It has been almost 2 months since version 3.7.8, so I believe an update is due.
I have been working on and off on building version 3.7.9 and I have so far made a bunch of changes already. The last few remain, but as it is said, the last 385 yards in a marathon are the toughest. Here is what I have completed so far, a lot of which was promised and a lot of which was reactionary:
- Photo-blogging support
- Flickr support: Almost done. I just need to support pagination of photos
- Picasaweb support: Almost done, though this is decidedly less powerful than Flickr. The reason has more to do with the shortcomings of the Picasaweb API
- Native galleries: This is actually the backbone of my gallery implementation (including both the above). What I have done is that I have overridden the native gallery shortcode of WordPress to make it ultra-powerful. Here is what it can do:
- You can pass certain parameters to the native gallery shortcode of WP, like type=’flickr’ and display a Flickr gallery. Current supported parameters for this are “default”, “flickr” and “picasa”. This part is done, and I can reliably retrieve galleries from each of these sources. In case of Flickr things are very advanced: you can get photo-sets, collections, galleries, searched photos etc – it all works.
- Once a gallery is retrieved there are different ways to display it. You can show the thumbnails for the gallery, then have the image displayed above or below the thumbnails. Alternatively you don’t have to display the full image in the page. Instead you can launch a slideshow overlaying the page using Fancybox, Slimbox2 or Colorbox. This has been implemented for native galleries, but the integration with Flickr and Picasaweb is underway.
- YAPB support: Some work remains, though the basics are in place.
- Support for miscellaneous types: Done.
- Mosaic Layout: This is complete.
- Magazine Template Enhancements
The magazine template was in dire need of a facelift in quite a few departments. I have addressed some of them:
- Byline information can be displayed on both, the magazine template as well as the tile layout. I had to think outside the box to come up with a way to do this, which took time.
- I am making some enhancements to the featured content in terms of positioning the pager, the previous and next controls etc. This is still underway.
- I have enhanced the Category Post widget and the static Category Post feature in the magazine template. You can now make it show a thumbnail for the post along with a brief excerpt.
- Other enhancements (all complete)
- The Twitter widget is now much better looking and it can display avatars. I have built it intelligently enough so that in case of re-tweets you get to see the original user’s avatar.
- You can now use post formats much better. Post formats refer to the long list that you see on the right of your Edit Post screen. It has things like “Standard”, “Aside” etc. Suffusion intelligently removes things like post titles from some of these formats (like asides and quotes). Of course, this is configurable. Also you can display bylines differently for different post formats.
- You can now control things like the number of sidebars in individual posts.
The release should take a few more weeks to wrap up. Though the list of activities is quite big, the changes are of a much lower impact than it would appear. Hence I am not foreseeing any major issues with the release.