Week 6 Status report

Another week has gone by, This weeks mainly been spent on:

  • Optimizing the code
  • Struggling through a weird problem with bbPress Searching, It took some effort, but i eventually worked it out (Stupid mistake on my part!)
  • Cross-browser CSS (IE had/has some issues)

But now i’d like to put a call out for some testers, The API is not hosted on WordPress.org, its hosted on my own server, so i’d prefer not to have heaps of people searching (My hosts MySQL is slow enough as it is). What i’m after is people who are willing to play around with it and make suggestions, If thats you, drop me a line via my contact page and we’ll work something out :)

I’ve updated the patch available at http://wordpress-soc-2008.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/dion/plugin-install.diff but its a bit weird, Some core WordPress commits are showing as code additions, not sure why (Merging must be failing), I’ll have to move it over onto a more clean install ready for 2.7 trunk code (My current aim is for this to start being commited into the 2.7 branch once 2.6 is out in a week or so)

Also, I took a bit of a break this week, As you can see by my pretty new facelift for the site; Long way there, And ran over many bugs on the way here! (..More caching is needed on category get_category_by_*() functions btw… Its accounting for ~6 queries all for the same object atm — I’ll think about writing up some patches soon possibly)

New Site Theme

Well, If you’re a RSS reader, Please come on over to http://dd32.id.au/2008/07/04/new-site-theme/and check out my new Site Layout.

I’m slowly putting this back together with a new theme, So take note of any major bugs which you notice, and give me a yell. I know IE is going to be a bit picky, i’ve done my best (And most of them are ironed out) but of course, it’s doing seemingly random things. (Took me 2 hours to get a padding error with the sidebar in IE destroying the post alignments, Still havnt got the footer working right in IE)

Some things to note:

  • First and foremost – A bit of a face look
  • Gravatars are supported now, On the commenting form, You’re avatar should appear when you add your Email address, IF you do not have a Gravatar Avatar, Head on over to http://www.gravatar.com/ and get one :)
  • Post Primary categories are now shown before the Post title, Previously they were added manually (Eww..)
  • Homepage is now not my Blog entries, Its destined to be a quick access page to the various locations on dd32.id.au, My plugins, Summer of Code, And other applications will be featured. (Oh, As well as Galleries/images attached to various posts).
  • Homepage will probably also include ramdom images/sites i come accross — We’ll see.
  • A few technical things which i’m proud of in there too, It’d be supprising to some people the ammount of custom code for this theme (only 800lines for functions.php)
  • Bugs’a’Plenty

Well thats all for now.

Week 5: Its the end of the week allready?!

Well, That says it all :)

As i said last week, I’ve mainly been coding behind closed doors, Hopefully next week things will open up to the world a bit more.

This weeks progress

  • Finally have some real data to use, so the API is 99% working (Infact, Its doing everything needed right now, But i’m finding bugs now and then)
  • Lots of UI Progress:
  • Plugin information dialogue prior to installing

Major items that need completing

  • Lots of styling
  • Grammar & spelling
  • Check if the plugs installed first before asking to install
  • More styling
  • Filtering & ordering in the API / UI

Now, Some Screenshots.

Week 4: Coding behind closed doors

As my webhost is down; I’m writing my status report here directly this week, And will post to my blog later.

Current Status:

  • API: Working locally, Still need to figure out how to use the Plugins tracker code to get a useable plugin zip location (From memory: I couldnt work out the input requirements for the function, The fact i have no useable data other than the core plugin and which meta keys the usual data is stored in isnt helping, But getting access to working test data isnt allways the fastest when people have a life to lead :))
  • Plugin Install in WordPress:
    • Interfacing with API: Pretty much working
    • Searching, Browsing, Etc works
    • Installing plugins Works too, Some code has been duplicated from the upgrader, And some code moves from the update main files to a generic common center location (misc.php / file.php)
  • Install Confirmation dialogue hasnt been started, I’m waiting on getting the API working before proceeding there.

So far i’ve been coding behind closed doors, Simply because I prefer to release code which works, So far this has just been delayed more as 90% of
the code relies upon the API to be operational. I personally do not mind re-coding large chunks of work, So with that in mind, I’d appreciate it
people were to read over the current code, While you’ll not have much luck in using it yet (I’ll get around to working in some test data if the API
doesnt come good this week), Some comments on the code flow would be appreciated.


Ah, Right:
The wp_generate_tagcloud function has been changed in that patch, Its able to be re-used now, Infact, I’ll submit a trac ticket for that in a moment
if theres not allready one.

Week 3

Not much to report this week.

  • More API work, End result is defined, Currently finishing off integrating it with bbPress
  • Random thinkings on the UI
  • Some backend work on plugin installing, Both implementing the new API, and installing plugins
  • Some feedback on the UI is stilll flowing in from the wp-hackers message

See, I said there wasnt much of note :)

Exams early this week, But much more work expected to be done in the 2nd half of the week.

Week 2

First of all, I’ve got to start writing the Weekly reports at the start of the week and filling in the details as it happens.. Remembering whats happened the last week is a PITA.

  • Seeked feedback on the UI’s, Mixed response, But a good few responses
  • Installed bbPress and started writing up an API
    Btw: Whats faster?

    • A Query to get the bbPress topics, and then a query to load the first post of each(to get the post_text)
    • A single query with a join to grab the post_text along with the topics?

    EXPLAIN SELECT… doesnt show any significant difference. And looking at the ms times with my *really* small data set (11 posts) there does not appear to be much of a difference at all.
    *EDIT*: 2 Queries are taking ~ 0.0015s (Told you it was a small result set..), A join query is taking 0.0036s usually, However keeps spiking up to 0.0080s, My guess is that 2 queries are going to scale better.

  • Some backend work done on some installer code
  • Experimented with the layouts of the Plugin listing (search results mainly)

Week 1

Once again, I’ve been selected to take part in the Google Summer of Code. This year my aim is to complete the work on the Trac Ticket #6015. In short: Allow plugin installations directly from the WordPress administration interface

As usual, I’ve allready started working on the coding previous to this week, and as such, do have some code to show for my efforts, However, My personal aim is to get an API off the ground for the WordPress Plugin Respositories before releasing any code which could utilise it.

Work so far:

  • API: So far i’ve drafted up a first scratch at designing a flexible API which returns the details needed for the search, as well as details for other projects which wish to access the data. It’d be run over a serialized post request the same as the current API’s, My iniial thoughts of objects can be found here: http://dd32.id.au/files/soc2008/pi_api_test2.html i’d appreciate input from others on that, What is missing, Whats needed, etc.
  • UI: I’ve not released any code for the UI yet, I’d prefer to get the API implemented and returning useable information ASAP before any UI feedback comes in, This is initially to allow the UI to have access to the data that it needs. (RSS can only provide limited details). A Quick mockup of the UI which relies on RSS details is shown below:

So, List of items achieved this week:

  • API Design
  • Basic UI design
  • Rather large chunk of work on the WP_Filesystem abstraction to fit in with recent changed to trunk
  • Looked at a change in UI for the plugins table to fit in better with being able to install a large number of plugins, A Delete/Uninstall option might be needed on the plugins page, As well as seperating it into 2 tables, “Currently Active plugins” and “Available Plugins”. 2 tables does not make much sense in the 2.5 world with people usually only having plugins installed which they need, But with the ability to search and install plugins, a larger number of people may end up with a list of 20 or so plugins which they have available, yet do not use, which could fill the active plugins table up..

And finally:

If you have any input on anything mentioned here within, Or anything mentioned in this Google Groups post, please do leave a comment with your thoughts :)