New Plugin: BT-Active Discussions

Over the weekend, I just created my first WordPress plugin, called BT Active Discussions. It is a recent comments plugin that displays customizable number of blog posts with recently updated comment. The output is very similar to phpBB’s View Active Topics and vBulletin’s Today’s Posts functions.

Recent Discussions

You can see a demo at Moolanomy Personal Finance Blog.

I’d appreciate any feedback you can provide below.

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37 Responses to “New Plugin: BT-Active Discussions”

  1. Mrs. Micah says:

    It’s on my to-do list. πŸ™‚ I’m pretty excited about that…hoping it’ll foster even more discussion.

  2. This is AWESOME! Is there a way for it to display the most involved (i.e. most commented-on) posts at the top? Is there a variable I can change to have it do that? I’d love to have the most popular discussions at the top instead of the most recent.

    Perhaps that will be the next plugin you’ll design? πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for this. I love it! Check it out:

  3. Wow, Pinyo! This is good work!
    I like Shanti’s idea, but the READER should be able to sort the output, unless that’s asking too much?

    If I had more than 12 readers on my blog, I would definitely use this πŸ™‚



  4. Pinyo says:

    Mrs. Micah – Thank you. That’s my hope as well.

    @Shanti – Thank you! I’ll see if I can create something — either as a feature of this plugin, or a separate plugin.

    By the way, that’s an awesome recent discussion page. Very slick.

    @Michell – Thank you. Your blog will grow big one day. My blog was at 12 readers at one point too.

  5. Lucian says:

    Hey Pinyo,

    Nice looking plugin. I have a question though. Where exactly do you put the %%bt-active-discussion%% . I have tried it in the post and had no luck. Does it need to be in a template page?


  6. Pinyo says:

    @Lucian – You have to set it on a “page” — not “post”. It doesn’t have to be in a template.

  7. Lucian says:


    Thanks for the hint… and thanks for the great plugin. Works great now.


  8. Alistair says:

    Hi there, looks like a great plugin although I just cannot get it to work. It seems simple enough – I create a page and using the html editor just paste the code – is that correct or am I missing out something fundamental ?

    All I get is a page with the code on it – what am I doing wrong?

    (I am prepared for something simple) πŸ™‚

  9. Pinyo says:

    @Lucian – No problem

    @Alistair – Wow, that’s a mean looking mosquito! Make sure you:
    1. activate the plugin,
    2. create a page (Write –> Page),
    3. enter the code %%bt-active-discussion%%

    That should work. If not, send me the page you’re testing it on so I can see. It might be a good idea to disable caching plugin while you are setting up also (just to be sure).

  10. Alistair says:

    Hey thanks for replying Pinyo,

    Yup, that is exactly what I did……here is the page

    The fly does not bite thankfully – its sole purpose in life is to have sex πŸ™‚

  11. Pinyo says:

    @Alistair – I am sorry, I am not sure why it’s not working. πŸ™

  12. Alistair says:

    Hiya, these things happen – I have done some more investigations – I thought it might be my theme that is not letting it work so downloaded another couple – one of them def works with the plugin however the same problem occured. Very strange…

    Right, so lets get this totally straight…..I create a new page, open the HTML editor NOT the visual and without putting in any other tags whatsoever jut paste the code?

  13. Alistair says:

    Right, I have now installed wordpress on a sub domain and found it still does not work…


  14. Pinyo says:

    @Alistair – I found the problem.




    You forgot the “s” πŸ™‚

  15. Alistair says:

    Pinyo – you forgot the “s” first πŸ˜‰

    I copied and pasted the code from the read me file…

    1. Add %%bt-active-discussion%% to any page you’d like to show the discussion table

    I just KNEW it was something simple πŸ™‚

    ps. Lee – you are doing exactly the same as me the correct code is


  16. […] thanks to Pinyo for this most excellent plugin and for spending theΒ  time helping me to work out why it was not […]

  17. Pinyo says:

    Oops. I will update the read me file. πŸ™‚

    Wow, looks like you have an active community on your blog.

  18. Lee Potts says:

    Thanks, that did it. It’s working fine now.

  19. Alistair says:

    Yea, it has turned into a bit of a local resource πŸ™‚

  20. Bill says:

    Working like a champ for me, I woudl like to tweak the output a bit (maybe alternating lines highlighted and such, and it looks like the included CSS file is being ignored on my template, but this plugin really serves a need and I want to thank you for it!

  21. I don’t think mine is working correctly. I can’t see the comment icon, and no comments are showing up there. Do I need to deactivate some other recent comment plugins? Also, when I activate the plugin, I get a “cannot display the webpage” problem. Then when I refresh my plugins page it is acitve, but doesn’t seem to work right.

    Here’s the address:

  22. Jane says:

    Would love some guide as to how to customize the css!

  23. Pinyo says:

    @Jane – I noticed some file path problem after looking at your install. There should be a version 1.1.2 out to fix this.

    Regarding the CSS file, these are the two you may want to adjust:

    #recenttable thead th {background-color:#888;color:#FFF;}
    #recenttable .row-1 {background-color:#E0E0E0;}

    The first one basically contain table heading background (888 = dark gray) and text color (FFF = white)

    The second one is the alternating line color which is currently set to light gray.

    Nice site, btw.

  24. Mike Haynes says:

    Any way that this could be inserted into a template? I’m looking to add it to my homepage but I can’t quite get the code right.

  25. Pinyo says:

    @Mike — Yes, it could be done. Sorry for the delayed answer. You should be able to modify the plugin and copy the code directly into your wordpress theme index.php and wrap it around an IF statement.

  26. Mike Haynes says:

    Any idea what that code might look like? I’m not very good with code and I’ve only tried a couple simple php lines that didn’t work.

  27. Dani says:

    Thx for this plugin pinyo.

    I have a problem, maybe you can help me. I’m from Spain, and i have in worpdress blog’s time UTC+2.

    I’ve writen a commentary at 14:16, but you plugin shows 12:16.

    How can i do to show the correct time?

    Thx again πŸ™‚

  28. Pinyo says:

    Hmm… I didn’t even realize there’s time issue. Did you check the comment time (on the comment form) against the one show on my plug-in? They should be the same (in theory).

    I will have to take a look at it. Thanks for the heads up.

  29. Dani says:

    In the comments:
    Mariajo dice:
    Junio 4th, 2008 at 16:41 e

    In your plugin:
    by Mariajo
    on 2008-06-04 14:41:45

    In the database comment’s table:
    comment_date: 2008-06-04 16:41:45
    comment_date_gmt: 2008-06-04 14:41:45

    thx again. If you need any other data tell me pls.

  30. Dani says:

    ummm… after write my comment i’ve though πŸ˜€

    maybe it’s so easy to fix it, just take the comment_date_gmt to show in your plugin :p

  31. Pinyo says:

    @Dani – Based on your comment, I made the change. I think it should be fixed now. You should see the new version 1.1.3 on the repository shortly.

    Thank you!

  32. Dani says:

    ummm…. it’s me again…

    i’m check the code and you’re taking the right field. I’m going to fix my issue changing my sql code to take the comment_date field.

  33. Dani says:

    Thxxx Pinyo πŸ™‚ now it’s working fine!!

  34. Isaac says:

    Hi, Pinyo. I love the plugin, it works great. I have a quick question, though.

    I’m setting up my blog to work essentially like a discussion forum, and not just have comments to be another feature. To achieve this, I’d really like the Active Discussions box be able to display all posts, even ones that don’t have comments on them, so that people will see them and get discussions started. How can I do this?


  35. Pinyo says:

    @Isaac — Thank you. There’s no easy way to do it, I’m afraid. I’d have to play around with the query and see what I can come up with.