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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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In response to a forum thread, I threw together a couple of plugins yesterday.

The first one is Display Excerpts, and it adds posts excerpts (should they exist) to the beginning of each post’s content area. The second is Only Excerpts, and it replaces posts on home and archive pages with their respective excerpts. The full post can be viewed at its permalink.

Both are also listed as example plugins.

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Ever since I first released Tarski, people have asked “How do I do x?” Ever since I first added the hooks API to Tarski, my answer has often been “With a plugin.” However, there’s usually a follow-up request: “I don’t know how to do this; can you show me?”

It’s usually less work to write the code myself than to try to explain all the background knowledge someone will need to do it themselves, so I’ve ended up writing an awful lot of example plugins. For a while now I’ve wanted to list them somewhere on the site, so they’re easier to link to and keep updated, and today I finally got round to it.

You can see all my example plugins here.

Hopefully they’ll be of some use, both directly to users, and indirectly as a way to learn how to write simple WordPress plugins and interface with the Tarski API. I’ve separated them out into plugins that work with and require Tarski, and those that just use the normal WordPress API.

I’ve also published the plugin I use to customise the Tarski website, which may be of academic interest.

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Just a quick note to say that I’ve finally got the Writing Plugins for Tarski documentation page in a usable state.

January 9, 2008 by Benedict Eastaugh | Permalink

I’ve moved a couple of little plugins and templates onto our Subversion repository; you can find them in the extras directory. Hopefully this will make me more inclined to keep them updated—as they stand, they’ve been tested on the latest version of Tarski, but of course if you have any problems with them just post on the forum.

I wrote some .htaccess redirects, so all the old links should be redirecting (if you find any broken ones, please let me know). Tarski 2.0.5 should be out early next week, with the usual bug fixes and enhancements.

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Forumgoer Detective has posted a thread about Tarski-specific plugins, saying

Maybe if we share our tarski plugins we could find some useful things. In my case i have a very simple but effective plugin, so i don’t have to worry about hacking tarski core files

I’ve added what I hope is a useful tip about hijacking the Tarski sidebar.

November 12, 2007 by Benedict Eastaugh | Permalink

When WordPress 2.1 was released, we made the mistake of not having a compatible version of Tarski ready. WordPress 2.3—which will be out pretty soon—includes a number of changes which will be significant for Tarski users, and consequently we were determined not to make the same mistake twice. Tarski 1.7 remains backwards-compatible with the WordPress 2.1/2.2 branch, but it’s decidedly forward-looking. You can mull over the details on the changelog.

Perhaps the biggest change is the removal of our Ultimate Tag Warrior support in favour of the new ‘core’ WordPress tags system. Unless you’re running the 2.3 release candidate, this means your tags will disappear until you upgrade your WordPress installation and import your UTW tags. Tarski’s new tags page template, which you can see in action on our tags page, uses the new WP tag cloud.

While the overall goal of 1.7 was to make Tarski compatible with the new version of WordPress, we also took it as an opportunity to polish our code a bit and add a few helpful new features. As you can see by casting an eye up to the navbar, the ‘Home’ link can now be renamed. People have been asking for this for a while now, and I decided it was time to give in. You can change that on the Tarski Options page; look for the ‘Navigation Options’ header.

Speaking of the navbar, we’ve fixed an annoying issue where one had to re-save one’s Tarski options to get the navbar to reorder. It now reorders automatically whenever you save a page (since that’s when you change the Page Order value). The navbar output has also been added to the hooks system, which means two things: firstly, the constants.php file is now fully replaced (at least as far as it’s going to be), and that you can now add links to the navbar using a plugin. I hope to use this functionality to add a more elegant, user-friendly way to include external links.

The update notifier improvements in the last release have received a boost too, as the version check is now cacheable. To enable the cache, you need to make sure permissions on library/cache/ in your Tarski directory are set to 777. More details are available on the Update Notifier page.

For those who prefer to use a header image as their website title, and hide the actual title, I’ve improved the code so the alt attribute description is the site title when the title isn’t displayed, and the image itself links home (when you’re not on the front page, of course). A pinch of CSS means things should display as before, but the way things work is a bit more closely aligned with the expected behaviour (i.e., the site title links to the home page).

Category and author archives have had their first improvement in a long while: if there’s a description associated with them, they’re now displayed instead of the boring “This is a category archive for…” or “You are currently browsing so-and-so’s articles…”. So if you view my posts, you get a brief sentence about me instead of generic filler text. In addition to this, the document body now has an id which is set depending on which page you’re viewing, so you could make a particular author or category archive display in a certain way just by adding some extra code to your custom style. We’ve also assigned HTML classes to certain elements of the post metadata, so you can style those more easily.

As I detailed in my article on Tarski Plugin Integration, the support for specific plugins is now gone, so if you want to carry on using those plugins with Tarski I strongly recommend giving it a read.

Many thanks to everyone who helped me track down and fix the various bugs in Tarski 1.6; hopefully 1.7 won’t have the same problems. Enjoy the new version.

Please post bugs, suggestions and new translations on the forum.

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As of Tarski 1.7, we will be removing the existing plugin integration from Tarski. This includes support for Subscribe to Comments, Gravatars and Ultimate Tag Warrior. What I hope to cover here is why we’re doing this, and how to successfully integrate Tarski with the plugins you want to use—whatever they happen to do.

WordPress’ plugin landscape is constantly changing: new plugins are released, older ones are abandoned by their creators. Functionality previously provided by plugins has been brought into the WordPress core code: first widgets, and in the upcoming 2.3 release, tags. Plugins relying on underlying third-party services like Gravatars and OpenID also change as these services run into problems or simply evolve in terms of their API.

This life-cycle is fairly normal, but our existing support for specific plugins in Tarski simply doesn’t acknowledge this reality. There are quite obviously too many plugins for us to support them all, or even a significant number of them. We’d also rather spend our time improving Tarski, rather than maintaining support for specific pieces of third-party code.

I say ‘specific’ because what Tarski needs—and, in its theme hooks system, now has—is a generic way for plugin authors and users to make their code work with Tarski. It’s in need of better documentation, but it’s there, and it works; several times a week I offer advice to people on the forum as to how they can integrate their choice of plugin with Tarski.

Since the theme hooks system appeared in 1.5 we’ve been in a transition period, phasing out older ways of personalising Tarski installations (like the constants file). The next step is removing support for specific third-party plugins entirely, and that’s what we’re doing in Tarski 1.7. What follows is a rundown of the plugins, previously integrated with Tarski, that are having this support removed, and how you can add that functionality back in.


WordPress Widgets are, as of WordPress 2.2, in the core WP code. As such, they’re still supported by Tarski, both in the sidebar and the footer. You can activate a widget-powered sidebar on the Tarski Options page.


The extent of our OpenID support consists in testing a couple of plugins with Tarski and rewriting ugly OpenID URLs, so the status of this one doesn’t change: it works with Tarski, and should continue to do so.

Brian’s Latest Comments

The functionality offered by Brian’s Latest Comments plugin is now available in WordPress as a widget. Consequently, we’re simply removing the support for this altogether—if you want to carry on using it, use the widget.


Gravatar had some well-publicised problems, but is now back with a rejuvenated service. You can add Gravatars to Tarski (or any other theme, for that matter) by writing a plugin to buffer the Gravatar plugin function, extract the info, and add it into the comment content by adding a filter to the comment_text hook. The Using Gravatars page on the Codex has more.

Subscribe to Comments

The popular Subscribe to Comments plugin actually adds itself, if you upgrade to the latest version (which, of course, I recommend).

Live Comment Preview

Previewing comments is a feature I wish WordPress came with; Live Comment Preview is a JavaScript-powered halfway house towards fully-fledged preview functionality. It gets added automatically by the plugin, so the loss of integration isn’t a problem.

Clean Archives

The SRG Clean Archives plugin has long been part of our Archives template. No longer. However, I’ve made a Clean Archives template available for those who want this functionality. Just drop it into your Tarski directory and change its extension to .php, then select it as the template for your archives page as usual. I personally prefer version 2.2 of this plugin to the more recent, overly complex JavaScript-powered confection it seems to have become, but fortunately the plugin author has kept the older version available, and that’s what we’re still using. (Sean has responded in the comments.)

Ultimate Tag Warrior

Ultimate Tag Warrior is probably the highest-profile of the casualties. As of WordPress 2.3, tags are available in the WordPress core, and consequently Christine is discontinuing the plugin. Tarski 1.7 supports the new WordPress tags and removes all UTW-dependent code. There’s no going back on this one, I’m afraid, although for those on a nostalgia kick we will be maintaining the WordPress 1.6 branch for the time being, which retains UTW support.

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