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I am really excited about the Image Gallery Plugin I am working on … its coming along really well, actually much better than I thought it would, to be honest about it ..

I have like no experience writing WordPress Plugins from scratch, so I was very wary about the whole thing, but not anymore, it seems I learn quicker than I thought 😀

I am trying to figure out some things with URL re-writes because frankly have query based urls only for the gallery would kill the whole joy of using it, I want it to work seamlessly, however you have setup WordPress, so there lies the problem of displaying the galleries and images and getting URL’s to work properly …

The documentation on rewrite rules hooks and filters isn’t that great, but enough to get somewhere, so I guess I am just going to have to wing it from there and rely more on testing it directly …

It’s pretty much done, so should be able to release it very soon, probably in the next two days, providing I don’t lose my mind and start doing something else like I did this past week … this Plugin project has driven to two other projects, don’t ask me about it now .. 😦

I even came up with a really cool name for the Plugin .. hehe .. nope not telling now .. but you will find out soon, if you read this blog anyway .. 🙂

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As of now, I am officially the Top WordPress Programmer on Scriptlance … woohoo .. 🙂

I just found this out, they made a change to their review system and now rank programmers according to various factors, and I was looking to see where I was ranked in, and lo and behold, I am at the top for the WordPress category … yay!!!!

Go here to see me rule the WordPress rankings: Top WordPress Programmers

And take a look here for my overall ranks and profile on Scriptlance : Skulled

I could do a lot better under PHP, Javascript and the overall rank I guess .. but oh well .. pretty good ranks in XHTML & CSS as well .. so kinda feel good about the whole thing .. 😀

So if you want WordPress work done, you know who to come to … 😀

I have been trying to get some work done on the Image Gallery plugin, and was browsing through the WordPress Codex reading through the Plugin Developer docs, and I found a few interesting things I must say.

On the pages for creating Administration pages and menu items, there are strong recommendations on not creating new top level menu items/pages, which seems rather silly to me on the account of the reason provided.

WordPress users like that their admin consoles are clean of clutter

This is requesting developers to refrain from creating top level menu items, but I don’t really see the point of justifying it on the basis of keeping the admin clear of clutter. Some plugins add multiple pages all over the admin under the various top level menus which means one has to navigate from one section to another, and if the user has deployed quite a few plugins, they will be listed as options under top level menu items anyway, which again is clutter in one manner of speaking.

Wouldn’t it be rather cleaner to add all plugin admin pages under one top level menu item for that plugin, which also facilitates easier navigation in terms of adminstering plugin options etc for that specific plugin?

True not every plugin should do this, but if you are going to have more than 2 pages under the admin with relation to the plugin and its functionality, it would be best to have these as pages under a top level menu for that plugin. Again the downside might be that there might be too many top level menu items if the user has too many plugins, which just means the entire concept is flawed rather than a recommendation to refrain from using/creating top level menu items.

Now what might perhaps be a really good idea would be to provide a drop down select on the right side of the top level menu bar, which would automatically show Plugin top level links. This is beneficial in a lot of ways actually if you think about it.

The issue of WordPress admin getting cluttered would be solved immediately, and plugin authors won’t have to face with such restraints which practically have no solid grounds to be followed anyway in my view. And it shouldn’t even need that much modification to the core WordPress code.

Perhaps instead of the add_menu_page function being used, it could be modified to something like add_plugin_link which would only list the Plugin page in the drop down select, and other than that plugin authors would be doing no extra work really.

Click on the Plugin you want to work with in the select drop down, a JS page load can take you to the main Plugin administration page, and your normal add_submenu_page page links will be displayed in the submenu bar as usual .. and bingo everyone is happy .. 🙂

I really wonder how hard that would be to implement, or more specifically to integrate as part of the WordPress core … I should look into it and try testing it out with a dummy WordPress install sometime soon .. 😉

I have decided to create my first WordPress Plugin .. 🙂 … unfortunately I cannot brag that it is unique or outstanding or anything along those lines, but it definitely should be helpful to some people I hope …

Why I am doing this is, I recently had to setup a WordPress system, very custom, not the normal 5 second install, and start blogging kind of thing, but a CMS sort of setup, with more focus on image galleries than on content.

So I went to the Plugins page on the WordPress Codex, looked around at different Image Gallery Management solutions, and I was just shocked, seriously, I was just dumbfounded by the state of affairs lets say. I tried to be nice and not try re-invent the wheel and all that, and I downloaded a few systems to test them out.

I gave ZenPhoto, and Gallery a shot first, at the end of it, I didn’t even feel like trying Coppermine anymore. ZenPhoto I didn’t like that much I must say, but compared to Gallery it was heaven. I got really mad at Gallery for some reason. I don’t know, its just way too much hassle to setup, maitain, and administer I feel. I am experienced enough with software to practically do anything I want with it, but I was getting annoyed with their admin backend, so I am not really sure how they expect someone who isn’t that tech-savvy to use it and actually get good use out of it …

At this point I just didn’t even want to try any other system out, and was thinking about just writing a gallery manager myself and incorporate it directly into WordPress, but then something came to me. I had used this really simple image management system on another WordPress blog for a client, so I decided to go with that and modify it to suit my needs for the current project. I am kind of glad I did this, the plugin is really nice in terms of doing what its supposed to do, NO excess baggage of any sort.

But its very barebones, so I still had to make a few modifications to plugin itself, plus do a lot more work on the WordPress theme files, which is not really nice unless one knows how to really fool around with theme files etc.

You can find the cool plugin here: WPIG

What I am trying to do now is, make a plugin like the above but with a few more features, so that you can actually manage galleries in a enhanced manner, and I am planning on integrating it to WordPress Pages in some manner.

I was thinking, instead of having to identify the gallery ID and putting that into the Page Content which is what you have to do with the Plugin as is, I could modify it so that, it would automatically create Gallery Pages when you add galleries maybe.

I haven’t exactly decided on the route I am taking yet, but I want to keep it minimal but yet enough to sustain a proper image gallery along with WordPress without having the need to have any other 3rd party software in the picture .. I will probably modify the administration pages as well to some extent, but not sure what I want to add/change and what to leave …

Unfortunately I am caught up with work all this week, so I won’t be able to concentrate on this until the end of the week, but I want to finish it off by the end of this week, since it is not really all that complicated, but lets see how it goes … 🙂

I kind of finished my new theme for NameError … I must say I am really satisfied with the outcome. I like this new version a lot better than NameError V1 .. I get the feeling that this one is a bit more upbeat and colorful than the last one …

Well technically speaking I wanted it to be more colorful and upbeat, so obviously I succeeded in my goal of making it so .. I liked V1 quite a lot too .. but for some reason I started feeling that it was rather dull, especially the color pallete didn’t as much catch my fancy after a couple of months of using it ..

NameError V2 was inspired by MistyLook by Sadish Balasubramanian … although it does not feature the options page in the Presentation Admin like MistyLook does, and is not as widgetized perhaps .. or to be rather accurate is not widgetized .. 😀

Most of the pages are not done yet though, so a lot of broken links with regard to the Pages .. 😉 … I came up with this Quickies concept based on the “Asides” technique from Matt I believe … it is quite possible that mine is more of a hack than a proper implementation, but I figured as long as it gets the job done, and since I am the only one going to be using the theme, I didn’t have to worry about coding it directly into the theme .. 😀

And what I did was in the end to create a page template for the Quickies section, and I just display all the Quickies in a page .. kinda like what I did with it ..

Well I like this theme a lot, so I think it will adorn my WordPress for quite a while at least until I come up with some better idea to make it even more kick-ass .. 🙂

NameError Reloaded it is from now on .. I want to post more there, but I don’t get that much time nowadays .. but I am trying to make it a point to start posting regularly there .. lets see how that goes .. until then all of you go over to NameError and adore my new theme and then praise me on a job well done .. 😀

So after my last post on the theme for Yumcha, I got featured on the Yumcha Blog with a post dedicated to me.

Cool eh, I know … a big thanks to Mardi for the post, if I knew her in person, I would give her a hug for the wonderful words in the post .. he he .. 😀

Here’s the direct link to the post: WordPress Theme on Yumcha Blog

First time I am getting featured on a blog post for my work I think .. woohoo .. Yay!!!!

Another theme added to my collection of works .. yay!! .. 🙂

The theme is really good considering its totally different from all the other themes that I have worked on or created .. Almost all of my themes so far have been two column, with the exception of the Restaurant Recipes Blog which was three column .. but this new theme, three column in a twisted manner of speaking you can say.

Absolute positioning, fixed width, fluid height … and the result is surprisingly excellent by my own standards. When I started off on it, I wasn’t entirely confident about the whole thing, but the end result is superb I must say …

I am working on another WordPress theme/system, which I will rant about in a different post, well frankly because I was aghast with the circumstances when I was working on it … its a total shame about how I felt, but anyways more about it later ..

Coming back to this one, the website is something along the social networking lines but for a specific community, and the blog theme looks ravishing, both from my view point and the clients … 🙂

I had quite a few problems with making the fluid height thing work for the container in the back, but some tweaks with the z-index and tricky positioning values seems to have worked out pretty fine … I work exclusively on Firefox, and it looks excellent on it, and to maintain a decent level of cross-browser compatibility I use Firefox plugins to view IE Output inside Firefox, and it looks great there too …

If someone who uses other browsers sees this post, and cares to take a couple of minutes to check out the blog and the theme, and let me know about how it renders on your browser, I would greatly appreciate that .. 🙂

Take a look at the blog and the theme here: Yumcha Blog

Feedback and comments are most welcome .. actually look forward to hearing about it .. 😉

Will rant about the other project in a while .. maybe today or perhaps tomorrow depending on when I complete the entire system and install it on the destination server … Oh boy, its going to be a fun night for me I guess .. 😦

I have set it upon myself to do a new theme for NameError this past week. I like my current theme, but I feel sprucing it more into a nicer theme. I am sort of getting this feeling that its kinda dull for some reason, probably my color combination is getting sour .. 😦

I have been working on a few WordPress projects this past week, and now I really can’t wait to do a new theme for my blog at NameError.

I was looking through different WordPress themes for some inspiration, and bingo I found the one I really really like .. 😀

MistyLook by Sadish Balasubramanian, it looks excellent … So I have decided I am going to use this as the backbone, but I will probably change a lot especially in terms of colors and text formatting.

I like the tabs at the top of the page and the search there, also the feed icons right above the header image. I might change the header image though to something else. I am definitely going to change the green base for links etc to something else, not sure what yet.

I really like the grey boxes for the side column, but I might decide to put my side panel on the left instead of the right. I have been having my side panels on the right until now, but now I feel like switching sides .. 😀

Yay … I am really excited about it .. I really hope I can get it done by the end of this weekend … I have a crap load of stuff to do next week .. I will rant about it in my other blog at Me Geek later .. 😦

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