UTW: Maybe it’s time for a revolutionary change

I’ve been thinking about changing UTW to have a bare-bones tagging implementation; with additional plugins to perform various bits of extra functionality.

Would having to enable a handful of plugins be completely irritating? Would it be confusing?

(So you’d have the core-UTW plugin with, say, a simple formatting plugin and the geegaw tag-interface; or perhaps core-UTW with fine grained formatting and a textbox tag-interface (ooh! or one suited to Asian language); or maybe you’d enable some kind of import/export plugin to do that task as you need it, then disable it once complete; or all sorts of things)

So, uh, feedback would be nice (:

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29 thoughts on “UTW: Maybe it’s time for a revolutionary change

  1. I think anything that makes UTW easier to install and maintain is a step in the right direction. Depending on how you had the plugins seperated, it could be really confusing or really logical. Good luck. :)

  2. I think something that might help is have a base plugin with just the core basic features. Then you can drop additional .php files into the UTW Plugin Folder and enable them to gain additional functionality. Well that’s my thought, but the plugin is still amazing. I still think you should work with the WordPress folks to make this a part of the actual WordPress Installation.
    (I also wanted to let you know the Tags Options page is broken when clicked on it jumps over to the Manage tab instead of staying under Options.)

  3. There’s some discussion going on at the moment about putting tagging into wordpress 2.2; so it will be interesting to see what happens with that.

    Just adding php files to the folder seems like a good way of doing it, that would skip plugin activation. I shall have to ponder this (:

  4. YES! I agree with the others, make it simple, simple functionality, sounds good to me! Can’t wait for it come about, that’s if and when you decide to do it! I’ll even test it for you, I love testing things. ;):)

  5. I agree – plugin system within UTW sounds great – so long as the core UTW is shipped with the *essential* functions for people in a hurry? :)It also helps to have really good descriptions as to what each plugin does… for instance, JCE (a WYSIWYG editor for Joomla) doesn’t (I think) really describe what each plugin does that well, so it makes it confusing during installation.

  6. Sounds like a good idea. Since many WordPress themes are coded to take advantage of some or all of UTW’s basic functions, it might be something to think about when deciding what to include in the core functions minus plugins. Of course you can’t be everything to everybody but your idea sounds like a good one. As long as the UTW plugin instructions are clear and concise I don’t think it would be very irritating at all. Let’s face it, a blogger who just “blogs” and doesn’t like mucking about the back end of things isn’t going to go for a plugin like UTW anyway. For those of us who like to change and tailor things to our liking won’t mind “plugging” UTW a bit I don’t think.

    One suggestion if this does happen. A plugin for UTW that enables the user to easily add/delete tags to previous posts akin to what Flying Spark’s “UTW retag post extention” did (no longer unfortunately).

    I wonder if anyone bothers to thank you for all your hard work here? Well, here’s a heart felt thank you from one blogger who appreciates what you’ve done.

  7. When I made the jump from, I think, UTW 1 to UTW 2 (or was it UTW 2 to UTW 3); I had a plugin which had the same template tags as the previous version, which would allow people to avoid making theme changes. I’ll probably do the same sort of thing this time around (:

    Hmm.. I didn’t know that the retag-plugin had vanished. Oh well. I’m sure I can make a thing for that (:

    I do get some thank yous (: I do get “argh it’s broken!”‘s too, though (;

  8. ‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,

    ‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,

    And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

    ‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

    When true simplicity is gain’d,

    To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,

    To turn, turn will be our delight,

    Till by turning, turning we come round right.

    “Simple Gifts” by Elder Joseph Brackett

  9. Wait for 2.2 to come out and see what they do with tags.
    Don’t create plugins for a plug-in, a few turn on/off checkboxes in the UTW admin page will do the trick.

    I remain desperate for your feedback on how to import Technorati tags that are embedded in blog posts into UTW, I left messages on your message board, never heard back. Can you advise me? Thanks!

  10. Tagging should be part of WP, if it is going to be part of 2.2 then I hope it will work like UTW :)

    BTW, I found that not all Tags are displayed in my Tag Cloud and I just can’t figure out why, e.g. Charlize Theron is missing in the cloud…

  11. Hey Christine… I love the idea. It would be much easier to recomend UTW to a novice user if it was modularized. I feel as though it’s grown to the point where inexperienced/casual WP users might be overwhelmed by UTW. Having a core with basic functionality would solve that problem quite quickly.

    It would also make it easier for “power users” to share their customizations… though I have no clue what type of internal “pluggable” implementation you actually have in mind. Any way you slice it, it sounds like a good idea overall.

    As far as WP 2.2 goes, I’m not holding my breath over anything and even if/when they do add tagging, there will be a need for plugins to extend on the functionality. So there’s no use sitting on our thumbs for it. Another consideration to go along with that is many people won’t be upgrading from the 2.0.x line for a good while.

    Okay, that’s my vote of confidence on this topic! I have something else I wanted to mention, but I’ll drop you a note later.

    Cheers,

    Jason

  12. Christine,

    I could not find your email address anywhere.

    I’m trying to repurpose utw (specifically tag search) in a situation where I need to visually separate tags into 2 groups.

    The dataset is a wp-blog that I built pre-1.5x, so I did a lot ef innovative coding (for the time), and a custom field is already in place for one of the two “types” of tags — state name.

    can you contact me?

  13. For some reason I have always had difficulty adding custom formatting inside other plugins to just use a comma list without an and at the end, which is missing by default.

    Thus I end up hacking the core php to add it

    I have always wondered why these weren’t in a separate file, or better still would be a way of having multiple files in a folder with different formats, thus people could distribute UTW formats as mini UTW plugins.

    Other things of use would be an easy way to prevent tags being displayed if you are using an excerpt in certain situations.

    UTW creates virtual pages – it is the one plugin I am most worried to switch off, because those pages represent much more than 50% of my content. I am not sure of a way to solve that problem.

    Also I suppose you should include correct checking to see if UTW is enabled in all the docs.

    Also it would be good to include any patches and make a fresh version because it is hard to send new users in multiple directions for code to get things working. I am not referring to newbies but quite experienced bloggers / consultants who I have persuaded / cajoled into using UTW

  14. I just installed UTW last weekend. This is really nice. I don’t think I have enough experience with it to have an opinion on splitting it up, but for what it’s worth, I didn’t find installing and using it confusing at all.

    Thank you for doing it Christine.

  15. Hey Christine!

    Personally, I’m fine with UTW the way it is. That said, I haven’t had to code for it so I’m not sure what the internals are like, and whether refactoring it as such would be beneficial.

    That said, I have two things I’d like to ask you:

    1.- I can’t seem to write posts on the support forum. Do I have to perform some right of passage to be allowed to do so? Perhaps something didn’t get set for me in the backend after the new forum got put into place?

    2.- This is a feature request for UTW, one that I’d *really* love: on the ‘write-post’ page, where you have ‘Get Keywords from Yahoo’ — would it be possible to get the keywords that already exist on your blog be bolded, or first in the list, or some such?

    Actually, now that I think about it: that might not be too hard to do. There’s already a select box populated with those entries right above it. Should be a simple get and iterate….

    Maybe I’ll try my hand at it – but if you had something like that done or rolled into the release already that’d be fricken sweet. ;)

    Thanks again for an awesome plugin!

  16. I have never used UTW till now, have always heard of people saying that its part of their Top Ten plugin list for WP.

    I was wondering if this functionality can be added:

    I would like to see UTW pull related keywords from Yahoo automatically for any keyword set in the post, and if a base keyword is not set.. then to make “some targeted keyword” from the post as base keyword, based on some variables.

    And later also add those keywords as Meta Keywords for the post automatically.

    I know! its a lil too much, but as long as you are open to suggestion, this is mine :D

  17. I agree to wait till WP 2.2 gets closer so that you can see what they are going to do with tags. It’s possible that UTW can be made complimentary to whatever they do. There is no real reason to have two implementations of the same thing, really.

    One thing I would love to see in the future is an AJAX interface for managing the tags. I merge my tags together every once in a while, to fix misspelling, plurals, etc. It would be awesome if I could, for instance, drag one tag onto another to merge them, or drag it to the trash bin to delete it.

  18. Now that it’s confirmed that tagging (complete with UTW importer) is going into the WP core, I’d say the way forward for UTW is to provide the shiny extra features to take advantage of the inbuilt tagging functionality.

    As moeffju has posted, that issue of the function name overlap is going to be “interesting” for a lot of people. Could be a block on upgrading to WP2.2 for me unless things behave more nicely…

  19. I am desperately waiting for a new version of UTW that is compatible with WP 2.2 which has just been released. I had some issues getting it to run under WP 2.1.3 and therefore deactivated it for once. So, any news so far? :-)

  20. I couldn’t find any place else to contact you, so this will have to do. I’m using UTW-pi for a project here (Vh1). I came across a bug in the posts_where -> search_where function. You’re not escaping the string that comes in as the search param, so searching for something like my last name throws a sql error as it doesn’t like the single-quote. Email me and I’ll send you the patch.

    Thanks!

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