(A Better) WordPress Shopping Cart

The folks over at Instinct Entertainment released WP e-Commerce 3.6.6 today and received not so great feedback from users. Looks like 3.6.6 is a bit buggy. Sadly, this does not surprise me one bit. Take a look at the code, and try to grasp what is going on.

A year ago I muddled around, and hacked an older version of it (was the newest version at the time) apart for a client of mine. At the time the code was a nightmare to navigate. This spring when they wanted to add more features, some of which were in the newer 3.6 branch, I did some research on the changes between versions. Sadly, things have not gotten better (code organization wise).

Right now, WP e-Commerce is not open source. It however, is the only solution for users that want to use Authorize.net. The client that I made the modifications to WP e-Commerce for at one point proposed just making our own plug-in. Since I personally do not have an interest in establishing a e-commerce site, I will not spontaneously produce a e-commerce plug-in.

Should such a competing plug-in be released by me a few things can be guaranteed about it.

  1. Fully commented source, just about every line will have an explanation, functions commented properly, with explanations of their prototypes.
  2. Full (and proper) i18n (internationalization) support in accordance with the WordPress i18n guidelines.
  3. Utilizes the WordPress API when appropriate.
  4. Clean, fast code that is object oriented when appropriate.
  5. Highly modular, easy to remove unwanted/unneeded features. Items included in the HTML head are reduced to only what is needed.
  6. Predictable release time line similar to that of Breadcrumb NavXT and WordPress. Monthly bug fix releases, new features released the same month as a WordPress “major release” (e.g. 2.2, 2.3, 2.5 were major releases), or every three to four months (I try to keep bug fix releases fixed to three or four max).
  7. 100% Open Source licensed under the GNU GPL2.

Numbers 1,2,3,6 and 7 would be there from the get-go. The fifth one would be introduced in time, and the fourth would be an ongoing thing. Development would begin as .1 and not follow any particular time line for releases until 1.0 is reached. By 1.0 it would be stable, though by .8 or so it’d be a suitable replacement to WP e-Commerce.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Mtekk’s Testimonials 1.0.0

After over a year sitting idle, Mtekk’s Testimonials is now available for public consumption. This initial public release brings a ton of fixes to the old testimonials plug-in originally written for the Weblogs.us front page (more on that later). Mtekk’s Testimonials is a modern WordPress plug-in, which requires WordPress 2.5 to function. Naturally, it has full i18n support (POT file coming soon). It sports Short Code tags for displaying testimonials on any WordPress post or page. When located on a front page, AJAX support is available (this limitation is changing in 1.1), which automatically changes to the next testimonial in 10 seconds (can be disabled by modifying the testimonials.js file).

User submission of testimonials is possible, and can be disabled. These submissions are never automatically approved for showing up in the testimonial stream. Along with this, the domain and TLD can be restricted for user testimonial submissions as a anti-spam measure (to be honest right now it is compulsory, this is changing in 1.1).

You can see it in action at beta.weblogs.us and download it from it’s project page.

Next up on the update block is Iframe-B-Gone. Iframe-B-Gone is getting a full overhaul for it’s 1.1 release, the ETA for right now is by mid June. Then Breadcrumb NavXT’s June bugfix release, this will include some i18n related fixes as well as better handling of some “unique” category structures. WP Trainer is on hold until MooTools 1.2 is released.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Breadcrumb NavXT 2.1.2

The second maintenance release for the 2.1 series, and this month’s release brings some useful bug fixes. Static front page support has been improved (serious testing of it’s functionality took place in the past month.). This includes automagical detection of static front pages, which will do all the heavy lifting for you. Paged items now work as they did in 2.0. Do note that paged item support is not complete (that’s getting thrown into the July 2.2.0 release). Additionally, the behavior of the link current item option has changed, now instead of trying to actually generate a link the href is left blank. This seems to be the best way to link to the current page, as it is the simplest method for implementation and is guarenteed to work 100% of the time. Of course, that may change again in the future.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Some Fixes

When static front pages were reimplemented in Breadcrumb NavXT 2.1, it seems some things slipped through the cracks. In particular there is a problem with the frontpage breadcrumb, when on the frontpage. This and the options for static front pages were never cleaned up (my bad, I know). Another, relating to a /blog/blog and // error in the hyperlink for some by date archives was reported. Both of these will be fixed in this month’s service release, 2.1.2. For 2.2 support for WPMU will be improved (the administrative interface has problems with it right now), along with a widget. That release is a few months out still.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Introducting mGPX

Searching the web for a good, and free, GPX importer for PHP yields not so great results. Last spring, as some preliminary work for WP Trainer took place, one wrote a simple ad hoc GPX importer for PHP. It then placed the points on a Google Map. Previously, there was a huge performance issue. However, today after looking over the code one found the error. What happened is the GPX importer didn’t import laps correctly for multi-activity and lap files. Instead of applying laps to the correct activity, the laps ended up summing and carrying over to other activities. The fix was simple, and the performance issue was resolved–300 points is not the limit, having several 300 point laps on the same map is what causes the problem.

With the fixes to it, the GPX importer is fast and ready for some extensive testing. WP Trainer is now viable, and effort will be placed into it this summer. mGPX will find its way to the code page as a separate

Added to this, Garmin added the feature to Garmin Training Center that allows exporting of individual activities, or groups to a file. Available in version 3.3.4, exporting is as simple as right clicking on a entry in the history section and selecting export in the pop up menu. This is great, as now end users can easily export small enough files (under 2MiB) for PHP to import.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]