I submitted version 3.4.5 a few minutes back. Normally I post the release announcement after the theme gets approved, but given the fact that I will be extremely busy during the day, I might not be able to post this update in a timely manner if I don’t do it now.
Version 3.4.5 is a BIG release. Okay, so it might not appear big to you, but trust me, it is really big. I was hoping to get to 100,000 downloads of Suffusion in style.
But first things first. If you upgrade to 3.4.5 you may see the default settings activated on your blog and your actual settings might not be showing up. But, as the rule goes, “DON’T PANIC!!”
If you are upgrading, the first things you should do after the upgrade are:
- Go to Suffusion Theme Options –> Introduction –> Upgrades
- If your last installed version was older than 3.0.2 (in which case you probably did your last upgrade before November 2009), then first do the “Migrate settings from version 3.0.2 or lower” step, then do the “Migrate settings from version 3.4.3 or lower” step.
- If your last installed version was 3.0.5 or higher (in which case your last upgrade was sometime around Christmas last year), then simply do the “Migrate settings from version 3.4.3 or lower” step.
- If your installation is brand new and you are not upgrading from anything, you are good to go.
If you do not do this migration step after your upgrade, you might have a panic attack :-).
Now for the details of this release:
- Code Housekeeping
I did some major cleanup of the code. The fundamental shift I made was to move to a single options array in the back-end, instead of the multitudinous options each stored individually in the database. While PHP and MySQL are both pretty good in terms of database query handling, I didn’t want to burden the system given Suffusion’s large number of options. This is the main reason you should do the migration activity, because otherwise your old options will not be useful at all.
- Rotating Headers
I had quite a few queries come up regarding how to integrate rotating header image plugins with Suffusion. Rather tired with the queries I decided to provide this feature myself. If you go to “Header Customization” you will be able to set a rotating header image background.
- Page of Posts
I added a new “Page of Posts” template. Now you are free to create as many pages displaying all your posts as you want. This also helps you move away from WP’s approach of defining a front page and a page of posts, among other things.
- New Action Hook
I added an action hook “suffusion_query_posts” at the top of each page displaying multiple posts. How does this help you? Using the Custom PHP inclusion capability you can modify the posts you want to display for each screen, the way a good theme framework allows you. Mind you, you should be brave enough to tackle PHP for this kind of an activity.
- Theme Skinning
I have been repeatedly asked, in spite of nice tutorials, how to change different aspects of the look and feel. To this end I took a baby step of providing options to set up your content wrapper more flexibly. Of course, behind the baby step there were the proverbial nine months of labour. Writing a neat and flexible module to help you set the wrapper background color, image, transparence etc. was a lot of effort. It was so much effort to set this up that I provided this just for the wrapper in this release. Subsequent releases should see this extended rather easily to other GUI elements. As an aside here, “Body Background Styles” is now called “Theme Skinning”.
- Bug Fixes
A couple of bugs have been fixed. The first deals with the translation text for “x responses to”, where “to” was not getting translated. The second tended to show “Tagged with” for the Now Reading plugin, even if there were no tags available.
Suffusion’s impressive multi-lingual support continues to thrive thanks to its volunteers. I now have a new Belarusian translation, thanks to Marcis G. The Greek, Norwegian and Russian translations have been updated too.
That’s it for now. Counting down to 100,000 downloads!