Release Schedule and Roadmap

Open Road

Version 3 brought a responsive grid and the WordPress customizer to Arras.

But there is still a huge amount to be done.

Releases

Today I pushed out Maintenance Release 3.0.3 fixing a few bugs that surfaced pretty much immediately after Arras 3 went live. (Face palm!) I anticipate that there will be a few more waiting to be discovered, and some functions within the customizer do not work as well or as intuitively as I’d like.

Therefore, I anticipate that moving forward I’ll be pushing out more frequent maintenance releases in the next phase of Arras’s development. I understand that for a few Arras users who have done major customization having to re-apply those with every release may be a bit of a hassle. I’ll try to be specific as to what get fixed with each maintenance release so you can decide whether the latest update is worth the trouble. And in the event of a fix for a security issue, I’ll make sure it’s clear that the update is more critical.

I also anticipate that I’ll be issuing minor releases of the theme following WordPress core updates, which happens about 3 times a year. These minor releases will contain all the maintenance releases, any modifications that become necessary as WordPress itself continues to evolve and new features as they are developed.

Occasionally something may come up, or a new feature may be added, that will merit the term major release. But for now, I can’t really think what that would be.

Roadmap

Here are some things I’m working on:

  • Getting the customizer stuff fixed. This may involve breaking out custom post-types handling into its own plug-in. Custom post types is often more of a functionality issue, and better suited to be handled in that way. We’ll see.
  • Streamlining the stylesheets. There was a lot of fallout from adding the responsive grid for mobile. It’s still not as efficient as it could be.
  • Adding SASS. If you’re not a developer, you probably don’t care, but this will make style customization a lot easier.
  • Rebuilding the main templates to take advantage of WordPress’s template parts functionality. This should add a lot of flexibility to the way Arras handles it’s “tapestries” and allows for easier development of new tapestries to be added down the line.
  • Making social media integration more flexible.
  • Adding the ability to create as many featured posts sections as you like and to put them in places other than just the home page.

Some things I need volunteers to help with:

  • Languages. There is a translation file, arras.pot, included in the /languages/ folder. You can use that file with the free Poedit app to create the actual translation files that make Arras work with the WordPress’s built-in internationalization abilities. If you make a translation file, I’d love it (and your compatriots would too!) if you could send it along to be included in future releases.

You may have other ideas. The best place to chime in with them is on Github. Just open an issue. And definitely report any bugs.

That’s it for now.

Cheers!
Caspar

(Photo credit: mlhradio)

About the Author:

Caspar Green Caspar Green has been doing web stuff stuff since before Y2K. He is now a software developer with AwesomeMotive, Inc., but still does a few projects on the side as time allows.

20 Comments

  1. jb

    Thanks for the efforts!

    I plan to use the latest release if it doesn’t mess up too much my existing post thumbnails or if I can regenerate them in a go. Will keep reporting broken things via github.

    I hope you eventually manage to push it to the WP.org repository too. All the best,

    jb

  2. Also want to thank you for the effort, Arras has been the most successful and stable theme I’ve run for several years.

  3. There would be great if you add more options to header, like getting the entire width of the screen. Also, better formats for bbpress forums and buddypress pages. A good idea would be make the forum look like a professional phpbb or vbulletin forum, or at least something alike the forum appearence of the multinews theme. It would also be great to have some child themes available to download: a good one would be a child to make Arras 3.03 look like the old AR2-Project.

    Thanx for keeping with this great theme
    []s

  4. Hi, I am still running Arras 1.6.2 and after WordPress updated to 4.4.1 I can’t seem to get post thumbnails to work. The front page slider works and the images show up there but below that in the list of articles none of the post thumbnails are showing up. I tried to use the regenerate thumbnails option (using the plugin it told me to install) but while it gave a successful message, no luck.

    Any ideas off hand on what i could check? Have you seen this problem before?

    Thank you for all you do for Arras. This may just be the incentive I need to update and tweak your Arras 3.0.3 theme to match my current site :).

    You can see the thumbnail issue here: https://verrytechnical.com

    • Actually, It’s not just the front page, the images are not showing up in the article either. i can click through to get the image directly so they are still “there” on the server… and they show up in some galleries on articles and in the slider but no where else. And it even did this when I tried another Arras theme version I had been working on tweaking (one of the 3.0.x betas).

      EDIT: Wait.. I just went to my site in MS Edge to see if I was really going crazy, and all the images are working fine! Dang, something’s wrong with my Chrome install :/

  5. Hey All, I’m updating a long-neglected site that’s currently running Arras 1.4.3.1 and WP 3.2.1. My site:

    http://www.photos-public-domain.com

    But it’s finally time to take the plunge and update – so I’m wondering if anyone has any advice for me in terms of the best way to approach this. I’m not a WordPress guru by any stretch – this is my only site using it, so any advice would be welcome.

    Any thoughts on best practices for integrating responsive Google ads? Should I update WP first or Arras? Can I expect anything to break right off the bat? Grateful for any advice…

    • The sites I’ve heard back from generally have a few styling adjustments and rearranging of widgets. Anyone else want to talk about your upgrade experience?
      Update WordPress first. Then, the easiest way to update Arras (because it’s not hosted at the WordPress.org theme repository) is via this plugin. Install the plugin, then upload new theme, and choose upgrade. https://wordpress.org/plugins/easy-theme-and-plugin-upgrades/

      For Google Ads, either use a plugin that will embed them in a widget for you, or add the google ad code to a text widget.

      Good luck.

      • Thanks so much! For the moment, I installed WP on my home machine using XAMPP, then copied my current old version of Arras over from my server just to see if anything would break dramatically, and it seemed to work fine. So hopefully I can take it one step at a time without too much havoc.

  6. I have been trying to make the logo on my site (http://thelair.me) 100% (1000px) wide like you have done here on your site. No matter what I try, the logo never gets bigger than 66%(width of the column) Pretty much the last thing i’m looking to do after upgrading to 3.0.3 Also, is there any way to make the header the width of the main page (1000px) as to get rid of the gray bars on the left and right side? Awesome theme, wasn’t too bad to make a new child and add all the old customizations.

    • Use the image as the “header image” rather than the “logo image”.
      To go full width on the heading, you can add `#branding {max-width:none;}` to your child theme’s style.css

      • Thanks for the response. When I try to use the “header image” it makes it the proper width, but it looks like it slides down behind the navigation bar. Also, it reverts back to how it was when you go to other pages like the blog, archives, etc. Any ideas?

      • Ok, looks like I just needed a min-height set to make the full logo appear. Everything looks good now. Could you tell me what the class is called for the mobile responsive menu? I would like to change some stuff about that (mainly coloring) but whenever I inspect it with firebug it closes before I can snag the class name. Thanks for the help, and great work on the theme!

        • All the main navigation changes for small screens are within the media query in base.css, starting at line 584.

  7. jb

    Hi Caspar,

    Thanks for the work on arras3. I’m finally making time to install it on my site. In the process, I learnt that resized images, even when scaled-down, endure a noticeable loss of quality. There are CSS attributes to make the browser use bicubic transformation when scaling down, but I’m not completely happy with it.

    As a result, I concluded that the best thing to do is to ensure that embedded pictures are displayed in their native size. Mines are from Flickr and I have access to 500px and 640px wide photos. I am using srcset, and I aim at displaying the 640px wide ones for desktop visitors with a screen width > 1000px.

    Arras3 width for content on the homepage and in blog posts is currently 604.75px. If I make the site width more than 1000px (by adding in my child theme the line: .wrap {max-width: 1069px;} ), I can embed my 640px photos with caption nicely without upscaling/downscaling.

    My question is, is it clean enough to change that CSS line? Am I breaking things/should I consider other things? (targeting desktop visitors only here)

  8. congoman

    Hi Casper

    I’m really trying to understand if the development and support for this theme is going to continue.. If not, usability is a problem for this theme
    You could also allow people to give something in appreciation

    Thanks

  9. aboro

    In library/tapestries.php:
    Added category in Node based tapestry

    /**
    * Node Based tapestry callback function.
    * @since 1.4.3
    */
    function arras_tapestry_default($dep = ”, $taxonomy) {
    $tapestry_settings = arras_get_option( ‘arras_tapestry_default’);
    if (!is_array($tapestry_settings) ) {
    $tapestry_settings = arras_defaults_tapestry_default();
    }
    ?>
    <div >

    name;
    else echo $terms[0]->name;
    }
    ?>

    • aboro

      Add at line 185 library/tapestries.php

      name;
      else echo $terms[0]->name;
      }
      ?>

  10. aboro

    Sorry for posting again. Insert in: library/tapestries.php line 185. Please delete the previous.

    name;
    else echo $terms[0]->name;
    }
    ?>

  11. Sjoerd

    Hi,

    Do you have a demo site running or a featurepage. I’m using arras (the old one) on my site but there is need to upgrade to the latest version of wordpress (which i haven’t done recently. I do not recognize a lot from the old theme.

    Regards

    • This site is running the latest release as a kind of self-demo. That’s all I’ve got at this point.

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