Connections Reloaded 2.0 Roadmap

Have been meaning to post a roadmap for Connections Reloaded 2.0 for a while so here it is:

For those unaware, Connections Reloaded is my theme for WordPress 1.5.x onwards.

Connections Reloaded has come a long way from when I decided to shift from Spirit to Connections and I found Connections fabulous looking but wanting with respect to functionality.

Then came a slow but steady learning of how to design WordPress themes.

I released Connections Reloaded on 16 June 2005 and it has crossed 1000 downloads (tracked from 4th July 2005). It currently stands on v1.2.1.

So what’s next?

I have begun development on Connections Reloaded 2.0. Progess is a bit slow mainly because I am hard pressed for time, but below are a few of the changes / additions I am planning.

This is something I didn’t think much about until Stefano suggested I make the theme internationalized.

This seemed like a really good idea, so have put it at the top of the agenda for Connections Reloaded. Well I am also aware of this being a really painful job, I will need to dedicate a good amount of time for it!

Seperate Trackbacks and Pingbacks from Comments
I have already implemented this here on this blog. Will incorporate this with improvements in the theme.

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 post below.

Better documentation
The current page has a good deal of information, however I plan on writing detailed documentation for the theme including explanations for the files etc.

Header Image
Currently if you want to change the header and yet maintain the top menu perfectly is a bit of an effort. Am thinking of smoothening this process by either splitting the header or releasing a .psd file for the same.
This is on a lower priority.

Support for WordPress 1.6
Though this theme is working pretty well with WordPress 1.6 already. However, with many new changes planned, I will need to ensure that the theme works perfectly with it.

Different Flavours
Have three flavours in mind. Currently Connectios Reloaded is available with the right sidebar. v2 will also have the left sidebar (easy to do) and also in 3-column (tedious).

Well that is it for now. Will add to this post when I think of something new.

As usual, please do keep your suggestions, comments coming.

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  1. Ajay,
    Fantastic news. I myself had been using Connections for a while and after a severe crash I started looking around and found yours. I’m still in the process of setting everything up and I have to integrate some changes for WPG2 you might consider adding as well.
    Something you might consider for 2.0 is the possibility of making the header image a transparent PNG so things like rotated headers can be made more easily. Currently I use a random image header but I’ve actually done the PSD Layer thingy in Photoshop to generate them. I have an action now for it, but I’d rather have it have the actual picture without the frames in it by using either transparency or putting the picture itself inside a frame.
    Having the live preview/comment box a floating draggable div is something I’ve considered as well. Being able to move it around to reply to multiple posts.

  2. Also, I’m checking why the quicktags don’t work with Safari (which I know you’re not in a position to test), so I hope I can add that to the quicktags plug-in as well. Safari users have commented on glitches in the browser and I hope I can iron those out as well on my side.

    Oh, and localisation 🙂

  3. Sure thing.

    I have, right now, your theme working halfway with WPG2, which you may see (it’s mainly in Spanish, but the layout is still the same).

    WPG2 already allows for the image blocks to be added to the WordPress templates, requiring only extra definitions in the CSS for them. That’s half of the work, the other half is making a theme for Gallery2 so when linked from the blog it maintains the look and feel. I currently have it almost working this way in but there is still some way to go. When used in this manner the specific link will open the gallery2 pages with the blog’s theme. (in you can see the actual gallery as it would look by itself).
    I’ve also done a rotating header JPG but I want to polish it a little so as to not require the framed JPG but to have the frame already there with a default graphic and to have the random JPG tacked on top of it. I’d rather use transparent PNGs but I know the problem with IE and those, so I’m trying to avoid it.

  4. Thanks for your suggestions. I will see what I can do about WPG2. This will take a while because neither have I used Gallery nor the plugin.

    Please do keep me uptodate on your testing. Maybe I can incorporate your efforts into v2, giving credit as I always do.

  5. Indeed, the layout is completely out of place in every browser (except for Lynx, Ha!) but that’s because I really haven’t even tried to make it work yet until I was sure I wouldn’t be changing anything in the main one. I link to the gallery directly with its own theme instead and that’s working OK for me at the moment.
    If you do change the header you might want to consider separating the frame from the photo, as I suspect is one of the first things people change when they adopt a theme. I will possibly implement some kind of routine that uses a color scheme I’ve selected that goes with my header so as to be able to have photos there that would clash with the current one.

  6. By the way, I didn’t mention it before, but you can count on me with a Spanish localisation, should you decide to include one.

  7. Thanks for the links and resources. Looking forward to what you come up with.

    I noticed that the layout of is rather out of place in IE and Firefox. I assume this is because you are still working on the layout.

    I don’t think I will be applying the rotating header, but changing the header is also on my mind.

  8. Regarding the header is what I mainly got in mine. I’m gonna work on seperating the frame so that only the internal picture can be changed without bothering too much about the layout.

  9. Congratulations on the 2K download mark on the theme. It’s probably common knowledge by now, but the theme works fine with WordPress 2.0 and there are some features of 2.0 (for example, better support for theme-defined PHP functions) that CR could take advantage of. I just verified that it works and will take a look at implementing some things I’ve seen already (my random header image, for example).
    I also see that you’ve liked WPG2 (and G2, obviously). That’s great (for me, at least :). I’ve had an exchange with the WPG2 developer where he mentions that he’s looking into the next version with better control of several features and with WP2 the next version could be delayed a little, but he’s on it).
    Congratulations again. The offer to do a translation to spanish on my part is still there, in case you need it.

  10. Thanks. It’s great to see that you follow my blog really closely (noticed the blonde joke post on your blog)

    I haven’t tried WPG2 actually, though I did give G2 a shot.

    I haven’t begun detailed work on CR2, which I plan on doing soon.

    As you noticed CR works perfectly with WP2. If I take advantage of the theme-defined PHP functions currently available in WP2 then it won’t run in WP1.5.x.

    I’m actually considering CR2 to be a new theme. Lots of thoughts. Will update this roadmap very soon.

  11. Yes indeed Andre.

    I am working on getting widget support enabled for Connections Reloaded and my new theme Revolutions.

    Don’t think it is going to be very difficult. However, I’m not sure that 1.5 compatiblity will remain 🙁

  12. Support for ultimate tag warrior will be good bcoz many people use it and I found that it is better in showing related posts than the Related Posts Entry plugin. UTW shows according to degree of relevancy by considering how many tags are matched. The more two posts match in their tags, the higher priority it shows first.

  13. Hi PurpleRain,

    I have already tried out UTW and it will be supported in a plugged in version of CR2

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