WordPress Finally Has Tags! [en]

[fr] Après des années d'errance, WordPress implémente enfin un système de tags qui ne sont pas des catégories. Un billet un peu plus complet en français s'impose probablement. Qu'en pensez-vous?

I’ve known for some time that [version 2.3 of WordPress](http://codex.wordpress.org/Version_2.3) would support real tagging. Today, Matt has just announced the [deployment of tagging on WordPress.com](http://wordpress.com/blog/2007/09/22/tags-and-categories/).

From the start, I’ve been a very vocal supporter of the [differentiation between tags and categories](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2006/02/11/tags-and-categories-are-not-the-same/) — and I really appreciate Matt acknowledging this in his announcement.

When I first met Matt offline for the first time nearly a year ago, [at Blogtalk Reloaded in Vienna](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny/sets/72157600218664445/), I jumped on the occasion to pester him about tags and categories. He listened — but I don’t think he was convinced at the time.

A few months later, I was [in San Francisco](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny/sets/72157594465240661/) — and one of the first things Matt told me when we met again was “you know, I finally saw the light about tags and categories”. He told me version 2.3 would have both. I was overjoyed. I’ll never know exactly what role I played in Matt’s “seeing the light”, but I like to think I contributed 🙂

Looking back in time, [Technorati started indexing tags in January 2005](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2005/01/14/technorati-tagified/). They weren’t new for me then (I’d been tagging things on del.icio.us since May 2004 and on Flickr since October of the same year) but clearly, being able to tag posts was a great thing. You know me — my brain can’t sit still — two days later, I was [rambling about some ways to combine tags in searches/sorting](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2005/01/16/thinking-about-tags/). Some of the stuff I talk about in there isn’t possible yet, but I hope it will someday.

Two days after that, I wrote my first WordPress plugin, [Bunny’s Technorati Tags](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2005/01/18/technorati-tags-plugin/) — which became quite popular and which I still use to this day.

I’m really glad to be able to retire this plugin, specially as [Peter Westwood has written an importer for it](http://blog.ftwr.co.uk/archives/2007/09/07/living-on-the-edge/). That means you should have no problems converting your bunny-tags into wp-tags. Thank you very much, Peter.

Bear with me while I dig though my archives: [weighted tags by category](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2005/01/28/plugin-idea-weighted-tags-by-category/) is something I’d forgotten I’d wanted… does anything like that exist now?

My only gripe with the implementation of tags in WordPress, for the moment, is that they will be comma-separated. No! Please! We’ve been typing space-separated tags into Flickr and del.icio.us for three years now. Three years! When I chose space-separation for the tags in my plugin, it was because the existing interfaces for tags did it like that.

Spaces, please. Or at least an option to input them space-separated. Or a simple plugin. Tags separated by spaces, and multi-word tags between quotes.

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Call to WordPress Plugin Developers [en]

Call for help to WordPress plugin developers. I have a bunch of hacks and modifications I’d like to turn into plugins, but I am unfortunately as plugin-challenged as ever.

[fr] Un descriptif des plugins que j'écrirais pour WordPress si je ne faisais pas un vilain blocage sur le sujet. Ne vous gênez pas si vous voulez contribuer!

If I was fluent in WordPress plugin coding, here are the plugins I’d write. If you feel like coding one of them yourself, or helping me get it done, you’re most welcome. Carthik has already pointed me to Plunge into Plugins, which I will have a close look at once I’ve finished writing this post.

Of course, if you know of a plugin which does precisely what I’m describing here, leave a link to it in the comments!

Keywords plugin

This would be a pretty straightforward one:

  • add a “keywords” text input to post.php
  • save the value of that text input to a custom field called “keywords”
  • add those keywords as an HTML meta tag on the individual post pages.
Excerpt plugin

This one would also be pretty straightforward, as all it would do is add the “excerpt” field to the “simple” post.php layout.

Customize post.php plugin

This would be more complex, but allow for more flexibility than the previous plugin. I don’t yet have a clear idea of how to make it work, but the basic principle would be to allow the user to select which fields should appear on the post.php page. Instead of having “simple” and “advanced” controls, this would add the option to have “custom” controls and define them.

TopicExchange plugin

As far as functionality is concerned, this plugin would do what my TopicExchange hack did:

  • add a “trackback TopicExchange channels” text input to post.php
  • store the space-separated list of keywords in a meta value named (e.g.) ite_topic (one record for each value)
  • for each value, trackback the appropriate TopicExchange channel
  • display the trackbacked channels (with link) on each post.
Bilingual plugin

This would be a clean version of my language hacks:

  • add a small “language” text input to post.php (with a default value)
  • add an “other language excerpt” textarea, which posts to the corresponding custom value
  • display the “other language excerpt” at the top of each post
  • provide a function to return the post language, and the other-excerpt language (so it can be declared in a lang attribute, allowing the use of language-dependant CSS formatting, in addition to being semantically correct)
  • if this is not already possible with the date function in the WordPress core, provide an alternative date function which will format the date correctly corresponding on the language of the post
  • optional: figure out a way to adapt text like “comments”, “categories” etc. to the post language; make the plugin usable with more than two languages.
Smart Linkroll plugin

I love the way ViaBloga manages blogrolls and would love to see a plugin for WordPress that does the same thing. In ViaBloga, you simply enter the URL of the site you want to add to your links. ViaBloga then retrieves the title, description, RSS feed address, and even (yes!) a screenshot for the site. No need to fill in fields manually anymore…

Wiki-Keywords plugin

I haven’t through this through yet completely, but it seems to me that a plugin which would add wiki-like capability to WordPress, like ViaBloga does with keywords, could be an interesting idea to explore.

Technorati plugin

This is really a simple one: add a function which will allow easy display of the Technorati cosmos of each post, like I have done manually for this weblog.

On the subject of multilingual blogging, Kevin Marks has some interesting markup suggestions I need to look at more closely.

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