I’ve been trying to get back into the “coding rhythm” after a lot of distractions recently. Helping out at my son’s school swim lessons. Counseling friends and family on business matters, family matters. Business trips and other things that are very non-techie. I’ve managed to get a few things done over the past week, despite only having a few hours here & there for coding.
Debug My Plugin
I just put out an update to Debug My Plugin, the Debug Bar add-on. The most recent update adds the ability to create multiple panels within Debug Bar each with a different label. This makes it easy to not only break up the debugging output into functional elements on the UI but also allows multiple plugins on the same site to use Debug My Plugin without co-mingling the debug output into one “dump screen”.
This is a new tool that I’ve been using to make debugging all my plugins, including Store Locator Plus, less intrusive in the user interface. If you ever have the urge to check it out you can install Debug Bar and the Debug My Plugin add-on. When you run Store Locator Plus you will see extra panels being added to the Debug button on the Debug Bar admin bar. I only have a few panels in at the moment, but eventually all debugging will go into the Debug Bar interface. It eliminates the UI clutter, which is very helpful when debugging UI issues. It is also lighter than the custom debugging system that is wrapping inside the wpCSL framework that Store Locator Plus uses. If you do try this out, don’t do so on a public or production site. It does slow things down a little and if your users have admin interface access of any sort they may be able to see internal data you may not want them seeing.
This is a plugin I created with a few hours of coding the other night. It allows me to filter out the plugin search results from within my WordPress sites. I use this to cut down on the “junk plugins” that WordPress returns. The most useful filter I have in this plugin is “minimum tested version of WordPress”. I’ve found that any plugin that has not been tested since the 3.3 release is very likely unsupported and not in active development. For some searches this filters out a LOT of plugins I don’t want to look at.
The most recent release shows what filter parameters are set to on the top of every plugin search page.
A future update I’d like to add some day is the ability to turn the filters on/off with the “flick of a switch” right from the plugin search/results page. Someday.
Store Locator Plus
I’ve done a couple of small patches for Store Locator Plus 3.11.2 that is coming out next week. A CSS rule in default.css has been updated to fix positioning of the radius drop down menu on some themes.
The other new feature, which some people have been asking for, is the ability to use a shortcode to set the initial search radius for “immediately show locations”.
Woocommerce Premium Plugins System
This is a new add-on pack that I am writing for my own selfish reasons. I need a way to support the Enterprise Subscriptions model that I’ve discussed on this blog before. The only way to do that is to keep track of both the product and the VERSION of the product that people have ordered. However there is NO PRODUCT that I can find on the WordPress eCommerce market that provides the feature set I need. I’ve spoken to WooThemes, Cart66, and Easy Digital Downloads. They all “get it” but nobody can offer a solution.
So I decided to write my own. This is where most of my efforts are these days.
The goal is to great the Enterprise Subscriptions and then the Crowdfunding plugin so that I can generate enough income from the plugin sales to build out a lot of the cool new features people have been asking for. While this is a distraction in the short term, in the long run I am hoping it provides the features I need on this site to support long term ongoing development of the Store Locator Plus ecosystem and spawns growth in some of the other plugins I have listed here. If I can get this done properly that means I can contract some other programmers to help expedite the features that people are looking for.
With any luck I’ll have something cobbled together an usable within a few weeks.