A few months ago I was chatting with Joost de Valk and he was talking about a new plugin toolkit that he was making. The basic idea was to make a flexible base that he could use to build on for all his plugins. It would handle all the tasks that are common to all his plugins (options page, dashboard widget, etc) and still be easily extended so each plugin could handle more specific tasks as well. Now his plugins (at least some of them) use his toolkit.
It was a great idea, and I finally got around to writing one for my own plugins. I built it as an abstract class (and a tiny CSS file) that I extend for each plugin. Here you’ll get to see a quick tour of what the framework does. Let me know in the comments if you’re interested in seeing a walkthrough of how it was built, and feel free to download Efficient Related Posts to see it in action.
The new Twitter Widget Pro support forum has turned up some great ideas and has helped catch some easily missed bugs. This latest release of Twitter Widget Pro includes a bugfix that removes a duplicate closing tag for the title link, which was caught by someone in the forums, as well as an enhancement that makes the date format a per-widget setting (also suggested int he forums).
There was a small formatting issue introduced in Twitter Widget Pro 2.1.0 where there were no spaces between the tweet and meta data or between the date of the tweet and where the tweet was from (such as “from TweetDeck”). When I added the shortcode functionality I had to remove a lot of the excess whitespace so that the formatting built in to WordPress didn’t mess up the formatting of the widget when it was embedded in a post or page. I just released version 2.1.2 that fixed the spacing without messing up the formatting for the shortcodes.
I also added in some links to the WordPress Twitter Widget Pro Support Forum to make it easier for you to ask questions or make suggestions or requests. For more information, go to the Twitter Widget Pro page.
Recently, a Twitter Widget Pro user (alx) asked on the support forum for a new feature. He wanted to be able to have all the links open in a new window, and that’s a great idea! I just released version 2.1.1 of Twitter Widget Pro with this exact feature. If you want to request a feature, or need support, go to the Twitter Widget Pro Forum. For more information, go to the Twitter Widget Pro page.
I just tagged a new version of Twitter Widget Pro which includes an oft-requested feature, a twitter-widget shortcode. You can now embed a twitter widget into any post or page by simply dropping in a shortcode like [twitter-widget username="xavisys"] to embed a widget like this:
As a huge proponent of the GPL, this is exciting. However, as Joost pointed out in On the GPL, Themes, Plugins & Free, there’s some disappointment as well. The exciting part is that a question that’s long been asked has been answered by a “pro” (albeit a biased “pro”), and the answer is just what many of us wanted to see. Now we can get some people to focus on commercially supported GPL themes rather than just themes with more restrictive licenses. They have even added a Commercially Supported GPL Themes page to wordpress.org! That’s awesome, and a great followup to Matt’s “State of the Word” talk at WordCamp San Francisco.
So what’s the problem? Well, Matt has said that the plugin developers have been the rock stars in the WordPress community, and it’s time for the theme designers to shine. I have no problem with the theme designers getting to shine, but as a plugin developer I wonder “Where is the Commercially Supported GPL Plugins page? I love to give to the community with GPL WordPress plugins, and will continue to do so, but I’ll also be offering premium support for many of these in the future. I’d like to see the same treatment for theme designers and plugin developers.
Having said all that, I’m really glad to see the GPL themes page and I think it’s a good step in the right direction.