With first Alpha of the GD Star Rating 2.0 coming soon, here is the official features list. Over time, this list will include versions when the feature is implemented, or when can be expected. Over the next couple of months, development will be very intensive and things will change quickly.
During April 2012, plugin official website will go through changes. Current website will be moved to a sub-domain for archive purposes. New website will be created during the plugin development, after Alpha phase is done. As it was announced before, new plugin will not be compatible with old one. New plugin will feature conversion tools to copy data to new format. Old functions will have equivalents in the new plugin.
Main plugin features
This is the list of the features that will be part of the plugin. This is not definitive list, things can change quickly during development and new things can be added to this list.
- Four built in rating methods: standard stars and thumbs, multi stars and thumbs. Multi thumbs is new rating method, similar to multi stars. All four methods can be used for rating posts, comments, users and any other rating object. Plugin will allow for adding of new rating methods.
- Rating objects are main part of the plugin. Built in main objects are: post, comment, user and free. Secondary expanded objects are page and attachment. Plugins and themes can register additional rating objects for all kinds of purposes. Each object can be based on one of the main objects, or you can write a whole new objects to use. Modules will be available to add rating objects for bbPress and BuddyPress plugins.
- Each rating object has following properties: vote, revote, insert, limit, restrict, moderate. Each of these can contain multiple set of rules for each rating method. This will allow for very fine tuned ratings display and control.
- There are three rating classes: rating, author review and user review. Rating is open to everyone, author review can be set only by the post author (this rating class is available only for rating objects that have author) and user reviews can be used with comments system to provide user comments with rating for a review based websites. User reviews are not class of ratings, and in previous 1.x versions this was handled by normal ratings.
- Changing saved votes/ratings. This will be available only to logged in users (no way to make certain determination of non logged visitors).
- Improved Google Rich Snippets integration with snippet code added into rendering templates. Tis integration method will be much closer to what Google recommends.
- New templates gdT3 system. This system is already in use for GD Products Center Pro plugin and is allowing a lot more flexibility including use of PHP inside the templates. Templates will be stored in files and will allow overriding and adding new templates.
- GD Custom Posts and Taxonomies Tools Pro integration. Easy to use option to include registration of custom post types as independent rating objects.
- GD Products Center Pro integration. Each product will get own rating object, and plugin will add what is needed into templates for ratings for products and reviews.
Plugin will use completely new database structure with only 6 tables (current 1.x plugin needed 12 tables). Plugin data structure will not be compatible with the old plugin.
- One table is used to log all rating activities, regardless of the rating method or object.
- Standard stars and thumbs ratings will be stored in two tables. One of these tables will be main table for individual rating elements, and the other one is for meta data about ratings.
- Multi stars and thumbs will need 3 tables. One is main, one is for elements values and one is for meta data about ratings.
Modules will be available as part of the plugin that can be enabled if you need it, or as external plugin that GDSR 2.0 can use. External modules that will be published by Dev4Press will be commercial. If you have Premium Support license, some of these modules will be available as a part of that Premium package. If you don’t have premium package, purchase of a module includes support for that module, and access to module updates.
Internal Free Modules
- bbPress. Simple module that will register rating objects for forums, topics and replies with some options about placing the rating elements and allowed types of ratings. This module will be free and part of the main plugin package.
- BuddyPress. Another simple module to add rating objects for the different BuddyPressfeatures. This module will be free and part of the main plugin package.
External Commercial Modules
- Badge. First module will be developed in the same time as the plugin will be for rating image badge. This will allow you to create image with rating that can be embedded on third party websites. Module will support customized base images, caching of images, rewrite rules for badge paths… This module will be available to users with premium support license.
- Trends. Additional functionality to calculate rating trends and include them with different rating results, will be part of this modules. This module will be released at a later date and it will be available to users with premium support license.
- Rating API. This module will be released later (hopefully by the end of this year), and it will not be available as a part of the Premium Support License. With this module you can publish ratings through API using XML or JSON formats. API can be configured to use authentication, what data to make available…
Main plugin will contain one stars and one thumbs graphics set. Anyone can create additional sets. But, to make things easier, sets can be purchased. If you have Premium Support license, all graphics packs will be available as a part of that Premium package. With the help of few designers we will try to offer high quality graphics packs, and first such pack will be available by the time plugin gets stable release.
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