WordPress 3.0 and Hieroglyphs

20 06 2010

Not much seems to have happened but there was a reason: we were waiting for version 3.0 of WordPress.  That’s one of the biggest releases ever and it made sense to wait for it.  Sadly, it was several weeks late but in the long run a stable version is worth waiting for.  It was released during the week and we have now upgraded the site to use it.   It gives us at least two crucial things.  It comes with a new menu system which hopefully will make redoing the lower horizontal menu for the site much easier.  It also has something called custom post types.  That solves another problem for us.  Published magazines tend to have a foreword by the Editor at the front.  That’s something we would like for the bi-monthly editions as it would allow us to describe what is in the edition, but we want it to be separate to the content.  Custom post types allows us to do that.

The final piece we are waiting for is the new version of the Hybrid theme framework.  In computer-speak that’s middleware which sits between our design and WordPress.  That should be available over the next ten days and we can then press ahead.

Separately there has been a lot of progress on hieroglyphs.  There are still some minor formatting issues but the engine now supports three different sets of glyphs:

  • the images from WikiHiero;
  • a coloured set of images; and
  • the NewGardiner font in either black or red.

Adding the ability to use a font was a big step forwards and, so far as we are aware, a first.  The technique used should be extensible to use the Aegyptus font, although there is quite a lot of work needed to achieve that.  Success would be ground-breaking though and make Aegyptus accessible to many people who don’t wish to learn a specialist offline editor.

We can also now support shading and rotation of all glyphs, whether they drawn from images or a font.  Hopefully the underlying approach is sufficiently flexible that we could also add any other glyph sets.

If you are interested in learning more about the Hieroglyphs manual page is available.  That’s a very early release and will be updated further (and the typos corrected!).  You’ll also be able to spot the minor formatting issues that still need to be tackled.  (Hopefully that link is stable but until we finish the menu system, there is a chance it will break.)  Obviously the more general development work for the magazine needs to take priority now that WP3.0 is available.   If you read the manual, you’ll see that the intention is to release much of it as an open-source plug-in so that anybody can have hieroglyphs on a self-hosted WordPress site.

PS  If you do read the manual, then please be aware that:

  • none of the other content is in place yet; and
  • during development the page might be temperamental.

The site is still very much under construction.

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