Shashin 2.5 Now Available

Shashin 2.5 is now available for download at This actually isn’t the major release I’ve been working on – it doesn’t include Flickr and Twitpic support (that’s still a work in progress). But it does include one very cool new feature: a jQuery based WYSIWYG browser for adding Shashin photos to your posts. You can now browse albums from within the editor, and click on photos to add them to your post (it will write [simage] and [sthumbs] tags for you). To use it, click the Picasa icon in the editor’s media button bar. This great feature was contributed by Sune Pedersen.

A couple usability items to point out with it:

  • If you mouse over a thumbnail on the left hand side, then the right hand side will show you a larger version of it, and vice versa. I found this a little confusing at first, but it’s actually a good way of using the available screen real estate effectively
  • To select a photo, just click it once. Don’t try to drag it. After you click it, you’ll see it appear under the “Selected” heading. If you change your mind and need to remove a photo that you selected, just click it, and it will be removed from the “Selected” area.

The other important new feature is that automatic album syncing is now done every 10 hours instead of once daily. This is because Picasa video URLs now expire every 11 hours, as I described previously. If you have any videos in your albums, then you will want to turn on this feature in the Shashin Settings menu.

There are also two bug fixes:

  • “Next” and “previous” links for browsing album photos now work in Google Chrome and Safari (this is actually a workaround for a webkit bug)
  • Album title links in the album thumbnails sidebar widget now point to the correct URL

Now back to work on version 3.0…


  1. ernest December 29, 2009

    Really loving ur plugin! thanks. and the WYSIWYG browser to add pics definitely enhances the use. awesome work…
    I’ve been trying to find a flash video plugin that will accomplish for my videos what shashin has done for my pics (i dont host my videos on picasa), so far no luck. Is there a way to edit your plugin so it brings the same feature set, but for locally hosted videos (as opposed to picasa hosted?) or is that a whole nother plugin entirely? πŸ™‚
    thanks again!

  2. Krissi December 30, 2009

    Great work Michael! This is an awesome update to the plugin! Thanks! πŸ™‚

  3. Tim Ansell December 30, 2009


    I really love your module, it’s clean and works very well! However I’ve fun into a problem, I would like two sets of random photos in the widget bar, however your plugin only supports one.

    Do you think it would be possible to either support adding a widget multiple times or adding support for a widget where you can just put Shashin code stuff in it (for example I could just put a [srandom] tag in it)?


    Tim ‘mithro’ Ansell

  4. Cliff Seal January 1, 2010

    Hey! GREAT plugin- I will be donating as you’ve helped me tremendously in a project with 1200+ images and videos. Excellent work!

    I just upgraded Shashin (I’m also running WP 2.9). Individual albums are syncing correctly, but when I try to Sync All, I receive this message:

    ShashinAlbum::setAlbumPhotos – Failed to read Picasa RSS feed for album.

    Any ideas? Thanks again!

  5. ernest January 1, 2010

    i sent a donation in. hope u got it. happy new year! πŸ™‚

  6. ernest January 1, 2010

    Cliff – I dont think you’re supposed to use the RSS link. I think it’s the direct link…
    “Please enter the URL for your “My Photos” page on Picasa if you want to add all your public albums to Shashin, or enter the URL of an individual album. Use the regular URL, not the RSS URL.

    The URL should have one of these formats: OR

    …also remember the sync only syncs existing albums i believe. if you add a new album, u either have to reload ur whole library, or ADD that album. syncing will not automatically add it. same thing applies if u delete an album
    good luck!

  7. Janne January 1, 2010

    Thanks Michael, it does fix my problem with expiring videos! I love the other new features as well, just wonderful!

  8. Mike January 1, 2010

    Hi Ernest:

    1. Yes, thanks very much for the donation! I get very few – it’s greatly appreciated.

    2. Shashin comes bundled with Highslide. You can use Highslide directly for locally hosted videos. If you’re comfortable editing HTML, do a “view source” on a page that’s showing one of your Picasa videos on your site, find the code for it, and use it as a starting point for embedding a local video. There’s a tutorial on the Highslide site – (Flash is at the bottom), but it’s pretty dense.

  9. Mike January 1, 2010

    Hi Tim – I never even noticed that the widget page only lets you drag the widget over once. I’ll have to see if there’s a way to let it be dragged into the sidebar more than once. In the meantime, you can call the random images function directly in your theme’s sidebar file, as described here:

  10. Mike January 1, 2010

    Hi Cliff – in case Ernest’s advice didn’t solve your problem, let me ask this: how many albums do you have loaded in Shashin, and how long does it take before you get that error message after you click “sync all”? If it’s more than a minute or two, you might be having a browser timeout problem.

  11. Janne January 2, 2010

    Mike, another comment after 11 hours… Apparently I still have an issue with expiring videos. I suppose the workaround for unlisted content and re-syncing are not compatible with each other, because the video folder needs to be public, when re-syncing.

    Do you see any other way for me to keep the video unlisted? In your post for the workaround you mention the 3MB PHP library interacting with Picasa Web Album API. Even if you don’t want to bundle that with Shashin, I’d be happy to use such a solution.

  12. Mike January 2, 2010

    Hi Janne – sorry, I forgot you said the albums were unlisted. So you’re right, there’s still a problem with your situation. If you need to keep the albums private, using the Picasa API is the only solution. I’ve avoided using the API because of the complexity it would add to Shashin (and complexity inevitably leads to more support questions…).

    But I wrote a function for a custom plugin a while ago that authenticates for Google Calendar. I think it may also work with Picasa. I will experiment with this next week, to see if there’s a way to use it with Shashin, and hopefully it will then let Shashin read the RSS feed for unlisted albums. This would let me avoid using that big PHP library for the Picasa API I mentioned before.

    So I’ll try to have some more information for you in about a week.

  13. ernest January 4, 2010

    thanks for the link Mike. unfortunately i know pretty much nothing about HTML, etc. and i dont have any videos on picasa. but maybe I’ll upload one, post it using ur plugin, do what u suggested and see if im able to make any sense of it πŸ™‚

  14. Mike January 5, 2010

    Hi Ernest – I can help you out a bit then. Use the following code, and replace the text that’s in all caps as appropriate. To do this you may need to switch to the HTML editor in WordPress instead of the Visual editor.

    You may also need to adjust the objectWidth and objectHeight to match the size of your video. For the player to size correctly, I set the minWidth and minHeight to be 20 more than the actual video size. You’ll probably also need to set the width and height of the thumbnail image.

    <a class="highslide" onclick="return hs.htmlExpand(this,{ objectType:'swf', minWidth: 500, minHeight: 380, objectWidth: 480, objectHeight: 360, allowSizeReduction: false, preserveContent: false } )" href="YOUR_VIDEO_URL">
    <img width="320" height="240" title="TITLE" alt="ALT_TEXT" src="YOUR_THUMBNAIL_URL"/>

    Mike T

  15. Guillaume January 5, 2010

    Hey, I’m the author of another Picasa plugin. It seems your plugin is quite popular as well, I just wanted to say hi!


  16. Mike January 6, 2010

    Hi Guillaume – thanks for stopping by. A while back in one of my blog posts I recommended kPicasa for people who were mainly interested in displaying their Picasa albums on their site. Your plugin does that really well without being as complicated to learn as mine.

  17. Niek January 7, 2010


    First of all, I’m a big fan of Shashin. It does its job perfectly. When I was travelling through India, I only needed to upload pictures and Shashin did the rest, so people at home could follow me.

    One problem I had though was that I had to split up my albums because if too many photos (150+) were in one album, the album could not be viewed through Shashin. Updating would go perfect, I could even browse it in the administrator section, but the thumbnails would not load. Btw, I use the latest versions, and Pixeled theme.
    I have a page with this code: [salbumlist=pub_date desc,y]

    After a two hour debugging run, I found what caused the bug, but I can’t explain it. In Shashin.php on line 130, there’s this: add_filter(‘the_content’, array(SHASHIN_PLUGIN_NAME, ‘parseContent’), 0);
    I removed ‘, 0’ at the end, and now everything’s working! Big albums now load perfectly! Not sure what it does, the info says something about div before autoformatter, but removing it fixed it.

  18. Rach January 8, 2010

    Thank you so much for this plugin. It works perfectly for me.

  19. Mike January 10, 2010

    Hi Niek – thanks very much for letting me know. Other people have reported this problem but I never found the cause.

    The reason for the “0” in that line of code is to tell WordPress not to wrap Shashin’s HTML div tags for displaying the images inside a paragraph tag. Normally WordPress adds paragraph tags whenever you make two line breaks in the editor. In this case Shashin is inserting it’s own code and does not need the paragraph tags. There must be a bug in WordPress that causes it to fail to display anything if there are too many characters inside the div tags generated by Shashin.

    By removing the “0” your pages now have HTML that isn’t valid (div tags don’t belong inside paragraph tags) but I think it will still display fine in any major browser.

    I’m not going to change the code as I don’t want to generate invalid HTML, (and this is a WordPress bug not a Shashin bug). But I will note your discovery in the Known Issues section of the Shashin page, so others with large albums can make this change if they want.

    Note that Shashin can limit how many photos are shown per page (with “previous” and “next” buttons to navigate through them), so that’s another way to solve this problem, without editing code.

    Thanks again for letting me know.

  20. Sandeep Mundra January 11, 2010

    Hello ,

    Thanks for such a nice plugin and well documented and commented code. I am using that plugin at Is it possible to have page navigation at bottom of page as well. I also like to have navigation just like pagenavi plugin , is it possible to integrate the plugin with pagenavi.

    sandeep Mundra

  21. Cliff Seal January 11, 2010


    Thanks! I’m using the correct URL, though; certainly not an RSS feed. All the albums have been properly loaded. I’ve been using Shashin for a few months now and never had a problem before the last update.

    “…how many albums do you have loaded in Shashin, and how long does it take before you get that error message after you click β€œsync all”? If it’s more than a minute or two, you might be having a browser timeout problem.”

    I have 62 albums. The error message “ShashinAlbum::setAlbumPhotos – Failed to read Picasa RSS feed for album.” comes up nearly immediately- less than five seconds in all instances.

    Thanks for the help!

  22. Mike January 13, 2010

    Hi Sandeep – yes, you can position it at the bottom by editing shashin.css (in the shashin/display folder). Add: “caption-side: bottom;” to “.shashin_thumbs_table caption”. See here for more info and an example of using caption-side:

  23. Mike January 13, 2010

    Hi Cliff, if you don’t mind adding some debugging code, please open ShashinAlbum.php. and go to line 323, where you’ll see:

    if (!$new_photos) {
        return array(false, __("ShashinAlbum::setAlbumPhotos - Failed to read Picasa RSS feed for album.", SHASHIN_L10N_NAME));

    Please add two var_dump statements, like this:

    if (!$new_photos) {
        return array(false, __("ShashinAlbum::setAlbumPhotos - Failed to read Picasa RSS feed for album.", SHASHIN_L10N_NAME));

    Then try using Sync All again. You should then get a list of album RSS URLs printed to your screen. The one that’s printed last (it’ll actually be printed twice), will be the one that it’s failing on. Try this a few times to see if it’s always failing on the same one and let me know what happens (and let me know the URL of the album that’s failing if it is always the same one)

  24. Derek January 13, 2010


    I’m trying to setup Shashin to display EXIF data from my photos, but I can’t get it to display at all. Is there anything special (other than the settings page option) I need to do to turn that on?


  25. Leah January 14, 2010

    I just installed Shashin for the first time. Everything appears to be working correctly except for highslide. I have it activated in my blog admin, but on the front end, the images just open in a new window. Is there something specific I need to do to get my images to view with highslide?

    Great plugin btw!

  26. Cliff Seal January 14, 2010

    Mike, excellent! I found the feed as you described and traced the URL to the album that was throwing it off. For whatever reason, the name of the album in Picasa web was ‘albumname02#’ instead of ‘albumname#’. I simply deleted and re-added the album by the correct URL.

    Thank you! I hope that my and others’ support will help you continue to support this plugin for years to come.

  27. Mike January 15, 2010

    Hi Derek – that setting is all you need to do. Please give me the URL for your site so I can take a look.

  28. Mike January 15, 2010

    Hi Leah – the most common cause of this is a conflict with Google Analytics link tracking plugins. Please see here:

    If you’re not using one of those plugins, please give me your site URL and I’ll take a look.

  29. James January 15, 2010

    I have found a strange problem with the timer Cron used within Shashin. If on it breaks 2 of the 3 crons belonging to another WP plugin, Lifestream. So the only solution I have found so far is to turn this cron in the Shashin settings page.

  30. James January 15, 2010

    The root of the problem is that when Shashin creates the every10hours cron schedule it somehow removes all the non-standard WR cron schedules

  31. Mike January 16, 2010

    Hi James – sorry about that. If you don’t mind editing some code, could you go to line 282 in Shashin.php. where you’ll see this:

    function cron10Hours() {
        return array('every10hours' => array('interval' => 36000, 'display' => 'Every 10 Hours'));

    delete that, and replace it with this:

    function cron10Hours($schedules) {
            $schedules['every10hours'] = array('interval' => 36000, 'display' => __('Every 10 Hours'));
            return $schedules;

    Then please try turning automatic syncing back on and let me know if this fixes the problem. Thanks!

  32. Patrick January 20, 2010


    i read about the workaround for unlisted albums, because i would also like to keep my pictures unlisted on Picasa web albums.

    i searched around a bit and found a working solution for getting Private albums displayed on a web page. A small php (with cUrl) script together with some MooTools scripts.

    Remember to check the php file for ‘gremlins’ …

    Maybe you could adopt, some of this code? Or get some ideas from it, how to go further?

    Anyway end of this off topic comment, great Plugin, keep up the good work.

  33. Mike January 21, 2010

    Hi Patrick – I actually just finished getting Shashin working with private albums. But there’s an unrelated bug with the automatic syncing change I made in the most recently released version. Once I get that figured out and fixed, I’ll release a Shashin update with private album support.

  34. lubos January 23, 2010

    Hi Mike
    i appreciate your plugin but i find problem with inserting new album through url. When i echo generated sql it shows
    string(197) “insert into wp_shashin_album (0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,name,include_in_random,pub_date,last_updated) values (‘Array’,’Array’,’Array’,’Array’,’Array’,’Array’,’Array’,’Array’,’LukasVeniec’,’Y’,”,1264276250);”
    i have 2.5 version of shashin, mysql 5.0.77 and wp 2.9.1
    any idea ?

  35. Mike January 23, 2010

    Hi Lubos – that is very strange. I have never seen that error before. Can you give me the URL for the album you tried to add?

  36. wessel January 23, 2010


    I’m trying to get shashin to work on this URL:

    and it works quite good, but the controls are now showing. Weird thing is that the controls are showing on my local machine development environment!
    But even the html for the controls is not there on above URL, so I guess it’s not a css/graphics issue (as mentioned on the forum sometimes).

    Does anyone have an idea what the cause could be?
    My tag is: [salbumthumbs=pub_date desc,3,y,n,center]
    And my control settings are: top, left, no-hide on mouse out. (other settings do not help btw)

    Thanks a lot!

  37. Mike January 23, 2010

    Hi Wessel – I took a look at your page and I’m not seeing the cause of the problem yet. Could you try temporarily disabling your other plugins, and see if that makes any difference? I see you have some other javascript files being loaded, probably from other plugins – it’s possible one of them is causing a conflict.

  38. wessel January 24, 2010

    Thanks! It was the plugin!

    Since that is not in use on this site I can leave it disabled.

    Thanks again for your (quick!) support. Donated something πŸ˜‰

  39. Jim Weaver January 26, 2010


    This plugin looks like exactly what I’m hunting for! I’ve just installed on my Worpress blog, which is running on version 2.8. It let me add my public picasa album, and syn call works. I see the single public album I have ( in the list on the tools page, and it allows me to do a sync all without error on my username.

    But the WYSIWYG editor will not show the photos in the album. When I click on the Picasa icon the lightbox popup comes up, but on the Add Photos tab it just sits on “loading photos” forever. There are only 65 photos in the album, saw somewhere where 150+ could cause an issue. Any ideas what could be the issue?

  40. Jim Weaver January 26, 2010

    Hi, I’ve tried the same thing with a smaller album with only two photos in it, and get the same symptom. I switch to the smaller album in the add photo wizard albums drop down list, and hit update button, and it still says load photos forever. If I just use the [] tags from the tools page rather than the WYSIWYG add photo tool, I have success. But I can’t get any thumbnails of photos to render in the WSIWYG insert photo popup, just a continuous loading photos message.

  41. Mike January 26, 2010

    Hi Lubos – that’s a private album. Please see here:

    The next version of Shashin will support private albums fully.

  42. Mike January 26, 2010

    Hi Jim – can you tell me which web browser you’re using, what version, and whether it’s Mac, PC, or Linux? My first guess is that it may be a browser I haven’t tested. In the meantime, you can type the tags – they’re documented on my Shashin page –

  43. Jim Weaver January 27, 2010

    Hi Mike!

    Sorry, I should have mentioned that. I am using a Mac, and I tried both Firefox (3.5.7) and Safari (4.0.2) and had the same symptom with both. My blog has a limited number of plugins, but since some of my earlier posts I was using gallery to host the images I do have the WPG2 plugin. That’s the only image related plugin present on the blog. I did deactivate it to see if it made a difference, but no luck. Tomorrow I’ll try from an PC with IE and see if it makes any difference.

  44. jim weaver January 27, 2010

    Hiya Mike.

    Same symptom exactly from IE6 on PC. So don’t think it’s the browser. As far as I can tell, all the functionality on the tools page (syncing, adding albums) is working.

  45. Mike January 28, 2010

    Hi Jim – the WYSIWYG is a new feature in Shashin and this is my first bug report on it, so please bear with me as I figure out debugging steps for it. Could you try temporarily disabling all your other plugins, and see if that helps? It’s possible there is a javascript conflict of some kind. If it’s hanging on loading the photos, that means something is causing the ajax (javascript) call to get the photos to fail.

  46. monsieur January 29, 2010

    Hello Mike,
    Thank you very much for this smart plugin !
    1. Is it a way to add a ‘previous album’ and ‘next album’ in album view ?
    2. Can i change the url ‘?shashin_album_key=3’ with album name ?

  47. Ade January 29, 2010

    Hi Mike, Great work for Sashin plugin… I love it…
    I have a problem at the moment when try to make synchronize to picasa, the error appear like this :

    Warning: fsockopen() [function.fsockopen]: php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Temporary failure in name resolution in /home/adeindra/public_html/wp-includes/class-snoopy.php on line 1142

    Warning: fsockopen() [function.fsockopen]: unable to connect to (php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Temporary failure in name resolution) in /home/adeindra/public_html/wp-includes/class-snoopy.php on line 1142

    Please help for this problem…
    Thank You

  48. Steve January 30, 2010

    I downloaded your plugin to help troubleshoot a couple of problems I was troubleshooting for someone else.

    I’m running WPMU 2.9.1 and unfortunately your plugin doesn’t work properly – in that I can use the settings page but the tools options page fails when I try to save anything and throws me back to the main back end admin page for the blog.

  49. BB February 1, 2010

    Is there any way to remove the album title automatically showing above the images? The titles of my posts where the images are shown from Picasa are the same titles as the albums. Consequently, I have the album titles showing twice. BTW, I’m using [salbumphotos=88,160,3,n,y,title] as my tag. (And getting rid of “title” didn’t get rid of the album title automatically appearing.)

  50. BB February 1, 2010

    I found the answer to my question, which was written by you, on the WordPress forums. For anyone else having this same question, the answer is to hide the title and description in shashin.css. Add “display: none;” to .shashin_caption_title and .shashin_caption_description. Then, move shashin.css to your active theme folder. That way, you won’t lose the change in a future Shashin update.

  51. Mike February 1, 2010

    Hi monsieur –

    1. No, not at this time. One other person has also requested this feature – it’s on my list but I’m not sure when I will get to it.

    2. No – Shashin needs to match on a unique identifier, and a name isn’t necessarily unique (Picasa will let you give two albums the same name)

  52. Mike February 1, 2010

    Hi Ade – this means your web server is not configured to allow use of the fsockopen PHP function. Shashin does not call this directly – it uses the Snoopy class that comes with WordPress, for reading the Picasa RSS feed. To use Shashin (and probably a lot of other plugins that read data from an external source) you’ll need to ask your hosting provider to enable fsockopen for you.

  53. Mike February 1, 2010

    Hi Steve – I have never tested Shashin with WPMU. Can you point me to another plugin that’s WPMU compatible, which has a Tools page? Then I can look at its code and see plugin Tools pages are handled in the WPMU environment. Then I’ll probably ask you to test it for me.

  54. monsieur February 3, 2010

    Thanks for your answer !
    #1 –> So, i wish there was a way to skip prev/next album in album view. Wouldn’t it be practical !?
    #2 question is not as essential but it’s kind of hard to remember shashin_album_id as you check Google Analytics !
    Thanks again for developing and supporting the Shashin plugin !
    Best regards !

  55. Zacchaeus February 9, 2010

    I’m new to the blogging world of WP. I use WP to host the Godaddy website I manage, It’s been a challange so far, but overall it’s very rewarding. I love creating new things and figuring out the best way to display images. I tried NextGEN and kPicasa and both of them didn’t have the capability I wanted. I also tried to embed “cooliris”. You can check out their site at I have to say it’s very snazzy, but most people that visit a Church site will never be able to master the browsing configuration of cooliris. A good buddy of mine suggested Shashin. And I must say that it is very, very nice. It’s my favorite. Which brings me to my question.

    Mike, I cannot seem to get it to work. I’ve tried all types of angles to no avail. I beleive that I have the settings correctly in the control panel, but every time I go into a page to add Shashin, it only displays the syntax.

    Can you please help me, or point me in the right direction!?


  56. Mike February 10, 2010

    Hi Zacchaeus – thanks for trying Shashin. I need more information to help you though. Can you give me the URL to a page where you put a Shashin tag, so I can take a look at your syntax?

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