MTAmazon 3.0 almost ready for alpha

So, this holiday vacation has been the “winter of hacking” for me. MTAmazon is finally getting the rearchitecture it been needing. I am getting pretty close to being able to release an alpha version of it, to allow people to start porting over their template tags to the new system. Here are the new features coming in MTAmazon 3.0:

  • All calls are made against the most recent versions of Amazon’s Web Services APIs
  • All calls now use Amazon’s preferred authentication mechanism: Access Key Id. If you do not have one, get one now. If you have a Subscriber Id and Developer Token, then simply login to your Amazon Web Services account and retrieve the Access Key ID assigned to you automatically by Amazon.
  • Administrators can clear MTAmazon’s cache with a click of a button from the Movable Type Plugin Control Panel.
  • MTAmazon now caches its information in your database for faster lookups and rebuild times.
  • Data is cached as a serialized associative array, eliminating the need to parse and reparse cache data in order to speed up rebuild times.
  • All new template tags, with increased flexibility and power - access all of the data stored by Amazon through this plugin, not just a small subset.
  • Support the following locales: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, and Canada.
  • Improved error handling and messaging - users are now displayed more intelligible error messages from Amazon, as opposed to opaque “Template build failed” messages.
  • Better code abstraction model allowing other developers to more easily re-use components of MTAmazon within their own plugins build on top of MTAmazon (e.g. Media Manager)
  • And much more.

Keep reading to see the list of template tags currently implemented in this new plugin.

Template Tags Implemented as of December 31, 2005

  • <MTAmazonItemLookup> - lookup the details of a specific object
  • <MTAmazonItemSearch> - search for an item based on keyword
  • <$MTAmazonTitle$> - the name of the item
  • <$MTAmazonDetailPageURL$> - the URL to the item
  • <$MTAmazonASIN$> - the Amazon ID of the item
  • <$MTAmazonProductGroup$> - the product group (e.g. Book, DVD, etc)
  • <$MTAmazonItemAttributes$> - fetch an arbitrary attribute by name, like “Director,” “Actor,” “Size,” etc.
  • <$MTAmazonImageTag$> - generate a fully qualified HTML image tag and select from one of three sizes small, medium, or large
  • <$MTAmazonCustomImageTagUrl$> - generate a reference to a custom Amazon image that is blurred, rotated, has a drop shadow, etc
  • <$MTAmazonPrice$> - fetch the lowest price for an item (options are: used, new, collectible, refurbished, etc)
  • <$MTAmazonField$> - fetch any field found in Amazon’s results
  • <MTAmazonIfItemAttribute> - returns true if a specific item attribute exists

And more to come. What template tags would you like to see?

5 Comments

Dumb question, but..

Will this be backwards compatible at all? Don't want to install it, and blow up all my old stuff. :) Your post seems to imply it is not, but I can't recall seeing you explicitly state the answer to that before.

"Backwards Compatible" is not the best way to describe it. During development I have put MTAmazon3 in a separate Movable Type namespace making it a completely different plugin so that it does not conflict with the current stable version of MTAmazon. That allows me to run both plugins on the same blog without any conflicts. So it is sort of "backwards compatible," depending upon how you look at at.

I hope that answers your question.

So a straight answer is no, it isn't. However, I can still run the old one at the same time to use my old stuff. Is that right?

Correct. That is what I am doing and having no problems.

I look forward to this plugin when it gets closer to beta--I liked the old one but removed it (probably for no good reason) when my blog suddenly began making huge demands on Dreamhost's server. Never really figured out what caused the problem or what resolved it. But anyway, I'm doing a completely fresh installation of MT in a separate directory (and domain!) and will be interested in seeing how this works. My weekly review feature was really fun.

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  • I look forward to this plugin when it gets closer to beta--I liked the old one but removed it (probably for no good reason) when my blog suddenly began making huge demands on Dreamhost's server. Never really figured out ...

  • Correct. That is what I am doing and having no problems. ...

  • So a straight answer is no, it isn't. However, I can still run the old one at the same time to use my old stuff. Is that right? ...

  • "Backwards Compatible" is not the best way to describe it. During development I have put MTAmazon3 in a separate Movable Type namespace making it a completely different plugin so that it does not conflict with the curren...

  • Dumb question, but.. Will this be backwards compatible at all? Don't want to install it, and blow up all my old stuff. :) Your post seems to imply it is not, but I can't recall seeing you explicitly state the answer ...

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