Meteor Slides 1.4 features a new slideshow design, support for the Members plugin, custom slideshow script support, and several new and updated translations.
Meteor Slides has been busy since version 1.3.3 was released. The number of downloads doubled to over 40,000 with nearly 80 ratings and many generous donors have also helped to keep my coffee cup full, thanks!
I recently created a GitHub repository for Meteor Slides; drop by if you’d like to fork, pull, watch, or otherwise fiddle with my plugin.
A new slideshow skin
The most noticeable change in version 1.4 is a new skin for the slideshow. The new navigation arrows and paged buttons improve the visibility on a wider range of backgrounds and just freshen things up a bit. See it in action on the plugin homepage.
These updates should enhance the navigation’s usability without being too drastic of a change visually. But no one has to switch the design of the slideshow on their site. I have packaged up the original design as a slideshow skin called Retrograde that you can drop into the theme to use the original design.
Keep an eye out for more slideshow skins, I have a few on the drawing board that I will release soon.
Members plugin support
You might be able to tell from my plugin, but I don’t like to add functionality to themes when there is an awesome plugin that could be used instead. The same goes for adding functionality to plugins!
Allowing users to control which roles have access to Meteor Slides has been on my GitHub issues list for a while now. This could be built into my plugin, but that adds complexity that most users don’t need and deviates pretty far from the plugin’s purpose. And there is already an awesome plugin for managing users and roles called Members.
Justin Tadlock’s Members plugin is one of the few plugins I use on nearly every site I build. With Members it is simple to customize a role for a client that has just the capabilities they need to create a better user experience.
I knew I wanted to extend those custom roles to include Meteor Slides capabilities as well. My first attempts at supporting Members didn’t work out, but thanks to Justin’s book, Professional WordPress Plugin Development, which he co-wrote with Brad Williams and Ozh Richard, I was able to get it working great!
Adding support for the Members plugin is the most noticeable improvement, but there are a lot more behind the scenes. I added uninstall functionality for plugin options, moved the admin functions to a separate file, re-organized the plugin, and really improved the code overall. If you want to write awesome WordPress plugins, this is the book to get!
Custom slideshow script
I have extended Meteor Slide’s support for custom stylesheets and templates to include slideshow scripts as well. This should rarely be needed, but is handy if you need to heavily customize the paged navigation. Check out the documentation on custom slideshow scripts to learn more.
Meteor Slides is now available in fifteen languages thanks to the kindness of these translators!
Hebrew: Translation by Ariel Klikstein
Japanese: Translation by COCOM
Polish: Translation by Marcin Pronobis
Portuguese: Translation by Hugo Baeta
Russian: Translation by Boris Homiakov
Updated Swedish: Translation by Simon Wämmerfors