Still Here…

Hey guys.  It’s been a week, so I thought I’d better just let you know that I haven’t gone back into hiding. It’s been a busy week, so I haven’t been able to do much with AZIndex except for getting back up to speed with it. It’s amazing how much you can forget in a year :-). The good news seems to be that the plugin is still working well on the latest version of WordPress (2.9.2) although I have noticed a small bug in the CSS code for grouped entries, where the headings are being displayed on the same line as the subheadings, when they should appear above them. This is being caused by a missing “float:left” in the CSS.

If you are seeing this problem, to work-around it, simply turn on the custom CSS option and change the following line:

.azindex .head {font-weight:bold;}

to

.azindex .head {font-weight:bold; float:left;}

Once I have read through all the comments to see what other issues people are having I’ll probably upload a new (minor) version of AZIndex with this fix, and any other minor bug fixes that might be necessary.

Finally, I am aware that WordPress 3.0 is just around the corner. I haven’t tested AZIndex on it yet, but I guess that with any major version change there is an increased risk of plugin breakage. I will be testing AZIndex before the 3.0 is official, but if anyone has already tried the plugin on the 3.0 beta code, it would be great to have some feedback.

The Prodigal Son Returns

To paraphrase a famous American author, the rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

With more than a little horror, I see that’s been over a year since I last posted on this blog (in truth, since I last visited it, even).  And even without looking at all the comments, I have little doubt that my absence has left some of you in the lurch somewhat.  I must apologize for that — particularly for doing it without any warning.  I do tend to blow hot and cold on things, and when I blow cold, it sometimes gets really cold and I find that it’s just easier to ignore everything altogether.

However, I am determined to get back in the saddle and put in some more work on AZIndex, but please don’t expect everything to start humming along all at once.  I am in the process of moving to a new web host (one where there is much less risk of my blogs being taken off-line for using too much CPU even though I hadn’t touched the blogs in months!) and it will take me some time to get reacquainted with the AZIndex code — I just hope I left enough comments in there for me to figure it out again. I will also take the time to go through the comments and contact people who left them, if necessary.  I also have a couple of other projects on the go, so I won’t be able to commit to an awful lot of hours on AZIndex in one go.

Anyway, I’m back, and the blog is back, and hopefully a new version of AZIndex will be back within the next month or so.

Coming Up Next for AZIndex

It’s been almost a month since the last AZIndex update, and I thought that perhaps some people would be interested in what’s in the pipeline for the next version of the plugin.

One thing that’s been gnawing at me is the usability of the settings page for AZIndex.  The way I originally coded it allowed me to add new settings very easily, but now there are so many options that it’s not always easy to find the right one, especially when related options appear in different parts of the page.  Since there will only be more options added in the future, I thought it was high time to overhaul the look and feel of the settings page.

Continue reading "Coming Up Next for AZIndex" »

Tweaking Themes the Plugin Way

How many WordPress users install a brand new theme for their blog and never feel the need to tweak it in some way?  Not many, I’d wager.  While there are many great themes out there, there’s almost always something that’s not quite right for your blog.  Perhaps the blog title is too big, or something in the sidebar doesn’t look quite the way you want it to.

And so it’s off into the theme files you go—fumbling around with functions.php, header.php, and style.css, until you get it the exactly the way you want your blog to look.  I should know, I’ve never met a theme I didn’t want to tweak in, oh so many ways. (That doesn’t make me a person, does it?)

Continue reading "Tweaking Themes the Plugin Way" »

AZIndex 0.8.1 Released

Well, things have been pretty quiet since AZIndex 0.8.0 was released a couple of days ago which, I guess, means that everyone is running with it just fine.  There was one bug reported, though (hat tip to Arnaud for catching that one) and I realized that there really should be a display filter which allows you to modify the contents of your index on a per-item basis.

Hence AZIndex 0.8.1 has arrived.  The new azindex_display_item filter is documented here and I have created a cute little thumbnail index here to show the sort of thing you can do with it.

If you do manage to create an interesting-looking index using any of the new filters, come back here and let us know about it!

Polls Galore

I have just added a new Survey page to the site where, with a few clicks of the mouse button, you can give your feedback on how you are using AZIndex, and what you most like about it.  As a bonus, it also gives you the chance to vote for the feature you would most like to see in a future release of the plugin (no promises though!).

I have opened comments on the page, in case you feel the need to explain your votes (or perhaps suggest a modification to the polls themselves).

Welcome to the New AZIndex Website!

Welcome to the new home of AZIndex, where you can learn more than you could possibly want to know about using the AZIndex plugin.

The site is organized into several sections to help you navigate your way to the information you’re looking for:

  • First, there’s the new AZIndex Blog, where you are now.  I will be posting updates, announcements, and hints and tips about AZIndex here, along with other items of interest to WordPress bloggers.  I already have a few very useful hints and tips waiting in the wings.  Just click on the site’s title at the top of the page to get back here at any time.
  • Next there is the main AZIndex section which provides you with an overview of the plugin and what it can do, and where you subscribe to the email announcements list, or report feedback on your experiences, good or bad, with the plugin.
  • There is the Gallery, containing various live examples the types of index you can create with AZIndex.
  • Then, if you are just getting started with AZIndex, you can let the Tutorial help you up and running.  Every page has another live example of an index created by the plugin.
  • But if you are an experienced user and want to dive right in, go ahead.  You can always consult the Reference Section if you get stuck, or want to learn all about the more advanced features AZIndex has to offer.

If you want to keep up with all the latest developments with the plugin, feel free to subscribe to the RSS feeds (top right) or the Announcements mailing list.  Otherwise, have a look around.  If you have any suggestions on how to make the site better, just let me know on the feedback page or via email.

The site and the plug are both works in progress.  I will continue to update the site as the plugin evolves and as time allows.

Finally, if you have made AZIndex an integral part of your blog, and especially if you are blogging for profit or as part of your employment, please consider clicking on the Donate button on the right of this page and expressing your support and appreciation for the many hours of work that have gone into creating this plugin.