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Seeking beta testers for GigPress 2.1

Posted by Derek on Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 | Comments Off on Seeking beta testers for GigPress 2.1

GigPress 2.0 has by all accounts been very popular with all you folks, and I’m glad to see if being so widely-used and well-received. I haven’t done much work on it since October, but I found some time over the last week or so to incorporate some oft-requested features.

First, though, I want everyone to be aware that as of GigPress 2.1, GigPress will only be fully-compatible with deprecated versions of WordPress for 6 months after a major point release. This means that I’m discontinuing support for WordPress versions prior to 2.8 with GigPress 2.1, and with the imminent release of WordPress 2.9, I will only guarantee that updates will be compatible with WordPress 2.8 until mid-2010.

At this point WordPress is a very mature platform with an excellent auto-updating mechanism. There is no good reason to run outdated versions. The number one reason people cite — plugin incompatibility — is a sign of a larger problem. Any plugin that isn’t compatible by default — or cannot be brought up to speed with minor changes — is a plugin that is not fit to run, as chances are it’s not using official APIs. Maintaining compatibility with old versions of WordPress prevents me from embracing new features, and generally makes development a PITA.

OK, onwards. The two major updates in 2.1 are an overhauled widget and a new front-end date filter.

The new widget uses the excellent widget class introduced in WordPress 2.8, meaning you can now have multiple instances of the GigPress widget, all with discrete settings. I’ve also added the ability to filter the widget listing by artist, tour, or venue.

As part of the widget changes, the gigpress_sidebar() function got an overhaul as well, now behaving much like the gigpress_shows() function. This means changes to your templates if you’re calling the function directly — the docs will be updated when 2.1 is released with instructions.

The new date filter is a dynamically-created dropdown menu that lets visitors filter any list of shows created with the GigPress shortcode by year or by month. The menu can be created either by adding a new parameter to your existing shortcode (show_menu=yearly or show_menu=monthly), or by calling it directly via its own shortcode (or directly in your templates as a function).

I’ve also added both year and month parameters to the GigPress shortcode, so you can limit your initial display of shows to a particular date range. This means, for example, that if you have 3 years of past shows, you can write your shortcode with a year parameter of the current year (or perhaps a limit of n shows), and then include the date menu to allow filtering of past shows to display shows only from specific months or years. (When using the date menu, any limit parameter in your shortcode is ignored.)

I’d like to get some folks to install the 2.1 beta and put the new features through their paces before I release this into the wild — especially people who use GigPress with multiple artists, or who have a large database of shows. If you’re interested, please drop me a line and I’ll hook you up.

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