Development

Ok, so later today there will be a maintenance release of Breadcrumb NavXT, this will be version 2.1.1. The plan right now is to release a maintenance release each month with bug fixes and such. If enough new features are requested, a full version release will come out, and regardless a new version will always occur within a week of a new WordPress release. This release fixes some issues with the link current page option generating invalid HTML and some other bugs. Nothing in particular is slated for 2.1.2 yet, but it is reserved for any new bugs found in 2.1.1. 2.2.0 will add a widget for breadcrumbs to use with WordPress’ widget system.

Now onto Berry. Cranberry will be released sometime next week, preferably before May 1st. Currently, some tweaking to the styling needs to be done, especially for header images (logos), the search bar, and comments. Comments in general are getting overhauled. Right now this blog is still using the K2 comments.php, the only part that really isn’t my own code. This will be replaced by a new comments.php sometime this weekend. Then some hard core optimization needs to take place to speed up page load time and such. This first release will not have an Administrative interface for implementing modifications to it. The next release will contain options to change various things, centering around the amount of ‘flare’ the design has. Only one JavaScript line of code is in use right now, in the search bar. In the future more may be added and always these additions will be optional. Internet Explorer 8 still doesn’t play well with the theme, still need to figure out a centering method that it likes.

Lastly, some progress on WP Trainer may occur this weekend. The most likely thing that will get done is database support and some basic administrative interface. Since GPX files tend to get very large, often over 2mb, PHP will not want to parse them correctly, thus an external command line based tool will be included (with source) to split up activities in the files so that they can be uploaded. The last order of business that needs to be solved is a problem with Google maps not liking when too many points are placed on a map. I’m still not sure how to fix this but I don’t think it’s something a little searching can’t fix. It appears the common approach is to drop many of the track points, which is not always acceptable, so smart dropping algorithms may need to be implemented. Currently, the server requirements for WP Trainer are shaping up as so:

  • PHP5
    • XML parsing support
    • GD library support
  • Ability for PHP to write to files in a directory

I’m still debating if it is beneficial to dump the parsed GPX data into a database or not. It seems that it could dramatically increase database load and size, which is not always a good idea. Naturally, caching of data will be very important. Ideally, once a course is defined (named and has a track point map), any future runs on that course should automatically identify as using that course. This is very much a plaything project, which will take the backseat to all other paying or school projects. Development could always be expedited by sponsorship by a generous individual or organization.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

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