Organize Series 2.1.5 has galloped in…

I just finished getting the next version of my super duper series plugin for WordPress launched to the wild.  Organize Series 2.1.5 has got some neat stuff in it:

  • New Feature: A bundled plugin called “Organize Series Publisher”.  You don’t have to activate it if you don’t want but it’s there if you want to try it out!  This new add-on for Organize Series is a take-off of the Issues-Manager plugin created by Jonathan Brinley and was sponsored by Amanda Giles who hired me to port Issues-Manager so it works with Organize Series.  Amanda graciously agreed to have this released to all users of Organize Series!  Basically, this add-on allows you to set a series so any posts assigned to it won’t publish until you explicitly publish the whole series.  Read more about it on the Organize Series Plugin Page
  • New Feature: custom base for series permalinks.  Yeah, now you can change ‘series’ to something like ‘myawesomesequenceofposts’…well, you can..
  • New Feature: Added a new function for you power users who want to be able to fully control the output of series data.  get_series_ordered() has joined the party and you can thank Amanda for it too!  With this function you can get series data from the database and manipulate it however you want when it’s returned.  Do the tango with it if you want! Uh…yeah…
  • MAJOR fixes:  As always, the users of Organize Series have been doing a great job of reporting bugs and stuff that doesn’t work and its kept me hopping spraying the raid code.  I managed to knock off some major roaches in the process and I think some of you will be happy with that (I know I am!).  Wanna know what I fixed?  Head on over to the changelog and you can catch up on it.

There’s some other typos and minor stuff that I managed to polish up for this release as well.  As always, I’ve tested things as much as I can but there may have been some nasties that slipped through.  If you spot any, head on over to the support forums and let me know.

Plugin support provided by WordPress HelpCenter.Oh, and one more thing.  I’ve partnered with a company called wphelpcenter.com which is billed as “Your On-Call WordPress experts”.  It’s a great newish service that has a team of cool folks who can help you with all your WordPress needs.  If you have something that you need done with Organize Series “right away!” you can contact wphelpcenter.com (email: help@wphelpcenter.com or phone: 512-788-9236).  If you give them my affiliate code: 14322, I’ll get commission on the help you buy for Organize Series.  It’s a great way to help support the development of Organize Series and get help when I’m not available.   However, I’ll still entertain any custom work you may have, just get in touch with me.

Well, what are you waiting for?  Go try out the new version of Organize Series already!

Organize Series 2.1.1 released – Major Bug Fix

A pretty major bug slipped through with the release of Organize Series 2.1.  What happens with the bug is when someone posts a comment to a post that is part of a series, that post will lose it’s series information.  Not good.  Organize Series 2.1.1 should fix that.  You’ll want to upgrade as soon as possible.

Donate Friday

If you’ve used Twitter for any length of time you’ve probably noticed the phenomenom called “Follow Friday” where people tweet about people they think are worth following and actively search out new people to follow themselves.   If anything, “Follow Friday” shows us how something can gain traction when it’s simple and consistent.  Probably not too many people heard about it when it first started but because the few that did kept doing it and used a common hashtag – it quickly gained a following (pardon the pun) in the twitter realm.

I’m writing this post because of my love for WordPress and especially all the developers out there who contribute code to both the opensource project and the thousands of plugins and themes that make it such a great tool for all of us.  There has been discussion over the years of ways in which we can express appreciation to the developers who freely offer up their code to the world to use (and all the hours put into developing, maintaining, and supporting that code) but as a plugin developer myself (only one at that),  although I’ve appreciated gratitude sent my way and reviews posted on people’s blogs nothing has stoked me more than seeing that little notification from PayPal that someone has donated a sum of money to me.  The dollar amount doesn’t really matter – it’s more the realization that someone thinks what I’ve invested so much time in worthwhile enough to pay for.

How are the above two paragraphs connected?  Well, I’d like to propose starting something this Friday called “Donate Friday” – each Friday for as long as I can do it – I’m going to pick a plugin that I’m using on any of my websites and donate to them and then tweet about the plugin (including linkies of course) with the hashtag #donatefriday (I checked it and it’s not in use at the time of this post).  If enough of us do this, it will be an incredible way to express our appreciation to the developers in the WordPress community who help make WordPress so awesome.

How can you participate? In keeping with the #followfriday example:

  • pick who you will donate to.  Most plugin or theme authors have a donate link either on their plugin/theme listing at WordPress extend OR on the page they host their plugin/theme at on their own website.  You may also just want to donate to someone who contributes code to the WordPress project.
  • Pick an amount.  It doesn’t have to be a lot,  even as little as $5 is fine!  Some of you may be able to donate more than others – if you can, think of what you would be willing to pay for what you are using if you had to pay for it.  However, remember the whole point is just to lift up that developers day and give them reason to keep on working away at it!  Surely, you can spare around the cost of a gourmet coffee once a week?
  • Tweet about it using the #donatefriday hashtag.  Make sure you include the plugin/theme name,  the developer and link to the plugin page in your tweet.  Do something like, “Just donated to {name of developer} for {name of plugin/theme}.  Makes my blog purr. #donatefriday”
  • MAKE sure you actually donate!

What do you think folks?  A good idea?  I really do hope it gains traction – think of the impact this will make (especially for developers in between jobs) in the WordPress community?

UPDATE: I realize I posted this fairly early in the week, but by doing so I hope the idea gains more steam before this Friday so it maximizes participation.  If you are reading this and want to participate but think you may forget this Friday let me remind you, follow me on Twitter and you’ll catch my #donatefriday this week (or you can use something like Peoplebrowsr.com to save a #donatefriday search).

UPDATE (JULY 31, 2009): I  made my first donation for #donatefriday.  Sure hope more people do this!! Also Dave Moyer, the cohost and producer of WordCast (the #1 WordPress and blogging podcast) has picked up this idea and is helping to promote it.  He got in touch with me and if you tweet your donations with @wordcast and #donatefriday (he is also said #df but that tag is already in use so I think it’d be better if we stuck with #donatefriday) then he’ll read your name on the air.  Thanks Dave!

UPDATE (August 14, 2009): Using “Twitter for WordPress Extended” by Marc Schieferdecker to display #donatefriday tweets in my sidebar on this page.  Wanna give you peeps donating more recognition!

Organize Series 2.0.8 released

It’s time to get out of beta and get this version onto WordPress.org/extend/plugins so more users can enjoy all the goodies.  Once again, a big thanks to all the people who have helped test and fix the bugs that first got introduced way back when WordPress 2.6 was released.  There’s so many of you I’ve lost track – but they are in the feed 😉

Click here to download Organize Series 2.0.8

Here’s a list of fixes/features with this new version:

New features

  • Added a new argument to the “wplistseries” function – “number” which enables users to limit the number of series displayed
  • Reworked the layout of Organize Series administration integration with WordPress so it “fits” with WordPress 2.7 – including showing “Series” in the Dashboard “Right Now” widget.
  • Organize Series interface can be floated around and respositioned in the write/edit posts screen for WordPress 2.7
  • moved the “Manage Series” menu item to the Posts submenu area for WP2.7 (previous versions stay in the same location)

Minor

  • fixed an inconsistency with ‘showlastupdate’
  • fixed some bugs with the atom feed (was an early update…not sure if it’s still working correctly now)
  • fixed the ‘series_description’ function (it wasn’t working)

Major

  • Organize Series will now work correctly with the post-revisions feature introduced with WordPress 2.6
  • redid the plugin file locater code to allow for changes with the admin menu filters.
  • redid the plugin file locater code to allow for users customizing the location of their wp-content folder
  • redid all code referencing wp-config.php to allow for users customizing the location of their wp-config.php file (see http://planetozh.com/blog/2008/07/what-plugin-coders-must-know-about-wordpress-26/ for reference I used).
  • Fixed posts that are a part of series but not published showing up in the series list on published posts that are part of a series-taxonomy
  • Fixed a bug where custom navigation text set on the Series options page wasn’t showing up correctly.

What’s on the horizon?

Something I had hoped to do with Organize Series with this release was to localize it so it can be translated into different languages.  Some of the framework is there but I still have quite a bit of work to go before I’m ready to give it to translators to begin working on it.  If you are a user of Organize Series and are interested in translating it into another language leave a comment with this post (even if you’ve offered to help before) and that will give me a list of people to contact once it’s ready to be translated!  Be aware that I don’t have a timetable for this yet though as I’ve got a busy couple of months ahead of me…

Temporary change to Unfolding Neurons

My host (bluehost.com) shut down my site at about 4:00pm (EST) today and support told me that it was due to excessive MySql queries and CPU load.  Some notes about this experience:

  • Support was very fast on getting back to me when I contacted them.
  • They weren’t very helpful when it came to what I needed to do.  I had to track down information in their knowledge base.
  • A quick browse on the internets via Google showed me that bluehost has received some negative press re their mysterious CPU lockout and suspension issues.  Seems like they aren’t really set up to run trafficked WordPress sites on their shared servers.
  • The suspension came out of the blue (no pun intended).  No warnings, no emails prior to, nothing, nada.  It would have been helpful if I had at least received a notice that my site was causing problems on the servers and I needed to make some modifcations or they’d shut things down…

I’ve temporarily switched to the default WordPress theme and have deactivated some of my plugins to avoid getting “suspended” again.  I have also totally switched off “UnashamedSermons.com” (my sermons site that is hosted on this account) as it was a pretty big offender when it came to mySql queries.  I’ve also activated the “SuperCache” plugin to hopefully serve up some static files for frequently visited pages on this site (and thus cutting down database queries).

The funny thing is – I’m really close to updating the theme on my site (more optimized) and releasing a new version of Organize Series (once I can figure out how to quash this bug).

I really hope BlueHost doesn’t suspend/deactivate things here again.  If they do – I’m done with them and will look for another host.  I simply don’t have the time to diddle daddle with a host that fails to allocate sufficient resources to their customers (or at least be up front about what you can and can’t do…don’t advertise you can handle WordPress sites if you can’t).  I’ve been with BlueHost for a year now with very little downtime and no indication that any of my websites were causing any issues with their servers!  The only redeeming aspect of this experience so far is the quick response of their support staff.  From what I read on the internets I really wasn’t expecting to see my site live until Monday.

Anyway, just thought I’d post this update here for anyone wondering what’s going on!

Organize Series Beta 2

Fixed a bug reported here.  This was a pretty major bug affecting scheduled posts that are a part of a series, let me know if you have any problems with it!

Download Organize Series 2.0.8 development version

UPDATE (12/6/08): Just a heads up that the link above downloads from the trunk of the Organize Series subversion repository so you will get the bleeding edge version of Organize Series (currently at 2.0.8beta4).  I’m not going to be responding to bugs listed here as frequently (unless I can reproduce easily…so make sure your report is as thorough as possible) because I’m ramping up to get a release ready for when WordPress 2.7 is released this week.  OrgSeries 2.0.8beta4 currently WORKS with WordPress 2.7 RC1

Organize Series 2.0.8beta Release

Patience pays off – for those of you waiting for a version of Organize Series that will work with the latest version of WordPress (currently WP 2.6.2)!  I just want to give a shout out to all the people who have been trying to hack up fixes in the interim instead of just waiting (and a thanks to Matthew Porter who emailed me his version of a fix – which I used a section of).  One of the  major hurdles keeping me from releasing even just this beta is that my “unique” “automatic-series-part-ordering” system was horribly broken by the new revision system introduced with WordPress 2.6.   The fixes offered up by others worked for adding new series but if you  modified an existing post that is a part of a series and reordered it in the series then things would go haywire.  So, I needed time to test and fix – which I haven’t had much of.  Well today, sitting at my wife’s bedside in the hospital while she sleeped (and staying up a bit later too) I managed to hack off this beta.  Here’s the rough changelist:

  • Fixed the bug that caused an incorrect url for the “Manage->Series” and “Settings->Series” pages.  My fix should work for all future versions of WP.
  • Added a fix to allow OrgSeries to work as expected if users customize the location of their wp-content folder (which was made possible with WordPress 2.6+)
  • Added fix for any calls made to the ‘wp-config.php’ file in orgSeries (see here for my reference)
  • Think I’ve nailed the “future-posts-that-are-a-part-of-a-series-showing-up-live” bug that’s been reported by some users.  If you “future-publish” a post that is part of a series it shouldn’t show up on your live blog to users anymore.
  • And of course fixed the incorrect numbering of parts in the series issues brought on by the new revisions feature in WordPress 2.6+
  • There are more fixes/updates in this version as well – you can see the full changeset here.
Remember: THIS IS A BETA – that means that you are using this at your own risk (well, you use the stable version at your own risk too…).  I cannot guarantee any support if you run into problems (but I do try to help where I can).  I’m releasing this early as a beta so I can see if any guinea pigs report any problems with using it before I put it up on wordpress.org.  I’m going to be testing on WP2.7 as well before I publish it as stable. What I can say is that Unfolding Neurons is now upgraded to WP2.6.2 with Organize Series 2.0.8beta and I’m not noticing any problems.
Have fun – and if you DO decide to give it a go…PLEASE report any bugs you find in this thread.  I’ll collect the bugs as they come in and fix when I can.
Thanks for your patience folks (and for the kind words from some of you in the interim 😉 )
Woops, almost forgot….Here’s the download –> Organize Series 2.0.8b
UPDATE: The link to download the beta now gives you beta 2.