I am very excited to announce an upgrade to the ever-popular (and FREE!) WP-Members plugin. This is tentatively going to be the 2.3.3 release, although depending on how much gets completed, it may push us to call this 2.4.
Update 11/12/2010: As a new feature release, I am releasing this as 2.4. The beta version is now available at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-members/download/. Just download the zip of 2.4. This tag will remain as any updates are made to the beta, so you’ll always have the most recent release.
First, some bug fixes
Since the 2.3.2 release, there haven’t been too many bugs, which is good. 2.3.2 was a bug fix release itself and it is always a little embarrassing to have a new bug come out with the bug fix release. However, some unnoticed (and pre-2.3.2) bugs have become apparent and will be corrected in this release. The most notable are the non-widget sidebar function and the stripslashes admin bug. Both of these have current (and easy fixes), but they are fully corrected in the upcoming release.
If anyone notices any other bugs, be sure to let me know soon so we can attempt to get fixes in prior to this release.
And, some new features
One of the most requests (and the most needed) new features for the plugin is CAPTCHA support. If you do not know what CAPTCHA is, it makes things difficult for automated/computerized processes to utilize the forms on your website/blog. The Official CAPTCHA Site has some good information on this. In our case, we want to prevent automated signups full of spam. So I have added a new option of placing a CAPTCHA in the registration form.
There were many possibilities in going down this road. There are a number of WP plugins that provide CAPTCHA for comments, contact, etc. I had considered the possibility of leveraging one or more of those. But that brought in a slew of potential landmines when compatibility is considered as well as future upgrades and how to pick one over the other. So I chose to go with what I consider to be the standard: reCAPTCHA. The reCAPTCHA project was chosen for a number of reasons:
- It is a project of Carnagie Mellon University, where the concept of CAPTCHA was introduced.
- It is now a project of Google Labs / Google Code.
- It helps with the digitization of books.
- It is FREE!
It is also widely used, so (a) it will not be foreign to a number of your users and (2) if you are already using reCAPTCHA, it should integrate with your existing site.
There are unforeseen pitfalls in any new feature release and this is no exception. While I have tried to build this with compatibility in mind, there could be potential collisions if you are using an existing plugin such as the WP-reCAPTCHA plugin. I tried to consider how other processes utilized reCAPTCHA and tried to keep this (a) restricted to WP-Members and (b) built in a way that it shouldn’t interfere with other instances of reCAPTCHA in the site. It holds its own settings for the reCAPTCHA keys and calls its own library. Please note: if you are already using reCAPTCHA in other areas of your site, even though I’ve tried to make this compatible, there could be potential problems I haven’t noticed.
Another new process is the addition of localization. I had been working diligently toward full localization support earlier in development, but somewhere along the way I introduced a slew of new features (essentially when the admin panel was introduced) with the intention of coming back to clean it up later. Well… I never did. Until now.
While I am not going to say that this release will have full support, I have diligently gone through and tried to make sure that we are ready to flip the switch. From this release I will release a thorough POT file for anyone interested in translating. For those of you that need foreign language support, there is already a list of potential translators that have come to me so we should have support in the future for quite a few languages.
Two other features that I want to get done, but may have to be put off are:
- Bulk Registration Moderation
- Bulk User Export
I’m trying to get those done for this release, but there’s quite a bit of work yet on already growing admin panel.
As always, if you have feature requests, feel free to let me know. Just keep in mind that requesting doesn’t equal immediate implementation.