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Been quite a while since I found some time to post here .. has been an absolutely hectic month or so now unfortunately 😦

As more time passes by, I am digging myself deeper into the what the heck am I doing and where the hell am I heading towards mode … the problem is I can’t find the time or force myself to focus on the bigger picture and chart out some kind of plan to tackle life, if you will .. oh well I will rant about it somewhere else not on this blog!!

I finished an extremely simple plugin yesterday, my first “real” plugin that is actually being used … so kudos to me .. 😀

I also got my a larger WordPress project, quite elaborate so that will take sometime to finish .. but I am moving along quite nicely … I have to build quite a few plugins to accommadate all the features required by the client, and one of them is already done .. ta-ta-da .. 🙂

The plugin is pretty nice actually, its a content grabber plugin which basically allows you to setup a bunch of websites and email addresses that you want, and it will grab content from them periodically or as a one-off action … and its working pretty nicely .. have two more plugins to finish and then the first phase of the project will be out of the way.

Also did some work recently in customizing a bunch of things, very minor though, for a client. You can find the blog here: Jim Bernard !

I still have to finish up work on my blog over at NameError, but I can find no time to fit that in somehow .. I really have to force myself to wrap things up there, I am getting quite frustrated about leaving it hanging .. 😦

Stay tuned for WordPress stuff soon, its gonna be break time soon in terms of school, so hoping to find a lot of time to finish up the Image Gallery plugin etc

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 .. 🙂

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 got a chance to write my first WordPress Plugin, but as the title suggests, only sort of a psuedo plugin.

I had this request for a Random Post plugin mod, the original is written by Skippy, but unfortunately for some reason I couldn’t get it working the way the person wanted it to. So I went in and practically re-wrote most of the code to get it working.

I am still stuck on two other plugins that I started working on .. hopefully the time will arrive soon when they are ready to roll out ..

Been quite a hectic week apart from that, quite a lot of WordPress work actually. Did 2 theme ports, and one of them was a real good one too, sort of made me proud to get it working exactly like the website design that I was provided with. 🙂 The layout itself was quite a mess in the original design, a lot of tables and stuff .. but I “worked” my magic, lo and behold, Valid WordPress Theme was the result ..

Waiting to hear on another WordPress theme job, hopefully it gets thrown my way as well, only time will tell ..

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