The future of the CTC plugin

I’ll say this, it’s been a hell of a ride!

When I created my plugin many years ago, I never thought it would be come so popular. I figured I’d get a few downloads here and there, but as of this afternoon, it’s been downloaded 97,586 times…that’s amazing! It also makes what I’m about to say even harder.

As of today, Feb. 7, 2013, development is officially over (for me, anyway…more on that in a bit). The plugin was made to scratch an itch I had way back when WP first released the tag cloud feature. I’m honored that so many of you have downloaded and used this plugin on your sites. That said, with work and life being what they are, I just don’t have the time to dedicate to it any more. The plugin does what I set out to accomplish. Are there things I would like to see it do? Yes…people have asked for an exclude option for years, and I never got around to figuring out how to accomplish that…but by and large, it does what it’s supposed to, and IMO it does it well. But don’t worry, the plugin isn’t going away. I will leave it’s page here up as long as my site is active, and it will remain in the WP Extend repo, so it will always be available.

So, where do we go from here? Well, I would love to see someone pick up from where I’m leaving off. Someone who has the time to devote to make it better than it is. Do you think you’re the one for the job? Drop me a line and let’s talk…

Mini Book Review: “WordPress Plugin Development Cookbook”

Got an idea for a WordPress plugin, but not sure how to start? Packt Publishing has you covered with their new release, “WordPress Plugin Development Cookbook” by Yannick Lefebvre. Through it’s 11 chapters, Yannick takes you from setting up your development environment through publishing your plugin in the official WordPress respository.

Using language anyone could understand, Yannick covers topics from the simple (creating the WordPress plugin header, so you plugin shows up in the admin interface), to the complex (setting up a web server on your machine to test your plugin). My only peeve would be the insistence upon using the NetBeans IDE. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s a personal preference thing. I love TextMate, and use it every day, but if I were writing a book, I’d make a mention of it, but not base large portions of text to it.

Overall, “WordPress Plugin Development Cookbook” is a worthy addition to your library if youre looking to get into writing WordPress plugins.

Book Title: “WordPress Plugin Development Cookbook”
Author: Yannick Lefebvre
Publisher: Packt Publishing
Cost: $22.94 (ebook only)/$40.49 (Print copy, ebook copy, and PacktLib access)

You can get a copy (either in print or any of several ebook formats, including epub and pdf) at Packt Publishing.

Disclaimer: Packt Publishing provided me with a promo copy of the book for this review.

CMS-like Admin Menu Plugin – Version 2.1 Released.

Another plugin update…this time for my plugin for rearranging the admin menu to bring the Pages menu to the top. With version 2.0, on WP 2.8, you got a doubled Category link, and it didn’t support custom taxonomies. As of version 2.1, it now does.

It was an easy fix, I just needed the time to get it done. I just committed the new version to WP Extend, so if you’re using the plugin, you’ll be getting the upgrade notice shortly. You can also find it on the Plugin page if you’d rather download it manually.

CTC – Version 5.2 Released

This is a quickie update to address a couple of issues. First off, you should once again be able to use the admin plugin update feature to get new versions, as I have now moved the plugin files out of the folder I had them in.

Secondly, as of version 5.2, all PHP short tags have been eliminated from the plugin. It didn’t seem to be a major issue, but if your server had short tags turned off you couldn’t use the admin panels to set your options.

Lastly, the individual link items inside the cloud now have their own class for styling purposes. You can now target a.ctc-tag in your stylesheet to apply styling to the links themselves.

As always, you can find the new version on the CTC Page, or you can grab it from the plugin page at WP Extend.

CTC — Template Tag Issue Resolved

My bad folks…looks like I let one slip by. The problem was the default options were not being set correctly at plugin activation. This has been addressed, but unfortunately, the automatic upgrade issue has not. To get the new version, head over to the CTC page and install it manually.

CTC — Automatic Upgrade Issues…

There is an issue when you use the automatic update feature. It creates an erroneous folder that contains the actual plugin folder. For the time being, please refrain from using the automatic upgrade. If you have already upgraded via the automatic method and the plugin disappeared from your plugins list, just ftp to your WP install, go into the plugin directory, and move the ‘tag_cloud’ directory from the ‘configurable-tag-cloud-widget’ directory to the main plugins directory. After you do this, you can activate the plugin as normal.

Sorry for the issues…I’m trying to find a fix, and will post agian when I figure it out.

CTC – Version 5.0 Released!

I just updated my configurable tag cloud plugin to version 5.0. The big news in this version is the widget has been brought up to date with the new Widgets API released in WordPress 2.8, and you can now limit the tags displayed in the cloud by the number of posts attached to each tag. This will stop the issue of having a few tags that overpower the cloud.

I haven’t updated the CTC page yet, so for now, you’ll need to either use the WordPress plugin update feature, or visit the plugin page at WP Extend to get the new version.

CTC — Upgrade Coming Soon

With the release of WordPress 2.8, a new widget API was released into the wild. The effect of this is the widget portion of my configurable tag could plugin doesn’t work the way it should any more. I have started working on upgrading the plugin to work with the new API, and it’s looking good so far. There will also be a couple of new features in the new version. I’m not quite ready to talk about those features, but I think they will be welcome additions.

That said, version 5.0 of the plugin will be released for WordPress version 2.8+ ONLY, so if you want the new features, you will have to upgrade your WordPress install. I figured out I could make it work for all versions of WP 2.3 and beyond. I have a couple of folks beta testing the new version, and when they give me the all-clear, I’ll release it so keep an eye out here or your WordPress plugins page for the notice.

CMS-Like Admin Menu – Version 2.0 Released.

In case you haven’t noticed the update notification on your WordPress plugins screen, I released an updated version this morning. No functional changes have been made (or needed), but the plugin in now 100% compatible with WordPress 2.7. You can get the updated version either via the automatic update function, or you can head over to the plugin page to grab a copy manually.

You may also notice that there are now two download options on the plugin page. This is because version 2.0 is only for WordPress versions 2.7 and above. The menu item numbers changed in 2.7, so the new version of the plugin won’t work correctly on WordPress 2.6 or earlier. If you’re still running version 1.0 of the plugin on an older version of WordPress, there’s no need to update, as you already have the newest version that will work for you (though, I highly recommend you upgrade WordPress as soon as possible to take advantage of the new features and security enhancements).

As always, please feel free to leave any comments on the plugin page.