Photonic Version 2.62 – Loading Mode and Slideshow Updates

As the Christmas time happens to be that time of the year when my day job takes a backseat, I am often able to devote time to my hobbies (coding being one of them) during the holidays. This year I was able to finally release the ES6 version of the plugin (though technically that came a few days before Christmas).

The current release builds on the last release and has the following major changes:

  1. Loading Mode
    Using the new loading mode feature, you can have the shortcode for Photonic invoked from the front-end, after your page content has generated (by having a silent, asynchronous JavaScript call made to the backend), rather than the back-end (where the PHP code evaluates the shortcode before sending it to the browser). This is a great feature to have, and here are some cases where it comes very handy:

    1. Let’s say you have multiple shortcodes on a page / post. Using the back-end generation, each of the shortcodes is evaluated in serial before your output is rendered for the end-user. This adds a lot of time to your page load, and in particular, your “Time to First Byte” (TTFB) suffers from an SEO point of view. The front-end generation on the other hand lets your server return its first query quickly, and then silently makes all the Photonic calls, rendering each gallery as it becomes available. This makes your page considerably faster.
    2. One problem that often comes up in the support forums is that of Google Photos not working with caching plugins. With the front-end generation this will no longer be an issue.

    To enable the front-end generation globally you can set the option from your WP dashboard, using Photonic → Settings → Generic Options → Advanced → Loading Mode, and pick JavaScript Mode. This can be controlled for each individual gallery shortcode or block using the parameter load_mode='js' or load_mode='php'

  2. Bug Fixes
    The following bugs have been fixed:

    1. The “Load More” feature was not working for albums.
    2. The option to show a title permanently covering the bottom of images was not working.
    3. In fixed height slideshows the aspect ratio was getting distorted upon resizing the screen.
    4. Slideshow title styles were not working.
    5. For cases where the title was blank, the caption was not being retrieved from the description even if specified in the options.
  3. Other Changes
    1. Native WP galleries were defaulting to a 3 column layout. This has been changed to “auto” to facilitate responsive behaviour by default.
    2. The slideshow script has been updated to the latest version.

Hope you enjoy this release!

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