Version 3.7.9 of Suffusion was approved today, and as things happen, shortly after approval I discovered a bug which I fixed. So the new version available is 3.8.0. This version should work on the upcoming WP 3.2 – I have made sure that the admin-side JS doesn’t break.
This version has a very long but hopefully low impact change log. The following are the changes:
- Bug Fixes
- There was a problem with selecting fonts that had spaces in their name in the back-end. This has been addressed.
- In IE7 if you were to use the “No Sidebars” template with the “Widget Area Below Header” enabled, there were markup issues. This has been addressed.
- The “pullout” style displays (like the Minima skin) had an error in the markup – it was missing a closing tag.
- The image resizer was incorrectly creating multiple copies of the source file if the file extension was in uppercase. Now it will not.
- I fixed a bug where the sidebars below Sidebar 1 and Sidebar 2 were incorrectly picking the styles defined for the upper sidebars.
- This is not a bug fix as such, but I removed the “Notifier Failed” message that was shown earlier in the options panel if my site was down.
- I fixed a minor problem where the options panel was sometimes showing incorrect values for default colours.
- The sitemap template was not showing contents properly without saving the options for it twice. Now that has been resolved.
- Another minor bug fixed is that in the Alternate Page Title handling. There was a small inaccuracy in the code that would prevent the alternate titles from working under some circumstances.
- Changed Features
- The “Edit” link earlier used to be displayed only on singular views (i.e. on pages and on single posts). I have now made it visible on the archive views too.
- I made the button bar in the back-end a lot less intrusive, based on user feedback. I also made the back-end fluid-width instead of fixed width.
- The Featured Content has always used the JQuery Cycle plugin. Cycle was meant to cycle through a series of images, so it displayed a blank box whenever you had a single post in your featured content. I worked around this – you can now have just one post in your featured content and it will work just fine.
- Code Housekeeping
- IE6-specific Cleanup
- I also got the IE-specific fixes to enqueue instead of including them directly. Again, you can safely ignore this – it will not impact you as a user.
- I swapped out some of the admin panel checks with standard WP functions like
- There are some minor CSS cleanups done.
- I have swapped out the use of
get_the_title(). so that the right filters are applied.
- I have removed the scripts for JQuery Accordion – it was something erroneously included in the first place, so removing it should have no impact on you.
- IE6-specific Cleanup
- The replacement text for […] in excerpts now supports HTML in addition to plain text.
- New Features
- This is something that folks might like: I introduced a method to search for options in the back-end. It is not perfect, but it should help people find options a lot quicker. You will see a box called “Quick Search” in your options screens – that is where you can start typing what you are looking for.
- Magazine and Tile Layout
- Now there is byline support for the Tile Layout and the Magazine Template. Hopefully you will like what has been implemented. To save on real estate, this has been implemented as clickable icons, which you can click to see the details.
- Additional modifications to the Magazine Template include the ability to control the number of sidebars in there. This too makes its way after quite a few requests.
- Custom thumbnail sizes can now explicitly be defined for the Tile Layout. Earlier the thumbnail inherited the sizes from the Magazine layout.
- There is a new Flickr widget to help display your Flickr stream. It is not as fancy as what I had put together for the gallery short-code extension, but it does its job as it should.
- The Twitter Widget got a rewrite! It now displays your Avatar for your tweets, and the Avatar of the original tweeter in case of a retweet.
- The Category Posts widget (and the static category posts in the magazine layout) got a rewrite too! It now displays a post thumbnail, in addition to an excerpt if you wish. You can additionally control the length of the excerpt and make it different from that of a standard excerpt.
- Special Handling
- Support for post formats has been significantly improved. For each post format you can control how the bylines should appear etc. Check out Other Graphical Elements → Post Formats.
- You can now control the number of sidebars on single posts. In your “Edit Post” screen you will see a drop-down that says “Select the sidebar layout to apply to this post” under “Additional Options for Suffusion”. You can pick the layout you wish for that.
- You can now hide the page title for pages. In the “Edit Page” screen you will see a checkbox that says “Do not display the page title” under “Additional Options for Suffusion”, which upon selecting will hide the page title.
- For posts without a title, a specific “Permalink” is displayed. This is turned on by default and can be switched off in Other Graphical Elements → Post and Page Bylines.
- A search form has been added to the 404 page, as per WordPress requirements.
- For image attachments you can display all available image sizes at the top. Take a look at Templates → Attachments.
- Rounded corner support has been extended to IE9.
- There is a new “Mosaic Layout”. Consider this an apology for not including the photo-blogging features I had thought I would, but this was the least I felt I could do. The mosaic layout will display just the thumbnails of your posts in an archive view, nothing else. In many ways it is like the List Layout, except that this shows thumbnails instead of titles.
- There is a new short code that accompanies the Flickr Widget, called suffusion-flickr. It takes the same parameters as the widget, so you can pass the following
id– Mandatory, can be obtained from http://idgettr.com using your photo stream’s URL
type– Mandatory, legitimate values: user, group
size– Optional, legitimate values: s (square), t (thumbnail), m (mid-size); default: s
number– Optional, default 10
order– Optional, legitimate values: latest, random; default: latest
layout– Optional, legitimate values: h (horizontal), v (vertical), x (no layout – user-styled); default: x
- There are a couple of new filters:
suffusion_permalink_text. The former can be used if you want to override the fields in the comment form, while the latter can be used to override the “Permalink” text that you see for the newly introduced permalink byline.
- In the previous version I introduced WPML support for text fields entered on the admin side. In this release this support has been extended to fields that are of type “textarea” as well. E.g. The 404 page content under Templates → 404 is a text area, so the text you have there can be translated into multiple languages using WPML.
- Removed Features
- I removed the ability to load JS files in the footer, because this was causing a lot of dependency issues. Most caching plugins will let you do this, though, so you are not really losing out on much by means of functionality.
There is one thing I am not pleased with for this release, and that is a lack of polish on some of the new functionality, like the enhanced Post Format support, the Mosaic Layout etc. Believe me, I would have done things much better if I had more time to spare, but having got caught up between releasing the theme to be WP 3.2-ready and adding features and working full-time elsewhere, I had to make some sacrifices. Rest assured that I will improve on these in the near future.
I would again like to reiterate something that I touched upon in my last few posts. Suffusion is almost 2 years old and has evolved into something that I am very proud of. However, due to several factors I believe now is the time to wind down the development of the theme:
- The theme has reached a level of complexity beyond which it will become more of a liability than an asset. So from now on, big ticket new features are a strict no-no, except for some things documented below.
- I am trying to reclaim some time for myself. Thanks to all volunteers on the forum (you know who you are!) the load on me has reduced quite a lot, however with every new feature comes a new set of support questions. Juggling between coding, supporting and working is turning out to be a strain.
However, in the light of the queries posted in response to my previous post I must hasten to point out:
- Incremental development will continue, like new skins, new templates, support for newer WP versions.
- Some big ticket items are still in scope for the theme, specifically in the area of sidebars, and making the theme more of a customizable framework.
- I will channel my energy into building some plugins that you can take with you to any theme. As mentioned in my last post I will bundle the photo-blogging features into a plugin. In addition I will build some plugins to manage fonts etc.
- I will improve theme documentation.
- I will also switch back to mini-releases instead of humongous ones. Though a lot of people don’t like frequent updates to the theme, from my experience over the last few releases, smaller updates are easier to process and definitely easier to support.