WP-Click-Track: A Roadmap
When I first started wp-click-track it was because I had a specific need; I wanted to find out how helpful my posts would and what better indicator than how many people clicked on the links in my posts. It was only to drive traffic and get my name out on the Intertubes that I released the plugin to other WordPress users and sites.
I never imagined people would actually use it much less have so much great feedback and improvement suggestions. As great as the insight is though it has pretty much made my plans for features and upgrades secondary to the users requests. As it should; because of the users wp-click-track is on a great track to become something truly useful.
There are only 3 releases left before the final, 1.0, version and to reach that I have the following outline:
The features for this release are going to focus on Data Export, Localization and a reworking of the configuration page.
Data export is a little complicated because two offerings have to be created to allow for older systems; normal csv/tsv and complete XLS export for users with newer systems. The XLS export will use the Excel 2007 XLS file format built using phpExcel. Since phpExcel requires php 5.2.5, at least, the exporter needs to be smart enough to degrade elegantly when the system can't perform.
The Localization phase has already started with the release of 0.6. Initially, wp-click-track will be localized in french and spanish using Google Translate (until a native speaker can contribute). If anyone knows of a better method for transcription I'm open to suggestions.
There's also going to be a refactoring of the cookie functionality. I admit, I was a little lazy about this, something I'll go into more detail about at a later time. Now it's time to clean this up.
It's important that wp-click-track act like a native WordPress module; that's what 0.8 is going to focus on. This one is obviously going to include more AJAXy goodness to make link management easier and a little more inline with the rest of WordPress.
One thing 0.8 will definitely have is a removal of the Edit Link page. I've never really been happy with how that functionality worked; it's very... standard. Instead, it will be modified into a simple "click to edit" style similar to how the permalinks are edited on the post edit page.
0.9 will include some advanced functionality like backup and import capabilities and the creation of WordPress hooks so other developers can extend the plugin. I have some ideas for a Bookmarklet for link creation but I don't know how relevant that might be to other users.
By this point, I should have a fix for the little bugs that have been with the plugin since the beginning. I can't say they won't be done before 0.9 but they will be done by then.
Unless there's any objection this release is also going to include functionality to send me usage and error information. I guarantee there won't be any sensitive data being sent; EVER. It's just important to know how the plugin is being used and what errors happen. This will be opt-in too so it won't be a requirement.
The other thing the plugin will be ready for is donations. I never really wanted to go this route but I had a day job then. This too will be opt-in only and there won't be any nag screens or anything annoying. This will be as unobtrusive as possible I promise.
It should be noted that there's no real guarantee that the functionality mentioned above will be done in that order. Need drives the direction more than anything else and the users certainly aren't shy about steering the ship so to speak.
After 1.0 I don't really anticipate any more updates; except for bug fixes or specific requests. Obviously, when WordPress changes their core functionality again the plugin will be rewritten and tested and a new version cycle will probably begin.