also Laravel specific.

<?php

namespace App\Logic\Paypal;

use Exception;
use App\Setting;
use PayPal\Api\Currency;
use PayPal\Api\MerchantPreferences;
use PayPal\Api\PaymentDefinition;
use PayPal\Api\Plan;
use PayPal\Api\Patch;
use PayPal\Api\PatchRequest;
use PayPal\Api\VerifyWebhookSignature;
use PayPal\Api\Webhook;
use PayPal\Auth\OAuthTokenCredential;
use PayPal\Common\PayPalModel;
use PayPal\Api\Agreement;
use PayPal\Api\Payer;
use PayPal\Rest\ApiContext;

class Paypal {

    public $apiContext;

    public function __construct()
    {
        $this->apiContext = new ApiContext(
            new OAuthTokenCredential(
                config('services.paypal.client_id'),     // ClientID
                config('services.paypal.secret')
            )
        );
    }

    public function createPlan()
    {
        $monthlyAmount = 10;
        $currency = 'EUR';

        // Create a new instance of Plan object
        $plan = new Plan();

        // # Basic Information
        // Fill up the basic information that is required for the plan
        $plan->setName('Epic Plan')
            ->setDescription('Unlimited form submissions. €10 paid monthly.')
            ->setType('infinite');

        // # Payment definitions for this billing plan.
        $paymentDefinition = new PaymentDefinition();

        $paymentDefinition->setName('Regular Payments')
            ->setType('REGULAR')
            ->setFrequency('Day')
            ->setFrequencyInterval("1")
            ->setCycles("0")
            ->setAmount(new Currency(array('value' => $monthlyAmount, 'currency' => $currency)));

        $merchantPreferences = new MerchantPreferences();
        $baseUrl = env('APP_URL');

        $merchantPreferences->setReturnUrl("$baseUrl/paypal/execute-agreement?success=true")
            ->setCancelUrl("$baseUrl/paypal/execute-agreement?success=false")
            ->setAutoBillAmount("yes")
            ->setInitialFailAmountAction("CONTINUE")
            ->setMaxFailAttempts("0")
            ->setSetupFee(new Currency(array('value' => $monthlyAmount, 'currency' => $currency)));

        $plan->setPaymentDefinitions(array($paymentDefinition));
        $plan->setMerchantPreferences($merchantPreferences);

        // ### Create Plan
        $output = $plan->create($this->apiContext);

        return $output;
    }

    public function activatePlan()
    {
        $createdPlan = $this->createPlan();

        $patch = new Patch();

        $value = new PayPalModel('{
           "state":"ACTIVE"
         }');

        $patch->setOp('replace')
            ->setPath('/')
            ->setValue($value);
        $patchRequest = new PatchRequest();
        $patchRequest->addPatch($patch);

        $createdPlan->update($patchRequest, $this->apiContext);

        $plan = Plan::get($createdPlan->getId(), $this->apiContext);

        // try to find previous setting with plan id
        $setting = Setting::where('name', '=', 'active_plan_id')->first();

        // save the plan id in the database
        if ($setting) {
            $setting->value = $plan->getId();
            $setting->save();
        } else {
            $newSetting = new Setting(
                [
                    'name' => 'active_plan_id',
                    'value' => $plan->getId(),
                ]
            );

            $newSetting->save();
        }

        return $plan;
    }

    public function createBillingAgreement()
    {
        $setting = Setting::where('name', '=', 'active_plan_id')->first();

        if (! $setting) {
            throw new Exception('Active plan id not found.');
        }

        $activePlanId = $setting->value;

        $agreement = new Agreement();

        $dateAgreementStarts = gmdate("Y-m-d\TH:i:s\Z", time() + 120);
        $agreement->setName('Base Agreement')
            ->setDescription('€10 a month in return for accessing our unlimited plan.')
            ->setStartDate($dateAgreementStarts);

        // Add Plan ID
        // Please note that the plan Id should be only set in this case.
        $plan = new Plan();
        $plan->setId($activePlanId);
        $agreement->setPlan($plan);

        // Add Payer
        $payer = new Payer();
        $payer->setPaymentMethod('paypal');
        $agreement->setPayer($payer);

        // ### Create Agreement
        // Please note that as the agreement has not yet activated, we wont be receiving the ID just yet.
        $agreement = $agreement->create($this->apiContext);

        // ### Get redirect url
        $approvalUrl = $agreement->getApprovalLink();

        return redirect($approvalUrl);
    }

    /**
     * Get list of all webhooks
     *
     * @return \PayPal\Api\WebhookList
     */
    public function listAllWebhooks()
    {
        $output = Webhook::getAllWithParams([], $this->apiContext);

        return $output;
    }

    /**
     * Delete all webhooks
     *
     * @return bool
     */
    public function deleteAllWebhooks()
    {
        $webhookList = $this->listAllWebhooks();

        foreach ($webhookList->getWebhooks() as $webhook) {
            $webhook->delete($this->apiContext);
        }

        return true;
    }

    /**
     * Register primary webhooks
     *
     * @return Webhook|string
     */
    public function registerPrimaryWebhooks()
    {
        $setting = Setting::where('name', '=', 'primary_webhooks_registered')->first();

        if ($setting) {
            return 'primary webhooks already registered';
        }

        $baseUrl = env('APP_URL');
        $webhook = new Webhook();
        $webhook->setUrl("$baseUrl/paypal/webhooks/primary");

        // # Event Types
        // Event types correspond to what kind of notifications you want to receive on the given URL.
        $webhookEventTypes = array();
        $webhookEventTypes[] = new \PayPal\Api\WebhookEventType(
            '{
                "name":"PAYMENT.AUTHORIZATION.CREATED"
            }'
        );
        $webhookEventTypes[] = new \PayPal\Api\WebhookEventType(
            '{
                "name":"PAYMENT.AUTHORIZATION.VOIDED"
            }'
        );
        $webhook->setEventTypes($webhookEventTypes);

        // ### Create Webhook
        $output = $webhook->create($this->apiContext);

        $newSetting = new Setting(
            [
                'name' => 'primary_webhooks_registered',
                'value' => $output->getId(),
            ]
        );
        $newSetting->save();

        return $output;
    }

    public function validatePrimaryWebhooks()
    {
        $setting = Setting::where('name', '=', 'primary_webhooks_registered')->first();

        if (! $setting) {
            throw new Exception('Primary webhooks not registered.');
        }

        $webhookId = $setting->value;

        $requestBody = file_get_contents('php://input');
        $headers = getallheaders();

        $headers = array_change_key_case($headers, CASE_UPPER);

        $signatureVerification = new VerifyWebhookSignature();
        $signatureVerification->setAuthAlgo($headers['PAYPAL-AUTH-ALGO']);
        $signatureVerification->setTransmissionId($headers['PAYPAL-TRANSMISSION-ID']);
        $signatureVerification->setCertUrl($headers['PAYPAL-CERT-URL']);
        $signatureVerification->setWebhookId($webhookId);
        $signatureVerification->setTransmissionSig($headers['PAYPAL-TRANSMISSION-SIG']);
        $signatureVerification->setTransmissionTime($headers['PAYPAL-TRANSMISSION-TIME']);

        $signatureVerification->setRequestBody($requestBody);

        $output = $signatureVerification->post($this->apiContext);

        $status = $output->getVerificationStatus();

        (new Setting(
            [
                'name' => 'webhook ' . date('Y-m-d H:i:s'),
                'value' => $status . $requestBody,
            ]
        ))->save();

        return response()->json([
            'status' => 'OK'
        ]);
    }
}

Here is the code. I’ll explain the four main methods in the class. First, ‘activatePlan’ – this will create the billing plan and activate it. Second, ‘registerPrimaryWebhooks’ – which will register some webhooks with PayPal. Third, ‘validatePrimaryWebhooks’ – which will validate/handle the primary webhooks, when one is received. And last, ‘createBillingAgreement’ – which will create a billing agreement and return a redirect to the PayPal’s approval link for that agreement.

Here is also my ‘PaypalController’ which handles the requests and also has some PayPal logic to execute the billing agreement once the user is redirected to the success url after approval.

<?php

namespace App\Http\Controllers;

use App\Setting;
use App\Logic\Paypal\Paypal;
use Illuminate\Http\Request;
use PayPal\Api\Agreement;

class PaypalController extends Controller
{
    public function createAndActivatePlan()
    {
        $setting = Setting::where('name', '=', 'active_plan_id')--->first();

        if ($setting) {
            return 'plan already activated';
        }

        $paypal = new Paypal();
        $plan = $paypal->activatePlan();

        if ($plan) {
            return 'success';
        } else {
            return 'failure';
        }
    }

    public function redirectToPaypal()
    {
        $paypal = new Paypal();

        return $paypal->createBillingAgreement();
    }

    public function executeAgreement()
    {
        // ## Approval Status
        // Determine if the user accepted or denied the request
        if (isset($_GET['success']) && $_GET['success'] == 'true') {
            $paypal = new Paypal();
            $token = $_GET['token'];
            $agreement = new Agreement();

            // ## Execute Agreement
            // Execute the agreement by passing in the token
            $agreement->execute($token, $paypal->apiContext);

            // ## Get Agreement
            // Make a get call to retrieve the executed agreement details
            $agreement = Agreement::get($agreement->getId(), $paypal->apiContext);

            dd($agreement);
        }
    }

    public function registerPrimaryWebhooks()
    {
        $paypal = new Paypal();

        return $paypal->registerPrimaryWebhooks();
    }

    public function handlePrimaryWebhooks()
    {
        $paypal = new Paypal();

        return $paypal->validatePrimaryWebhooks();
    }
}

Here is also my PayPal routes in case you need it

<?php

// PayPal
Route::get('/paypal/create-and-activate-plan', '[email protected]');
Route::get('/paypal/register-primary-webhooks', '[email protected]');
Route::get('/paypal/redirect-to-paypal', '[email protected]');
Route::get('/paypal/execute-agreement', '[email protected]');
Route::post('/paypal/webhooks/primary', '[email protected]');

WordPress permalinks not working

I just got an issue where the permalinks on a WordPress didn’t work even though I had an .htaccess file and I had selected “Post name” in the permalinks option page in WordPress.

The problem was to do with mod_rewrite not being enabled on my server. So I had to do “sudo a2enmod rewrite” and then restart Apache and the problem got fixed.

Sort files into folders by extension

cd /path/to/dir

shopt -s nullglob
for file in *.{avi,rmvb,mkv}
do
  directory="${file%.*}"             # remove file extension 
  directory="${directory//_/ }"      # replace underscores with spaces

  darr=( $directory )
  darr="${darr[@]^}"                 # capitalize the directory name

  echo mkdir -p -- "$darr"           # create the directory; 
  echo mv -b -- "$file" "$darr"      # move the file to the directory
  echo
done

 

Duplicity bash script to restore data from S3

Restore your S3 duplicity backup

#!/bin/bash

if [ $# -lt 3 ] || [ $# -gt 3 ]; then
        echo 'invalid number of parameters passed'
        echo 'Usage: s3-restore <bucket-name> <folder-name> <output-folder>'
else
        echo 'restoring backup'
        export PASSPHRASE=your_passphrase
        export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=your_aws_access_key
        export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=your_aws_secret_access_key

        duplicity s3://s3.amazonaws.com/$1/$2 $3
fi

 

Backup to S3 using duplicity

Backup a directory to S3. The script make full backups every 30 days and incremental backups the rest of the time.

#!/bin/bash

if [ $# -lt 3] || [ $# -gt 3]; then
    echo 'invalid number of parameters'
    echo 'Usage: backup <folder-to-backup> <bucket-name> <folder-name>'
else
    echo 'starting backup'
    export PASSPHRASE=your_passphrase
    export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=your_aws_access_key
    export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=your_aws_secret_access_key

    duplicity --extra-clean --full-if-older-than 1M $1 s3://s3.amazonaws.com/$1/$2
fi

 

JavaScript boilerplate file

var App = function() {

    var debug = true;
    var self = this;

    /**
     * Initializing app on document ready
     * or device ready in case of PhoneGap
     *
     * @returns {App}
     */
    this.init = function() {
        self.settings();
        self.events();

        return this;
    };

    /**
     * Setting various variables and making
     * some DOM changes
     */
    this.settings = function() {

    };

    /**
     * Binding events
     */
    this.events = function() {

    };

    return this;
};