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.

So the next version of AZIndex (0.8.2) will feature a redesigned settings page to address these problems.  While the overall look and feel of the settings will be familiar, I have made use of the JQuery Javascript library (as used in other WordPress admin pages) to rearrange the settings and split them into several tabbed pages.  This means, for example, that all the CSS styling options will appear on one tabbed page, and the language options will appear on another.   It also means that when you turn on, say, the multipage option, the text box for entering the number of items per page will appear right underneath instead of all the way at the bottom of the settings page where people can miss it.

One cool feature of the new settings page is that if you don’t like options split into the tabbed pages, then you can turn off the tabs and go back to a single page.  Another nice feature is that there will be two “Save” buttons — “Save & Exit” which works like the old “Save” button and exits the settings page, and a new “Save” button which keeps you at the settings page (at the same tab) which is very useful when you making a lot of tweaks to the options (especially the custom CSS) for your index.

There will not be much new function in this version of AZIndex (there are enough code changes already), but there will be a new option to omit the embedded CSS stylesheet from the index page.  This will allow you to add the index styling to your theme’s stylesheet instead, as some people would prefer.  I may also add an option to add the index CSS to the page header (instead of in the body).  If you select this option the stylesheet will be added to all pages in your blog, since I don’t believe there is a way to tell which pages will contain an index shortcode at the time the header is being assembled.

Anyway, the new version is still at least a week away.  I will make a more formal annoucement in a few days once all the code has been written.  In the meantime, feel free to comment on what I’ve said here, especially if you have any suggestions relating to the AZIndex plugin settings page.

42 comments to Coming Up Next for AZIndex

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