It’s taken some time, but AFdN Countdown Timer has finally reached maturity…well, at least version 1.0. There are some big changes that you will need to know about before you upgrade to version 1.0!
Changes affect those who upgrade:
First and foremost, data from versions 0.95 (inclusive) and before will not work with version 1. I tried to make it work, but it was too hard and too complicated. If you have tons of dates and don’t want to write them all down, it should be easy enough to write a small script to move them. If there is enough feedback, I may even write it. The data is stored in an array in the WordPress Database called “afdn_countdowntracker”. If you call the array foobar, then the old data was formated like this:
thisOldDate = $foobar[$i][“date”]
thisOldText = $foobar[$i][“text”]
The new data is formated like this:
thisNewDate = $foobar[“oneTime”][$i][“date”]
thisNewText = $foobar[“oneTime”][$i][“text”]
thisNewDate = $foobar[“recurring”][$i][“date”]
thisNewText = $foobar[“recurring”][$i][“text”]
In short, an addional array was added. So, before you upgrade, write down all those important dates. Second, the template tag has been renamed to follow better coding standards. It is now called afdn_countdownTimer, there are still no parameters to pass to it.
For those installing Countdown Timer for the first time, welcome! It should be pretty easy to install. Just download the phps file. Once you’ve downloaded it, rename it with a .php extention and then upload it to your WordPress plugins directory. Go to your WP Admin panel and activate it, then go to your Options panel and click “Countdown Timer” and customize it. Don’t forget to add
<php afdn_countdownTimer(); ?> to your sidebar.php file or wherever you would like to put it.
I am but one man with only so many ideas. If you don’t see something you like, leave a comment and it will usually get it.
Before I forget, I need to throw out this warning for those of you who are somewhat paranoid. There is a new feature that, if enabled, will ask my server if there is a new version of the plugin availible. It is a simple HTTP POST request to http://www.andrewferguson.net/wp-content/dl/wp/version.php
(view the source here). The file looks another file called version.inc (found here) and then returns an appropriate string. No data is collected except for standard Apache web logs. Of the standard logs generated, I do not parse them to see who is checking for updates. If you want, you are more than welcome to write your own version checker, or run my version from your server, and remotely call the version.inc file.
That’s about it. Check the change log for a very concise rundown of changes and upgrades.