Articles by Benedict Eastaugh

Tarski’s designer and code-mangler-in-chief, Benedict writes at Extralogical.

Tarski 3.2.0 adds the option to display a post’s featured image in the header. It also improves Tarski’s compatibility with recent versions of WordPress and PHP. A full list of changes can be found in the changelog.

Please note that WordPress 3.5 is required for this release.

Download Tarski 3.2.0

You can also get this version as a Git tag.

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.

Featured images in the header

Featured images let you customise how a post or page appears. Tarski now allows you to swap out the usual header image above the site title for a post or page’s featured image. This post shows the feature in action: it uses the ‘Splatter’ header image that comes with Tarski instead of the usual site header.

Other stuff

Apart from that, this is mostly a maintenance release. It cleans up a few bits of code and improves Tarski’s compatibility with recent versions of PHP and WordPress. Translators will be happy to hear that the theme POT file is now available with the source code.

Let me know in the comments if you run into any bugs. Hope you enjoy the new release.

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A release candidate for Tarski 3.2.0 is now available. It requires WordPress 3.4, so if you want to test it, please make sure you’re running the latest beta.

Download Tarski 3.2.0RC1

As well as various compatibility fixes, this version adds an option to display featured images in the header (thanks to Martin Lormes for this).

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Tarski 3.1.3 is now available. It fixes some minor bugs and improves compatibility with WordPress 3.3. A full list of changes can be found in the changelog.

Please note that WordPress 3.2 is required for this release.

Download Tarski 3.1.3

You can also get this version as a Git tag.

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.

WordPress 3.3 compatibility

Tarski 3.1 was released to add support for new features in WordPress 3.2, but WordPress 3.3 didn’t add many relevant features so I haven’t done a new major release, but merely fixed a few niggles. This includes fixing a few warnings, removing some invalid HTML, and making the host site name in the footer work correctly when the multi-site functionality is engaged.

Developers working with Tarski—for example, anyone writing a child theme—will be happy to know that the TARSKI_DEBUG constant can now be set by external code such as child themes or plugins. Amongst other things, this should make it easier to debug issues with Tarski’s JavaScript and CSS when writing code that interacts with it.

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Tarski 3.1 is now available for download. It includes sub-menu support in the navbar, together with JavaScript-enhanced dropdowns to display them. For a full list of changes please consult the changelog.

Please note that WordPress 3.2 is required for this release.

Download Tarski 3.1.2

You can also get this version as a Git tag.

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.

Sub-menu dropdowns

This was definitely the most requested feature I’ve had in a while. I have some usability objections to dropdown menus, and played around with an alternative in the RC, but in the end I’ve gone for a more traditional approach. Mouse over the links in this site’s navbar for a demo of the new functionality.

Please note that they don’t work wonderfully well in Internet Explorer 6. If you want to use Tarski with dropdown sub-menus and you absolutely have to support IE6, I’m happy to commit any patches you provide.

Other changes

Apart from that, most of the changes in this version–although they are substantial–are under the hood, and involve cleaning up the code, removing deprecated functionality, and replacing Tarski-specific code with calls to new WordPress APIs. I’m always happy to be able to remove code without removing functionality, and I always feel that it’s a vindication when WordPress core implements some feature that Tarski has had for a while.

I should note that I’ve replaced all of Tarski’s JavaScript with new jQuery-powered code, and consequently those parts of Tarski now require jQuery. Given how widespread its use is now, and that WordPress itself depends on it, I don’t feel this is too onerous a dependency.

Finally, a small apology for taking so long to release this version. I’ve been really busy this summer and although the code’s been ready to go for ages, I couldn’t find time to run a final set of tests until today. As usual, if you spot any bugs please post them in the comments.

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With today’s release of WordPress 3.2, I thought it would be good to get an updated version of Tarski out as soon as possible. To that end, here’s a release candidate build of Tarski 3.1.0.

There are a few changes from the beta version, the most obvious of which is the navigation, which now uses a more traditional dropdown style. As I’ve said before, this is not really to my taste, and has obvious usability problems for user agents without hover, but it seems to be what people want. I may release the expanding navbar code as a plugin for those who prefer it.

WordPress 3.2 is required to run this build of Tarski. If you try to use it with WordPress 3.1 or earlier it will throw errors and make your site unusable.

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With the imminent release of WordPress 3.2, I thought it was time to get the new build of Tarski out there so people can test it and let me know of any issues before the final release.

The usual caveats apply: this is pre-release software and as such may be buggy and unpolished. As such, I don’t recommend installing it on a production site; it’s strictly for testing at this point (although I am actually running it here). WordPress 3.2 RC2 is required, if you try to install the Tarski 3.1.0 beta on a site running WordPress 3.1 or any earlier version it will throw errors.

The major new feature in this release is support for sub-menus. I’m not much of a fan of drop-downs—they violate any number of accessibility and usability tenets—so instead I’ve gone with an expand/collapse mechanism to hide and reveal the full menu structure.

Of course, this may not be to everyone’s liking, but Tarski’s API is pretty flexible, and it’s not much work to add an alternative menu control. If there’s anything I can do to make writing extensions of this sort easy, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

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Tarski 3.0 is now available to install at your leisure. It adds support for new WordPress features like menus, default headers and the ‘aside’ post format. A detailed list of changes is available in the changelog. Please note that WordPress 3.1 is required for this release.

You can also get this version as a Git tag.

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.

WordPress menus

Tarski 3.0 removes the built-in menu functionality in favour of the core WordPress menu feature. This means that after you install the new version of Tarski you’ll need to reconstruct your site’s navbar. Just go to Appearance > Menus in the WordPress admin panel, create a new menu, and add it to the Tarski navbar.

Header images

Headers are also now selected entirely outside the theme. Tarski registers all its current headers as default headers which you can select from the Appearance > Header page in the WordPress admin panel, so if you were using one of the built-in headers, or had added your own to the /headers directory in Tarski or a child theme, you will need to re-select it from there. If you were using a custom header you had uploaded yourself, you don’t need to change anything.

Please post bug reports, suggestions etc. in the comments or email me.

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Tarski 3.0 has actually been in the works since last August, which is really too long between releases. I had a bit of spare time this weekend so I decided to bite the bullet and bring Tarski up to date for WordPress 3.1.

The new features include support for menus and default headers; however, migrating your current settings will have to be done by hand, as I just don’t have the time to write or maintain an automatic upgrade routine. It shouldn’t take long to fix things to your liking, and the benefit is full compatibility with the core WordPress functionality.

I’d really appreciate it if you could download and install the release candidate. Andreas Beer has kindly been helping me test it, so it should be relatively bug-free by now. Testing and reporting bugs is not just a favour to me, but a boon to all Tarski users.

Update: thanks to everyone who provided feedback. Tarski 3.0.0 is now available for download.

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I have moved this site to a new server. Unfortunately I don’t have time right now to finish migrating content and debugging everything, but I think a website with a few things missing that’s actually available is much better than one that has all the content but keeps crashing every couple of days.

The major missing components right now are the forum and the API docs. Do let me know in the comments if you spot anything else that’s not working correctly.

Update: I’ve fixed the issue with the API documentation, so that should all be present and correct now.

December 8, 2010 by Benedict Eastaugh | 12 comments

Sorry about the recent downtime, the server the site lives on keeps running out of memory. I’m hoping to move it to a newer, better-provisioned one soon but I haven’t had the time to complete the process. In the meantime, thanks to the people who’ve let me know when it’s gone down. I’ll try to keep a closer eye on it over the next week or so.

December 7, 2010 by Benedict Eastaugh | Permalink

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