I have a very stable alpha version for the upcoming 2.9 release of my WordPress membership site plugin WP-Members that is now available to the general public. You can read about the project and what changes will be included here.
The 2.9 version is going to deliver completely rebuilt form building functions. I am hoping that most people will see no change when using the new functions, but the new functions provide MUCH more accessibility in customizing the forms and the form output. There are new hooks throughout and you will be able to make changes as the form is being built rather than waiting until the form is completed to filter in your customizations.
And here’s something that I think is really cool that I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else do before – you can try out the major function updates in a way that lets you completely back out of the update without changing the plugin itself.
The reason for this is that the plugin has quite a few “pluggable” functions. These are functions that you can overrride when they are loaded before the plugin itself (much like pluggable functions in WordPress). I have posts about pluggable functions in WP-Members on both this site and the plugin’s support site, as well as a list of pluggable functions in the plugin documentation.
The form building functions that are being changed in 2.9 just happen to be some of these pluggable functions. That means you can load the new functions as a pluggable file, try them out on your installation, and if things don’t work, you can just delete the pluggable file. No changes to the plugin itself, no changes to your WP options – easy.
Try it out
Currently, you can try the alpha release (which is stable) and the pluggable functions. If you are testing on a staging system, you can go ahead and try the alpha release. The 2nd alpha release is probably going to be moved to beta without much change unless someone uncovers a nasty bug in the next few days.
If you don’t know what you are doing in terms of how to backup your site and also how to back out of a plugin update, I would not recommend trying the new version just yet. But please feel free to try the pluggable file since you can back out of that test by just deleting the file (instructions are on this page).
What to expect
I’ve had a few testers come back to me after trying out the new version and tell me that they didn’t see any change. That’s a good thing.
If you try out the new version and see no change, that is what we want. The major differences lie in how the forms are constructed. There are also some other changes and code improvements, but in the end, we want to see someone update their site with no change in the output.
What I am especially interested in receiving feedback on is how the new version melds with users who use the various filter hooks to customize form output. I want to make sure that the new output is as seamless as possible with people that are filtering the form output.
So if you try it out and see no change in your install – that’s great! I don’t need to hear about it (although I am happy to receive feedback). But if you are filtering your form output for some customization and things work (or not), that’s what I need to know. You can let me know here.