Tarski 2.5 improves Tarski’s compatibility with WordPress 2.8 and takes advantage of its new features to produce a leaner codebase. An excruciating amount of detail is available in the changelog. Please note that WordPress 2.8 is required for this release.
We strongly recommend following the upgrade guide. Always back up your files and database before running a WordPress or Tarski upgrade. Please ensure that you upgrade WordPress before installing the new version of Tarski.
Fixes & enhancements
Tarski 2.5 fixes a number of bugs, most of which were very minor. Its widget code has been extensively overhauled to meet the new standard interfaces introduced in WordPress 2.8.
The Recent Articles widget has been almost completely rewritten. Not only can it now be used in multiple widget areas, but the title it displays and the number of articles listed are now customisable.
Support for right-to-left languages has improved again, thanks to mark-k on the forum. I hope to build on this for 2.6 and improve the way the options page displays for RTL language users as well.
In the spirit of progressive enhancement, users with more recent browsers such as Safari, Firefox and Chrome will hopefully notice the improved styling of form submit buttons.
Deprecations and diminishment
As many of you noticed, this release has taken a lot longer than usual to come out. This wasn’t because it was an especially complex release (it wasn’t; despite the length of the changelog, the changes in 2.4 were much more substantial), but because I no longer have as much time as I once did to work on Tarski.
As a result, I’m rethinking how I approach the upkeep of the theme. I’d rather spend my time as a programmer than a janitor, so the changes I’m making ought to ensure that Tarski continues to be updated with each new version of WordPress, while eliminating a few of the headaches that have built up over the years.
No more default widgets
In the last version, I added a set of default widgets to Tarski’s widget areas. This was, I thought, a nice piece of functionality; the only problem was that it relied too much on private WordPress internals, rather than the public API. Unsurprisingly, the internals changed (for the better—these changes were at the heart of the improved widget support), and my code no longer worked.
Rather than rewrite it, with the possibility of it breaking with the next WordPress release, I’ve removed it altogether. If a new, approved, public way is added to allow this functionality then I’ll reinstate the defaults, but until then, new users will just have to put up with things looking a bit bare until they add their widget selections.
User sidebar file deprecated
Because widgets are now settled as the way to customise WordPress sites, I’ve deprecated the
user-sidebar.php file. Support for it will be removed entirely in Tarski 2.6.
Constants file deprecated
Considered a legacy API since the introduction Tarski’s extensive hooks API (a far superior way to extend the theme), the constants file is now deprecated entirely. Support for it will be removed in Tarski 2.6.
Subversion repository no longer maintained
Tarski 2.5 will also be the last release available from the Subversion repository. Again, I have a limited amount of time, and I’d prefer to spend any time I do have to work on Tarski writing code, rather than keeping two version control repositories in sync. Anyone wanting to maintain a public Subversion repository is, of course, entirely welcome to do so.
Support forum hanging on, for now
The forum is probably the most time-consuming thing of all. I’m not planning on shutting it altogether, but my activity there will drop a bit further. Tarski is an exceptionally well-documented theme, and there are literally hundreds of forum discussions covering a vast number of user questions. For those who want to make changes, there is example code in abundance.
As always, hope you enjoy the new version.
Please post bug reports and suggestions on the forum.
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