I’ve been on a bit of a development sprint this past week, spending an inordinate number of hours working on GigPress, and the results so far are heartening. I’ve completed a tonne of code optimization and security enhancements, reduced almost all redundancies, and done all of the re-architecting required for the upcoming version. The admin-side of GigPress 1.5 is 90% done, and I’m very happy with it. I figured I’d give a small preview of what’s in store.
UPDATE: I may have lied about the whole “no templating” thing. And it’s looking like this will actually be GigPress 2.0, not 1.5. That’s it — carry on!
So, what’s new in version 1.5? The big feature that I’ve been asked about (and promising to deliver) for a while is multiple bands. Labels and booking agencies will be happy to hear that multi-band is finished and ready to go for GigPress 1.5. On upgrade, all of the shows in your database will be assigned to your first artist, which will be created based on the contents of your “band name” setting. From there, add as many artists as you like, and choose them from a drop-down when adding new shows. The tours feature remains of course, and you can have multiple artists on the same tour (tours relate only to shows, not directly to artists).
With more data to manage for each show, I decided it was time for the upcoming shows administration to get overhauled. As you can see below, it’s now much easier to find specific shows, with a unified screen that gives the ability to filter based on date (past or upcoming), artist, tour, and venue. Plus, shows in the admin are now paginated (as are all other relevant screens in the GigPress admin).
Shows administration in GigPress 1.5
As you might have gleaned from the screenshot above, while re-engineering the plugin to add the new relationship for artists to shows, I decided to honour another oft-requested feature, which is a venues database. Apparently a lot of you folks play the same venues frequently, and are sick of re-entering it all the time (despite help from browsers’ intelligent form-filling). When you upgrade to GigPress 1.5, your new venues database will be automatically populated with all of the venues previously played.
This step and some other design tweaks have (I think) made the add a show screen much more user-friendly, easier to digest, and more efficient. Here’s a little QuickTime snippet of it in action:
So what else? Export to CSV has been updated and improved to comply with the new multi-band setup, and you can now import shows from a CSV file (a properly-formatted CSV file of course). I’ve done my best to ensure that you can import shows right over your existing database without fear of duplicating data, and after trying to match up the imported shows with existing artists, venues and tours, the import will create new artists, venues and tours if necessary. (I’m still working on the import process, it being the remaining 10% of the admin-side work to be done.)
From here, there’s a lot of front-end work to be done to incorporate the multi-artist aspect and figure out how to best present this new level of hierarchy. I also plan on expanding the capabilities of the
[gigpress] shortcode, with the ability to control grouping, filter by artist, etc. The RSS feed is also getting the ability to filter by artist, tour, venue, or any combination thereof by using a simple query string in the feed URL. I’m also hoping to add pagination to the front-end (even if I’m not entirely sure how yet, haha).
What’s not going to be in GigPress 1.5? Templating. Any sort of templating. Sorry, I really wanted to, and spent a lot of time thinking about it, but there are just too many conditionals involved, and I’m not about to write my own template parsing engine. For now, you’re stuck with the markup I write and the classes I add.
After I get the front-end stuff finished, I have to send out updated language files to all of the kind people who’ve translated GigPress into 15 different languages. So, I can’t promise when you’ll see it in your plugin update notifications, but hopefully sometime in September.
One last note – GigPress 1.5 will only be compatible with WordPress 2.6.5 and higher, so if you’re running an older (and consequently insecure!) version of WordPress, and depend on GigPress for your site, consider this your call to upgrade.
That’s it for now. Thanks for all the kind words and support for the plugin. If you’re as excited as I am about version 1.5, maybe consider making a donation to the cause?