Mark Ghosh says bye-bye (for now) to Weblog Tools Collection

I remember Weblog Tools Collection from way back when – it was *the* source of all the latest WordPress news and getting a plugin or theme featured on its updates was (and still is quite) a big deal – you knew it had been carefully reviewed by a human being – and its reach, through the WordPress Dashboard, was enormous.

It was there before the Theme Repository, there before plugins could be installed automatically via the admin dashboard, and before WordPress became mainstream.

Sadly, Mark Ghosh, the founder of WLTC, has announced that he will be leaving the website due to personal circumstances (family and ‘real life’) However, he has made an indelible impression on the WordPress sphere and I (as one of the many WP users) would like to thank him and the team he built for providing us with such a robust WordPress resource from the very beginning.

Hopefully he will be back again soon to continue his legacy and the very best to him for the future.

Posted in WordPress

Theme change to Twenty Twelve

Happy 2013 to you all!  It’s been a long time since this site was updated so apologies to anyone who came here wanting to visit the excellent WP-Snippets.com instead.

However, there are still things I would like to write about when it comes to WordPress and other topics, especially after reading Pippins’ 2012: Year in Review – which was more than inspiring – and although it will be difficult to match the greatness of his Pippins-ness, at least there is a gold standard one can aim for.

We will see how this new year’s resolution goes, fingers crossed.

In the meantime, WPSnippets has undergone a theme change from Twenty Ten to Twenty Twelve. It is no secret that I am a huge, huge fan of Twenty Ten. I was disappointed by its successor, Twenty Eleven, but Twenty Twelve restored my faith in the default theme due to its elegance and simplicity.

Posted in Site News Tagged with: , ,

Custom Post Type Code Generator by Themergency

I found this generator quite by accident whilst looking up articles about Custom Post Types and thought I should let you know about it too:

Custom Post Type Code Generator by Themergency

This is because I think it is the ideal tool for those who are put off using the functions.php method when creating a custom Post Type, as all it requires is some form-filling. So it took all of (the famous WordPress) 5 minutes to go from this empty form:

Screenshot of Custom Post Type Generator by Themergency

to this lot of code (full sample code after the cut):

Screenshot of code generated by Custom Post Type Generator by Themergency

This nifty tool was only released earlier this month (May 2011) and you can read about how Brad Vincent developed the generator (using Gravity Forms) and from his comment on 16th May, the plan is to release the plugins that generate the code once he has ‘refactored’ them.

So if you’re using a plugin like Custom Post Type UI (one of my favourites) to create your custom post type and want to try the functions.php method instead, why not start off with the Custom Post Type Code Generator?

Read more ›

Posted in WordPress Tagged with: , , , , , ,

WPShower – New WordPress Theme Site

This will be a short post, as I simply want to share a brand new WP theme site that I discovered via WLTC recently called WPShower.

WPSHOWER Logo and Blurb

The site has released 3 lovely and free WordPress themes to date, including Imbalance, Paragrams and iPhonsta. You can see a screenshot of Paragrams below, courtesy of WPShower.

Screenshot of Paragrams theme by WPShowerSadly there is no ‘About’ page, so we don’t know much about the person or people behind the site, but going by the comment replies on Imbalance, the admin has the nickname ‘Leg’. You can also keep up-to-date with WPShower via their Twitter.

I am really impressed with the releases so far and feel a bit sad that none of my projects are very graphics-oriented content-wise, so the designs would be rather wasted if applied to those sites. Fingers crossed that the next WPShower release will be more text-content friendly!

Posted in WordPress Tagged with: , , , ,

WP 2.9 Features Vote Results say ‘Media Features – Put em’ in core’?

The results of the WordPress 2.9 Features Vote came out today, where Jane Wells wrote that over 3,500 people participated in the poll.  Although only the first question was mandatory, Media albums and Easier embedding of Media were clearly priorities for most as they took up more than a third of the votes (34%).

I would have voted for the same thing – particularly for embedding media – since I tend to write and embed about third party content. For that reason I would probably have voted for a better media interface as well.

What is worrying though is that out of the 3284 people (apx 91% of total voters) who answered the 4th question about whether media features such as Albums should be:

  • A Core or standard feature of WordPress; or
  • Bundled with core as a plugin; or
  • Left as a plugin in the Repository.

56.2% said this should be in core! Thankfully there were still many who thought otherwise, but it seems most of these were developers rather than users.

This doesn’t mean that the demi-gods of WordPress development are going to go with the flow, as they said that:

Clearly this issue deserves more discussion, and the concept of how we move toward a system of canonical plugins and/or core “packages” intended for different use cases (CMS, photoblog, portfolio, etc) will be a big topic in the months ahead.

However, as a user, I really believe that if media features were introduced, ‘canonical’ plugins that are either left in the Repository or – at a push – bundled are the way forward for several reasons:

  • They will still ‘hook’ or work effectively with Core, and presumably this will be because-
  • Plugin development may be done in-house or the third-party developer will work closely with the WordPress team; and
  • No excess code in Core for features not everyone uses, as the plugins are mainly standalone, which reduces the size of the core download; and
  • Avoids unnecessary code running in the background; whilst
  • Minimises the possibility of bloated code.

No doubt WordPress will  investigate the routes taken by other software such as Gallery by Bharat Mediratta, which offers 3 different packages for everyday users to download – the ‘Full’ package is more than twice the size of the ‘Minimal’ package – so the compromise is the ‘Typical’ package to ‘satisfy the demands of most Gallery users’.

But having more than one download will probably confuse new entrants to the WordPress user base (I know the Gallery one confuses me – then again, I am easily confused) and I imagine that quite often the boundaries for ‘use cases’  – CMS, photoblog, etc. – might be too easily blurred to offer packages on that particularly basis, but I am open to other thoughts.

This is why the WordPress core is currently great as it is – because it is flexible enough for users to go opt for one or more ‘use cases’, and can be downloaded and installed in (less than) 5 minutes – all in a tidy 2.2MB package.

By contrast, Joomla‘s standard download is 6.4 MB and even Gallery’s ‘typical’ package is some 4MB.

For these reasons, I believe that the new Media Features should not be in Core and should be offered separately as plugins. Leaving them in the Repository or ‘Repo’ would be most ideal in my mind, because the Core download size will be smaller.

Then the issue will be simply how to include these features as an option within a user-friendly interface for users to simply ‘activate’, whereby WordPress core can then download and install them automatically, rather like the Core ‘upgrade’ system now in use.

p/s: More opinions and related posts can be found in the Pingback section at the bottom of the official blog post, including a dedicated WP Tavern thread and even one discussing the presentation of data.

Posted in WordPress Tagged with: , , , ,

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