I am happy to announce that I submitted version 3.0.0 of Suffusion last night. This version took a lot of time thanks to the amount of testing that I had to do on it. The following are the main features here:
- Magazine Layout
This is the biggest feature I have added in this release. Combined with the other big features that I recently added I decided that now was the time to brand this as version 3.x.
You will be able to select a template called “Magazine” to make a page have this layout. The Magazine template lets you have:
- A “Featured Content” section
This lets you use the “Featured Content” that you have set up for your blog and plugs it in directly into the top of the page.
- A “Headlines” section
You can also define certain posts and categories as “headlines”. As a concept this is the same as “Featured Content”, but the presentation is different. In “Featured Content” your posts automatically slide through, but in the “headlines” you actually have to hover / click on them to see the content.
- An “Excerpts” section
You can show certain items as “Excerpts”. Think of this feature as an “Other Main Stories” feature in a news portal.
- A “Categories” section
If you are running a multi-focus blog you might have things like Recipes, Restaurant Reviews etc. You can show each of these categories on the magazine layout. Each category will show up with the latest few posts (you can control how many you want to show).
- A “Featured Content” section
- Controls for featured post image size
This was based on a request in a prior version. It essentially lets you set a custom size for the featured image that doesn’t inherit the dimensions of an excerpt thumbnail.
- An Arabic Translation
Thanks to r-sn, we have our first RTL translation. The Arabic language files have been incorporated into the theme.
- Ability to turn off default widgets in first sidebar
This is actually a pretty small thing, but useful. The first sidebar in the theme had a bunch of default widgets that you could override using the dynamic widgets capability of the theme. However, with the introduction of the tabbed sidebar you could have situations where you want to only display a tabbed sidebar and not the regular sidebars. This wasn’t possible without this feature.
Now for the upcoming changes:
- RTL fixes
Some issues were pointed out by r-sn regarding the RTL layout. I will fix those.
- Extended magazine layout support
Obviously when you have a layout, you need other pages to match the layout. Subsequent releases will have magazine layout options for different templates – default, archives, categories, authors, search results etc.
Also, I am not very happy with the colors and look-and-feel of the magazine layout. I am open to hearing from you regarding how to improve on it.
- More consistent look and feel for IE6
It is very depressing to learn that IE6 still has around 20% of the market share, depending on whose view you subscribe to. My take is that a very small percentage of people who are on IE6 would actually surf to your sites, but in any case, it is an audience that you have to cater to. So far I have managed to stay ahead of IE6 by ensuring that the layout doesn’t go haywire on it. However I intend to go a step further and ensure that you will get the same look across all browsers (minus the CSS 3 features that some browsers don’t support).
- Extension of Tabbed Sidebar features
The tabbed sidebar is good, but it can become really good. I intend to have options to do a ton of customization on it.
- Docking boxes
One of my most common laments on WordPress has been the lack of a “before_content” and “after_content” tag for widgets. It simply destroys the layout if some widgets are ill-constructed. Call it serendipity, but I managed to find a way to fix it. The fix involves JQuery and is hence not my favourite because I dislike having to add a 56KB file to a page to fix a bug. However, this is better than not having a fix at all.
- More navigation menus
Having gotten past the barrier of real estate in the navigation bar, I intend to have support for other types of elements in the dropdown, like links, archives etc.
That’s about it. Once version 3.0.0 is out do let me know what improvements you would like in the look-and-feel of the magazine layout. I will try to accommodate those.