Connections Revolutions in the Making

It’s been three months since I posted the Connections Reloaded 2 Roadmap and I must confess that I haven’t done much development on it since there.

I guess you won’t really blame me because my day job has kept me so busy that I have had little personal life but for a few occasions.
Additionally the impetus to devote additional time for developing hasn’t been really strong.

I have been doing a lot of thinking behind the scenes. Connections Reloaded has become really famous with around 2500 downloads at the time of this post and that too only from this site. Additionally it works perfectly with WordPress 1.5.x and 2.x. Hence, I didn’t want to discontinue it.
It was but appropriate that instead of calling the upgraded theme Connections Reloaded I decided to rename it.
Being a great fan of the Matrix series, I just chose to go with Connections Revolutions.

So what will be the new features?

Internationalization

This is top priority on my list. While Connections Reloaded has become really popular on English blogs, I have also seen it being used on many non-English blogs.
This will also be one the most difficult features for me to implement, considering there isn’t much documentation available on it.
Estimated time for completion: 6 hours

Seperate Trackbacks and Pingbacks from Comments

I have already implemented it on this blog. And can easily do this on the new theme.
Estimated time for completion: 30 minutes

WordPress 2 Support

While Connections Reloaded is perfectly compatible with WordPress 2, I hear there are a few custom hooks available which can help you customize the theme via WP-Admin. Have still not found documentation on the same. If anyone knows about it, please do post below.

Support for Plugins

I am incorporating code for various plugins. These are a few I am contemplating:

If you have any suggestions for other plugins please do comment below.
Estimated time for completion: 12 hours (including testing the plugins)

Detailed Documentation

This is one major task. I realize how important it is to have good documentation. While most users will just find it easy to simply upload and activate the theme, many may want to delve into the theme, customizing it for them. This is on a slightly lower priority and I will begin work on this only after the first release.

Estimated time for completion: 3 days

Subscribe Page Template

With more and more subscribe services springing up, having a lot of buttons on the pages is just too much. I will be creating a Subscribe Page template so that you can move all your buttons to a seperate page, something like how I have implemented here.
It will require you to just create a new page using this template.
Estimated time for completion: 1 hour

Different flavours

With left sidebar, right sidebar and three column.
Estimated time for completion: 1 hour each for the first two, 3 hours for the last.

A New Look

This is a “maybe”. While I have been thinking of changing the look for Connections Revolutions, I’m not so sure on how much. It could just be a few image changes or maybe the color scheme. Then again I may just stick to the old look.

Header Image

Will be providing a PSD for the header image. So if you use Photoshop, it will just be easier for you to change the header image of your blog.
Estimated time for completion: 12 hours

Though in some places I may have stated more time than needed, I’m also keeping in mind any complications that I may face.

As I said before, I’m a bit disappointed in the trickle of donations that have come so far (only three). I have got a lot of promises for donations, which have been only promises!

I have put up a Donations Received page listing the names and websites of everyone who has donated. The amount is blank, so you can fill in whatever amount you choose.

This entry was posted in Connections Reloaded, Themes, WordPress

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  • thats intresting ajay.
    lets see how it comes out.
    Good luck with the work.

  • the plug-ins look cool!

    but don’t you think that there are people who don’t want one or few of those installed on the theme? coz I use akismet hehe …

  • The plugin integration will be such that in case you don’t have the plugin, the theme won’t break. You wouldn’t know the difference.

    And in case you do, then you can utilize it’s functionality.

    Additionally, I will also be offering a “lite” version that will not have any plugin code.

  • the lite version will be a bright idea. i am sure there will be people who dont need the theme without the plugins.

  • Hi there, Ajay.

    I had one question I’m sure it’s related to the theme (I’ve also posted it in the plug-in’s dev site, but just in case).

    I have “Adhesive” installed on my site. This allows to set a “Sticky” flag on a post and that post will always stay at the top of the entry listing.

    This doesn’t work with the CR theme and I was wondering if you’ve heard about this in the past and if you could have a clue why it is. The post is treated like any other post regarding styling (which may be theme-related) and placement (which isn’t).

  • It could be some requirement that the plugin has.

    I read that the plugin requires some format of the date in the theme.

    The author hasn’t specified which format.

    If you get that please do share it in the forum.

  • Hi, Ajay. Can’t wait for this to finally come out.

    There are two things I’d love to see added to the Connections Revolutions:

    1. A builtin member-tracking plugin where we can see when a member last visited the site.

    2. A new look option with the sidebar acting as a middlebar. Something similar to the Squible theme.

  • Hi Can,

    Can’t promise on the tracking plugin because it is a great deal of uncessary work to put into a theme, especially when there are services like Statcounter or other WP stats plugins that would do a better job.

    I am thinking of the second option for the theme. It’s gonna take a bit of work, however it is glad that others are thinking like me :)

  • Great! Good luck on all your amazing and wonderful plans for Connections Revolutions.

  • Hi Ajay,

    Do you by any chance a good image gallery plugin which i can use? I am using the connections reloaded theme which I like a lot, it looks great! I want to use image galleries for my photos but unfortunately i cannot find it and if i did i don’t know how to integrate it in the theme. Anyhow, i will follow your work!

    Good luck and kind regards,

    Gerben Dijkgraaf

  • You can try Flickr and Falbum plugin.
    You can read HOWTO: Integrating FAlbum with Connections Reloaded

  • Any plans to widgitize connections reloaded?

  • Yes indeed andre.

    I’m working on that itself.

    I should be done within a week.

  • I am a fans and full supporter of your good job, keep up yr good work. It is very likely that yr theme will be my primary theme of all time.

  • Hello PurpleRain,

    Glad to know that you like my work. Am always trying to get better :)

  • As far as including support for plugins goes,

    Brians Latest Comments
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    Alot yes, but I had to mention them :)

    Can’t wait for the Revolutions to become a final release, I need a new theme!

  • Thanks for the suggestion TechZ.

    I’m still in two minds about whether to include plugin support in the theme, or create another version of it, i.e. two seperate versions and release.
    Let’s see…

  • I really like the three column layout of your site. I currently use connections but would like to switch to connections revoltions when it’s ready.

    Do you have a timeline for 1.0 release at all?

  • Hi James,

    Thanks for the comment. I haven’t had a timeline, because I haven’t got requests. As you can see the post was extremely old.

    But, I guess I should start working on Connections Revolutions now. Let’s see what I can churn out by Dec end or early Jan.

  • Pingback: Would you like Connections Revolutions? » Ajay - On the Road called Life!

  • Hi, Ajay,

    did you read my email about Connections Revolutions? Since I got no reply from you, I want to make sure you got it, hence this comment. I sent it through your contact form. Please get back to me on this asap. Thanks.

    Patricia.

  • Hi Patricia,

    Didn’t receive the email, but replied to your comment.



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