Mar 272010
 

After the rather non-core 3.4.1, the 3.4.2 release has quite a few new core additions.

  1. Custom PHP
    I added a new capability to include custom PHP. Though this appears minor, it is actually a significant addition in a lot of ways. For one, you can make use of the hooks built into Suffusion, plus any of the standard hooks that WP provides. A look at the actions.php file and the filters.php file will tell you what the hooks from Suffusion are. I will be adding a few more hooks at different positions in the theme’s layout so that you can extend Suffusion with specific features. Mind you, doing this takes a good bit of skill at working with WP, so providing this is aimed more at advanced users who still want to be able to upgrade the theme and take advantage of new features.
    The feature has been added to what was formerly called “Custom CSS, JavaScript and RSS”. This is now called “Custom Includes”.
  2. Enhancements
    I have added support for two additional TimThumb attributes, “Zoom Crop” and “Quality”. This will address some concerns people had about the thumbnails not really showing the part of the image that they wanted, and of the default quality being grainy in a few cases. The options were added to the former “Excerpts / Full Contents” option screen, which is now called “Layout: Excerpt / List / Tile / Full”. I have added option grouping to this screen
    I have also added support for the “sync” option of the JQuery Cycle plugin used in the Featured Content section.
  3. Default JS Versions
    One more thing I did was to change the default versions of the included JavaScript files to 1.0. Otherwise your WordPress version is appended to the JavaScript file URL. Some people tend to think this increases security, though I believe it doesn’t help at all.
    Someone looking at your source code can easily figure out you are using WordPress because there are references to “wp” littered throughout folder names in the WordPress structure. After that you just need to know that the RSS feed can be accessed by appending “feed” to your blog’s URL. So if your site is hosted at http://mysite.com/blog, your feed will be http://mysite.com/blog/feed/. A person looking at your raw RSS feed can determine which version of WP you are using, and no amount of masking, by either the FeedSmith FeedBurner plugin or otherwise can prevent that. Try it out.
  4. Bug Fixes
    There was a bug in the “Single Left, Single Right Sidebar” template that was failing to position the sidebars correctly. I have fixed this. I have also fixed an XHTML validation issue in the comment form, if you are using a plugin that helps subscribe to comments plugin.
  5. Translations
    Wim and Didier provided updated versions of the Dutch and French translations. Thanks, folks!

Hope you like this release.

Mar 232010
 

After probably the longest I have gone without submitting a release in the last few months, version 3.4.1 is out. This release has no new core features, but does have a brand new extension:

  1. I had written earlier about supporting the “Now Reading” plugin. I am happy to announce that I have added that into this release. This involved a lot of work and there are still some rough edges that need to be polished. In particular, this extension is not translation-enabled, so that is something I will incorporate into a future version. I also intend to add a set of short codes for the plugin (!!!), though this is really not for me to do. Mind you, I have added support for the original plugin, not for “Now Reading Reloaded”. You are welcome to test this other plugin with the theme and let me know of the results, though. I would be keen to extend theme support for this if it is not too time-consuming.
  2. There are a couple of translation updates – a new Swedish translation, thanks to Ann-Louise Berguis (aka Catla), and an updated Spanish translation thanks to Memori@.

I did forget to mention in my previous release – there are a few new translation strings that need to be updated, so if you are a translator for the theme and are reading this, please update your respective file.

The next release will be back focusing on core functionality.

Cheers.

Mar 152010
 

Version 3.4.0 of Suffusion was released today with the following updates:

  1. Added the capability to “unlink” pages in the navigation bar. I had received a request quite often to allow disabling the clicking of certain pages in the navigation bar, particularly if they had sub-pages. I have added some code to enable this.
  2. Another oft-requested feature, though in a different form – I have now added some “control switches” for selecting pages, categories and links in the navigation bar. You can now say, “Display All” or “Display Selected”. Setting it to “Display All” will ensure that all your pages or categories or links will be displayed and you will not have to manually add a page to the navigation bar each time you create one. By default I have let the “Display Selected” option chosen, so that it doesn’t break any behavior for users.
  3. One major bug fix is for the fact that the author page was not showing the author description. Somehow I had managed to break this in the recent past, and I have now fixed it.
  4. Another somewhat big bug-fix is for IE6 and IE7 in the RTL layout, where the navigation drop-down menus were getting shunted to the right of the page. This has been addressed. Thanks, Owen Rose!
  5. There were some minor fixes too. The wording for the description of “Sidebar 2” was incorrect. I have fixed it. Also the titles in the tabbed sidebar and the navigation bar tabs were displaying a “” (backslash) in case there were special characters. I have addressed this.
  6. There is a new Italian translation, thanks to Francesco!

Sorry if I  have been off-color with support recently. I just have had too much work to do beyond Suffusion and the free support is proving to be quite a burden for me (and other volunteers too), with a lot of users seeming to think of it as their right rather than something to be used judiciously.

People are currently tagging every question they have as a support query without often doing a good search, and every issue they face as a bug. Some classic examples are the “Automatic Upgrade not being available”, which has of late been most frequently perceived wrongly as something I have changed, or of people putting in incorrect HTML code in their posts and saying that the theme is messing up their display. FYI, the automatic upgrade problem is a problem with one of WP’s servers and has nothing to do with Suffusion.

I have made an earnest appeal earlier to be more measured with the support requests, but it seems to have had very little impact. So I will monitor the requests in the coming few weeks and if things don’t change, then I will shut down the free forum and either introduce a charge for it or simply ignore most of the questions.

In the meanwhile, genuine thanks to volunteers who have helped out with queries (I know it is a thankless job) and to well-wishers who have made efforts to contribute back to the theme! I really appreciate your help.

Mar 102010
 

Version 3.3.9 of Suffusion was released today with a few specific bug-fixes:

  1. RTL CSS
    There was an error in the loading sequence of rtl.css, which was getting loaded after the custom styles. I have taken care of this.
  2. Other Fixes
    There was a problem with the maximum image size in the “No Sidebars” template. This has now been addressed. There was also a bug with the comment pagination, which was showing an incorrect comment page selected. I have addressed this as well.
  3. Feature Enhancements
    Based on some feedback I added some styling options for the widgets in the sliding panel that shows up for the Top Right Bar Widgets. I have also fixed a visual compatibility issue with the “SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam” plugin. And lastly I did some option grouping in the “Featured Content” page of the theme options.

Cheers.

Mar 042010
 

Version 3.3.8 of Suffusion was released today with the following bug fixes and feature additions:

  1. RTL Layout Fixes
    I have managed to fix almost all issues here except some quirks with the navigation bar in IE6 and IE7 (the other browsers are fine). If you are not using an RTL language this will not impact you.
  2. Minor Bug Fixes
    There were some minor bug fixes done. First, the “target” setting for links in the drop-down menu in the navigation bars was being ignored. This has been taken care of. Mind you, the target setting is working fine if the links are not in a drop-down but are rather displayed as individual tabs in the navigation bar. Second, I put in a minor piece of code to order pages in ascending order for featured content. Apparently without this ordering the sequence was not being obeyed for some users.
  3. Options Changes
    I extended the “grouping” feature to the most popular options page, “Custom CSS, JavaScript and RSS”. I also made a very subtle change in the list of categories displayed in the options page for selection. Earlier if a category had no posts associated with it it wasn’t available for selection in say, the navigation bar setup. Now it will be available.
  4. The Norwegian and Hebrew translations have been updated. I received a new Hebrew translation, thanks to Tal Surasky.

I am gradually reaching saturation point with the 3.x releases. I have a list of around 15 more items that I would like to tackle before moving to the 4.x releases (with photo-blogging templates), but in the meanwhile here is a sample of what will be added to the 3.x releases:

  1. A few more widget areas and widgets.
  2. Full BuddyPress support, though I would like to wait for release 3.0 of WP before tackling this well. In the interim I will add inbuilt support for the BuddyPress template pack.
  3. Full integration with WPML.
  4. Better typography support, with ability to use custom fonts.
  5. Support for a few more plugins. One plugin that I really like is the Now Reading plugin by Rob Miller. I will provide a skin for the theme for this plugin. I will also extend support for some other common plugins.
  6. Some more tweaks to the options menus. The changes I have made so far have not received negative comments, so I will take that as positive feedback and continue doing those. I will also try to expand the use of JQuery and / or AJAX to the options pages.

As you can guess I have slowed down considerably with my development. However I do intend to fully deliver on the list above.

Feb 262010
 

Version 3.3.7 of Suffusion was released sometime back today. This release has some minor fixes for plugin compatibility issues and some look and feel modifications:

  1. Look and Feel Modifications in Admin Menu
    Based on the feedback I received for my attempts to group options, I went ahead and added this functionality to a bunch of other screens, like the Custom Emphasis Elements, Main Navigation Bar Setup, Top Navigation Bar Setup and Posts and Pages.
  2. Look and Feel Modifications for End Users
    I added new positioning options for information like “Posted By”, categories, tags and the comments link. You can now use the options to position these in any of the four positions available, or hide it altogether.
  3. Plugin Compatibility Enhancement
    There was a stylesheet compatibility issue with the “Subscribe to Comments” plugin. That has been fixed. Additionally I have enhanced WPML compatibility by adding support for the home page link and ensured that the category drop-down menu is working for other languages.
  4. New Languages
    There is a new Hebrew translation, courtesy Avi and a new Russian translation thanks to Vitaliy Treyvus.
Feb 222010
 

After a week long hiatus version 3.3.6 of Suffusion is out. The following are key aspects of this release:

  1. New Option Grouping
    I tried experimenting with some option grouping and put in a proof of concept in the Visual Effects –> Sidebars and Widget Areas section. Let me know if that makes things easier or tougher for you. I managed to add this functionality without really butchering the code, so that was good. If this feature is liked by folks I can consider extending it to other screens and add fancy stuff like expanding / collapsing of a whole group of options.
  2. New Widget Area Style – Sliding Panel
    I introduced a hopefully cool feature for the Top Bar Right Widgets – you can now make it a sliding panel!! I know that a lot of people like to have a login widget and some other content as a sliding panel, so hopefully this feature will benefit folks. You can set this through the Visual Effects –> Sidebars and Widget Areas section.
  3. Fixed a bug that was hiding the top navigation bar if the header was not “open”
  4. Fixed another bug in the Royal Blue theme where visited links upon hover were not getting the blue background.

As I indicated last week I am going to slow down with the release process. That might still mean around one release a week and higher if I go crazy. But for now, enjoy release 3.3.6.

Feb 162010
 

Version 3.3.5 of Suffusion was released today with the following:

  1. New option to create a full-width header. You can now set your header to be full width, beyond the wrapper it is currently constrained under. You can make the settings under Visual Effects –> Header Customization
  2. New option to create a full-width main navigation bar. You can also set your main navigation bar to be full width, outside the wrapper. Mind you, if you pull your header outside the wrapper your navigation bar too will move out of it, and only if the header is outside the wrapper can you use the full width option of the navigation bar. You can control the settings from Blog Features –> Main Navigation Bar Setup
  3. Fixed an issue that was causing the Single Left Sidebar template and the Single Right Sidebar template to misbehave if the blog had 2 sidebars. Do let me know if problems persist
  4. The custom image size was not being picked up for the featured posts widget. This has been fixed. You might need to clean up your cache to get this working right.

I will slow down a bit for the next few releases, since I have not been doing very well health-wise, plus my workload has shot up.

Feb 152010
 

Version 3.3.4 was released today with the following changes:

  1. Fixed a bug with the AdSense short code. The short code should now work perfectly
  2. Fixed a bug where the default post thumbnail, if used in an excerpt, was not linking back to the original post
  3. Fixed a sidebar positioning issue with the “Single Left and Single Right Sidebar” template, where the settings for the sidebar positions were being ignored
  4. Changed the Twitter widget’s tweet icon to a comment bubble instead of a bullet
  5. Added a new Estonian translation (et.po and et.mo), thanks to Viljar Hera!

I had bigger plans for this release, unfortunately I have been suffering with a neck and shoulder injury which cripples my ability to type.

Feb 122010
 

Version 3.3.3 was released today with the following features / fixes:

  1. New Widget Area
    There is a new widget area now called Left Header Widgets, to the left of the main navigation bar. I have currently positioned this at the bottom of the widget area list in the admin menu, but I will move it up after a few releases. This brings the current total number of widget areas to 8 – soon reaching double figures!!
  2. Removed the option “Enable Widget Area on right side of navigation bar”
    This option caused more hassle than it was worth. Now if you simply set “Show Search in Widget Area on right side of header” to hidden, this widget area will be hidden. Hopefully this will resolve issues about the navigation bar spilling into two rows.
  3. I have put in some tweaks to automatically size images to fit in your post windows. Hopefully you will not have to go through the painful process of resizing your post images.
  4. I added a call to “language_attributes()” to the document header. This will ease integration with FaceBook.
  5. Bug Fixes
    I had inadvertently put in a major bug in 3.3.1. That has been fixed. I have also gotten rid of a “locking and popping” issue on IE7, making the theme much more responsive there.