Upcoming GD Star Rating 2.0 plugin is very, very different from previous (and still current) 1.x versions. And based on experience with current plugin, and from all the requests I got, I have compiled a list features that will be available in first release of GD Star Rating 2.0.
This list contains many more new features, but some features that were available in 1.x are gone. They are not gone forever, they will be added later if needed, but there were bunch of very rarely used features that will make implementing them in new version very complicated and will take a lot of time to implement and will further delay release of 2.0.
Currently existing features that will not make into 2.0:
- Voting trends: with all new ratings structures and data, I am having tough time creating database structure to support that and to be fast to work with. In any case, this is first major feature that will get highest priority after the release of 2.0. Target version: 2.1.
- Legacy functions: new plugin will have all new functions for public/integration use. Plan is to try and mimic old functions and improve the compatibility. But, I will not be able to do it right away, and certainly not for all functions in the same way. So, legacy function support will be added later. Target version: 2.1 / 2.2.
- Category based rules: with custom taxonomies added in WP, limiting rules to categories only is not good idea. But, implementing rules based on categories from the interface was very difficult in current plugin, and will be even harder to do in the new one. Rules in 2.0 will be changeable using filters and actions in the beginning. At one point, I will add interface for controlling taxonomies/terms based rules and settings. Target version: 2.3.
Features that will go into 2.0:
Everything underlined represent new features.
- Rating methods: standard stars, standard thumbs, multi stars and multi thumbs. New image sets were made to use only one image for set for all sizes. Also, thumbs will have 3 states (2 available now), where third state is for current value or values set for current user.
- Rating types will be handled quite differently than before. Current plugin had ratings based on posts, pages and comments. This time, plugin has a base objects to handle rating types, and will have specific rating objects that will be used for all initially supported rating types. So, 2.0 will support: default post types, custom post types, comments and users.
- Multisite installations of WordPress will be supported. This will allow for global ratings that will be for objects that are not strictly individual site related. So, users will be available for rating on individual sites, and also globally for the whole network.
- Ratings and reviews are now improved. Reviews in 1.x are singular ratings given by the authors or admins. But, one of the most important things users needed were reviews submitted through comments. 1.x handles this through normal ratings, but now, with 2.0 that will change. Authors will still be able to give own, singular rating. But, plugin will allow for another set of ratings to be separated and saved as review ratings by users.
- New templates system will be used. gdT3 templates library works differently from T2 used in current plugin. New templates will be stored in files and will allow using PHP code inside the template. Unfortunately there will be no way to convert existing custom templates from T2 to gdT3.
- Changing own vote is most requested feature. This will work with all rating types, but with one limit: only registered and logged in users can change own vote. Tracking regular visitors with high degree of certainty is very hard and hardly worth the trouble, so it will not be implemented.
- Administration interface is also 100% rewritten. New ratings and results panel will allow detailed navigation of all registered rating elements and all the votes for them. Main settings panels will be very basic with very few options to set. Majority of all settings will be dependent on the rating type and you will be able to have fine control over each rating type and it’s settings and features.
- For each star or thumb in the rating block you can set title or description of the actual value. With this you can name each star and use that value when hovering over stars or use it in the templates. For multi sets you will be able to set different values for each set element.
New database structure in 2.0:
As I said many times before, current plugin is not compatible with upcoming 2.0. New structure is much smaller than current one, and there is a possibility to make it even smaller, but at expense of what the data can be used for. Also, new structure will allow for future expansion and flexibility.
- New database layout contains 6 tables. Once the trends are implemented, 2 more tables will be added, if you decide to use trends, if not these 2 extra tables will not be created.
- Multi sets definitions table is no longer used. All created multi sets will be stored as settings in WordPress options table. This will improve performance and make some coding aspects simpler.
- Main (non multi) ratings will be stored in two tables. Main one will contain settings, and the other one will behave as meta table containing only actually set values.
- Multi ratings will use 3 tables. Two were be used as normal non multi ratings (settings and data) and third one will store all individual set elements values data.
So, there you have it, this is definitive list of features that will end up in GD Star Rating 2.0. In the next 2-3 weeks I hope to have some info on the release date.