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Plugin self deactivation

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Jake Goldman wrote up how to make a WordPress plugin deactivate itself given a specific version of WordPress. Why? His plugin was folded in core with 3.5, so there’s no point to running both the plugin and the latest version of WordPress. His technique includes a status message explaining why the plugin was deactivated.

Very clever. Though I would probably add a link to a blog post with more information on the update.

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“But we’d make more money if we didn’t release those plugins.”

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Speaking of plugins, Joost de Valk has published some of his thought process behind charging for his latest plugin release. I found this bit interesting:

There are some (though few) donations, there are people ordering website reviews, hiring me as a consultant etc. But we’d make more money if we didn’t release those plugins. That’s the cold and harsh reality. I’m not willing to stop releasing those plugins though. I’ve always said they’ll be free and I want to keep those that I’ve released for free, free.

In the post he says the sales of his Video SEO plugin have gone well, and he’ll be selling another plugin soon.

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Tony Perez reflects on PressNomics and plugins

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Tony Perez of Sucuri Security fame shared his initial thoughts on the weekend’s PressNomics event, specifically a discussion around commercial plugins:

What I understand of the discussion is simple. If a feature can be turned into a commodity then Matt feels it should not be commercialized. If it cannot then it’s ok to be commercialized. These are his founding principles and why you only see certain plugins in the list of Autommattic products. There is nothing wrong with this belief, unless we’re saying that the belief is further exasperated by some unwarranted action, that’d be a different story. But a belief or ideal in it of itself is of not real impact to anyone.

I would also take a look at the last few of Tony’s posts — there are a few fun photos from the event in there too.

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How to define default post thumbnails

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Justin Tadlock:

A default thumbnail is generally not something that’s permanent, so you wouldn’t want to save it, leaving yourself a world of pain if you ever wanted to change it in the future. I’ll keep this simple and afford you that future flexibility. I’ll even show you two ways to do it.

Worth a read, if only for me to learn about trailingslashit().

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WooThemes turns four

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Congratulations to the team at WooThemes. Adii Pienaar:

Today, WooThemes defines a large part of my life. And this has been the case for at least the past 4 years. Regardless of how confident, self-assured, independent or autonomous I am, I can’t deny the inherent hand that WooThemes has in most things in my life.

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If you must, do it this way.

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Alex King explains how they handle including plugin functionality in their themes:

Since the theme is loading in last, we can use that to our advantage. If the plugin has been installed separately as a plugin (and not as part of the theme), we will be able to see that it is active. If it is already active, we don’t want to load it again a second time.

In our FavePersonal theme we added an additional check in the if statement to see if the setting to activate the Social plugin was turned on. This allows us to avoid loading the plugin if the site owner has decided to disable this functionality.

If you must include a plugin’s functionality in your theme, this is the way to do it.

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How WordPress handles dashes and hyphens

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Mark Jaquith on dashes and hyphens in the editor:

So, three hyphens always gets you an em-dash. Two hyphens gets you an em-dash if spaced apart from surrounding words. Else, you get an en-dash.

I don’t mind the Visual Editor as much as some others seem to. Half of everything I write goes directly into the WordPress Visual Editor. Learning the editor’s behavior, like what Jaquith describes, makes the process quite a bit more pleasant.