It’s not released yet. Probably not until the end of September at this rate. Anyway, I wanted to add some information because like 3.0, Manga+Press 4.0 has breaking changes, this time surrounding the Latest Comic and Comic Archive page functionality.
The goal behind these changes was to bring these two pages back inline with how WordPress handles archive templates. The vast majority of issue reports I’ve had has had to do with these two pages, so the main goal for this release was to fix them.
There is an alpha version for download if you want to take it for a spin. DO NOT—I repeat—DO NOT use this version in a production environment because it will break things.
Comic Archive page
This is actually easier to deal with than the Latest Comic page was, because the fix was simple: enable the
has_archive option on the Comic post-type, and give it a custom slug. Which should have been done way back when I updated Manga+Press to use custom post-types. So now, the Comic Archive page follows the WordPress template hierarchy. Which means, that there’s no custom work going on in the backend to create the comic listing, other than the switches to change the templates, and grabbing all comics instead of a per-page amount. However, I may change “unlimited” to “per-page” with an option to override, because I can see “unlimited” causing potential performance issues if an end-user has a lot of comics.
Latest Comic page
After some consideration, I realized that this page didn’t fit into the standard WordPress template hierarchy, so something different had to be done. I decided (for now) on creating a custom end-point with its own template. With the custom end-point, there’s a base
$wp_query object that can be overridden by using the
pre_get_posts action. So I’m overriding that query to add the most recent comic.
I’m still thinking about creating a new custom post-type to handle Latest Comic page, which have the added advantage of having its own archive, which means that in theory, a comic author can run separate series.
Either way, the Latest Comic page functionality is still up in the air right now. What ever I decide on, I want to maintain some form of backwards compatibility.
After taking inspiration from WooCommerce, I’ve added new actions to allow other theme developers to better integrate Manga+Press templates. I’m also using another WooCommerce concept: theme compatibility. Basically, it eliminates the need for a child-theme if you’re using one of the standard WordPress themes, and I’m also providing a hook for other developers to add their own compatibility markup. What this means that I’m going to sunset the original child-themes, and keep compatibility going back to the TwentyFourteen theme.
Finally, with this next release, I’m no longer supporting versions of PHP older than 7.0, since WordPress itself now supports PHP 7.2. If your host doesn’t have the minimum requirements as recommended by WordPress, and if they won’t update their server to meet those requirements, then it’s very likely time to move on.
A quick update, and to keep a long story short, I needed a break from Manga+Press to work on other projects. I also needed a break to see what I wanted more clearly. To put it bluntly, I am not giving the project up for adoption, nor am I going to abandon it. I do need help with bug-hunting, providing support on the WordPress plugin forums, and I especially need help with documentation.
I also know that there have been a few WordPress updates to Manga+Press since the last update. I’ll need to check and make sure that those updates haven’t caused any breaking changes in Manga+Press.
And yes, the road-map for versions 4 and 5 is back on but I likely won’t get started until later in the spring.
That was finished — almost — quickly. I’m pleased to announce that Manga+Press 4.0 will be out next month.
New features coming in Manga+Press 4.0:
- Comic bookmarking
- Random comic link
- Social media integration
Manga+Press 5.0 will follow by the end of the year. I’ve made a command decision to focus heavily on redesigning the way the Series taxonomy works. As it currently is, the Series taxonomy causes some confusion in how navigation is supposed to work. What I’m looking at doing is splitting Series into three different taxonomies: Series, Issues, and Chapters, with possibly adding a Series or Issue cover option — where you can designate a comic post as a “cover” page. These changes could have some rather profound effects on the way the Archive and Latest Comic pages behave as well. I have an issue on Github detailing what’s going to happen with Series. You’ll note that the issue itself dates back to 2014, so this has been on my mind for a while now.
What happens to Manga+Press NEXT then? That project is officially dead. The other point of Manga+Press 5.0 is to integrate the changes from NEXT into Manga+Press core itself — namely the refactored navigation and unit testing. I unintentionally refactored quite a bit of Manga+Press core in 4.0, and that effectively killed NEXT. Chances are, the NEXT-to-5.0 integration will happen first, then the changes to the UI.
Till next time!
Took the summer off from Manga+Press. It was good idea, since I’m now back with some fresh ideas on how to proceed with the next updates.
I’m branching Manga+Press. Manga+Press 3.0 will become Manga+Press NEXT, which will contain some of the feature updates that would have gone into 3.0 AND eliminating the embedded themes while old Manga+Press 2.9.3 will continue on its own. I’m also re-writing Manga+Press NEXT from the ground up, the reason being that there’s a lot of crap that’s still leftover from the old days plus I want it to be more flexible than it already is. Manga+Press 2.9.x will receive bug-updates as needed, but I’m not going to add new features to it, while any new features in the future will go to Manga+Press NEXT.
Release date for Manga+Press NEXT? That’s still in the air, as I’ve only just started development on it.