It’s been 12 month since the previous Updates and Oddments post. I haven’t been completely idle during this time, but my rather erratic blogging schedule means that most of my side projects are released without fanfare.
Read on for a collection of ExpressionEngine-related oddments that quietly slipped out the back door over the past year.
Most of my “main” add-ons have received significant attention since the previous round-up post. Here are some of the forgotten highlights.
Campaigner has progressed steadily from version 4.0.0 to version 4.5.0, with nary a Tweet for its trouble.
Crumbly has also received some love, with a new
reverse_breadcrumbs tag parameter, and improvements to the way in which it “humanises” URL-encoded strings.
Along with Testee, OmniLog is the add-on that I most rely on in my day-to-day work, a fact reflected in the amount of attention both receive.
Over the past 12 months, OmniLog has progressed steadily (if somewhat unspectacularly), primarily with improvements to the pagination and filtering of results.
SmartDown 1.2 was such a (comparatively) significant release that it warranted its own blog post; quite the achievement for a point release.
Since then, SmartDown has been upgraded with new template tag parameters, and a very handy SmartDown Images extension. The latter uses SmartDown’s extension hooks to implement support for the “Matrix and NSM Transplant” image replacement technique.
Nevertheless, there is some useful stuff lurking in those repositories…
One of the reasons is that I’ve never really used MailChimp that much, and therefore have little motivation to update MailChimp Subscribe. As such MailChimp Subscribe has long been clothed in Campaigner’s hand-me-downs.
With the release of Campaigner 4.0 such code-sharing became impractical, and since then MailChimp Subscribe has mostly assumed the coveted role of “why did I ever release this bloody thing?”.
However, just because I’m a terrible parent doesn’t mean that MailChimp Subscribe is completely unloved. Several helpful souls have forked the repo and made significant improvements, including better support for third-party add-ons such as CartThrob and Zoo Visitor.
Eventually these updates may find their way into an official release, or perhaps MailChimp Subscribe will be officially relegated to GitHub. For now though, the repo is significantly more up-to-date than the official release.
In my experience, every ExpressionEngine site has at least one or two tricky problems that can’t be solved out the box, and for which no third-party solutions exist.
Languishing somewhere in the middle of this scale is Author Info. Author Info retrieves information about the author of a Channel Entry, and makes it available through custom template variables.
View the README for full usage instructions.
Developing an extension that works with the Simple Commerce module’s extension hooks is painful. Part of this is due to the module itself, but the PayPal Developer Sandbox deserves most of the credit for this particular circle of hell.
This is where the Simple Commerce Developer module comes in.
Simple Commerce Developer lets you generate realistic IPN notifications at the push of a button, completely circumventing PayPal and making it much easier to test your extensions.
If you’ve never had to extend the Simple Commerce module in this manner, you’re probably wondering why I’d even waste my time building such a thing. Everyone else is already downloading the ZIP.