I am very pleased to report on current progress for GD Star Rating 2.0. First Alpha version is in full development and it should be ready for the late March release. This post will give you more details on what is done so far and what can be expected with the first public alpha release.
One of the main objections with old plugin, was a large memory footprint. Old plugin structure was written and updated over the period of two years, with many elements added on top of other elements, and that was causing higher memory usage. Old plugin started very simple and it grew from there. This time, GDSR 2.0 is starting very differently, and it has powerful core that can be expanded for any rating purpose.
Base of the plugin is created using gdr2 shared library that handles main plugin classes, settings and settings forms rendering. This is already proven concept from GD Products Center Pro, and all future Dev4Press plugins will use similar approach. To render on frontend, gdT3 library is used (same as for GD Products Center Pro). On top of the plugin base code, there is rating core. Core is very modular, with base classes containing most of the code. Individual rating types are extending base classes to add additional features they might require. On admin side, plugin will use between 1.0MB up to 1.5MB. On front end, this should be about the same, depending on how many rating elements are displayed on the page. That is about 4 times less than with old plugin. Plugin needs only 6 database tables to store all the data. Plugin will use meta approach to store data, and that will help to accommodate different needs for different rating types.
First Alpha version will include following rating methods: Free (you can rate anything as long as you provide unique ID), comments, users, posts and pages. But, before Alpha is released, GD Custom Posts and Taxonomies Tools Pro will have support to register rating objects for each custom post type added by the plugin. Similar support will be added to GD Products Center Pro for registered product types.
That is all at this moment, I will have more information soon. Current target date for GDSR 2.0 Alpha is March 29 2012.