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Daily Update : Woocommerce Plugins + SLP Updates

It has been a crazy couple of weeks between multiple coding projects, private consults, and the school year-end mayhem on the home front.   Here is what I’ve been working on when I’ve found some free coding time.

Woocommerce Premium Plugin System

My primary focus has been on this project.

Work continues on my WooCommerce add-on pack that will keep track of specific product versions ordered.  The plugin will help maintain easier access to prior release versions for each add-on pack.  It also provides a mechanism that will allow store owners to choose whether or not to charge an upgrade fee when new feature releases come out.    I will be using this feature to provide free patches on the various products while charging upgrade fees when there are features added to products.  This is also the base system needed to manage the Enterprise Subscription model that I hope to release this summer.

This add-on for WooCommerce will provide the funding mechanism necessary to accelerate new feature development across the entire line of plugins, especially Store Locator Plus.

Tagalong Updates

This will be my main focus over the next few days.

This week I will be spending time cleaning up some Tagalong bugs that have been reported.   I hope to have a Tagalong patch release out later this week.

Pro Pack Update

There is a minor update to Pro Pack in the works, basically code cleaning that I stumbled across while doing some debugging.    Along the way I added a new feature to Pro Pack that allows you to enter an address in a separate box on the Pro Pack tab and get back the lat/long for that address.    I’m not sure if anyone will find it useful, but it saves me time debugging other sites as I can quickly check if a given address will return the lat/long I am expecting from Google.   If it saves me time from having to go and use third party lat/long location tools, someone else might find it useful as well.   It will be a feature in the next release of the Pro Pack.

New Restaurants Iconset

I have been building a new “Restaurant Icon Set” that will be available sometime in the near future.   I needed a place to store new icons for testing with Tagalong but did not want to clutter the base plugin.   The icon set add-on system was designed a long time ago but I’ve never really done much with it outside of the original “Google Old School” icons I used for testing.   Since creating a new icon set add-on takes less than 20 minutes I decided that was the best place to store the new icons.   More icons means better images for screen shots and videos, which is something I am always looking to improve on the marketing side of things.

 

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Daily Update : Store Locator Plus 3.11.2

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Store Locator Plus 3.11.2

Store Locator Plus 3.11.2 was released today with a minor patch and a new feature.

Default CSS

The default css was updated to add more specific rules to help the layout work with more WordPress themes.

Initial Radius

The SLPLUS shortcode was updated to add an “initial_radius” option.   You can use this to change the initial radius on a per-page basis.

Other Updates

I will be looking at various bugs and other issues that have been reported with Store Locator Plus and the add-on packs.  General enhancements and improvements will be minimal while I continue work on the Woocommerce customization that is required for Enterprise Subscriptions and crowdfunding.   The Woocommerce Premium Plugin System work continues with some of the basic features in place such as attaching the version of a purchased plugin to an order.

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Daily Update : Debug My Plugin / PlugIntelligence / Store Locator Plus

Debug My PlugIntelligence Store Locator Banner

I’ve been trying to get back into the “coding rhythm” after a lot of distractions recently.   Helping out at my son’s school swim lessons.  Counseling friends and family on business matters, family matters.  Business trips and other things that are very non-techie.     I’ve managed to get a few things done over the past week, despite only having a few hours here & there for coding.

Debug My Plugin

I just put out an update to Debug My Plugin, the Debug Bar add-on.   The most recent update adds the ability to create multiple panels within Debug Bar each with a different label.  This makes it easy to not only break up the debugging output into functional elements on the UI but also allows multiple plugins on the same site to use Debug My Plugin without co-mingling the debug output into one “dump screen”.

This is a new tool that I’ve been using to make debugging all my plugins, including Store Locator Plus, less intrusive in the user interface.    If you ever have the urge to check it out you can install Debug Bar and the Debug My Plugin add-on.    When you run Store Locator Plus you will see extra panels being added to the Debug button on the Debug Bar admin bar.     I only have a few panels in at the moment, but eventually all debugging will go into the Debug Bar interface.   It eliminates the UI clutter, which is very helpful when debugging UI issues.    It is also lighter than the custom debugging system that is wrapping inside the wpCSL framework that Store Locator Plus uses.     If you do try this out,  don’t do so on a public or production site.  It does slow things down a little and if your users have admin interface access of any sort they may be able to see internal data you may not want them seeing.

PlugIntelligence

This is a plugin I created with a few hours of coding the other night.   It allows me to filter out the plugin search results from within my WordPress sites.    I use this to cut down on the “junk plugins” that WordPress returns.    The most useful filter I have in this plugin is “minimum tested version of WordPress”.   I’ve found that any plugin that has not been tested since the 3.3 release is very likely unsupported and not in active development.  For some searches this filters out a LOT of plugins I don’t want to look at.

The most recent release shows what filter parameters are set to on the top of every plugin search page.

A future update I’d like to add some day is the ability to turn the filters on/off with the “flick of a switch” right from the plugin search/results page.   Someday.

Store Locator Plus

I’ve done a couple of small patches for Store Locator Plus 3.11.2 that is coming out next week.   A CSS rule in default.css has been updated to fix positioning of the radius drop down menu on some themes.

The other new feature, which some people have been asking for, is the ability to use a shortcode to set the initial search radius for “immediately show locations”.

Woocommerce Premium Plugins System

This is a new add-on pack that I am writing for my own selfish reasons.   I need a way to support the Enterprise Subscriptions model that I’ve discussed on this blog before.    The only way to do that is to keep track of both the product and the VERSION of the product that people have ordered.    However there is NO PRODUCT that I can find on the WordPress eCommerce market that provides the feature set I need.   I’ve spoken to WooThemes, Cart66, and Easy Digital Downloads.  They all “get it” but nobody can offer a solution.

So I decided to write my own.  This is where most of my efforts are these days.

The goal is to great the Enterprise Subscriptions and then the Crowdfunding plugin so that I can generate enough income from the plugin sales to build out a lot of the cool new features people have been asking for.   While this is a distraction in the short term, in the long run I am hoping it provides the features I need on this site to support long term ongoing development of the Store Locator Plus ecosystem and spawns growth in some of the other plugins I have listed here.     If I can get this done properly that means I can contract some other programmers to help expedite the features that people are looking for.

With any luck I’ll have something cobbled together an usable within a few weeks.