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[resolved] A few urgent questions about this plugin (for Buddypress) (6 posts)

  1. xprt007
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hi

    I am desperately looking for a free directory plugin to add to a buddypress community site, but it's no easy challenge as most of those available have some key feature(s) missing or have not been updated for a long time, etc.

    This one is promising as the fields it has are the ones I need and it has the Gmap functionality available.

    I noted however after adding a local address (Germany) with the area Zip code, which on other Gmaps (plugins) is sufficient to locate a place, that this was missing at the frontend. When I then edited the "This is your first listing" & removed the lat & lon info & corrected the physical address, this info was also missing at the frontend, implying the Gmap & address are only shown IF lon & lat are included! However, where would users get these values from and why is not possible for the Gmap, like in other Gmap plugins to do with just the street address & Zip? Most users are NOT that web savvy AT ALL ... or do not understand English, etc.

    - all the 3 sites I included have no maps.
    German addresses & those of neighboring countries are in the form:

    Dortmunder Stra├če 20
    68723 Schwetzingen

    #2 Is there anyway to include/embed the map ON PAGE for a given item/listing without it having to be in a new pop-up page AND is there a way to make the ITEM link at the frontend open in SAME page & NOT a separate page?

    On the same ITEM page, it would be great if the website was included as well.

    #3 Is there at least any screenshot or live sites showing the frontend of the default frontpage ([display_listings show_paging=1] ?) appearance options? ... or is there something better?

    Actually, the directory is supposed to eventually have possibly a few thousand links under dozens of categories. I thought the frontend would have a list of categories, a bit like at DMOZ.org from which one can access subcategories of different levels, which then have individual sites.

    Is this option there & if NOT does this one give an overview of at least the MAIN categories on the frontpage or one has to navigate probably to many pages to get an overview of MANY DOZEN categories? I currently have 3 sites in different categories/subcategories previewed on the frontpage, but if I had links in 30 different categories? Would the "overview" mean moving from page to page to just find out which categories/subcategories are there?

    #4. Is it possible to customize submission form text, say to German & if so where can I do this or is there an existing translation ... or is this only for the US, ...?

    Some form labels (titles) need to have text changed for it to make sense, like "Item Information" [it might be hard for some people to know what is expected here] or "Location information", etc. I am NOT a programmer, but if I new exactly which script has this text, I can try to change it, since many people do not necessarily understand English. Of course a German translation of BePro Listings would be better, if there is any ...

    #5. It seems the telephone field on user submission form only expects phones in US format. I could not include numbers in locally acceptable formats AT THE FRONTEND, though I could edit this as admin & include this at the BACKEND.

    #6. If "Contact" is included in Options, Names seem to be compulsory. In case of organization or businesses, this is always not necessary to include these (whose?) or names might not be available at all, but just the business or institution's name. Is there any way around this?

    Also I noted the phone number is connected to names under Contacts & if you disable this, no business phone is shown ...

    #7. If one is listing different types of sites, the "Cost" field can be quite awkward. I have some associations, schools, shops selling different goods with "Cost - Free", anyway to deal with this? The First Name & Last Name fields - it would be good if there was an option not to have them shown at all without jeopardizing the appearance of a business/institution's email/phone.

    Cost - Free
    First Name -
    Last Name -
    Email - info@samplesite.org
    Phone - 0791 900001

    I know these are a number of questions and some issues may have no quick solutions, BUT I would be grateful to get a response to all, however short & I would appreciate solutions, including those involving some little customization of code, if I am told which one, for someone with very BASIC programming skills, like editing form labels & a couple of others.

    It took weeks of repeated searching using usual search terms, like "web directory", "link directory" but never found your script, but others & just found it more or less accidentally via buddypress.org, plugins. I am quite sure with some additional tags, your plugin would do much better in wordpress.org plugin search results.

    I am quite with a couple of modifications, it would be the very best free directory script. One of the options would of course be being able to add custom fields, like tel, fax or email, etc.

    Kind regards

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/bepro-listings/

  2. BeyondPrograms
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    wow, thats a lot of questions, i will try to help you. In the future, please come over to our website for faster responses http://beprosoftware.com.

    Let me begin by saying we are within days of releasing a new version of the plugin. It has more features and fixes some fundamental problems. If you can wait for this fix, it may repair some of your issues and add some features that you are looking for.

    1) Addresses should be calculated for the user. We recognize that the average user will not be able to supply lat/lon. So its not even an option for the front end.

    2) No. We are planning this feature as a paid add-on at some point

    3) yeah, http://whatlocalscallit.com . Notice it has categories. Yeah, was a surprisingly difficult feature to add to wordpress naively. You would think they would have simple hooks. Anyway, enough of the ranting, we decided to put it in for free. So expect it in the next release.

    4) There are language files currently packaged for 3 languages english, french, and spanish. I believe theoretically, you can create language files for german, change the language of your site in wp_config, and the plugin will follow the wordpress rules using the german language files. Then you can send the file to us to everyone on wordpress can have it.

    5) Yeah, that was shortsighted. What can i say. Until you mentioned it it was even considered an issue. Maybe a multi-language add-on is needed hmm. I think you can fix this via the js file. There is a jquery number mask used, i think....

    6) Hard to do validation for everyone with one plugin. We picked the fields that seem to be most needed. This can be changed in the packed js file. Its using the average run of the mill jquery validations

    7) Was considered during development and re-thought during production. To be honest, you really want custom options per listing type. And continuing with that honesty, if/when invented, it wont be free :).

    8) Thanks for the review and comments. I the Lead developer, have been shocked at the slow downloads. I think you are right, the plugin hasn't been marketed correctly. However, the focus has been on refining the plugin and making it more robust. With the launch of these next two upcoming versions, we will be well positioned to advertise as well as provide add-ons and themes.

    Hopefully i answered all of your questions.

    Noble
    BePro Software Team

  3. xprt007
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hi

    I am very grateful for the quick & comprehensive response, which are not taken for granted. A number of directory plugins that always appear in search results where last updated years back & often support questions have not been responded to at all or it takes weeks!

    It will of course be absolutely worth it waiting for the newer improved version with the mentioned features.

    2) No. We are planning this feature as a paid add-on at some point
    That is OK, as long as a map (pop-up) option is available. Not sure whether you mean including a site /"item" link on the "item page" is also for the paid option. It would otherwise make sense.

    4) There are language files currently packaged for 3 languages english, french, and spanish. I believe theoretically, you can create language files for german, change the language of your site in wp_config, and the plugin will follow the wordpress rules using the german language files. Then you can send the file to us to everyone on wordpress can have it.

    Actually I am not a native German speaker, BUT I think especially with the improved version hopefully being much easier to find in search results, I can at least try to either start on a translation and request for help in German WordPress forums or simply ask if someone could do it. Have to yet find out how WordPress-compliant translations are done, but may be this is a chance to.

    For the short term though, just for my version, I could make provisional translation of especially form labels or phrases/sentences on pages & forms especially encountered by a subscriber submitting/editing a link if I knew exactly which script is involved.

    5) Yeah, that was shortsighted. What can i say. Until you mentioned it it was even considered an issue. Maybe a multi-language add-on is needed hmm. I think you can fix this via the js file. There is a jquery number mask used, i think....

    I wish I could program & was conversant with JavaScript, etc ...

    But, it would be worth integrating this possibility soon or later, because it otherwise rules out many, many potential users & customers, many more times more than those in the US ;) ... or poses a problem, because of the importance of phones. Since the length of the phone/fax numbers often varies + the area codes + country codes (example +49, or 0049) if one chooses to include the latter, may be a possibility of additional simple text field for phone/fax field could do, or may be one allowing numbers & "-" or "/" to separate them.

    6) Hard to do validation for everyone with one plugin. We picked the fields that seem to be most needed. This can be changed in the packed js file. Its using the average run of the mill jquery validations

    I wish I knew how ... It would not be an issue if phone numbers (more than 1?) where not considered as necessarily "personal" but could belong to non-personal entities,like institutions, org., firms, & hopefully fax fields & instead or in addition another "option", other than "Show Cost", "Show Contact" & "Show Geography" could be included. May be something to consider sometime?

    I feel a bit like Oliver Twist in Charles Dickens, that orphan who asked for a little bit more soup ... ;) ... when I suggest the option, soon or later of more than one phone number, probably one for a mobile phone as well + at least 1 fax.

    No harm suggesting or asking. ;)

    7) Was considered during development and re-thought during production. To be honest, you really want custom options per listing type. And continuing with that honesty, if/when invented, it wont be free :).

    Fair, but if I knew how, I would at least block
    Cost - Free
    First Name -
    Last Name -

    being shown at all, without leaving out Tel & Email. Our directory mostly deals with institutions, business, etc with their respective email/phone shown. Tried using company name like
    First Name: Sony
    Second name: Corporation ... but looks a bit funny . ;)

    8) Thanks for the review and comments. I the Lead developer, have been shocked at the slow downloads. I think you are right, the plugin hasn't been marketed correctly. However, the focus has been on refining the plugin and making it more robust. With the launch of these next two upcoming versions, we will be well positioned to advertise as well as provide add-ons and themes.

    I had almost basically given up searching on WordPress.org & using Google, because for months always the same "usual suspects" with their limitations always come up, some not updated for MANY years, or with awkward limitations like just email, but no physical address & lots more. ;) ... I am certainly sure with better keywords/tags you would do much better, at least including "web directory" & "link directory" (for WordPress), etc and I think if folks also notice it's RECENT/NEW, a number of juicy options, compatible with 3.5.1, etc it should eventually lead to improved download performance.

    I only hope you do not strip the default version too much in favor of pro-addons, etc. ;)

    Once again many thanks & kind regards

  4. BeyondPrograms
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    We definitely appreciate your suggestions. The js restrictions and control of the fields is something we hope to provide a concrete solution for in the near future. Until then, you can expect small fixes in the upcoming releases which may be helpful.

    BePro Software Team

  5. BeyondPrograms
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    The newest version of the plugin is now released. We made sure to remove the phone mask on the listing form validations like you suggested.

    This is a perfect example where communicating with us and voicing your needs, can influence fast and useful plugin updates. We appreciate your comments and look forward to future communication.

    beprosoftware.com/forums

    Regards,
    BePro Software Team

  6. xprt007
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hi

    Thank you for the new version, which I am testing ...

    The registration process on your site forum seems to be faulty. The activation confirmation does not work saying either there is no such a name/email or already confirmed.

    Regarding the updated version, I made a few preliminary observations, though I think some were expected & you are still working on this:

    • I submitted a link without being logged in but included the user & password. I had missed out some necessary data, Names, but it took me a moment to notice what was missing because the error message was same color(?) & not something different (like red?), but may be it has something to do with my theme which is the dark version of "Custom Community theme.
    • There was I think no submission confirmation unless as said it has to do with a local theme colors issues. so I was at first not sure it had submitted.
    • Without lat & lon, the submitted address was not good enough to make a map appear, even if Geography was included
    • I think adding custom fields in the admin area is a great feature, but I noted the data I added when I submitted another listing as admin & that is available for editting/at approval which in my case included additional tel & fax numbers, etc, does not appear at the frontend after submitting the article. The users do not have the feature of custom fields on the form. I had at first thought this would be available in the admin area, so the admin can create uniform additional fields once for all for all, but may be you look at some things differently.
    • If the custom fields worked on the frontend, it would not matter if one disable "Contact" with the personal names, tel & email & ... "Cost - free" :(, because one would simply use the new fields with business (.etc) phone, fax, email, etc
    • In my case, since I am using a dark theme, some text content, like the text just below the image, and the ITEM & WEBSITE links on the main listings page are hardly if not visible, in the latter case, I think visited links. Where can I edit/customize this? Also in this case, it seems the different items on main page are separated by a horizontal rule(?) and each item has a fixed height of space it takes. Content it seems that is beyond this seems to disappear below the horizontal line. Does not look clean ... That line seems to go through some text on the last line.
    • Regarding the main PB Lisings page, with dozens of categories & sub-categories & probably thousands of links - still trying to figure out if there is a way to have an overview of available categories/subcategories & what it looks like or does one have to move page after page to see what is there?
    • Still having mixed feelings about the "Cost" field for listings like shops, schools, organizations like red cross ..., etc... Can one say "Cost - free" ? & if not what do they cost? It would be best if it would be best to have the option not to include it at all ...
    • In my case, it would be best to have the option to completely exclude the image. This would be an advantage for directories where listings are not necessarily submitted by their owners. The image space is going to remain wit the empty default image. I think, though this is not only my need. In many countries especially where the internet & its knowledge are just developing, it's an achievement for many people to submit their own links & adding stuff like images, is likely to be used by only a small minority. Anyway, just thought, if one could add 3, 2 or 1, even "0" or no image would be an option. ;)
    • For the map widget in the sidebar, I noted there was one small map, which only takes up very limited space in the sidebar. could this because there was just one location I included with lon & lat & it would probably be bigger & fill the about 300 px - wide sidebar if it had more locations & probably get higher as well?

    That will do for now. Thank you for the good work! If I may ask, would the small updates referred to be coming any time soon? Just wondering whether to install this on a main site yet & start including links or wait ...

    Kind regards

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