Interconnectit has announced that The Auditor (name to be determined later) has entered the closed beta process and is currently looking for people to test the plugin. The plugin is an event logger that tracks key options and content changes within a WordPress installation and contains a viewer that lets you view what’s been happening on your site. This plugin sounds like the perfect option to determine if things are going on within your website that you were not aware of. The closed beta is limited to a select group of people but if you’d like to participate in the event, you can leave a comment on their announcement post explaining why you’d like to give it a try.
By Jeffro on March 6, 2012
By Jeffro on October 14, 2011
In this episode of WordPress Weekly, I give you the news making headlines of the week. I also give you a rundown of what to look for in WordPress 3.3. Beta 1 and give you my experience thus far with some of the new features. The end of the show has a 3 minute audio sound byte from Schipulcon where the founders of Drupal and WordPress shared the stage to talk about Open Source.
WordPress.org Experiences DNS Issues – Not Hacked
Win A Ticket To WordCamp Toronto
Plugin Repository Now Has A Proper 404 Page
Spots By Interconnect/It
The Best Thing On Peter Brights iPhone Is The WordPress App
Things To Look For In WordPress 3.3 Beta 1
Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Itunes: Click here to subscribe
Length Of Episode: 37 Minutes
Download The Show: WordPressWeeklyEpisode115.mp3
Listen To Episode #115:
By Jeffro on October 14, 2011
For those that don’t know, I produce a live podcast every Friday evening at 9P.M. Eastern time on Talkshoe.com called WordPress Weekly. On tonight’s episode, I’d like to hear from you regarding your experience thus far with WordPress 3.3. beta 1 if you’ve had a chance to use it. I’m especially interested to know your thoughts on the new fly out menus and the drag and drop media uploader. If you can’t call in to the show tonight, at least show up in the chat room to be part of the conversation as the show is recorded live.
By Jeffro on October 12, 2011
In my short look at WordPress 3.3 Beta 1, I highlighted the fact that all menus were going to receive the Flyout treatment. The ability to vertically expand or collapse menus will be disappearing in favor of the flyout animation. Personally, I like the feature as I now get to see all of the menu items without having to click a button. However, many others have voiced their discontent with this User Interface change. In fact, there is a thread on the WordPress.org support forums that is nearing 50 posts specifically dealing with this issue.
Even though I like flyouts, I don’t have any problem with the way menus work in WordPress 3.2. In fact, it was the best of both worlds. I typically use the Icons only approach which has the flyouts while always having the option to see the full menu with the ability to vertically expand or collapse. In the newest instance, that choice has been taken away. This response by Jonschlinkert has some interesting questions that I think would be good to have answered from the WordPress UI Team.
Who was asking you to remove the expand/collapse feature? Can you point us to that request and the support for it? In other words, why is the designer “fixing” something that wasn’t broken?
If you’re interested in seeing how the feature evolved, look at the log for ticket #18382. For the curious, here is a short list of statements made in the WordPress Development Channel from May 31st 2011 to October 11th 2011, talking about the flyout menus. Nothing really exciting to read with the exception of Otto42s comment on September 19th.
Otto42 – they make everything take like 3 times longer to find. i used to just scroll the page and go right to the menu i want.. now it’s a matter of hunting and searching and checking the f-ing flyout menus
If Flyout menus get past beta and are in the final release, that is when we will be able to measure the success or failure of the change. If a major revolt happens, it’s not like reverting the change will be hard and it could come in a follow up point release. At the end of the day though, the folks in the forum thread have to be commended for providing valuable feedback during the beta testing process.
Related But Not Required Reading: Why Hover Menus Do Users More Harm Than Good
By Jeffro on October 11, 2011
WordPress 3.3 Beta 1 has finally been released for the curious at heart to get a glimpse as to what’s coming in the final version. There are quite a few visual changes that you should look out for and provide feedback on. Here are a couple things worth noting.
New Feature Pop-ups – After WordPress 3.3 is installed, you’ll see popups that display information pointing users to new features. When testing, see if the popups close upon clicking the close button. Also see if the popups reappear multiple times. There has been an issue with popups and IE7/8 with them not going away but Alex Mills is betting that those have been fixed as of ticket #18693
Admin Bar Revamp – The Admin bar now sports a darker color. The biggest changes to the admin bar reside within the rearrangement of menu items. Instead of the username and gravatar aligned to the left side of the bar, it’s now all the way on the right hand side. The search box has been moved to the right of the Add New menu link. Updates has been added as a top menu item. However, your website name now shows up on the far left side of the admin bar and this is where you’ll find all sorts of administrative tasks when you hover your mouse cursor over the link. The dashboard link as well as Appearance has been added to this menu item along with an assortment of other options. The drop down menus also look a lot like their Administration panel counterparts compared to the 3.2 version. Last but not least, on the left side of the admin bar, there is a small WordPress icon. This icon acts like the HELP button in typical software. From here, you can get information about the specific version of WordPress, Freedoms, Credits, links to WordPress.org, the support forums, documentation and giving feedback.
Flyout Menus – All of the top level links within the left menu now have Flyouts where as previously, Flyouts only occurred when the menu was collapsed.
Drag And Drop Uploading – I think users will be surprised the most by the new upload media screen. Thanks to something called plUpload which has been added to WordPress 3.3, we can now drag multiple files into the editor. This has also allowed the dependence on Flash within the uploader to disappear as support for HTML 5, Flash, and Silverlight are supported with plUpload. I’ve given it a try with 5 images and it worked great. Users who upload photo sets to WordPress are going to love this enhancement.
One Media Button – In WordPress 3.2.1, there are 4 icons within the post editor that allow you to add some type of media to a post. Images, Audio, Video, and strangely enough, an icon named Media. In WordPress 3.3, all of those icons have been replaced by one icon labeled Media. From here, you simply drag whatever media files you have into the uploader. No more picking and choosing since the uploader is smart enough to distinguish between different media types. You can add your typical meta data after the media has been uploaded.
WordPress 3.3. will have more to offer than what I have listed here but if you plan on beta testing the new version, you now have a couple things to play around with. If you come across something you think is broken or not working as you think it should, the best thing you can do is report it within the Alpha/Beta section of the WordPress.org Support forums while being as descriptive as possible.
By Jeffro on August 10, 2010
While WordPress for the iPhone 2.6 is almost ready to be released Chris Boyd announced that the iOS team is putting together a beta team for the project. Team members will receive releases before they reach the public’s hands for testing in order to fix bugs proactively rather than having to release a bug fix version after the fact. The team is looking for 30 iPhone/iPod Touch users and 30 iPad users. There are a few prerequisites that need to be met before you consider being part of the beta team.
- You’ll need a WordPress.com account. We’ll be using a private WordPress.com blog to send you beta builds of the app.
- Only one device per person, so if you have both an iPhone/iPod Touch and an iPad, please only sign up with one or the other.
- We’ll need you to commit to participating as a beta user for an entire year, because Apple limits the number of devices you use for testing on a yearly basis.
- We can’t change your device if you get a new one, so you’ll be stuck testing on the device you sign up with.
- Most importantly, we really need you to use Trac to report any bugs or issues you happen to find.
Unfortunately, the article already has 204 comments so it’s likely that the teams have been filled. However, if you would like to keep track of development for the project, bookmark the iOS Trac website as well as the WordPress iOS Twitter account.
In related news, BlackBerry for WordPress is also putting the call out to get people involved in development.
By Jeffro on February 11, 2010
Back in episode 82 of WordPress Weekly, a round-table discussion took place centered around the topic of the WordPress Beta testing conundrum. In that conversation, we discussed why critical bugs were found only after the so called stable release was offered to the public. The answer to the problem is more beta testers, but getting those testers is hard. Stephen Cronin of Scratch99.com takes a hard look at the problem and his proposed solution I think has merit and is worthy of more discussion.
Live user testing with staged releases. Companies such as Google use this method to roll out features over time to a select group of users for live testing. This gives them a chance to iron out any kinks in more environments and use cases rather than going through a strict beta testing team. Perhaps the same method could be used on WordPress where 100,000 or so installs receive an upgrade notice that explains that a new feature has been added and then asks if the user wants to participate in the trial of that feature. If any problems are discovered, to report them. Now I don’t think it’s a good idea to put people on Trunk versions of WordPress but the way Stephen explains it, the version of WordPress would be kept the same, only when the feature has been coded into WordPress and is ready for testing would the trial upgrades go out to the public.
There are definitely some logistical issues involved with this entire process but I’d like to see the idea discussed in an upcoming developers chat to see if it has legs. What are your thoughts on this method?
By Jeffro on September 9, 2009
Remember when I mentioned that Justin Tadlock was working on a new plugin to manage roles and capabilities for users in WordPress? A few days ago, Justin announced that the first beta version of the plugin is available to the public. So far, here is what you can do with the plugin.
- Edit Roles: Edit your user roles and their capabilities.
- New Roles: Create new roles for use on your site.
- Content Permissions: Adds a meta box on your write post/page editor that allows you to restrict content to specific roles.
- Widgets: Adds a login form widget and user-listing widget that you can use in any widget area on your site.
- Shortcodes: Creates shortcodes that you can use to restrict or allow access to certain parts of your posts and pages (or any other shortcode-capable area).
- Template Tags: New functions for use within your WordPress theme for various things.
- Private Blog: Allows you to create a private blog that can only be accessed by users that are logged in (redirects them to the login page).
Justin is currently looking for feedback and considering the popularity from when he mentioned the idea, I’m sure he’ll get it. P.S. As for my idea regarding the name of the plugin, how about this: Cap And Role.
By Jeffro on July 16, 2009
Nathan Rice has been working on his own framework for a few months now to help give iThemes a solid base to work from. His framework is called Prodigy and the first public developer beta is out and ready to be tested. As it stands, this theme is not for the faint of heart in that right now, it’s developer centric. However, once the beta period winds down and the bugs are squashed, Nathan plans on publishing a series of tutorials explaining the purpose behind the framework, its capabilities, and how to use it.
Head on over and help him out if you’ve got the time.