As SLP4 enters the final week of testing and patches I am preparing the road map for future patches and updates to the product. Part of that process is cleaning up the issues list on Bitbucket and starting to add more enhancement (feature request) issues to the lists for the base plugin and each of the add-on packs.
During the clean-up process I’ve noticed a “n votes” indicator on each of the issues. I’ve never paid much attention to it as it is always zero because the few developers and contributors that have source code access don’t vote on other parts of the project. However I started wondering if that voting system could be used to allow ANYONE to vote on which features they would like to see on future releases. Turns out they CAN vote.
How To Vote For Features
1) Get A BitBucket Login
In order to use the voting feature on Bitbucket you will need to sign up for an account. The sign up process is relatively painless and is FREE. You can even sign in using your Google, GitHub, or a number of other services that you may already be using making the process even simpler. As soon as you’ve created a Bitbucket account and signed in you can find my public projects under my lance_cleveland user name including the Store Locator Plus Wishlist.
Click on an issue you are interested in. If you would like to see the feature described in the issue added to a future release of the product click on the “Vote for this issue” link on the Bitbucket sidebar.
Development of Features
Voting for features helps me see which features users are interested in. As time allows between bug fixes and paid customization I will be working on the most-voted-for features to add into either the base plugin, an existing add-on pack, or a new add-on pack depending on where I think the feature fits best in the code.
There is not guarantee of a development timeline for the features, but I will try to knock off the most-voted-for items first whenever I am writing new code. If you want/need a feature with a definitive timeline you should consider paid customization. I am also re-visiting the crowd funding idea to provide another mechanism to support product development and get your most-desired feature put on the development schedule with a definitive release date.
With Store Locator Plus it is very easy to create thousands of custom post types with the click of a button. Managing those custom posts can be a chore via the default WordPress interface. A few simple changes to the admin tables UI can alleviate some of the problem areas and should be relatively easy to implement.
Bulk Actions / Delete Permanently
Provide an option to skip the “move to trash” step. Adding “Delete Permanently” to the top-level drop down can eliminate a 2-step process for site administrators. A simple “Are you sure?” confirmation can provide some level of protection against errant menu selection with products like VaultPress backups providing a fall-back safety net.
Admin Table Page Length
The default page length of an admin table is 20 items. For sites that have thousands of pages or posts of any type this limitation presents a notable challenge to bulk management of those objects. With just 75 items the above “delete this custom page type permanently” process takes 8 drop down selections and 8 button clicks to permanently remove just 75 items. 16 actions to manipulate 75 items.
Giving users the ability to set their admin table page length and remembering that selection for future site visits can significantly reduce the UI interaction. Setting the admin table object count to show 100 items and the above process becomes 2 drop down selections and 2 mouse clicks. Implement the “delete permanently” short cut above and it becomes 1 selection and 2 mouse clicks.
16 actions down to 3. Sounds like a nice feature to me.
Here is a 3 minute YouTube video on the process and how I’ve implemented these 2 features in my custom admin UI for managing locations in Store Locator Plus:
During the IRC brainstorming session that was held on August 8th, 2013, I proposed a new feature for the 3.8 release of WordPress, Ininite Scroll of Paginated List Tables. Rather than have the hard-coded pagination and tables, use an infinite scroll user experience to eliminate the page searching.
This post is where I will be directing comments and feedback on the feature concept. Research, development, and progress. Consider this the “head end” of the blog thread. Related links will be posted here.