Grouper Evolution version 1.7.1 is ready for download. Today's changes are fairly small, but they're preparing the way for big things to come.

First, here's what's changed in today's update:

  • Added functions for converting data that's stored in a PHP variable rather than always having to load it from a URL (GrouperConvertData), and for storing arbitrary data in Grouper's cache (GrouperPutCache).
  • Fixed a bug that could cause an unnecessary warning to be displayed under some circumstances.
  • Updated the helper scripts for and All so that they can be executed by loading them into another PHP script (using include or require) rather than requiring them to be loaded using HTTP). Notes:
    • Arguments to amazon2rss.php have changed as follows. If you have existing code using the old file, I recommend uploading the new file to a new location so that you don't have to update all your scripts immediately:
      • "cat" has changed to "category".
      • "list-price" has changed to "listprice".
      • "amazon-price" has changed to "amazonprice".
      • "used-price" has changed to "usedprice".
      • "review-comment" has changed to "reviewcomment".
    • The old files "all-posters2rss.php" and "fetch-all-posters.php" have been consolidated into a single file which performs both functions at once.
  • The plugin has been removed. It hasn't been working for quite some time since their last big API update. The reason it hasn't been updated is that added several requirements for how affiliates may display offers, which don't work very well with how Grouper Evolution is used. For example, they require affiliates to display a minimum of 3 competing offers from different stores for each product advertised, where Grouper is designed to display one. The plugin may or may not be update in the future to support's requirement.

How to Upgrade

To upgrade from version 1.7:

  1. Upload grouper.php and grouperinc.php, overwriting the old files.
  2. Copy your configuration information from your old amazon2rss.php, all-posters2rss.php, and fetch-all-posters.php into your new amazon2rss.php and all-posters2rss.php. as noted above, you may wish to upload the two new files to a different location than your old files to ensure that none of your existing scripts break due to changes in the new files.


What's Coming Next?

The reason for most of today's changes is that I'm working on version 2 of Affiliate Afterburner, turning it into a WordPress plugin. Changes made to the affiliate helper scripts (and changes to Grouper which were needed to make them work as desired) will make it much easier to install and configure Affiliate Afterburner, since they make it possible to enter your affiliate IDs and other information in a WordPress control panel rather than having to edit the helper script files.

If you're not familiar with Affiliate Afterburner, it's a tool for building content-based affiliate websites. Rather than building an entire content management system from scratch to make it easier to use, I've decided to take advantage of the power of WordPress, and make it easy to use with existing blogs, by turning it into a WordPress plugin.

The plugin will make it easy to display dynamically updating affiliate ads, as well as content from RSS feeds (including podcasts and YouTube feeds) in your blog. It supports a variety of standard ad sizes as well as unconstrained sizes for you to use as you wish.

The initial release will support the same affiliate programs as the old version:, All, and eBay (plus, it can display AdSense blocks). I'm currently looking into several other big affiliate networks that publish search-based affiliate XML feeds. Any of them that could be made to work well with Grouper will be added soon.

Owners of the current version of Affiliate Afterburner will be able to upgrade for a nominal fee, and I'll be announcing an introductory offer for new users as soon as it's ready. I'll keep you posted.