Suffusion 3.8.2 Changes, Photo-blogging, Plugins etc.

Suffusion should be two years old early next month, and I have been working towards some nice but peripheral additions to the theme to get it ready for the next release.

Suffusion, Quo Vadis?

(Whither goest thou, Suffusion?)

The main feature of the next release is going to be some new widgets:

  1. The “Category Posts” widget will be renamed as a “Query Posts” widget. Apart from fetching posts in categories you will be able to query on other parameters too, such as random posts, recent posts and popular posts (popularity judged by number of comments). This way all the standard WP widgets for which no post thumbnails exist can be replaced by this widget. I have finished a good bit of work on this already.
  2. There will be a new “Query Users” widget that will be really useful for multi-user sites. In addition you will be able to pick just a single user and make this widget double up as a “User Profile” widget. The development for this widget is complete.
  3. There is also going to be a “Query Comments” widget. I haven’t given much thought to this, apart from allowing the display of recent comments and random comments with either the post thumbnail or the user Avatar displayed.

I have been thinking about a few more widgets, but they will take more time to materialize. One concept I am thinking of widgetizing is the “Headlines” section of the Magazine template, but I don’t know if that will happen in this release or later.

This release is going to be in line with my now reborn “short releases” approach, where apart from the widgets and some code reengineering at the back-end you shouldn’t see too many changes.

Photo-Blogging: Alea Jacta Est

(Photo-Blogging: The die has been cast)

Next is the update on the photo-blogging plugin. One of the main issues I faced in the aborted attempts to include photo-blogging support in Suffusion itself was the fact that from a GUI perspective I wasn’t able to show nested structures very well. In other words, I couldn’t show a Flickr Collection on your site, then click on it to launch a popup showing the Photosets in the collection, then click on a particular photoset to see all the photos in it. I could very comfortably make it work for one level of nesting, but anything beyond that was a gone case. I **may** have found a way around this. I am working out the finer details, but the photo-blogging plugin is now much closer to completion.

Just a note to set the expectations at a correct level: this is not a photo-blogging plugin in the classical sense. Rather it is an extension of the native WP Gallery features, in the sense that the plugin will let you include photos you have on your Flickr or Picasa accounts. You will be able to view all of them as slideshows in JS libraries of your choice.

The plugin is not currently intended to interface with ZenPhoto or Coppermine or PixelPost or Gallery2 and at least in its first iteration will not support reading folder structures to determine albums, sub-albums etc (too many security issues to go through if I have to introduce this functionality).

But I have already built out most of the code and hopefully will be able to release the plugin early next month.

Other Plugins: Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus!

(Other Plugins: Never tickle a sleeping dragon!)

Contrary to the advice above, I have already tickled the sleeping dragon. I started building out a Fonts management plugin and hit a technical hurdle right away, but it is something that will definitely be built.

I had also mentioned making plugins so that users are not tied to Suffusion as a theme for specific functionality. While I haven’t taken explicit steps in this direction, a lot of subtle changes are being made in the theme to, say, make the widgets portable, or to make the short-codes work in other non-Suffusion sites.

That’s my update for now.

PS: Yes. I am quite excited about the last instalment in the Harry Potter movie series, hence the blatant rip-off of the Hogwarts school motto.

11 Responses to “Suffusion 3.8.2 Changes, Photo-blogging, Plugins etc.”

  1. Nice Sayontan! The best Theme will be getting even better ….

  2. Great stuff!

    The ‘headlines’ plugin sounds interesting. If it were to have a function that could query posts, through a variety of options, from sites within a multi-site ‘network’ and display on the magazine template would be awesome.

    Karim 🙂

  3. Sounds great, especially item #1. Hoping we will be able to query by tag, too?

    • That should be there. The only thing I am struggling with figuring out at this point is how to support database queries using the “AND” and “OR” clauses. In other words, “Find posts with Category X AND Tag A” is different from “Find posts with Category X OR Tag A”.

  4. Wow! Can’t wait to use the query posts widget. I’m hoping ??!! … will you be able to sort the results by title? and not just reverse-date? I have lots of posts which are tutorial lessons, I really need people to be able to find them by title – date doesn’t really matter.
    Thanks for your great theme!

    • Any supported parameter to “order by” in WP’s post query system should be supported.

  5. Great, more new stuff, I’m looking forward to it. Thanks Sayontan 🙂

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