Tarski’s development reflects my own view of best practice: steady, incremental improvement rather than the occasional total rewrite. Sometimes, however, a small revolution is needed, and Tarski 2 provides one.
The new version includes a raft of changes. Taking a look under the hood one might be tempted to say that it’s an entirely new theme, but the experience should remain largely the same, both for admins and users.
Tarski’s options code has been rewritten from the ground up, making all sorts of new features possible. You can now select different widgets for posts and pages than are displayed on the rest of the site. It’s also possible to delete Tarski’s options entirely; however, they’ll remain in the database for another two hours, so if you delete your options by accident, you’ll be able to restore them within that window.
People shouldn’t have to learn PHP in order to use WordPress, or Tarski, but until now a modicum of technical know-how was required in order to add links (other than WordPress pages) to Tarski’s navbar. Now you can simply designate one of your blogroll links categories, and all the links in that category will be appended to your Tarski navbar.
Several people in the forum wanted tags to display everywhere, not just on single post pages, so we’ve added an option for that to the Tarski Options pages. The same goes for reversing the order of the title: now you can have the title of a post appear before the name of your site, just by ticking a box on the Options page. Finally, you can choose to link to either Atom or RSS feeds.
WordPress has automatically generated both types for quite a while now, but Tarski hasn’t linked to them—an oversight I’m very happy to have corrected. In addition to the site feed, the following page types now have automatically generated feed
link elements in the document
head: category archives; tag archives; day, month and year archives; and finally, searches.
Tagging also gets a boost with proper support for tag intersections and unions. Templating functions for this kind of thing aren’t even in the WordPress core yet, and it’s nice to be ahead of the curve for once. To see it in action, go and have a look at what’s tagged with bugs or features, or bugs and features. Before Tarski 2, all you’d get is the first tag’s name in the title. Now the title lists all the tags, and whether it’s an intersection (and) or a union (or).
With all the rewritten code comes a new structure: the files in Tarski’s
library directory have been completely reorganised. Included code libraries (right now, just the Feedparser library which does the heavy lifting for Tarski’s version checking mechanism) go into
library/includes, while PHP classes (and supplementary functions) go into
library/classes (right now it’s just the Version and Options classes).
All Tarski’s CSS files, apart from
style.css and the alternate styles, go into
library/js. Finally, Tarski’s large functions library has ended up in
library/helpers. This new structure makes development easier, since it’s easier for me to remember where everything is, and it cleans up a lot of horrible, messy code that had been hanging around (in many cases) since the first release of Tarski, back in March 2006.
We’ve come quite a way since then, and I’d just like to take a moment to thank everyone who’s helped along the way. People who’ve suggested ideas and reported bugs in the forum; people who’ve helped test Tarski; people who’ve provided code, or artwork, or a critical eye. Jordan Liggitt in particular deserves a lot of gratitude for his hard work on this release. He’s helped make Tarski easier to translate; written a migration routine to carry your options over into the new system; caught various bugs in the new code; and contributed a number of thoughtful suggestions on safeguarding against CSS namespace corruption and improving Tarski’s sidebar options.
Again, thanks to everyone who’s contributed to Tarski in some way, and I hope you enjoy using the new version.
Bugs and suggestions should be posted, as always, on the forum.
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