As I’ve been progressing with my misunderstanding communism series it has become to me painfully obvious that I need a better way to organise the links and the format of it in a much better way than what I’ve been doing until now. Specifically, what I have been doing was to copy paste a small introduction text within a style-customized <div> and then manually update the links towards the previous and next articles.
This is what I had been doing in my self-hosting with WordPress series as well and, frankly it was an annoying process. I thought that there must be a more optimal way to go about doing this and fortunately others had the same idea as me.
A quick search for relevant plugins immediately landed me two results. Without knowing the difference, I simply went for the one which has been updated more recently (plugin developers, this is why it pays to keep your code up to date): Organise Series
This one takes the more exciting road of actually using the wordpres taxonomy capabilities and creating a new one. As such I do not have to mix up my already existing tags or categories (which would appear in the various parts of my theme) and I can rest assured that I will not b0rk it by mistake.
I faced the first hurdle when I discovered that the plugin did not have the correct link structure for the options page and eventually that it is not yet ready for WordPress 2.6. However actually opening my eyes a bit more showed me that some kind soul has already submitted patches for this and the beta versions are working. Thus, since I had already initialized it anyway, I took the dive and upgraded to the developer version No problems there.
Then I set about making it look good. It took me a while to figure it out but the author of the plugin has gone into the trouble of writing a use howto…well, series, which goes quite in depth. Eventually I figured it out and made my pages look readable again. But as always, I wanted more bling. So, since I’m already using scriptaculous through backlinks, why not make my series description available without crowding the actual post, through the nice toggle function. And lo, there was code!
The following went into my “Series Meta”, which is the text that appears very first on the post, announcing it as part of the series.
<div class="seriesmeta">This entry is part %series_part% of %total_posts_in_series% in the series %series_title% - <a href="#" onclick="Effect.toggle('series_description', 'slide')">%series_icon_linked% About this series</a></div>%postcontent%
This goes into my Series post list Template:
<div class="seriesbox" id="series_description" style="display:none;">
And thus, after customizing the css a bit, you get the nice result you see now in any post in the series where you can click on the link and the description of the series, along with the whole list of posts drops down for your viewing pleasure. And I didn’t even had to hack my theme as you can do all this from the options page. Sweet!
The plugin has other nice options like the ability to assign an icon/image to a series, a standalone series page and the capability to read all the posts in a row when clicking on their series link. Unfortunately for me the last does not work as it simply kills the html loading of the page. I assume this is because it’s not yet fully compatible with 2.6 but I’m going to soon open a bug about it.
All in all, I like!