Jan 202010

Version 3.2.0 was released today. This is a small release with few, but important changes:

  1. A new template for “All Bookmarks” – A “bookmark”, in WP-speak is an external link. This template will list out all the links defined for your blog.
  2. A modification to the “Author Info” section – I had added this at the end of the content earlier, but revised the implementation to add this before the end of the post. Might seem like a minor thing, or a “non-change”, but the difference is seen when you are using specific page templates like “All Categories” or “All Authors”
  3. A cosmetic change to the “Follow Me” widget – It was pointed out to me that the email subscription field in the “Follow Me” widget was not showing the “default text” unless you actually clicked on the field and then clicked out of it. I have fixed this.

I am working on a better image resizing capability, since a lot of users have had issues stating that the custom image size was not working. This should be done for 3.2.1. Also, there have been quite a few covert changes which will help me transition smoothly into the next big thing – custom layouts.

Jan 192010

It was quite a surprise to see WordPress approve version 3.1.9 before 8:30 AM on the Pacific Coast. Nonetheless, here are the highlights of this release:

  1. “Update Available” notification:

    I am happy to announce that I have put in support for a long-requested feature: an “Update Available” notification!! Mind you, if you have problems with automatic upgrades in general, this feature might not work. However, in general it should. After you install version 3.1.9, whenever you have a new version you should see something like this:

  2. User Profile Enhancement:
    There were some nifty enhancements in WordPress 2.9. This release takes advantage of one such feature – custom contact methods. Under “Blog Features” you will now see a section called “User Profiles”. You can then choose to include things like your Facebook and Twitter information in the Users –> Your Profile section.
  3. Author short codes
    A nice addition in this release is a set of very useful short codes. The short code is called “suffusion-the-author”. You can invoke it in your posts / pages by writing this:
    [suffusion-the-author display=’what-to-display’]

    The complete list of arguments that you can pass to the ‘display’ parameter is as follows:

    1. author – Shows the author name as defined in the “Display name publicly as” setting for the user
    2. modified-author – Shows the author who last modified the post
    3. description – Shows the author description, as filled in the profile page
    4. login – Shows the login id of the author
    5. first-name – First name of the author, as filled in the profile page
    6. last-name – Last name of the author, as filled in the profile page
    7. nickname – Nickname of the author, as filled in the profile page
    8. id – Id of the author
    9. url – Website of the author, as filled in the profile page
    10. email – Email of the author, as filled in the profile page
    11. link – Shows the website of the author if available, otherwise shows the display name
    12. aim – The link to the AIM profile
    13. yim – The link to the Yahoo IM profile
    14. posts – Number of posts by the author
    15. posts-url – A link to the author page for the author
    16. twitter – The link to the Twitter page, available only if Twitter is included in the user profile.
    17. facebook – The link to the Facebook page, available only if Facebook is included in the user profile.
    18. technorati – The link to the Technorati page, available only if Technorati is included in the user profile.
    19. linkedin – The link to the LinkedIn page, available only if LinkedIn is included in the user profile.
    20. flickr – The link to the Flickr page, available only if Flickr is included in the user profile.
    21. delicious – The link to the Delicious page, available only if Delicious is included in the user profile.
    22. digg – The link to the Digg page, available only if Digg is included in the user profile.
    23. stumbleupon – The link to the StumbleUpon page, available only if StumbleUpon is included in the user profile.
    24. reddit – The link to the Reddit page, available only if Reddit is included in the user profile.
  4. “About the Author”

    You can now display an “About the Author” section for posts and pages. Fill in the contents in the “Author Information Content” section of the “User Profiles” section. You can mix and match the author short codes in this option:

    [suffusion-the-author display=’description’] 
    [suffusion-the-author] has written <a href=”[suffusion-the-author display=’posts-url’]”>[suffusion-the-author display=’posts’] posts</a>. 

    This will generate put in the author description and add a line indicating how many posts the author has written.

I would like to take a moment and thank Connie Müller-Gödecke and Scott Beardsley for the incredible help you have been on the support forum. You have both considerably eased my workload!

Jan 192010

Version 3.1.8 was released on 18th January 2010. This version has some bug fixes and some minor enhancements:

  1. A “flattened” mode was added for the sidebars. Instead of the traditional “boxed” layout you can opt for a flat look. Take a look at “Sidebars and Widget Areas” in “Visual Effects”
  2. Did some CSS optimization and removed a lot of CSS code from individual color schemes. This should make the pages load faster
  3. Some people were facing issues with one of the widgets included in version 3.1.6 (the “Follow Me” widget). The problem had more to do with uncooperative and paranoid hosts. I had initially refused to address this because it is not a problem with the theme and moreover the hosts banking on this feature (the PHP “safe mode”) are using something from PHP 4, which has been deprecated in PHP 5 and will be altogether removed in PHP 6. Eventually I relented and provided a patch. I don’t understand the fascination that some hosts have with outdated software, though – it is incredibly restrictive and serves absolutely no purpose other than supporting some arcane applications. See this thread for details.
  4. There was a bug in IE 7 where the “Edit” icon was showing up on singular views, or single pages and posts. I have fixed this.
  5. There is now a new Brazilian Portuguese translation! Thanks to Paulo Cesar for the same.

As I write this I am working on version 3.1.9, which will provide a bunch of author-related short codes. This will help you build an “author info” section for each post / page, which is something I am providing capabilities for, too!

Jan 122010

Version 3.1.7 (released today) has one minor fix for folks using PHP 4. It doesn’t add anything else on top of 3.1.6. However, if you haven’t downloaded 3.1.6, you are advised to download 3.1.7.

Jan 112010

Version 3.1.6 was released today. It had some big features and some small bug fixes:

  1. New Widgets
    1. Added a “Google Translator” widget for users to provide an automatic translation option for their pages
    2. Added a “Follow Me” widget. This will let people add a “subscription email” feed and links to popular social networking sites like Delicious, Digg, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. As usual, the widget is loaded with options like variable icon sizes, multiple nice-looking icons etc. It has been pointed out that there is an incompatibility between this widget and PHP 4. I have already submitted a patch for this.
  2. New Greek Translation – Thanks to Harry Karayannis! You can use the translation el_GR.
  3. Bug fixes
    1. There was a bug in the default 1st sidebar setup, where the JQuery fix was not being applied. This has been fixed. Mind you, you wouldn’t see the problem if you had added your own widgets to the sidebars.
    2. Fixed a bug in the SEO mode, where the SEO options were being displayed even if not selected.
  4. IE6 Enhancements – Yes, support for the fossil lives on. I had to make some small fixes to make sure that there weren’t any rude jolts for IE6 users”
    1. Search button icons were showing with a dull gray background. This has been fixed.
    2. Fixed a bug where displaying the home icon in the navigation bar was causing the line below the navigation bar to shift down.
    3. Another bug was causing the right margin on a left sidebar to disappear if there were two sidebars. This has been fixed (it used to affect IE7 as well)
  5. Other Enhancements
    1. I modified the CSS loading order to ensure that style.css is loaded in parallel with the other CSS files (and not loaded from them). This can speed up load times by 1-2 seconds
    2. I restructured the approach to handling JS calls. This should take care of different issues people are facing with the featured content and other JavaScript code
    3. I also added an option to control the delay and the fade-in effect in the drop-down menu, as requested by a few users.

Now, coming to the PHP 4 incompatibility with this release, as I said, I have already submitted the fix. For users facing an issue with the theme not activating, please follow these steps:

  1. Download the suffusion-subscription.zip file.
  2. Unzip it to get suffusion-subscription.php
  3. Take this file and overwrite the one in the widgets folder: wp-content/themes/suffusion/widgets
Jan 042010

Version 3.1.5 of Suffusion went live today. As mentioned in my previous post, this was a pretty big release with a lot of fixes and enhancements, so without much ado here is the list:

  1. New Additions
    1. You now have SEO options for customization. This should, hopefully, make the use of an SEO plugin redundant. You will be able to control the format of your page titles using this feature.
    2. Navigation Bar Enhancements
      1. Your drop-down menu can now have external links. You can set this up through the theme options, under “Blog Features”, then “Navigation Bar Setup”.
      2. Now you can reorder the categories and links in the navigation. The theme is integrated with the plugins "My Category Order" and "My Link Order" plugins to reorder categories and links.
      3. You can also place links before categories and categories before pages in the navigation bar through a sleek drag and drop interface.
      4. There is now a “delay” upon hover for the navigation menu. Enhancement requests for this feature are welcome.
      5. The last items on the drop-down menus now have rounded corners (Firefox, Chrome and Safari only).
    3. You can now set the tab order in a tabbed sidebar (Suffusion Theme Options -> Tabbed Sidebar).
    4. Added default files for date archives and tags, date.php and tag.php respectively. Earlier these would be defaulted to using index.php.
    5. Added "Select All" and "Select None" buttons to all multi-select lists in the options page. This was a pretty old request that I am glad to have added.
    6. New translations
      1. Norwegian Bokmål (nb_NO) – Thanks to Jan Roar Rød.
      2. Sie version for the German translation (de_DE-sie) – Thanks to Connie Müller-Gödecke.
  2. Bug Fixes
    1. Fixed a bug for IE6, where links at the third level in the navigation menu wouldn’t go to the correct page.
    2. Fixed a bug that was breaking the layout for password-protected posts/pages
    3. Fixed a WPML compatibility issue where the drop-down menus wouldn’t display for non-default languages.
    4. Fixed a WPML language-selector rendering issue in the header widgets, where the selector would become really ugly.
    5. Fixed an incompatibility between WP 2.9 and the Twitter widget.
    6. Fixed a bug that was causing the home page to be displayed in the featured content if the home page was a static page.
  3. Other Changes
    1. Redesigned the options menu by structuring it differently. Hope you like the change! The goal was to make it a little less daunting at first glance. I am sure it is still as daunting behind the scenes, though ;-).
    2. Consolidated smaller JavaScript files in the theme into a single large one
    3. Moved code from slider-init.php to featured-posts.php to avoid "500 Internal Server Error". Hopefully this will address the issue that some people were having with the featured posts.
    4. Changed the default settings in options menu for navigation bar. All pages and all categories are selected by default, pages are displayed "rolled-up" by default.
    5. Streamlined the Twitter widget options.

The next release will have a bunch of new widgets, following which I should be truly ready to start on the new layouts I promised.

Jan 022010

A Very Happy New Year to all users of Suffusion and other visitors of this blog!

Version 3.1.0 of Suffusion was released on 30th December, after being stuck in the approval stage for almost 10 days. The release had the following features / fixes:

  1. Ability to include Featured Content on static pages
  2. The JQuery layout fix option was removed. The fix is now automatically added to all widgets in the sidebar.
  3. Fixed a couple of really old bugs (the first 2 bugs opened on the support forum, in fact!) that were causing the fields like “Featured Image” to be blanked out if the post was being edited using the “Quick Edit” option
  4. Made the styles consistent between the Category Posts widget and the Category blocks on the magazine layout
  5. Added a style fix for WP-Recaptcha

The long delay in approving the previous version meant I had a lot of time to work on the theme. The outcome was that I submitted version 3.1.5 today with a lot of modifications of varying sizes.Significant enhancements were made to the Options menu, with capabilities  like reordering the tabs in the tabbed sidebar, new capabilities for multi-select boxes etc. But more about that when 3.1.5 is released. I hope you like it.

I will work on building a showcase section on this blog, because frankly, I suck at marketing myself. And the releases after 3.1.5 will be geared towards more layout options and widgets.

Dec 222009

Version 3.0.9 was released on 21st December. The key features of this release are:

  1. Featured content can now be displayed on static pages. This has been quite a highly requested feature, so I am happy to have that out of the gates.
  2. You can now control the total number of excerpts to be shown in the magazine template. Again, this was a requested feature.
  3. A couple of bug-fixes were included. The first ensures that for the “Home” page and the “Posts” page the page names in the navigation bar are highlighted. The second is a minor fix that corrects a navigation bar alignment problem in non-Mozilla browsers.
Dec 162009

Version 3.0.8 was released today. This release took time, but that was because of one of the pieces in it:

  1. A Featured Content Widget
    So far we have had Featured Content that could be placed at the top of certain pages. By creating this widget I have extended the capability – you can even place this widget in your sidebar if you wish. Using the widget in conjunction with the Widget Logic plugin you can exclude this widget from certain pages. There is one minor annoyance – if you have both, the classic Featured Content and the new Featured Content widget displayed on a page, for some reason the “Pause” button works incorrectly. I couldn’t figure out why. But then again, I hope nobody uses both on the same page!
    Also, this cannot replace the classic Featured Content yet, because there is no “narrow” widget area above the posts – the only widget area there is as wide as the header
  2. Latest Posts in Featured Content
    You can now add the latest posts to your classic Featured Content. Of course, this has been added to the new widget too.
  3. Bug Fixes
    I patched a WPML SitePress Multilingual CMS plugin incompatibility and fixed some minor RTL layout issues.

I wanted to outline the plan for the next few releases:

  1. I have some feature requests on the Magazine template and on the classic Featured Content functionality. The next release (3.0.9) will address those.
  2. I have also decided to embrace JQuery in a bigger way, particularly for the drop-down menus. This is because after so many months on the theme I discovered a bug on IE 6 for nested levels in the drop-down, which is a bummer for my current CSS-only menu. By letting JQuery do the menus I will be able to add things like “HoverIntent” for a delayed menu etc.
  3. I also intend to deprecate the option to “fix the layout” by JQuery, and instead fix it by default.
  4. There is a small bug in the Twitter Widget, which causes its format to go wonky if you are displaying its title and the JQuery fix is turned on. I will fix it in the next release. In the meanwhile you can disable the title for the Twitter widget if your JQuery fix is causing it some issues.
  5. In my previous post I spoke about the next version of the magazine layout. I have been working diligently towards that. The “Category Posts” and “Featured Content” widgets were developed as a part of that effort. Over the next few weeks you should see something for “Headlines” and a “Single Post Excerpt”.
  6. Very soon there should be new widget areas for you to play with. I also had some very big ideas for formatting the sidebars and widget areas.
  7. I will introduce the concept of a custom layout, where you will be able to define custom layouts not covered by Suffusion and build pages with those.

All in all we have a few very exciting weeks ahead!

Dec 112009

Version 3.0.6 was approved yesterday (10th December) and version 3.0.7 was submitted today for approval. Here are the main features of these releases:

  1. 3.0.6
    1. Introduced a new widget called “Category Posts”. In this widget you can display the latest x posts form a particular category. It is integrated with the Category Icons plugin and also allows you to specify a custom image for the widget. This widget is eventually intended to go into the next version of the magazine template. I intend to provide further widgets for different components that I have built, like the tabbed widgets, featured posts, excerpt blocks, headlines etc. which will let you place the widgets wherever required. Stay tuned.
    2. Fixed a bug in the Comments section, which was failing to prevent the “Comments Closed” message for certain pages.
    3. Added an option to block the “Comments Closed” message for posts.
  2. 3.0.7
    1. Fixed a bug that was causing child pages in the navigation bar to display even if not selected
    2. Fixed a bug in the Featured Content display where if no categories were selected it was showing all posts.

I don’t know when 3.0.7 will be approved, but when it is, it should solve some of the problems that folks are facing.