1. @Drew – thanks for commenting! I hadn’t ever heard of Skippy’s In-Series plugin before but I went to the link you provided and gave it a once over. As far as I can tell the differences between my plugin and his are as follows:

    • with In-Series, you use custom fields to track series – orgSeries integrates with wordpress category system. Once you create the subcategory for a particular series (main category is the parent category for all series) then you can add future posts to the series automatically by just clicking the checkbox for that series. (note you can still choose other categories for your series posts without messing up the way orgSeries works)
    • In-series you set the order of posts in the series – orgSeries is ordered by post-date (which is the way it usually is when you write a series)
    • In-series is just a numbered list and/or list of posts (in a table of contents) – orgSeries displays the list of related posts right in a handy dandy series box on the singlepage view for posts in that series (automagically by default but can also be placed anywhere you want using the tag)
    • In-series doesn’t have any options for displaying a graphical image to accompany your series if you choose. orgSeries utilizes the “category-icon” plugin to do so if you wish
    • In-series doesn’t have an administration interface in the WordPress Admin panel for setting options. orgSeries does and you can change a lot of the tags that affect the layout of the way your series are organized/presented on your blog
    • In-series has a tag for listing the series on your blog – orgSeries does too and includes a default custom category template page for displaying the list of series whenever readers display the main “series” category
    • In-series is an older plugin and doesn’t appear to have been added to for a while (which is probably why I didn’t come across it when I was looking for something similar). orgSeries is fresh and I’m committed to adding features and developing it more as it is a plugin I use (and will is installed here but I just haven’t started writing any series on this blog yet :lol:)

    With all that said – I recognize that Skippy is a heck of a lot better coder than me and could probably point out a lot of deficiencies in the way I’ve designed this plugin. I admire a lot of the stuff he’s done and by no means am suggesting that his In-series plugin is not as good as mine. I guess I just see orgSeries as a different way of approaching the display of series on a blog and in my eyes makes writing posts in series and organizing them fairly easy. I guess the only thing you could do Drew is give it a try – although after looking at one of your series (nearing 100posts in the series?) it would take a while for you to update all your series to this plugin! The cool thing though – is you could try it and if it doesn’t work for you – no harm done because this plugin doesn’t create any new tables nor would it intefere with the existing custom-fields you are using with Skippy’s plugin. From what I can see you could use both of them side by side.

    By the way – thanks for the heads up regarding the link in the orgseries.php file – I’ve fixed it and updated the install.

  2. Another update: I noticed that the link for the documents in the administration panel led to the wrong location as well. I’ve updated the orgSeries-options.php file. Sorry about that folks – if you redownload and overwrite the original files the problem will be fixed 🙂

  3. Another update: Ivan Georgiev?s site has been down so I’ve made available the download of my copy of his plugin on this page – see the “Category Icons Update” heading on this page.

  4. Hey there! I’m the new maintainer of In Series; a friendly user pointed me in the direction of your post. The new version (2.1.0) takes care of some of the problems you pointed out. In the same order as the original post:

    In-Series is still not category based (and I intend to keep it that way). Undoubtedly, some folks will prefer one methodology over the other. In any case, you just have to pick a series name and save, now — no muss, no fuss. You can create a new series right from the writing page, without having to create a category or files first.
    In Series does still allow you to set the order of your posts, but it’s much more limited than it used to be. Full re-ordering will (hopefully) be supported at a later date. In the meantime, the default is to automatically append new posts to the end of a series.
    I’ve got a prototype (“In Series Linker”) that will automagically insert tags in appropriate places. I think that it’s great you decided to go for that feature off the bat; hopefully I’ll have that in version 2.2.
    Yes, In Series doesn’t have pretty series graphics, and I don’t currently have plans to add that feature.
    The admin interface will come when the “In Series Linker” is integrated into the In Series plugin proper, but the tags that In Series provides do offer a fair degree of presentation flexibility.
    There’s a bug in 2.1.0 that makes listing all the series not work right. I’ll try and get that fixed. 😉
    I did a release for In Series two weeks ago, so it’s not quite dead yet. 😉

    All that said, I’d be happy to collaborate and compare notes.

  5. @ Travis
    Thanks for giving a heads up about the continued development of In Series! It’s great that there are alternatives available for organizing series so people can use what works for them. There will always be cases where one of our plugins will be a better use than the other so having choice is great 🙂

  6. Since you haven’t written any series on this blog yet, are there any examples of this plugin we could see in action? Looks interesting. In Series looks pretty good too.

  7. Actually Rirath – I have started a series here just recently (I still have to modify my template a little bit so when I write series it’ll be more visible – i.e. menu item)
    Here’s some links to examples on this blog:

    Of course, I have this plugin active on two of my other blogs as well.

    As you can see the plugin is very versatile in how you format the way the display of the series items is presented. I’m looking forward to what people come up with in terms of the presentation of their series (it should be fairly easy to customize the look so it matches existing themes). In-Series looks okay but it just seems that there are too many steps involved in adding a post to a series. Yes there may be a bit more involved with mine in initially setting up a series but once its set up to add a post all you do is check a box in the categories list. One of In-Series strengths however is its better suited (at the moment) for series with a great number of posts (20+). Mine can handle it but eventually the “series-box” on the individual post page might get to long if all the individual post titles are displayed…of course that post-titles can be turned off via the admin panel ;).

  8. I like this plugin and the idea of it. However, I am having some trouble. I only have two series and they are each being repeated 5 times on my series category page. If you could give me some insight into what I am doing wrong, it would be greatly appreciated. I’ve been trying to fix the problem for a few hours already. Thanks.

  9. @astrocoz:

    you’ve pointed out a bug with the paging – I just noticed it on my series page as well (bonk). I’m troubleshooting now and as soon as I fix it I’ll post to this site.

  10. @astrocoz:
    Okay I found the problem. I messed up on the example template file (category-xx.php). I’ve fixed it and re-downloading the orgSeries.zip will contain the correct file. If you’re comfortable editing the file yourself you can just make the following changes in it.

    Find and delete this (around line 32):
    < ?php while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>

    And then find and delete this (around line 35):
    endwhile;

    That should fix it. I forgot that the wp_serieslist_display(); can be in the wp_loop if(have_posts())section but notin the “while” section. That produces the duplicates. I hope that makes sense lol!

  11. Is there a problem with activating this on WordPress 2.1?

    I’ve tried uploading the orgSeries folder into wp-contents/plugins/ on two of my blogs (both WP2.1) and it is not showing up on the Plugins tab to be activated.

  12. Glenn, there shouldn’t be any problem. I just tried installing it on another 2.1 blog and it activated just fine.

    Make sure that the directory structure is as follows:
    wp-contents/plugins/orgSeries/ and in the orgSeries folder you put all the files. Also make sure that you extract the .zip file that you downloaded. Copying over the .zip file won’t work (unless you extract it on your server – but I recommend extracting it on your own computer first).

    Are you getting any error messages? Also, if you post your website address I can check to see that you’ve put the correct folder structure in place (although from the symptoms you’ve described that shouldn’t be the problem anyway).

  13. OK, it’s seeing it now… originally I downloaded the ZIP directly on the server (using wget) and extracted into the plugins folder; which worked five minutes earlier with another plugin, but not yours!

    This time I downloaded the ZIP to my Windows desktop, extracted it there and then uploaded the files – WordPress saw the new plugin straight away.

    Anyway, thanks for your reply. Everything is working now!

  14. Glenn,
    I’m glad it’s you were able to get it activated! Please let me know if you have any problems setting it up (customizing it etc.) The plugin is still very new and so there are bound to be difficulties show up. My hope is that people will post their problems here (or their dislikes) so that I can improve on the plugin to make it more usable 🙂

  15. I’ve had the Organize Series plugin interact very strangely with WP’s core functions. Namely, if “Series Meta Auto Tag toggle” is not set, then the_content() breaks and post bodies are omitted (on is_single, is_archive, isset($GET[paged]) pages and every other page, including page pages). Other than that one, albeit quite worrying, problem, Organise Series looks pretty good (other than my inner design geek wanting series to be its own table 🙂 ).

    Thanks

  16. Thanks Thomas for posting here – that “series meta auto tag toggle” problem is definitely a bug that escaped my “quality control queue” ;). I just tried it and your right. I think I know exactly what the problem is though and I’ll try and get a fix pushed out tonight.

    Thank you very much for posting the issue – otherwise I wouldn’t have known!

    Regarding putting Organize Series on it’s own table. I thought of that when I was designing it but in the end I decided to go with the built-in categories feature of WordPress. I did this for two reasons. 1. It’s easier. The plugin development time is cut down tremendously because I’m able to use some of the built-in functions already in place in the core. 2. (the main reason) For degradability reasons. I wanted to make it as painless as possible for users who decide down the road to not use my plugin to be able to switch to another way of keeping track of series. Because their posts will already be organized somewhat via the built-in WordPress category system it will remain so even if my plugin is not being used.

    What I am planning on doing for a future version of the plugin is adding a more intuitive way to add new series rather than having to go into the manage categories administration panel. Ideally I’d like to have the series chooser options (series category creation) right within the write post screen. That’s the plan anyway 😉

  17. I have been trying to use the series-plugin. Everything seems to be working fine (it installs, the series option tab is there, it activates fine, etc), until I go to the options page to anter the category ID. It is blank, and I have tried all the usual clearing of the cache, etc… re-installing it, it’s just not working for me. I get no error messages or anything of the sort. What can I do?

  18. Hey Darren, well, its all taken care of now… i just updated to the latest version of wordpress and voila’… i think i was running 2.0 through my hosting service. Have a great day buddy. CJ Conner

  19. Great plugin – thanks

    However, the meta info that the plugin adds does not display properly on single post pages of my site 🙁

    Is it possible to have the series post list display beneath the current post rather than above (or in my case amid) it?

    Also, is there an easy way to change the series list output so that the post date of each entry is shown alongside the titles?

  20. Hi puzzled1,
    Thanks for the feedback 🙂 I checked out your site:

    The meta info that the plugin adds can be tweaked using .css and html to display however you want via the options panel. Whether or not it “displays properly” is a function of how the default .css and html fits in with your site theme. I see what you mean on your site because it cuts across your date container. Feel free to experiment with the options panel and the enclosed .css file to try different ways of displaying your meta information – the “reset” button will reset to default if you ever get to the point where you can’t fix something catastrophic you’ve done hehe 😉

    Currently it isn’t possible to have the series post list display beneath the current post automatically (although that is in the works for a future version of the plugin). However, if you disable the auto tag, you can add the template tag for the “post-list” info directly into your template file. The tag and usage info is found on this page. By using the tag you can put the post list box wherever you want (even in the sidebar for that post – with some conditional calls!).

    Regarding the series list output (I’m assuming that’s the box we’ve been talking about ;)) – that is something I can add for future versions if you wish – a good idea.

    Just a further note: I am planning to start within the week a series of articles on using the Organize Series plugin as there is so much more that can be done which I haven’t even touched on this page. These questions you folks ask me help me to know what to write on in these articles. Also, the plugin is in ongoing development – there are plenty of things in the works for future versions.

  21. I just tried to start my first series and ended up with this error when I posted it up:

    Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home/opendial/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/orgSeries/orgSeries.php:230) in /home/opendial/public_html/blog/wp-includes/pluggable.php on line 275

    I got two identical messages right about that about it being the first in a series, then the error. I went back and changed the category to one that’s not part of a series and it posted just fine.

    I’m using WP 2.1.2, PHP 4.4.4, and MySQL 4.1.21

  22. Hi Jim,
    Yup, that’s an error I haven’t encountered before. I can’t look at it right now, but I’ll try and get to it tonight (EST) for you.

  23. Jim to aid in troubleshooting,
    What version of the plugin are you using? Also, have you done any customizations via the plugin options page? If so, what fields have you changed?

  24. I’m running version 1.6, and the only thing I changed on the options page was to tell it the category ID to look at. Additionally, all three checkboxes at the top are checked.

  25. Okay, one more question (can you tell, I hate when things don’t work…haha). Just to clarify. You get the error you posted about when you go to post an article that is assigned to the “series” category OR does the error appear when you go to view the posted article?
    Okay, one more question:
    For your Parent series category (i.e. the category in which all the subcategories are the various series you write), is it a top-level category or is it a sub-category of another top-level category?

    Thanks, for taking the time to answer these questions – since there’s no way I can anticipate how users will use my plugin some bugs I’ll only know about when people let me know 🙂

  26. It occurs when I actually click ‘Publish.’ It goes to a white page, lists twice in a row some stuff about it being the first in a series, then generates the errors given above.

    I have a parent category called ‘Series’ that has the ID of 60 (which I put into the appropriate field on the options page). I have two subcategories under Series – Essays and Geekware. I tried to post this particular entry under Essays and ended up with this error.

    No problem. I’m a bit of an amateur coder myself (mostly website design), so I’m happy to do anything I can to help debug these little glitches.

  27. Appreciate your help Jim. Truthfully, I really can’t see what my plugin is doing as it doesn’t use any “hooks” into the edit post code. The code in the Organize Series Plugin affects more of the “display” end of things as it takes advantage of the already existing category system in WordPress. Yet, from all indications you are giving something is happening.

    The line that is referenced in the orgSeries.php file is irrelevant and has nothing to do with the error code being given.

    However, the line in the pluggables.php file may be relevant. Is your server windows based (IIS) or does it use .cgi-php? Not that I know if that matters or not but that seems to be what the particular code in pluggables is referencing.

    Also, can you try editing the post that you were having problems with and assign it to a series category again. Does the error code repeat?

    Also, I’m curious about the “being first in a series” message you are getting. Since I don’t have any such error message in the orgSeries code I’m really clueless as to what could be throwing that message up 😆

    The only thing I can think of that may be causing the error is that there may be actually a problem with the “series” category name and one of your crossposting plugins you have installed (which incidentally would have nothing to do with my plugin). Do you mind trying to disable various plugins and see if you still get the error? Let me know how that goes and if it is indeed another plugin then I’ll try and help you troubleshoot a fix.

    I’ll be a bit quiet here for a few hours as I’ve got some meetings I’ve got to go to – but I’ll be back later tonight to try and help you resolve this. Thanks for your patience!

  28. Well, I noticed that with that error, the post gets marked as ‘Private’ and lists as part 0 of 0 in the series. My category selection of ‘Essay’ gets changed to the next parent category in the list. If I change it back to ‘Essay’, mark it public, and repost, it shows up fine as part 1 of 1. When I click on the category ‘Essay’, however, I end up with this error at the top:

    WordPress database error: [Unknown column ‘post_’ in ‘order clause’]

    SELECT SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS DISTINCT wp_posts.* FROM wp_posts LEFT JOIN wp_post2cat ON (wp_posts.ID = wp_post2cat.post_id) LEFT JOIN wp_categories ON (wp_post2cat.category_id = wp_categories.cat_ID) WHERE 1=1 AND category_id IN (62) AND (post_type = ‘post’ AND (post_status = ‘publish’ OR post_status = ‘private’)) GROUP BY wp_posts.ID ORDER BY post_ LIMIT 0, 15

    and a 404 listing for the archive page. I tried turning off the crossposting plugins, with no change. I’m still playing with things, though.

  29. From what I can tell, the problem seems to lie with the way archives are handled with this plugin. I tried testing this on my test blog with all other plugins turned off. No MySQL errors, but neither do the archives show up for the series. What I end up with is a blank page that says page 1 of 0. No idea what’s up with that.

  30. Jim, those were some very helpful clues to me and I at least have a tact to take on rooting out possible causes for your problems. I can’t get to it till’ tomorrow though – thanks for the troubleshooting 🙂

  31. Sorry for the delay in a response Jim. It’s been a busy weekend for me.
    Anyway, here’s some observations I’ve made:

    • The sql error that you are getting indicates that for some reason the order_by or the order query isn’t getting passed through from the plugin options. (see the “ORDER BY post_…” that should be followed by “date” for default. Also there should be a “DESC” or “ASC” in the query) I’m not sure why this is but I have made one small adjustment that “may” fix it (could be a conflict with a plugin that uses the “order_by” WP-hook). If you open the orgSeries.php file on line 149 it says, return false;}}. Right after that on a new line ADD return false;. Save the file and overwrite the one on your server. If you have problems with this let me know and I’ll give you a link to a fixed file (I’m not pushing it live yet).
    • I’m stumped when it comes to how the archives pages aren’t working for you. The only idea I have is that you are using the custom-xx.php file with your theme and it may not be tweaked properly for your theme. If you are using the category-xx.php file, remove it and see if your archive page is still missing. If it isn’t then that means the default coding of your category-xx.php file doesn’t work properly with your theme. I can help with that if you can give me access to the category.php file from your theme (or archive.php or archives.php – it all depends on how your theme processes category related pages).

    Hopefully, this helps make some progress towards a resolution for you 🙂

  32. on both your test blog and your live blog? Also, does your test blog use the same theme?

    I really don’t know what to do. I have 4 different blogs among two different server environments and three different themes among those blogs with different plugin setups and I’m not getting any problems with the plugin.

    Are there any other coders reading this who may have an idea what it may be? Or is there anybody else reading this with the same problems as Jim is having?

  33. One more thing Jim, I noticed you’ve got bbPress integrated with your main blog. Is it integrated with the test blog? I’m just wondering if that may be a possible avenue to look?

  34. Nope, different themes (I’d thought of that, too).

    And they’re not actually integrated – I’m the only registered user on my WordPress site. bbPress is even set up on a completely different database, so there shouldn’t be any overlap happening there.

    Very puzzling. Like you, I can’t see any reason why this shouldn’t be working smoothly.

  35. I think I asked this earlier but does your server environment run php via cgi? Is it windows based or linux based? Apache or IIS? Don’t know if it matters (or should matter) but I’m reaching for straws here.

    One other thing. For the articles you post as part of a series. Are they added to other categories that are also series as well, or are the other categories they are added to outside of the series taxonomy?

  36. Okay in referencing this comment that you made…

    From what I can tell, the problem seems to lie with the way archives are handled with this plugin. I tried testing this on my test blog with all other plugins turned off. No MySQL errors, but neither do the archives show up for the series. What I end up with is a blank page that says page 1 of 0. No idea what?s up with that.

    On your test blog was there an article written and a test series started (as a subcategory of the series category)? If not, that will account for the blank archives page if you have a category-xx.php file in the theme on your test blog (which reminds me that I should probably have a default message to something like, “you don’t have any series started on this blog yet”.)

    If this is the case then we’ve learned that there is another plugin you have installed that is conflicting somehow with the “order_by” WP API hook. This is my hunch on the problem – more than likely it’s a plugin that doesn’t return the value correctly for the “order_by” hook (therefore my plugin will pick up an incorrect value and return an empty string leading to the sql errors.)

  37. I did a look-see of your plugins list and here’s some plugins you might want to try disabling to see if there’s a conflict (try one at a time).
    – Footnotes
    – Post Word counter
    – SRG Clean Archives (**very suspect)

    What we’re looking for is any plugin that has the “posts_orderby” action hook in it’s code (doing a search in the file for that string will reveal if that’s the case. Any plugin that uses that hook “may” be conflicting with mine if it doesn’t return the value correctly. (or it could be the other way around but my correction above should take care of that if implemented properly :))

  38. Ok, the good news is that I’m no longer receiving the error when I try to post something new to the series. The added return false; statement seems to have resolved that particular issue. And series show up fine on the front page. It’s when I try to click through to the series sub-category archive that I receive that WordPress database error mentioned up above. (This is what I get when I try to view the series archive.) So far, that particular error is persistent, no matter what I try or what plugins I turn off.

  39. Look on the series options page in your admin. In the grouping called “Settings for the series post-list (table of contents) page display” select “by post date” and “ascending” then update the plugin settings. See if that fixes it. Just a hunch.

    Another hunch. Did you happen to upgrade the Organize Series from a previous version?

  40. Tried this, with no change. I’d already had those settings in, since they were the default.

    Nope – this was a fresh installation.

  41. Here’s my next suggestion in troubleshooting,
    Comment out line 432 (or could be 433) of the orgSeries.php file by putting a “//” in front of it.
    The code you are commenting out is:
    add_filter('posts_orderby','sort_series_page_options');

    That code is the hook for the sql query that controls how the posts are displayed on a series sub-category page. If you still get problems after doing that then you’ve eliminated my plugin as a source for the problems as that is the only place where my plugin hooks into the MySQL query for archive pages. Of course, if it fixes it then I’ve got some work to do to try and restructure that hook 😉

  42. Hey, I’m not sure what happened, but everything seems to be working just fine now. I deactivated a couple of plugins I wasn’t using, then I commented out that line as you suggested, and tested it again. It worked! So, just to back-test, I commented that line back in – still worked. So activated those two plugins again, testing after each one – worked in both cases. So, now here I sit with the exact same setup as I had when I first had the trouble, but now your plugin seems to work. I’ve even added a test entry to my current series and it was added with no problems. Believe me when I say this is all very mysterious. I’m happy it’s working now – I just wish I knew why.

  43. 😆 same here – but I’m glad it’s working now 🙂 Let me know if you have any further problems or need help with implementation. At the very least your problems did help me uncover some improper coding I had with one of my functions that “could” break with certain other plugins. So, thanks to you I’ll get that pushed out so other people won’t get that problem 🙂

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