New Plugin: WP Plugin Data

For better or worse, I’ve released a brand new plugin. It was one of those things I did spur of the moment because I wanted to implement something and the way I wanted to do it wasn’t available (insert some comment about necessity being the mother of invention here).

The new plugin is WP Plugin Data. It’s designed to use the Plugin API to get data about a specific plugin. John Blackbourn already wrote a plugin, Plugin Info, that does something similar. However, it requires that you set a Custom Field to the plugin name. I didn’t like this approach because I could only grab data for one plugin per a page.

So, using John’s plugin as a template, I wrote my own plugin that used shortcodes to add the data. And then I released it. This is why I love the GNU GPL. As for naming, I really hate it when plugins use the “WP” moniker in their titles. Typically, the plugin has absolutely no affiliation to WordPress and I feel the only reason they put “WP” in their name is to gain some form of (undeserved) recognition. For this reason, I really didn’t want to put “WP” in the title. However, I did end up using because this plugin actually does integrate itself into the backend using the API…so I feel the use is justified.

Anyway, enough about that.

Read more, or download version 0.5!

Force User Field Registration End-of-Life

For better or for worse, this is the End-of-Life announcement for Force User Field Registration.

This history behind the plugin is rather odd for me. I originally wrote it as a proof-of-concept for Add Custom fields to User Profile & Registration Pages. I never planned to actually implement it and support it, which I suppose it what I get for trying to be helpful ;).

In fact, the orginial code was just posted as a snipnet on my blog over two years and required the user to copy and paste the code into a file themselves! I finally released the code in a file you could download a four months later. It’s seen several upgrades, mostly to deal with WordPress updates that broke stuff and I even forked it into a version for WordPress MU.

I think one of the most difficult things about maintaining this plugin over the last few years is the fact that I never use it myself. I really enjoy using my own plugins and not using them on a regular basis creates a very wide disconnect for me, I don’t get to eat my own dog food.

I digress.

I was answering a request related to the Force User Field Plugin and doing some research when I came across a superior plugin that not only meets all goals set out by Force User Field Registration, but far exceeds them.

It’s called Register Plus and is coded by Skullbit.

I downloaded it and played with it briefly; and I have to say, I really like it. There are a few quirks that I’m sure the developer will work out, but nothing blocking. It also implements a number of requests that users have asked for in the past and I have not added because they fall outside the scope of the plugin or I never got around to.

Thanks to everyone who has ever used the the plugin or left a comment. At last check, there were over 1600 downloads and 143 comments (probably half of which are mine, though).

The formal announcement:

Force User Field Registration is going End-of-Life on or before December 31, 2008 23:59 PST.
I will continue to provide official patch releases (i.e. 0.6.x) as needed to maintain compatibility with WordPress 2.6.x and WordPress MU based on WordPress 2.6.x.

On or before January 1, 2009 00:00 PST, I will provide help on a case by case basis, however I will no longer be releasing updates.

The code will remain posted and licensed under the GNU GPL. The official plugin page will remain up: Force User Field Registration

What I believe to be a suitable replacement:
Register Plus by Skullbit.

BURL Update

I haven’t released any changes to BURL for three weeks, the last one change being the addition of Google Analytics tracking.

BURL continues to get about 30-40 hits/day, not including indexing by search engines.

Of things to note, someone has finally taken me up on my offer to use BURL under the GPL license. At first, I was a little angered. I really don’t know why. They did what I told them they could do. Humph. Unfortunately, the site doesn’t work because they haven’t configured it properly, go figure. Link:

I’m also planning on releasing a small change in the way BURLs are created. I think I’m going to drop the inclusion of sub-domains. It doesn’t provide a whole lot of context.