When I decided to no longer maintain my WP-Cumulus plugin a while ago, one of the reasons was that the project was in disarray. I wanted to improve so many things at once, that I ended up finishing none. One of the plugin’s parts however, the actual Flash movie, was 99% done. That’s why I’ve decided to put it on Github.
Note that this is “Cumulus”, without the “WP-”. It’s a new version of the movie, that uses a different, more generic XML format, and supports new things like unicode and device fonts. It’s not a WordPress plugin. If you’re looking to revive WP-Cumulus or incorporate the effect into other projects, it’s the ideal start. It’s the best incarnation of the effect, and I invite you to write stuff around it.
It’s been well over a year since I last blogged about WP-Cumulus. In the mean time, there have been all sorts of developments. I’ve been in serious talks with a potential buyer. That didn’t work out. I’ve tried, a number of times, to do a rewrite. That didn’t work out either. But most importantly, I gradually lost interest. Which is why I’ve decided I’ll no longer dedicate any time to Cumulus.
More I’ll no longer be developing WP-Cumulus
Ever since tags were introduced in WordPress 2.3, people have wanted to add tags to pages, not just to posts. For years now, Page Tagger has allowed you to do so. It’s a great plugin, and I’ve used it often. However, since it was created, WordPress has made it a lot easier to add tags to pages, and that new approach has some significant advantages.
I’ve been working with Bjorn Wijers on a project that uses Page Tagger, and we’ve found it to have some small – but pesky – issues. Bjorn gradually improved and simplified the code, and sent patches to the plugin’s author. Most of those changes are now part of Page Tagger, but Bjorn has decided to also release his own plugin.
More New WordPress plugin: Tag Pages
Noel Tock, who’s at WP On Tour with me, just released a brand new WordPress plugin that lets you accept Stripe payments. Stripe is a new, highly developer-friendly payment solution. They have low rates for processing and a great API. Right now, you can only use Stripe to accept payments if you’re in the US, but if you are, you can accept money from all over the world.
More Easily accept credit card donations with WP-Stripe
Because WP-Cumulus is open source software, the source files are available online. I didn’t package them with the regular plugin download, but you can download the Flash files from wordpress.org and my blog. Included in those downloads is a file called “tagcloud.xml”, which is mainly used to test the Flash movie locally, within Flash’s IDE. Unfortunately, that file sometimes ends up online. And, in most cases, it shouldn’t.
More Using Cumulus? Please check your tagcloud.xml!
A few days ago, @bakkel tweeted about WP Time Machine. This WordPress backup solution turned out to be exactly what I’d been looking for. It gathers all the relevant bits (like your blog’s database, uploaded images, etc) and uploads them to Dropbox, Amazon’s S3 or FTP. It even adds a file with comprehensive restore instructions. I’ve argued before that backups need to be absolutely painless, and with this plugin they are.
More WP Time Machine – free off-site backups for WordPress
When I first started using WPMU, the now-integrated multisite version of WordPress, I found it strange that there were no built-in tools to aggregate content onto the main blog. It seemed to me that that was something plenty of people would want to do. Sure, there were plugins and hacks, but none of them were as polished as I’d like them to be.
Fortunately, things have changed. WordPress 3.0 now has multisite capabilities built right into it, and Bjorn Wijers, a friend of mine and one of Holland’s top WordPress developers, has created a really cool plugin to handle content aggregation. Called bbAggregate, this plugin doesn’t just collect posts from blogs to be displayed on the home page, it allows you to display aggregated content on any of your network’s blogs. And to do this it introduces the concept of streams.
More bbAggregate lets you mix and match WordPress content
Recently, I came across discussions on Twitter, and a blog post about ‘hidden links’ in my WP-Cumulus WordPress plugin. Quite frankly, I’m a little embarrassed by this, and I’d like to explain how the situation came to be, and what I plan to change in upcoming versions.
More About the ‘hidden’ links in WP-Cumulus
I’ve been promising a new version of WP-Cumulus for a long time. I’ve tried working with more experienced PHP developers, but it’s been hard to find a really good one who’s able to devote time to the project. I still think a plugin like this should be a team effort, but for now I’m going to kick things back into motion again myself.
What’s ready at this point is a much cleaner rewrite of the plugin files, with the display logic in a neat little class that port authors will hopefully be able to reuse. I’ve also got a Flash movie that uses a user-defined system font, as a result is much smaller, and supports unicode tags.
More WP-Cumulus 2.0 is finally in development (again)
I hate having to do this, but I’m going to be closing the comments on most of the WP-Cumulus related posts on this blog. Because some have several hundred comments, they’ve become impossible to read and I find that the same questions keep getting asked over and over again. I’ve tried to patiently answer all of them, but I’m no longer able to keep up. Blog comments just aren’t a very good support mechanism.
If your question is about WP-Cumulus, the original WordPress plugin, not one of its ports or variations, please post it in the WordPress forums. This allows others to find the answers, and chances are your question has been discussed already. The forums are an invaluable resource, and offer a much better platform for WP-Cumulus support. If you add the “wp-cumulus” tag to your thread, I’ll almost certainly see it.
I’ll also try to update the FAQ more often. It’s a little out of date, but definitely still a good place to start. Oh, and for more info, see my support page.