Testing times for an oEmbed ignoramus

Derek Keats is testing Chisimba, oEmbed and WordPress and I’ve offered to get my hands dirty and assist. I’m officially an oEmbed ignoramus (remember, I’m an ex-history teacher). But I’m also a networked learner. Search engines have allowed me to almost instantly explore an array of unknown fields, modular Word Press Plugins make me feel technologically sussed and my Twitter friends have enlightened and directed my thoughts. I’ve benefited from Derek’s Twitter comments and so I volunteered to test his code.

I turned to Heapr for assistance. A brief scan through their results left me with an introductory article by oembed and a WebMonkey tutorial.

“oEmbed is a format for allowing an embedded representation of a URL on third party sites. The simple API allows a website to display embedded content (such as photos or videos) when a user posts a link to that resource, without having to parse the resource directly.” (oEmbed.com )

I don’t know about you, but definitions don’t always work for me. I prefer to explore first and then concisely articulate. I’d rather see what is being defined, reverse engineer it and then attempt describe it in words. I’m a data plumber with a “Justdoit” approach to understanding. I’d far rather apply first then analyse and understand.

Webmonkey’s tutorial prompted some “dirty learning”. I copied and pasted their oEmbed exemplar. Below is a line of code from their site.


Click, test, yes – it works. First success. Getting my hands dirty is always satisfying.
Encouraged – I now tuned to Keats’ Code.

Below are my two attempts
Not Encoded

Click, Test – Oops – The first one links to a php file and the second gives a 404 error – what am I doing wrong? Could be my version of WordPress? No – the Flickr example worked. Or my coding? Quite possible. My hands are filthy and I’ve got a few mud splatters on my face. Or maybe Keats code has errors.

Back to the instructions. I missed the first line – “Please note that you can only do this test if you have the WordPress oEmbed plugin installed.” – in red. Off to oembedder plugin install and enable it.

Lets try again.

code removed 1

And now preview the post – but I get an 500 server error message. Has the server has crashed? No, I can edit the post. Disable the oembedder plugin and I can see the post.

Lets try some code from the oembedder plugin readme file


Hey it works

Whoah, this is getting way beyond me. Time for the PLN to assist? Could you help me out? Does the problem lie with my server, my slightly out of date WordPress code, the oEmbed code Derek put together or my HTML? Any assistance – as always – is most gratefully received.

Update 5 Jan 2009
Derek has provided me with a couple of updates in the comments

Let’s try the code with the amended provideimage and format=xml

code removed

Nope – problem still repeats itself. Following this up with my service providers, but it looks like oEmbed code from Chisimba is not working here on my machine. I’d be interested to hear if anyone else can get Chisimba and their oEmbed to work on their site.


4 thoughts on “Testing times for an oEmbed ignoramus

  1. “Click, Test – Oops – The first one links to a php file and the second gives a 404 error – what am I doing wrong? ”

    When I click it, it gives me the JSON, which is what it is supposed to do. You do not have a JSON viewer plugin in your browser, so you will not see the JSON.

    The OEMBED code gives the 404 error because


    should be


    Look at provideimage&image in the above. It seems that in my cutting and pasting the image= part got left off. Sorry about that. Please try again with what I have changed above or just change


  2. Hi Derek – thanks for the comments. There are a couple of erratic errors on my site and I’m following up this matter with my service providers. But I’ve tried all the options (and had to remove them because of 500 errors) and it looks like oEmbed code from Chisimba is not working on this WordPress 2.8.4.

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