Key/Major changes are added to this page during development. Second version down is the latest stable package. The first version is the current build which you can request for testing at anytime. Use it in production at your own risk.
Changes are added to the very top of the “in development” list. Please visit occasionally if you are waiting on a change.
6.9.7 (in development)
- Log Screen: I decided the initial approach of having different types of log entries being displayed on relevant screens was the wrong approach. It meant too many extra screens and accordion panels. We now have a single Log screen which allows the user to select which columns they would like to display and customize the query using every single column. This will be a very handy screen for many reasons. Expect to see this Log screen in all of our plugins planned for release before 2013 is over.
- Tooltips: today I added a basic tooltip script to the plugin. I’m using it to create tool tips for form labels rather than adding a “?” as we see on many interfaces. So far I’ve added the tips to settings screens. I won’t be added it to the rest, it is a long task. I’ll add them during future development.
- C2P Flags: we occasionally hint at the future use of a “plugin core” being developed within CSV 2 POST. It explains the plugins file structure. The core needs to have a flagging system and in each plugin we create it will be used to flag different things for different reasons. The main thing is that we do have a way to alert users to possible issues or things that need to be done. It essentially creates an administration list. In CSV 2 POST the aim is always to minimize administration. But if your data has duplicate rows or you try to create the same post twice, flags will be created. The flags will be in the form of custom posts that hold all the information required for investigation and a decision to be made on how to deal with the items flagged. This system will be provided in the free edition but will be used far more by the premium.
- Content Template Test Posts: this is a post edit screen meta box on the C2P Content post type. Consider the scenario where you have created hundreds of posts. They have been live on your blog for weeks and one day you decide you want to alter them. Maybe you want to add more information from your data or change the layout. This new feature which you can read more on here, lets us test our changes to the post content. We enter post ID for posts that were created using the template and see our changes being applied on a smaller scale. This is a premium feature.
- Duplicate Post Prevention Options: options have been added on the post creation screen. They allow us to delete the old post that matches a new one being created, delete the new one and keep the old one or we can just flag them for attention. A possible improvement is to adopt the existing post when discarding the new one. We would put the existing posts ID into the projects database table so that CSV 2 POST controls it from then on. This upgrade will be done on request or sometime far in the future as it is on our task list. The free edition will have some level of duplicate prevention but it will not be as smart or flexible as the free edition. In some cases users expect certain elements of a post to duplicate, even titles depending on what data is being hosted. Only the premium edition allows flexibility to get around these rare requirements.
6.9.6 (stable release)
- Data Rows Duplicate Prevention: if you have CSV files that may have duplicate rows CSV 2 POST can now help you deal with with them. New options have been added to the same form we used to import data. We can select to delete rows or flag them for further attention. The flag process is not fully complete but in progress right now.
- Free Edition Reduced: most feedback indicates that the majority of users downloading the free plugin are very new to WordPress or working with data in this way. They seek something very simple and straight to the point. Previously we felt we had to provide bells & whistles to ensure users create genuinely great blogs that rank well. Basic importers don’t use WordPress to its full and cannot do this as well as premium plugins. However this does not seem to be an important factor to most users downloading the free edition and it now offers Quick Start screen only.
- Labels Screen (Beta): the labels screen is a concept I do not want to explain in great detail online. One ability it will provide is pairing data columns with common elements i.e. link, image, description, title, price. Basic plugins require us to pair our CSV file headers to these. CSV 2 POST is far more advanced and the new Labels screen will take it to a new level if my idea works out.
- Beta Mode: added a beta mode so that we can add features and delay their widespread use a little longer. Keen beta testers can activate it to see new screens and features. To be clear, changes will still be well tested prior to release. Even more than we used to over the last three years. The beta mode is simply to ease features out into the hands of more advanced users as a measure of extra caution.
- Styling and Layout: I moved the support buttons (Info,Video) to the right by splitting the content of accordion panels into two. This was to allow the forms and information in panels to move up. It creates a better flow when browsing accordions and scrolling downwards and we are less distracted by those buttons. The WordPress CSS mode has been greatly improved to a point where the plugin is far more enjoyable to use.
- jQuery: updated to 1.9.1 which is what WordPress 3.6 (due for release soon) is using. It seems to have caused an issue with the cookie plugin that stores the last tab clicked but apart from that the jQuery UI interface mode works great.
- Extension System: great improvements made to bring the extension system closer to allowing multiple extensions to be loaded at once. A few more lines of code and it is done, but small baby steps is best for this. Ability to install individual extensions and view their installation status has been added. This is important for a long list of extensions planned and in demand.
- Text Spinners (UPGRADE): text spinning now allows nested curly braces/curly brackets. I’m not going to go into depth regarding how this works. What I will say for anyone reading is that the plugins price will increase soon. These features will not be giving away at the current low price for much longer.
- Post Adoption (NEW): post adoption is a very important ability. It allows our ultimate data import to take control of existing posts. It will take control of posts created manually or posts created using other imports. It’s a fun ability to see in action but it requires a lot of testing. I predict many users will fail to understand how complex a procedure it is to automatically take control of an existing post and overwrite values in it. It should always be tested and more importantly the blog database should be backed up before using it. One incorrect setting and the plugin could adopt the wrong posts, causing incorrect modifications. The introduction of this feature has me considering database backup tools i.e. automatically duplicating all tables then deleting them at some stage. Post adoption currently works by comparing existing custom fields. We can upgrade it at anytime to check post titles, post slugs/names and even the entire post content. I’m trying to provide a way for the user to control what is modified in existing posts i.e. add custom fields to posts but do not re-build the content.
- Excerpt: changes to excerpt being created in both free and paid editions. A new function to handle it and applying a better approach to calling functions within the bigger post creation function. Paid edition text spinning for excerpt bug fixed.
- Category Splitting (NEW): improvements made to category splitter, the feature that splits categories stored in a single column. The approach is to put the data into separate columns and continue our Data Engine functionality.
- Post Title: a new function has been created for establishing post titles. The code in the function was previously inside the larger post creation function. The new function includes spinning. We can now add text spinners to our title templates. It also prioritizes templates over pre-made title data. Defaulting to pre-made title values, if setup, when no template is setup. This could happen if title template rules are saved and those rules do not establish an applicable template.
- Post Format: the latest version of WordPress delivers a new feature that allows themes to format a post based on its post format. It means each theme can treat a specific format in its own way. Some theme authors ask why we don’t just use custom post types or categories. I won’t go into the reasons why but the reasons why do exist and post formats are a great feature. CSV 2 POST supports the new post formatting ability in the most basic way for now. Quick Start on the free edition allows selection of a post format so that it can be applied to all posts generated. This will become handy in time. The premium edition Quick Start and sandbox area also allows the selection of a data column in which we can have a mix of post formats should our CSV file rows include different types of content. I don’t think there is a lot of room for expansion so prove me wrong and post your ideas.
- Text Spinning: changes have been made to improve text spinning for post content and separated changes to improve text spinning in custom field values. Changes include a fix for a certain type of spinner, not the curly brackets one. I suspect few use the other methods and so won’t see a change when they update the plugin.
- Custom Fields: some changes to custom fields interface and scripts on paid edition. There is a new panel for creating custom fields where the value is generated from a template. This new panel has the WYSIWYG editor so that we can save our custom fields content template when creating the custom field rule. Key changes to script may deliver slight behavior changes but I doubt many users are using custom fields in a way that this will change things for them. However I still, as always, recommend testing before use. I improved text spinning within the custom field value.
- Dates Format: menu added for selecting the format of your date strings, if you know it. This feature will have more benefit later but right now it does allow us to give the user of using the strings exactly as they are, no re-formatting.
- Schedule Posts: if you use your own dates data as post publish dates and your dates are in the future. Posts will not be properly schedule by WordPress and published by WordPress.
- ECI (now Quick Start): the ECI screen now named Quick Start has been improved in both free and paid. WYSIWYG editor has been added both. A fix was applied for bad behavior when using the same CSV file two or more times. It was causing the project table to have issues that would prevent data being imported and the user would eventually get told they had no records to create posts with. Support for the new Post Formats has been added to the Quick Start for both editions also, yes that is right. I count three major improvements for Quick Start in the free edition, however the cost may be reduction of the rest of the plugin or just some up-selling of our services on some pages.
This patch delivers big changes to the file structure of the plugin package. The changes are a result of our plans to create the perfect plugin core. We are finally satisfied with our approach and don’t expect such file structure changes again. All that remains regarding files is to rename some so they follow the same standard. This will be done systematically so that it does not cause any issues.