A Question for Shashin Users

I’m considering adding a new syntax for Shashin’s shortcodes, and I’d like to hear from Shashin users about it. The current format is compact but not easy to remember. For example:


It’s also not compatible with the newer shortcode syntax that WordPress currently supports and recommends. I’m thinking of switching to the recommended syntax. So the equivalent shortcode for the above example would be something like:

[shashin type="random" albums="3,7,9" size="288" cols="2" count="6" caption="n" position="left"]

The reason I didn’t use this syntax originally is because it’s a lot more typing. So to make the typing easier, I would also add editor buttons, for both the Visual and the HTML editors. There’s a standardized way to add buttons to the Visual Editor already, and my Post to Post Links II error: No post found with slug "koumpounophobia-wordpress-plugin" makes it easy to add buttons to the HTML Editor (having buttons for Shashin was my inspiration for creating Koumpounophobia).

New versions of Shashin would have an option to support the old syntax, so you wouldn’t have to rewrite tags in old posts.

So, if I added the new syntax and editor buttons, would you use them, or would you prefer to keep using the old syntax? Please leave a comment and let me know.


  1. Krissi July 17, 2009

    If you hadn’t added the edit button, I’d prefer the old method. But with the edit button in the editor, it doesn’t really matter which code you’re using. 🙂 It would simplify the way to include images in the blog, looking forward to that option!!

  2. Emil Aliev July 24, 2009

    Hi there! I’m sorry I’m commenting on this particular post, I could not find the way to publish a new one. First iwould like tosay that your SASHIN plug in looks GREAT! (@ your page at least), but for some reason I am not able to make it work on blog of my own. I keep on getting this Invalid URL for Picasa Server message error. I have tried several names, nothing worked. The only way that it did work was when I left the default http://picasaweb.google.com URL.

    What should I do???

    Thank you so much in advance!


    (Costa Rica)

  3. Mike July 24, 2009

    Hi Emil – what URL are you trying? It should be only the base URL of the server – it should not include your username or album names (you use those on the Shashin Tools page, when adding an album)

  4. Emi July 26, 2009

    I’d really like to change the navigation to the bottom instead of using it at the top. There’s a way?

  5. Mike July 29, 2009

    Hi Emi – Shashin uses the caption tag for tables to show the album navigation links. You can edit shashin.css to control the position of the caption. Use the caption-side property:


  6. lossy July 31, 2009

    The Syntax showed is pretty and very similar to the one used for years in MODx CMS.
    Great plugin BTW.

  7. Photon August 9, 2009

    Hi there,

    I do find the new syntax much easier to understand, but hey with the new edit button, there are no worries =D.
    Other than that, I do recommend the ‘recommended’ one.

    Thanks. 🙂

  8. Dave August 14, 2009

    Hi, random question that’s cost me 4h so far today. The Highslide often opens next to my wp-cumulus plugin, and the cumulus tags are somehow in front of the Highslide window (and not dimmed). I know it’s possible to make this work because I saw it working here:


    But how is that done? I have tried several Highslide .js changes, all the settings on wp-cumulus, still my cumulus is overtop the Highslide (in IE8 and Firefox/Windows).


  9. Dave August 15, 2009

    Nevermind, my question has been answered. WP-Cumulus needs to have “transparent mode” activated (which I already tried). BUT the plugin needs to have it activated (stupidly) in *two places at once* — settings page AND widgets page. Just the settings page doesn’t do it. But selecting both, does.

  10. Milo August 18, 2009

    Hi Mike,

    I’m trying to set up a blog with easy/flexible picasa albums and Shashin looks like just what I need. I can’t get it to work though. When I add a tag to the post, WP simply spits back out the tag as text instead of generating the album/picture set. I’ve tried it in the visual editor as well as the html editor, and I’ve gone back through the settings a hundred times.

    I also know that shashin is working right in other contexts, because the Shashin sidebar widget seems to be working. I just can’t get it to work in my posts.

    Am I missing an easy step? I’m actually using WP-MU; could it be that WP-MU is incompatible? Thanks!

  11. Milo August 18, 2009


    Nevermind. I realized I had a problem with my syntax, so the issue was with me. I’m looking forward to playing with this some more. Thanks!

  12. EnKumber October 13, 2009

    Hi there,
    What file should I modify so salbumphotos will ignore and will not display the captions at all, like the image has no caption ?
    Thank you !

  13. Ady October 13, 2009

    hi there,
    I installed your plugin and it looks great…after a while I notice that the pictures I upload to picasa does not show on my website although I configured it to Sync all albums daily 🙁
    the albums were published as “public” and I have only several pictures in each album (the number of the albums are also very small – less then 20)
    you can see my website:

    I’ll appreciate any help

  14. Mike October 15, 2009

    Hi EnKumber – on the Shashin settings page, under “Album Photo Settings”, there’s an option to turn captions on or off.

  15. Mike October 15, 2009

    Hi Ady – have you tried using the Shashin Tools page to sync albums manually? To troubleshoot, the first thing I need to know is if syncing isn’t working at all for you, or if only the automatic syncing isn’t working.

  16. Jeanette October 15, 2009

    Hi Mike,

    So, I’m back from Korea and now want to work on my personal site.

    My site has 2 content widths. On my blog pages, they fit 3 160px thumbnails but for pages, they fit 4 160px thumbnails.

    But I can only specify either one max width or the number of max columns. Is there any way i can do this manually for albums opening on my blog pages or for albums opening on my pages?

    Am I making myself clear?…


  17. Jeanette October 15, 2009

    Oh, I actually get this error message when trying to “Sync All Albums”
    ShashinAlbum::setAlbumPhotos – Failed to insert record for photo ID 2147483647. SQL Error:

    However, if add an individual album, it works. BUT if I try to sync and individual album, I get the same error message BUT the photos are updated… It is weird.

    So it’s not causing me any problems right now other than that I have to manually sync things.

  18. Mike October 16, 2009

    Hi Jeanette – Shashin currently supports only one “max” width. On the Shashin options page, I’d recommend setting the max width for whichever place you add photos most often (either posts or pages), and then for the other place, you’ll need to specify the image widths and the number of columns.

    Others using Windows have had this problem with the current version of Shashin, and I’m still looking for someone to help me debug (since I don’t have a Windows server). If you’re willing to help, I can guide you through some debugging steps.

    The first thing to check is whether Shashin is trying to insert when it should be updating. If you have access to a tool like phpMyAdmin (something that lets you browse your database tables), look for a record with the photo_id 2147483647 in the wp_shashin_photo table. The SQL for this is:

    select * from wp_shashin_photo where photo_id = 2147483647

    Let me know if it already has that photo.

  19. Sachlene October 23, 2009

    Hi Mike…The plug in looks great. I cannot wait to work with it….However, I am having the following problem.

    I can see the album on my blog, but when I click on it, I do not see the images. Is it the theme I am using which is in some way interfering with the images?
    The code I have used is: [salbumthumbs=1,3,n,n,center]


  20. Mike October 23, 2009

    Hi Sachlene – I don’t think I’ve seen this before. If you go to the Shashin tools page and click the album name, do you see the thumbnails for its pictures?

    Also, could you try some of the other Shashin tags, like simage? That’ll give me a sense of whether you’re having a problem with just that tag or with the whole plugin.

  21. Keighley October 26, 2009

    Hi there

    I can’t get this plugin to work. I uploaded all my albums and it says

    Shashin Error: unable to retrieve albums.


    What could be going on?

  22. Galder Zamarreno October 27, 2009

    Is there any way to get the Latest Album widget to point to my internal gallery link rather than picasa?

  23. Mike October 27, 2009

    Hi Keighley – you need to give me some more clues here. What URL did you try in the Add Albums form on the Shashin tools page?

  24. Mike October 27, 2009

    Hi Galder – the problem with doing this in the widget is that there isn’t enough space in most themes to load thumbnails of all an album’s photos in the sidebar. The challenge with WordPress is that there is no other simple place to show them. In an older version of Shashin I asked users to create a special page which could show the album photos, but a lot of people found the implementation confusing, and I got a lot of support questions about it.

    The good news is that the latest version of Highslide has “thumbstrips” which will make it possible to do what you want. I’m planning to include this in the next version. See an example here: http://www.highslide.com/examples/gallery-thumbstrip-above.html

  25. Sachlene November 3, 2009


    I do see the thumbnails of the pictures on the album page. Also I tried the simage tag and it works. I see the picture.

    Any other ideas?


  26. Mike November 5, 2009

    Hi Sachlene – could you give me the Picasa URL for the album you’re trying to display? I’ll start by seeing if I can get it to display correctly on my test machine. If you don’t want to put your URL publicly here, you can email it to me by clicking the “contact” link in my navbar.

    I saw your site – I’m from RI, and I lived near SF for many years.

  27. Aaron November 9, 2009

    Is there a way to ‘paginate’ the albums like the photos? I would like to be able to limit the number albums shown on a single page.

  28. deric November 10, 2009


    I can’t get the highslide to work for me. i followed the installation instructions from http://projects.jesseheap.com/all-projects/wordpress-highslide-js-plugin, and can’t get my pictures to use highslide. I enabled everything in the Highslide Options. I enabled the use of Highslide as the viewer in Shashin settings. What am I doing wrong? Please advise.


  29. Mike November 10, 2009

    Hi Aaron – no, there is currently no way to paginate the albums. That’s a good idea though – I’ll add it to the to-do list.

  30. Mike November 10, 2009

    Hi deric – Highslide is included with Shashin. It sounds like you’re installing another plugin that is also including Highslide. There’s probably a conflict. You can deactivate the other plugin.

  31. johny why November 10, 2009

    hi mike?

    great plugin, but there’s an issue. seems to be a conflict between my themes rollover menu and your albums/thumbs page, in Internet Explorer. when i roll over the menu bar in IE, your albums/thumbs disappear:

    is there a fix for that?


  32. deric November 10, 2009

    Hi Mike – I deactivated the other plugin that was conflicting, but it’s still not working. My post looks like this:

    [salbumphotos=4,288,2,y,y,title desc]

    Here is a sample of the website with the above shashine post that is not working.


    Any suggestions?

  33. arooj November 12, 2009

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks again for this great and very useful WordPress plugin! Just have a question about it : is there a way to insert a Shashin tag into the comments ?

    Many thanks !

  34. Mike November 13, 2009

    Hi Johny – I checked your site in IE8 and everything worked fine. What version of IE are you using? It may be that your theme is setting some of its CSS classes too aggresively.

  35. Mike November 13, 2009

    Hi deric – your link tracking plugin is overwriting the Highslide links. See here: http://www.toppa.com/shashin-wordpress-plugin/#shashin13

  36. Mike November 13, 2009

    Hi arooj – no, Shashin tags don’t work in comments. Only the post content is parsed for the tags. For typical use, letting commenters add images and videos to your pages wouldn’t be desirable.

  37. James November 14, 2009

    I love the Shashin plugin, my only problem is it has added this horizontal scroll to my posts that I can’t seem to figure out. This is my first post using Shashin http://livinglifeoutdoors.com/

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks

  38. Mike November 14, 2009

    Hi James – your post has it’s content wrapped in a “pre” tag, which is causing the problem. I used Firebug to view your page without the pre tag, and then the horizontal scroll went away. I don’t know if you put it there or if it’s something your theme is doing automatically, but you’ll need to remove it to solve the problem. Something is also causing your Highslide navigation controls to not display properly. I’m guessing that’s also your theme – try temporarily switching to the default WP theme to test.

  39. James November 14, 2009

    Thanks Mike! I changed my theme and don’t seem to have a problem with it anymore. is there a way to display the thumbs in two columns?

  40. James November 14, 2009

    I seem to have answered that myself, thanks for the great script Mike!

    If anyone is interested in my blog it’s just a bunch of photos I’ve taken from outdoorsy trips. The first post that uses this script is about a 7 day self supported trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon river that flows from Idaho to Montana.


  41. Dicken November 15, 2009

    I am having trouble getting this plugin to sync with my Picassa account.
    I have a photo album page on my blog (http://8thgradejourney.com/photo-albums) and have the following tag on that page:
    [salbumthumbs=pub_date desc,3,y,n,center]

    I have the following set as the server url in the Shashin settings: http://picasaweb.google.com

    I am using the following as one of the albums in the “Add Albums” section: http://picasaweb.google.com/kencr5/SequoiaKathleen
    When I click “Add Albums” I get this message:
    ShashinAlbum::setAlbum – Failed to parse album feed.

    I’m a little confused what I’m doing wrong. Can you help?


  42. Mike November 16, 2009

    Hi Dicken – when I go to http://picasaweb.google.com/kencr5/SequoiaKathleen I don’t see anything. If it’s an unlisted album, please see here: http://www.toppa.com/shashin-wordpress-plugin/#shashin14

  43. Dicken November 16, 2009

    Thanks for the reply,

    My photo guy realized he had set them all as unlisted. We made a change and it works perfectly.

    What a great plugin! Thanks for putting this together.

    — Dicken

  44. deric November 17, 2009

    hi mike,

    got it to work. i had to disable “Track outbound clicks & downloads” in Google Analytics for WordPress.


  45. Lellie November 18, 2009

    Firstly, I’d like the new format of shortcodes – easier to remember.

    Secondly – I am having problems with special characters in image captions. Ampersands work fine in the album captions but not the image captions (under thumbnails). I just get the HTML equivalent &.

  46. Lellie November 18, 2009

    Okay. I seem to have found a fix. I just added an htmlspecialchars_decode on the description variable.

    $caption .= htmlspecialchars_decode($this->data['description']);

    instead of

    $caption .= $this->data['description'];

  47. Christian November 18, 2009

    Hi Mike,

    Is it possible to use the Shashin::getRandom function but have it output only the random image without wrapping in tags? I’m creating a theme which has galleries (which will need the table structures) and random images on several pages where the table structures are causing me problems with CSS layout.


  48. Geir G November 19, 2009


    I have a question, and I’m sorry I put it in under a post that’s not about that, but I didn’t know where else to put it….

    I just wondered if it’s possible to customize Shasin so that text on post/pages could be in my local language? (Like “return to album list”, “nn photos” etc. I don’t see any need for localizing the settings pages, but only what are seen by the visitors!)

  49. Mike November 19, 2009

    Hi Lellie – thanks for pointing this out and finding the solution. I’ll add your fix to the next version.

  50. Mike November 19, 2009

    Hi Christian – do you mean that you’d like to not have the photos in a table if it’s only one image, or that you’d like to not have the table at all, regardless of how many images? I haven’t found a good CSS-only, cross-browser compatible solution to handle a variable, user-controllable number of columns, which is why I’m using tables. But I could look into not using a table if there’s just one image.

  51. Mike November 19, 2009

    Hi Geir – Shashin is internationalized, and currently comes with 3 translations – Dutch, Belarusian, and Russian. Let me know if you’d like to contribute a translation, and I can let you know how to do it.

  52. Christian November 19, 2009

    Hi Mike. I’m looking for something that gives me a single random image with no table structures. I can collapse the table borders Shashin creates with CSS, although the resulting object behaves strange (probably my CSS, I’m no expert). However, this breaks the CSS used by the plugin for all galleries and I’d still like to use Shashin to generate standard galleries in other parts of the site. Having a method (clean or dirty) to disable tables when i’ve entered the shortcode for a 1 row, 1 col gallery would be the goal. Any ideas?

  53. Mike November 19, 2009

    Hi Christian – in the next version I’ll adjust the code so that it doesn’t create a table when it’s showing just one picture. But I’m adding a lot of features to the next version, so it won’t be ready really soon.

    In the meantime, if you don’t mind editing some code, here’s a hack that should do it: open ShashinPhoto.php and go to the end of the getRandomMarkup function. Replace the “return” statement on line 267 with:

    if (count($photos == 1)) {
        $match['photo_key'] = $photos[0]['photo_key'];
        $photo = new ShashinPhoto();
        return $photo->getPhotoMarkup($match);
    return ShashinPhoto::_getTableMarkup($photos, $match);

    I have not tested this – if it doesn’t work, let me know, and I’ll take a closer look.

  54. Christian November 19, 2009

    *almost* ..it returns the single image okay, but the img tag uses the shashin_image CSS class so it’s still subject to the same style formatting as standard galleries. How awkward is it to pass an additional parameter in the shortcode/syntax to specify a custom CSS class?

  55. Mike November 19, 2009

    Sorry Christian, there’s no easy hack to provide for that. It would require touching code in a number of places. But I’ve made a note to add a “custom class” option in the next version, for all the Shashin tags – it’s a good idea.

  56. Christian November 19, 2009

    No problem, I can probably fudge the formatting to accommodate the standard class to cope for now, but it would be a great feature to have. Obvious next question: What’s the likely ETA on the next version? 🙂 .. great plugin otherwise btw!

  57. DuckPuppy November 19, 2009

    Love this plugin, but I do have one problem – when I limit the number of photos per page in the “Album Photos Settings” they get limited properly when I click on an album thumbnail, but the “Next>>” text is not clickable so I can’t get to the other pages.

    Also, I can’t find a reliable way to reproduce this, but I can get into a state where clicking on “Return to album list” does nothing but refresh the current page (in other words, it keeps showing the items in the album rather than returning to the page). The target for the link is correct, but the only way to fix it is to return to the main page and click on the page link for my album list again.

  58. Mike November 21, 2009

    Hi Christian – new version probably in January. I’ve had other things going on and haven’t worked on my plugins for several months, but I started on the new version last week. I’m adding Twitpic and Flickr support.

  59. Mike November 21, 2009

    Hi DuckPuppy – someone else reported the same problem with the “next” link using Google Chrome and Safari. Are you using one of those browsers? It’s a bug in webkit (the rendering engine they both use)


    It’ll take some re-writing so I’m planning to fix it in the next verison.

    I haven’t heard of the other problem you described. I took a quick look at your site – I didn’t see where you’re using Shashin. If you can point me to it I’ll take a look.

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