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More Plugin Updates for Locator Plus

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More Store Locator Plus add-on packs were updated this weekend.    All of the third party add-on packs have bee updated to be fully compatible with Store Locator Plus 4.3, released last week, and WordPress 4.3 which was released on the same day.    The updates will bring all features and functionality up-to-date for the latest changes to WordPress and Store Locator Plus.

The plugins that were updated today include:

Store Locator Plus 4.3.01

An update to Store Locator Plus that addresses several reported bugs in SLP 4.3 is available in prerelease.   4.3.01 is expected to be a production version in the next 48-72 hours.

This release will fix the “admin white screen” on some installs using specific versions of PHP that are unable to do “look forward” class recognition in include files.    It also fixes an issue with certain PHP environments that have strict double-colon constant definitions where users are mixing 4.2 version add-on packs with version 4.3 of the base plugin.

Premier 4.3.01

Premier Plugin version 4.3.01 is also coming out next week along with the SLP 4.3.01 patch.    The latest iteration of the Premier plugin adds the ability to turn the “Streetview Man” on-and-off on the map interface.   This feature requires SLP version 4.3.01.

Change Log

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Store Locator Plus 4.3 Release Schedule

4.3 RC Status Aug 6 AM

Store Locator Plus 4.3 is expected to be released into production during the week of August 17th along with 4.3 versions of all add-on packs.

4.3 RC Status Aug 6 AM
4.3 RC Status Aug 6 AM

Store Locator Plus is now in Release Candidate status.  You can download the prerelease near-production-ready version from the StoreLocatorPlus.com website.   The prerelease version is available at no cost from the store.  If you’ve already added the prerelease version to your account you can login and download; no need to re-purchase.

Most add-on packs are now in RC status as well.   If you have purchased the production version of an add-on pack you can download the prerelease version by logging in to you StoreLocatorPlus.com account.

The more people that can test version 4.3 of the Store Locator Plus plugin and add-on packs the faster it can be released to production.    Prerelease, including RC versions, of the plugin should not be used on a production system without first testing your environment on a staging (testing) copy of your site.  Companies like WP Engine make creating staging copies of your live site very easy.  If you do not employ staging sites as part of your website management strategy you really should consider switching to a hosting company that supports easy site cloning for testing purposes.

 

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Update: SLP pre-release alpha to 4.3 Locations Manager New look

Hello all…the countdown has started for the much awaited Store Locator Plus pre-release to version 4.3 to go live.

The Manage Locations Interface will have a whole new look, including a hide columns and sort feature replacing the expanded display from SLP 4.2 views. A cleaner and simpler design for the User Interface without losing functionality. There will be some buttons that have been moved, or boxes that are renamed. We will try to get the majority of changes documented with screenshots so stay tuned! I am excited about this release I hope you will be too.

If you are upgrading from 4.2.xx to 4.3 there is a new look and simplified labels
If you are upgrading from 4.2.xx to 4.3 there is a new look and simplified labels
SLP 4.3.00 will add locations  same as before
SLP 4.3.00 will add locations same as before

 

Store Locator Plus 4.3 Video Manage Locations preview
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Enhanced Search and SLP Prerelease Patches

Further testing of the upcoming Widget Pack release has uncovered some unusual interactions between various settings with the add-on packs.   A patch has been created for both the Store Locator Plus base plugin (4.2.39) and Enhanced Search (4.2.08) that address several interaction problems.

The SLP 4.2.39 patch creates a more robust SQL query handler for cleaning up rogue HAVING clauses.   The result of this change is that a bug in the data selector for Enhanced Search is repaired automatically by the base plugin.     It turns out that having Enhanced Results “Always Show Featured Locations” enabled AND having Enhanced Search “Ignore Radius Unless Address Is Entered” created a conflicting SQL clause and yielded no locations when used at the same time.

ES 4.2.08 fixes a related problem with removing the distance clauses when Immediately Show Locations is in effect.  It turns out that using the “Ignore Radius Unless..” option would mean the immediately show locations feature would show EVERYTHING because the radius, even though set in the admin panel, was now ignored.

Testing, including new test for this corner-case interaction, is underway.

Formal production releases for both products is expected within 24 hours.

Change Log

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Scheduled Location Imports Coming To Store Locator Plus

Store Locator Plus and the Pro Pack add-on prerelease versions were published today.    The upcoming version of the Pro Pack is undergoing testing.   The update to the Pro Pack includes a way to schedule location imports on an hourly, twice daily, or daily basis.   The locations CSV files are fetched from a remote resource specified in the file import interface.    Background imports can also be performed immediately; a useful feature when importing large CSV files as the background import does not tie up your current browser session.

PRO 4.2.03 Scheduled Import
PRO 4.2.03 Scheduled Import

As part of the Pro Pack scheduled (cron) import process, the base plugin was changed to relocate the process that adds locations to the database into the location class.  This change should not impact functionality of the base plugin or add-on packs provided you have kept your add-on packs updated to the latest release.   The change allows not only the Pro Pack but custom applications and plugins written by the user community to add locations using either the Cron or AJAX WordPress APIs without having to load or manipulate the admin interface class.

[box type=”alert” style=”rounded”]Prerelease products are not intended for use on production systems.[/box]

Target release for both products is within 24 hours; prior to traveling to Orlando. Charleston Software Associates is a sponsor for WordCamp Orlando 2014.

 

Product Change Logs

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Store Locator Plus Prerelease Available To Everyone

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Effective immediately, Store Locator Plus Prerelease versions are now available to everyone at no cost.

Rather than post the individual patches in the forums, CSA has decided to make the PRERELEASE VERSION of Store Locator Plus available as a FREE product.    Once you “purchase” the Store Locator Plus prerelease version you will always have access to the latest prerelease version of Store Locator Plus before the final tested version is published to the WordPress Plugin Directory.

Note:  PRERELEASE VERSION in caps because it should not be used on a production system.

You can “purchase” the prerelease copy here to get the updated Store Locator Plus add-on to install and test.  /product/store-locator-plus-prerelease/

To replace the production version of SLP with the latest prerelease version:

  1. “Purchase” the free copy of the plugin using the link provided.
  2. Download the prerelease zip file.
  3. Login to your WordPress site.
  4. Deactivate and Delete the Store Locator Plus base plugin (locations and settings will be retained).
  5. Add New / Upload / Activate the prelease version.

When the production release is available you can either wait until a NEWER production version comes out (a number higher than your prerelease version) and let WordPress auto-notify you of the new version and do the “in place update” or you can manually do the same process as outlined above to remove the prelease version of Store Locator Plus and install the production version downloaded directly from the WordPress Plugin Directory.

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Tagalong 4.2, With Per Category URLs, Released

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Tagalong, the add-on pack for Store Locator Plus that helps manage location categories is now available.  Version 4.2 is built on the new Store Locator Plus add-on framework giving it added stability and performance along with consistency between how the add on packs operate.    In addition to the 4.2 framework, there are some new features in the 4.2 release including:

Per-Category URLs

Every category can have a URL as well as a target window for the URL.    When a category has a URL attached the icon will be linked to the URL when it is rendered in below-the-map results.    The target window determines whether to open a new browser window or tab when a user clicks the icon.

Category Rank

Categories can be ranked.    The rank of the category determines which map marker is displayed.  The lower the rank the higher the priority.

Tagalong 4.2 Icons and Markers On Map
Tagalong 4.2 map markers and icons displayed on a map search.

Category Manager UI Tweaks

The built-in WordPress category manager has been updated to show the map markers, icons, and rank for each category when the page is loaded.   Unfortunately I’ve not discovered a way to get the WordPress AJAX interface to render the new data when adding a new location, however future visits to the page will show the icons and map markers.

Tagalong Markers and Icons on WP List Page

Tagalong Details

Prerelease version of ALL Store Locator Plus plugins are always available to Premier Members.    Tagalong prerelease copies are also available to customers that have purchased the add-on pack from the CSA website.  Prerelease software is not for use on production systems.

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Store Locator Plus 4.2.07 Is Out

Store Locator Plus Everything Banner

Version 4.2.0 of Store Locator Plus has passed final testing in is now available to the general public.    Including in this release are the following features and fixes:

Uncoded Location Hint

Locations which have not been properly geocoded will not show up in search results. In addition to the red highlight color, the Manage Locations interface on Store Locator Plus has been updated to add text indicating locations that will not appear in search results.

SLP 4.2 Manage Locations Inactive Location
The inactive hint for uncoded locations.

Users with the Pro Pack add-on can check off the location an select “recode selected” from the bulk actions menu.    Users without the Pro Pack can edit the location and change any part of the address to have it recoded, including putting a blank space at the end of any address line.

Results Layout Patches

The results layout process has been patched to address HTML rendering issues.  The bug, introduced in a recent SLP update, was encoding HTML on the results coming back during a location search which disabled Tagalong and Social Media Extender icons.   This has been addressed.

The results layout processor also has a new format=”decimal2″ attribute that provides a mechanism for 2-digit output for things like the upcoming Real Estate Extender add-on pack which displays price fields.

The  rendering of location HOURS has also been addressed in this patch.

Extended Data Is Smarter

Some installs end up with a corrupted data version or extended data marker setting in the options table.  While the source of that corruption has yet to be discovered and resolved, the database interface for SLP 4.2.07 is smarter and makes detection of extended data fields more resilient.   This resolves several “No Results Found” issues that users encountered on sites that are using Enhanced Results.

Another major update is consistency when adding locations versus updating locations.   In prior versions of the Store Locator Plus all extended data fields were left at a NULL value in the database when a new location was added.  However updating the locations would replace the NULL values with 0 values (number fields) or spaces (text fields).    In the latest update the add locations configuration now saves data with 0 or space values, the same as the default WordPress data engine for standard WordPress post types.

This update helps resolve issues with consistency of search results, especially whenEnhanced Results. is active and the Featured/Rank sort orders are used.    In relation to this change, Enhanced Results now treats a 0 rank the same as “no rank” which means locations with a rank of 1 through 99998 appear before locations ranked as 0.

SLP Featured Rank Null Sort
A real-world example of editing a location changing featured, rank, distance sort order.

Add On Pack Helpers

Several new features have been added to assist add-on packs integration with the base plugin.  This includes a couple of new filters for managing the edit location screen with extended data and a way to manipulate the radius selector.   The new hooks are slp_edit_location_change_extended_data_info and slp_change_ui_radius_selector for add-on developers looking for more info.

In addition the AJAX add-on base class has been extended to help further simplify the AJAX-ready add-on packs.   There is also a new base UI class in the add-on framework to simplify the User Interface classes in the add-on packs.   These base classes make all add-on packs lighter and more efficient with minimal impact on the main plugin.   Other than a slightly larger zip file and a less than 1MB of additional disk space, the add-on framework has zero impact on the performance of the base plugin in return for significantly reducing the memory footprint while increasing performance of sites that have at least one add-on pack installed.

Store Locator Plus Changelog

Store Locator Plus 4.2.07  is available for immediate download from the CSA website and the WordPress directory.

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Store Locator Plus 4.2.06 Prerelease

Store Locator Plus Everything Banner

An update to Store Locator Plus is entering testing today. While in testing the prerelease version has been made available to Premier Members. Here are the highlights of what is coming in 4.2.06.

Uncoded Location Hint

Locations which have not been properly geocoded will not show up in search results. In addition to the red highlight color, the Manage Locations interface on Store Locator Plus has been updated to add text indicating locations that will not appear in search results.

SLP 4.2 Manage Locations Inactive Location
The inactive hint for uncoded locations.

Users with the Pro Pack add-on can check off the location an select “recode selected” from the bulk actions menu.    Users without the Pro Pack can edit the location and change any part of the address to have it recoded, including putting a blank space at the end of any address line.

Results Layout Patches

The results layout process has been patched to address HTML rendering issues.  The bug, introduced in a recent SLP update, was encoding HTML on the results coming back during a location search which disabled Tagalong and Social Media Extender icons.   This has been addressed.

The results layout processor also has a new format=”decimal2″ attribute that provides a mechanism for 2-digit output for things like the upcoming Real Estate Extender add-on pack which displays price fields.

The  rendering of location HOURS has also been addressed in this patch.

Extended Data Is Smarter

Some installs end up with a corrupted data version or extended data marker setting in the options table.  While the source of that corruption has yet to be discovered and resolved, the database interface for SLP 4.2.06 is smarter and makes detection of extended data fields more resilient.   This resolves several “No Results Found” issues that users encountered on sites that are using Enhanced Results.

Another major update is consistency when adding locations versus updating locations.   In prior versions of the Store Locator Plus all extended data fields were left at a NULL value in the database when a new location was added.  However updating the locations would replace the NULL values with 0 values (number fields) or spaces (text fields).    In the latest update the add locations configuration now saves data with 0 or space values, the same as the default WordPress data engine for standard WordPress post types.

This update helps resolve issues with consistency of search results, especially whenEnhanced Results. is active and the Featured/Rank sort orders are used.    In relation to this change, Enhanced Results now treats a 0 rank the same as “no rank” which means locations with a rank of 1 through 99998 appear before locations ranked as 0.

SLP Featured Rank Null Sort
A real-world example of editing a location changing featured, rank, distance sort order.

Add On Pack Helpers

Several new features have been added to assist add-on packs integration with the base plugin.  This includes a couple of new filters for managing the edit location screen with extended data and a way to manipulate the radius selector.   The new hooks are slp_edit_location_change_extended_data_info and slp_change_ui_radius_selector for add-on developers looking for more info.

In addition the AJAX add-on base class has been extended to help further simplify the AJAX-ready add-on packs.   There is also a new base UI class in the add-on framework to simplify the User Interface classes in the add-on packs.   These base classes make all add-on packs lighter and more efficient with minimal impact on the main plugin.   Other than a slightly larger zip file and a less than 1MB of additional disk space, the add-on framework has zero impact on the performance of the base plugin in return for significantly reducing the memory footprint while increasing performance of sites that have at least one add-on pack installed.

Prerelease Details

Store Locator Plus 4.2.06 Prerelease is available for immediate download for Premier Members and for customers that have purchased the plugin directly from the CSA website.

Prerelease software has not been fully tested and should not be used on production systems.

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Tagalong 4.2 Prerelease Available

Map Square Boxes Banner

Tagalong, the add-on pack for Store Locator Plus that helps manage location categories is now available in prerelease.  Version 4.2 is built on the new Store Locator Plus add-on framework giving it added stability and performance along with consistency between how the add on packs operate.    In addition to the 4.2 framework, there are some new features in the 4.2 release including:

Per-Category URLs

Every category can have a URL as well as a target window for the URL.    When a category has a URL attached the icon will be linked to the URL when it is rendered in below-the-map results.    The target window determines whether to open a new browser window or tab when a user clicks the icon.

Category Rank

Categories can be ranked.    The rank of the category determines which map marker is displayed.  The lower the rank the higher the priority.

Tagalong 4.2 Icons and Markers On Map
Tagalong 4.2 map markers and icons displayed on a map search.

Category Manager UI Tweaks

The built-in WordPress category manager has been updated to show the map markers, icons, and rank for each category when the page is loaded.   Unfortunately I’ve not discovered a way to get the WordPress AJAX interface to render the new data when adding a new location, however future visits to the page will show the icons and map markers.

Tagalong Markers and Icons on WP List Page

Tagalong Prerelease Details

Prerelease version of ALL Store Locator Plus plugins are always available to Premier Members.    Tagalong prerelease copies are also available to customers that have purchased the add-on pack from the CSA website.  Prerelease software is not for use on production systems.

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SLP Enhanced Results Patch, Prerelease

Colorful Old Map Banner

The Enhanced Results add-on for Store Locator Plus has been patched with the prerelease available immediately.    The latest *.12 release fixes an extended data error when featured location sort orders are selected.   Some installations end up with a corrupted option marking extended data availability; this patch works around that corruption.

A patch is on the way for the base Store Locator Plus plugin, version 4.2.06+ that further addresses the extended data option corruption to eliminate the issue for any add-on pack that uses extended data.

Prerelease products are not available to Premier Members and for customers that have purchased the add-on pack from the CSA website.      Prerelease products are not meant to be used on production systems as they have not been fully tested.

Enhanced Results Prerelease Details

 

 

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Directory Builder 4.2.03 Prerelease

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The prerelease patch for Directory Builder 4.2.03 is available to Premium Members via the downloads page.  This release fixes a check for the AJAX class definition, preventing duplicate loading of the AJAX class.   It is a minor patch that can solve issues on some installs that mangle the plugin loading process which can happen with some themes of plugins.

Directory Builder Prerelease Details

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Enhanced Results Patch Coming

Dotted Map Banner

A patch for Enhanced Results is on the way.  The patch is available today for Premier Member via the prerelease section of the downloads page.    The patch fixes a problem with some installs that have “Always Show” set for the featured results listings while not having extended data sets in place.    The new release ensures the extended data is added during activation.  If something prevents the extended data from being added the add-on fixes an issue where results are not returned.

Other updates are minor including a new Dutch (nl_NL) translation, as well as new Spanish and Serbian translations.

Enhanced Results Prerelease Details

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Store Locator Plus 4.2.05 Prerelease Testing

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Testing of Store Locator Plus 4.2.04 did not pass testing.   An update, patch 4.2.05, is available to Premier Members via the downloads page.   The current patch adds a patch for the missing distance display on the search results.   Testing will resume immediately with a target release of the production 4.2.05 update later this week.   Several updates including Pro Pack and Directory Builder patches are on hold pending final release of SLP 4.2.05.

Store Locator Plus Prerelease Details

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Pro Pack 4.2 Prerelease Available

Grid World Banner

Pro Pack, the most popular add-on pack for Store Locator Plus, has entered final testing of version 4.2.   The prerelease is available immediately for Premier Members.

Version 4.2 has simplified the admin interface, dropping the Pro Pack specific tab in the admin interface.   All of the options that appeared under the Pro Pack tab have been moved to various locations in the existing Store Locator Plus interface.  The sole exception is the seldom-used Tools / Lookup Location  feature which has been removed.      The Look & Feel elements now appear under the User Experience / View tab.    The Enable Reporting checkbox now appears under the Reporting tab.

Other, less-visible, changes include an update to the Reports interface framework and the converting Pro Pack to use the SLP 4.2 add-on framework.   The Reports update will make it easier to extend and maintain the Pro Pack reporting system as it has been converted from a proprietary PHP script to a standard SLP admin interface framework object.    The entire Pro Pack add-on uses the SLP 4.2 add-on framework which decreases memory usage, increases performance, and provides a more consistent and stable interface for all add-on packs.

Pro Pack Prerelease Details