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readme.md

Pym.js Embeds for WordPress

Pym.js Embeds provides shortcode and Gutenberg block wrappers for embedding responsive iframes using Pym.js, developed by the NPR Visuals Team. Embedded content resizes vertically to match its container's width.

Contents:

  1. Plugin Installation
  2. The Pym.js Shortcode
  3. The Pym.js Block
  4. Embed Options
    1. src: the only required argument
    2. pymsrc
    3. pymoptions
    4. class
    5. align
    6. id
  5. Plugin Options
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
    1. Why would I want to use Pym.js in the first place?
    2. Why is a WordPress plugin needed to use Pym.js?
    3. When would I use a Pym.js solution versus embed code without using Pym.js?
    4. Is Pym.js or this plugin dependent on jQuery or any other library?
    5. Where should I put the graphic files I want to embed using Pym.js?
    6. What is the URL for pym.v1.min.js?
    7. What is the difference between Pym.js and pym.v1.min.js?
    8. Why would I want to change the Pym.js source URL?
    9. I've set a different pymsrc option, but now I'm seeing a message in the console
    10. How do I serve Pym.js if the embedded page uses HTTPS and my site does not?
    11. How do I know if there's an HTTPS problem with a given embedded iframe?
    12. What license is this plugin licensed under?
    13. How do I contribute to this plugin?
    14. How do I get support for this plugin?
  7. Other Pym.js Resources

Plugin Installation

  1. In the WordPress Dashboard go to Plugins, then click the Add Plugins button and search the WordPress Plugins Directory for Pym.js Embeds. Alternatively, you can download the zip file from this Github repo and upload it manually to your WordPress site.
  2. Activate the plugin through the 'Plugins' screen in WordPress.
  3. Nothing to configure, just begin using Pym.js Embeds!

The Pym.js Shortcode

In a WordPress post or page, use the Pym.js Shortcode like this:

[pym src="https://blog.apps.npr.org/pym.js/examples/table/child.html"]

Example in a post:

Pym.js Shortcode in a WordPress post

The Pym.js Block

Example in a post:

Screenshot of the Pym.js Embed block in a post, with the block settings pane opened to show the block's options and advanced options

For the block, all options available via shortcode arguments are available through the block's Advanced Options panel.

Embed Options

[pym src="" pymsrc="" pymoptions="" class="" align="" id="" ]

src, the child URL (required argument)

src is the URL of the page that is to be embedded. In these examples, we use https://blog.apps.npr.org/pym.js/examples/table/child.html, the source code for which can be found at https://github.com/nprapps/pym.js/tree/master/examples/table .

For the shortcode, src is the only required parameter.

[pym src="https://blog.apps.npr.org/pym.js/examples/table/child.html"]

Here's what the setting looks like in a block:

A Pym.js embed block in use in a post, showing its alignment controls

pymsrc, the URL for Pym.js

pymsrc is optional; only set this if you need to specify a different source for Pym.js than the default. The default Pym.js source URL is js/pym.v1.min.js in this plugin's directory on your server. NPR recommends that you use the CDN version of Pym.js in most cases, which is available at https://pym.nprapps.org/pym.v1.min.js. An example shortcode using this option is as follows:

[pym src="https://blog.apps.npr.org/pym.js/examples/table/child.html" pymsrc="https://pym.nprapps.org/pym.v1.min.js"]

pymoptions, settings for Pym.js

pymoptions is optional; this should be a javascript object without the surrounding {}, and is given in the event that options need to be passed to the pymParent. NPR gives this example javascript:

pym.Parent('example', 'https://blog.apps.npr.org/pym.js/examples/table/child.html', { xdomain: '*\.npr\.org' });

To do the same thing with this Pym.js Shortcode, you would write:

[pym src="https://blog.apps.npr.org/pym.js/examples/table/child.html" pymoptions=" xdomain: '\\*\.npr\.org' "]

For a full list of options, see the Pym.js API documentation for the config parameter.

class, to add HTML classes to the Pym.js parent element

class is optional; this should be a valid HTML class name. It will be added to the element's default class, 'pym'. You would want to use this if, for example, you wanted to use a size-based class name to determine the size of the embed on your site. The class 'pym' will always be output on container elements created by the Pym.js Shortcode. This class was introduced in version 1.2.2.

For example, the shortcode [pym src="https://blog.apps.npr.org/pym.js/examples/table/child.html" class="one two three four float-left mw_50"] results in the following output:

<div id="pym_0" class="pym one two three four float-left mw_50"></div>
...
<script>var pym_0 = new pym.Parent('pym_0', 'https://blog.apps.npr.org/pym.js/examples/table/child.html', {})</script>

If you do not want the class 'pym' output on container elements, add a filter to the hook pym_shortcode_default_class that returns an empty string.

align, for WordPress alignment support

align is optional; this should be one of the WordPress-provided generated alignment types: left, right, center, none. If your theme supports the wide or full values, you can use those too, as the value provided here will be prefixed with align and output as a CSS class on the Pym.js parent, so that the shortcode [pym align="foo"] results in the output <div id="pym_0" class="pym alignfoo ">...

In the Gutenberg editor, the alignment options are provided by the alignment controls that appear when the block is selected. The default choice is "none", with no option selected, and the other options are to align it left, center, or right. If your theme declares support for the "wide" alignment, you'll also see options for "wide" and "full" widths. The appearance of these alignment options on the page will depend on your site's theme.

A Pym.js embed block in use in a post, showing its alignment controls

id, to set the Pym.js parent element's ID

id is optional; this should be a valid HTML element ID name. It will be used as the ID of your pymParent iframe on the parent page. You would want to use this if, for example, your embedded page contained navigation to another page, requiring the second page to know the pymParent element ID.

For example, the shortcode [pym src="https://blog.apps.npr.org/pym.js/examples/table/child.html" id="extremely_specific_id"] results in the following output:

<div id="extremely_specific_id" class="pym">
...
<script>var pym_0 = new pym.Parent('extremely_specific_example', 'https://blog.apps.npr.org/pym.js/examples/table/child.html', {})</script>

Plugin Options

The Pym.js Embed Settings page can be found under WordPress' "Settings" menu.

The settings page provides two options: the default pymsrc and the option to override all pymsrc arguments.

We strongly recommend that you set the default pymsrc to https://pym.nprapps.org/pym.v1.min.js and check the box to enable the pymsrc override.

Default pymsrc

As explained in the documentation for the pymsrc embed option, the default copy of Pym.js used by this plugin is the copy bundled with this plugin. NPR recommends, and we recommend, that you use the copy of Pym.js provided by NPR's CDN. However, this plugin cannot force you to do so; the WordPress.org plugin guidelines generally prohibit plugin use of third-party scripts without user consent, and frown upon plugins that use CDNs by default. Therefore, we give you the option to use NPR's CDN, or your nwesroom's CDN, and ship the plugin in a state that defaults to no CDN.

Shortcodes and blocks have the the option to specify an alternate source for Pym.js at a per-embed level, which allows you to opt into using the CDN version of the script on a per-embed level. This is less than optimal; every time you create a Pym.js embed on your site, you will need to check that the pymsrc option is set.

To save time and effort, set the "Default pymsrc" option in the plugin settings to NPR's CDN copy of Pym.js: https://pym.nprapps.org/pym.v1.min.js

Override pymsrc

Anyone who can edit a post can set the pymsrc URL on a shortcode or a block, and the pymsrc URL can be any resource. Browsers will try to load it as JavaScript, even if the set URL is for an image, a 404 page, or a non-Pym.js library. This is not good.

We strongly recommend that you check this box, to force all Pym.js Embed shortcodes and blocks to use the plugin's default pymsrc.

This box is not checked by default, because defaulting to overriding the pymsrc URL would potentially break existing shortcodes on sites that used this plugin before release version 1.3.2.1. If you used this plugin to create [pym] shortcodes before release 1.3.2.1, and wish to test your embeds before enabling the override, read this testing advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would I want to use Pym.js in the first place?

Using iframes in a responsive page can be frustrating. It’s easy enough to make an iframe’s width span 100% of its container, but sizing its height is tricky — especially if the content of the iframe changes height depending on page width (for example, because of text wrapping or media queries) or events within the iframe. For more information, see NPR's documentation for Pym.js.

Why is a WordPress plugin needed to use Pym.js?

Normally WordPress strips out JavaScript inserted in posts and pages, so the usual HTML Pym.js embed code's <script> tag won't work. Pym.js Embeds simply provides a wrapper around Pym.js so you can embed anything you'd use Pym.js for by using WordPress shortcodes or blocks.

When would I use a Pym.js solution versus embed code without using Pym.js?

If you're embedding a YouTube video or a SoundCloud audio player, you don't need Pym.js and in fact, you would not want to use it. WordPress supports many embeds through oEmbed. To make these commodity types of embeds responsive, you may need to add CSS rules depending on your theme. Embeds not built with Pym.js won't be resized by this plugin.

You would want to use Pym.js for other types of content you create and embed using iframes such as tables, charts, and interactive elements. For example, news organizations often create data-driven visualizations that are hosted in another application and need to be iframed into their CMS.

For the Pym.js shortcode or the Pym.js block to work, the Pym.js JavaScript library must be used on the embedded page, referred to as the "child page". You can use this plugin's shortcode or block to embed content from any page that is so enabled. For information on how to use Pym.js in your projects, see NPR's Pym.js documentation.

Is Pym.js or this plugin dependent on jQuery or any other library?

Nope, all the required JavaScript is self-contained in the plugin-provided copy of pym.v1.min.js. The shortcode will enqueue pym.v1.min.js on the parent page when necessary. You will need to include pym.v1.min.js on the embedded page, however.

Where should I put the graphic files I want to embed using Pym.js?

Child graphic assets could go in your WordPress server's uploads directory, uploaded via SFTP. Or on a GitHub page. Or on Amazon S3.

What is the URL for pym.v1.min.js?

Assuming that you have installed this plugin via the wordpress.org plugin repository and that your site is https://example.org/, you'll find pym.v1.min.js at https://example.org/wp-content/plugins/pym-shortcode/js/pym.v1.min.js .

You can check the validity of that assumption by putting a shortcode or block in a post, then viewing the post from the frontend. In the source code of the page, you should see a script tag loading pym.v1.min.js.

The URL can also be found on the "Pym.js Plugin Info" page, found under the "Tools" menu in your site's admin dashboard.

Or, you can specify the URL from which to load Pym.js.

What is the difference between Pym.js and pym.v1.min.js?

In this document, Pym.js is used to refer to the JavaScript library. "Pym.js Embeds" is the name of this plugin.

pym.v1.min.js is a specific copy of that library, hosted on your server at a given URL. It's named following NPR's Pym.js versioning strategy. It is kept up to date with the CDN version of the library by this plugin's maintainers, following these instructions.

The CDN version of Pym.js is at https://pym.nprapps.org/pym.v1.min.js .

Also included in this plugin is js/pym.js, which is Pym.js version 1.1.0, and which is kept around for legacy support for graphics created before this plugin had a defined update strategy.

Why would I want to change the Pym.js source URL?

There are several reasons why you might want to change the version of Pym.js used to embed a webpage. For example:

  • The embedded page uses an older version of Pym.js
  • The embedded page is loaded over HTTPS but your website is not, so Pym.js must be loaded over HTTPS to communicate with the child
  • The embedded page uses a modified version of Pym.js
  • For ease of development, you've standardized on the CDN-served copy of Pym.js

In any of these cases, set the different version of Pym.js using the pymsrc option in the shortcode:

[pym src="https://blog.apps.npr.org/pym.js/examples/table/child.html" pymsrc="https://pym.nprapps.org/pym.v1.min.js" pymoptions=""]

I've set a different pymsrc option, but now I'm seeing a message in the console

If a post has multiple instances of the Pym.js shortcode or block present, and between those different Pym.js instances there are different source URLs for Pym.js specified, then you should expect to see a message like the following in the browser's console when viewing that page:

Hi Pym.js user! It looks like your post has multiple values for pymsrc for the blocks and shortcodes in use on this page. This may be causing problems for your Pym.js embeds. For more details, see https://github.com/INN/pym-shortcode/tree/master/docs#ive-set-a-different-pymsrc-option-but-now-im-seeing-a-message-in-the-console"

If your server is running with WP_DEBUG set to true, then your server console will also contain a message like this:

PHP message: post 5: There are more than one pym source URLs set on this page! The list: array (
  0 => 'http://example.org/wp-content/plugins/pym-shortcode/js/pym.v1.min.js',
  1 => 'https://pym.nprapps.org/pym.v1.js',
)

This message is included to make the process of debugging your content easier.

To remedy this issue, take the following steps:

  1. Make sure every [pym] shortcode in the page has the same pymsrc="" attribute
  2. Make sure that every Pym.js Embed block on the page has the same URL set in the block settings for the "Pym.js URL" option.

If your post has a mix of Pym.js shortcodes and blocks, you'll need to make sure that both types of Pym.js embed on the page use the same source URL.

How do I serve Pym.js if the embedded page uses HTTPS and my site does not?

If the embedded page's domain has an SSL certificate and is loaded over HTTPS, and if your site is loaded over plain HTTP, then the Pym.js script on your page will not be able to talk to the Pym.js script in the embedded page. This can be fixed by making sure your site loads over HTTPS, or by specifying an alternate source for your Pym.js script.

The default Pym.js source URL is js/pym.v1.min.js in this plugin's folder, served by whatever protocol your site is using. You can change the source by using the pymsrc parameter in the shortcode, for example, an HTTPS-using CDN source like https://pym.nprapps.org/pym.v1.min.js:

[pym src="https://blog.apps.npr.org/pym.js/examples/table/child.html" pymsrc="https://pym.nprapps.org/pym.v1.min.js" pymoptions=""]

The URL provided above is the official content delivery network (CDN) for Pym. If you're hosting your embed on an HTTPS domain, you can also host your copy of Pym.js there and use that URL.

How do I know if there's an HTTPS problem with a given embedded iframe?

If the embed isn't resizing correctly (especially vertically), the Pym.js script may not be loading correctly.

You can determine if the embed is being served over HTTPS by opening the embed in a new tab and looking at the protocol in its URL to see if it's https:// instead of http://. To open the embed in a new tab, try right-clicking on the embed and choosing "Open frame in new tab" or a similar option.

You can also check by opening your browser's developer tools and looking in the console for errors.

What license is this plugin licensed under?

This plugin is released under the GNU GPL, version 2 or later.

Pym.js, included in this plugin, is released under the MIT open source license.

How do I contribute to this plugin?

We welcome your contributions; please see the contribution instructions.

How do I get support for this plugin?

Send us an email at support@inn.org or open an issue on GitHub.

Other Pym.js Resources

You may also want to look at NPR's Pym.js resources, especially if you're interested in building compatible embeds:

As for things that you might want to use Pym.js for, have you checked out NPR's dailygraphics rig for deploying graphics projects in responsive iframes?

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