5FTF recap for May 29th, 2020

This month continued the overarching theme of myself getting more involved and learning modern day javascript. However, I did not make use of the time for some personal project or plugin, instead I started my strongest bid for getting CPTUI-Extended pulled into the modern WordPress world.

If you’re not sure what that is, it’s a premium extension to WebDevStudios’ most popular plugin Custom Post Type UI. Extended was our first major product that we produced when we branched out into the product market, and naturally it felt best to expand on our already popular free plugin. What CPTUI is to a UI for register_post_type() and register_taxonomy(), Extended aims to be a UI for constructing some basic WP_Query calls including packaged templates. There are other features available with it, but that’s the biggest one.

That said, it is showing its age a bit, especially with the arrival of the new WordPress editor experience, also known as Gutenberg. We don’t presently have any great Gutenberg integration, and the only way to really toggle the UI to construct the shortcode needed to output the content, is via the TinyMCE button with the “Classic Editor” block.

We haven’t stopped supporting the plugin by any means, but we need to help current and future users. I met internally at WebDevStudios last fall to discuss next steps and a possible version 2.0.0 release, and we had some good ideas, but we also knew we needed to start scoping out the time and effort required. However, we’ve always stayed busy with client work, and finding a way to carve out the time to do the work, as well as who would be involved, fell in priority.

At least until I realized I could technically do a healthy amount of work on our monthly 5FTF days. I made sure that it was okay with the higher ups, and they said “go for it.”. I don’t yet feel at liberty to discuss the ideas and details for how we will implement things and what exactly we would be doing from that meeting. Given the recent ongoing learning about Gutenberg block development, and just my overall never-ending learning throughout the years, I feel like I am at a point where I could deliver a pretty solid end result. Today was the start of that.

I know I only get the opportunity for a solid chunk of hours that are also covered by my employment, once a month, and I hope that this doesn’t end up having to drag on over many months to half a year to actually finish. So I’m wondering if I should try to dedicate chunks of my own personal time to continuing work on it, to speed up the process. We shall see, and I would want to discuss that ahead of time as well, as it’s not my personal product.

Regardless of all of that, I feel I have a really strong start already on day one, and I am excited to see where things go for a new major release.

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