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Mar 12

The future of WP-Slimbox2

I’d like to think that since its inception WP-Slimbox2 has come a long way and that there’s not really much further to go. Having said that, I can think of a few changes that can still improve the plugins functionality over all.

One of the first things I’m looking to do is to utilize the copy of Farbtastic that’s already included with WordPress. At the time I implemented it WordPress did not include Farbtastic (I’m not sure it included any sort of color selection), and after searching I decided that Farbtastic was the best choice. Turns out the WordPress team thought so too, since they went ahead and incorporated it into a later build. Now that it’s included, I can remove my own copy and update my code to utilize it instead. Ultimately this shouldn’t really have a direct impact on anyone, but it does make the code better.

Another thing I’m looking at is to more extensively utilize the Settings API. Apparently it can be used for the entirety of your settings pages, so I’m going to see what I can do. At most, this should only affect the appearance of the settings page, but it also should improve the code.

When it comes to more substantial changes to the plugin, one of the most requested features has been the ability to resize images to fit the screen. In the past I usually avoided this request, viewing it as more a matter of having to actually change the core code of Slimbox2. Since I didn’t create, nor do I maintain Slimbox2, and the creator of Slimbox2 (Christophe Beyls) explicitely stated he would not add this feature because the intent of Slimbox 2 was simply to provide a beautiful display of the images with minimal overhead, I chose to simply reiterate his stance. In thinking about it more recently, however, I’ve decided that if I can find a way to manipulate the image sizes using an additional Javascript file, I could make this an option that you could choose to enable or disable. By enabling it, you would slightly increase your overhead, but you’d gain the benefit that the images would never be too large. I can’t say definitively that I’ll be able to do this, but I’m definitely going to take a serious look at it.

Another feature that’s been requested at least enough time for me to consider it would be the ability to replace the bottom “info bar” section, where you can display the URL and/or caption, with some sort of customizable code. Be it for social media purposes, or a special downloading script, etc. Again, I can’t say this is possible such that it could easily be utilized by everyone, but I’m definitely going to see what I can do.

There’s a good chance I’ll come up with more, and like I said, I can’t guarantee those two bigger features will ever happen, but there’s still some things to squeeze out of the plugin! If you’ve got any suggestions, chime in at the comments, or better yet, the forums. Please note, like I said above, any new features/changes need to be implemented from outside the actual Slimbox2 Javascript. I’m not going to alter that core code, however I’d be more than happy to build things around that.

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