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Plugin "List Category Posts" has too many faults (6 posts)

  1. Soccerwidow
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    The plugin description promises a lot, but if you try to use some of the features you are faced with a large number of bugs which require fixing.

    At first sight the plugin functions perfectly well and publishes a list of articles of the desired category within another post. However, [catlist catlink=yes] doesn’t work and probably many other features.

    I tried to fix in vain, but finally gave up...

    1. list_cat_posts.php

      99 if ($cat_link_string! = '') {
      90 $lcp_output = “>p<>strong<”. $cat_link_string. “>/strong<>/p<”;
      91} else {
      92 $lcp_output = '';

      Nothing can happen if $cat_link_string is set to nothing (”) as then nothing can be shown, as the variable must be either “no” or “yes”. No wonder that nothing happens.

    2. The file template/default.php contains the information how the category is to be displayed, but is not activated in list_cat_posts.php:
      26 *
      27
      28
      29 include (“list_cat_posts_widget.php”);
      30
      31/**

      Thus I changed line 30 to include template/default.php

      Possibly (?) this was a big amateurish programming mistake, because…

    3. Thereupon WordPress announced a fatal error in template/default.php in the lines 36 and 37, which led to a complete breakdown of my entire site:
      36 foreach ($catposts as $single):
      37 $lcp_output. = “>li<>a href= "”. get_permalink ($single <ID). ““<”. $single-<post_title. “>/a<”;

    I was unable to get back into WordPress any longer and therefore unable to deactivate the faulty plugin. This meant logging into the ftp server to delete <stromg>template/default.php.

    At this stage I gave up … it all became a little too ‘advanced' for me. I am not a programmer. Certainly I could spend another day or even week acquiring more knowledge but if I had already found in this plugin three errors there were probably more still.

    I am wondering that more than 89,000 people downloaded this faulty plugin and the only contribution regarding the many errors was from Chocolaterebel in this forum, only published two weeks ago.

    Now I have de-installed the plugin List Category Posts and am now again searching for another plugin or another solution to include a list of articles of a category in another article using the category ID and to allow to display the category title as well.

    In my opinion a plugin has to be not only user friendly, but above all error free and not give the operator additional work for hours and hours, in order to repair any bugs. Okay, one could say, ‘don’t look a gift horse in the mouth’ but there are thousands of plugins for WordPress which function perfectly.

  2. ABCDiamond
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    I'll agree that it isn't perfect, but I have found it to be very good for what it appears to be designed for.

    I use the code like this, which gives me a list of all posts in category number 31, which also have a tag of Victoria Point, ordered by title, sorted from A down, and with no limit on the number of results.

    [catlist id=31 tags=victoria-point orderby=title order=asc numberposts=-1 Date=no]

    There are further "extras" that I would like, but this seems to be better than anything else that I have looked at.

  3. fernandobt
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    Hi, I'm the developer for List Category Posts.

    The plugin started as a short script I used for my personal blog two years ago. I decided to submit it to WordPress because I thought someone else might find it useful. Apparently more than a thousand WordPress users did. Not 89.000, since that's the total number of downloads. And every new version download counts, even if it's from the same user.

    Anyway, people started asking for new features, so I started adding them whenever I had some free time as a hobby. And that's how the plugin is still being mantained. I'm not even strong with PHP coding, this is the only PHP coding I do at all.

    Whenever I do an update, I generally hack in the new functionality and sort of test in on my blog, but don't really have a professional development environment around it. It's just a hobby for me, and since I'm not charging for it, I guessed people would understand this. Also, this is free software, you are free to modify and redistribute this software as long as you respect the GPL.

    Knowing this, the plugin has had a lot of code contributions and fixes from different users. There's some old code which hasn't been revised like the one you mention on your first example. This will be fixed on the next release.

    But the second example doesn't really make sense. The default template file is for users to take as an example.

    If you check the code, there's a couple of To-do's before I release a 1.0 version, which would mean I consider the plugin "stable and complete".

    I'm on version 0.14 now, and I'm not really sure when 1.0 will be reached. But simplifying the template system to make it user friendly is one of the required features. Something like a short code or WYSIWYG editor for the users to have a simple way to use the plugin as they like.

    Haven't had time to implement this. As I said, this plugin is a hobby for me, but I do take in consideration user feedback and code contributions for it's development.

    Hope I get to a 1.0 version soon, so that you can try the plugin again, see if it works for you then.

    Regards
    Fernando

  4. Soccerwidow
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Hi Fernando,

    I apologize should my review have offended you, I certainly didn't mean it. On the contrary I'm very grateful to all you guys who are constantly developing new plugins and all this open source software because without this input amateurs like me would never be able to have their own website.

    However, what I would recommend is that you take out the misleading descriptions, and be honest about the things the plugin can do and cannot do. I certainly would have found it beneficial if somewhere I would have read that the plugin is not finished yet, and that you do it as a hobby, and that the plugin is still being maintained. and you are not "not even strong with PHP coding" - all this stuff.

    Then I would not have expected a perfect working plugin and saved myself one and a half day trying to fix something far beyond my skills.

    Greetings to Uruguay,
    SoccerwidowSoccerwidow

  5. fernandobt
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    Don't worry I didn't feel offended, I understand you. I myself have felt frustrated with software several times, but it's ok as long as we recognize the effort developers invest in coding.

    Now, thanks to your post, I realized the catlink parameter was not working, so I fixed it on version 0.14.1, so thanks for that!

    Regarding the misleading descriptions of the plugin, could you please let me know which parts you consider misleading? It may happen that something breaks on an update, but I think there's nothing there the plugin doesn't actually do.

    About the "finished version" of the plugin, there's a wise saying that goes: "Software projects are never finished, they are abandoned"
    The version number of the plugin shows the 1.0 (generally considered stable release) hasn't been reached yet.

    Anyway, never mind, sorry for the trouble you went through with the plugin, hope you changed your mind at least a bit about it :)

    Regards!

  6. pianosteve
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Fernando, I'm sorry to just tag onto the end of this thread, but I can't seem to get to your forum for the plugin (fatal PHP error) and the comments on the plugin page itself don't even display, so I can't leave a comment there.

    I discovered something that you probably want to look into for future versions, and that relates to password-protected posts. I had a password-protected post, and yet your plugin went ahead and displayed the excerpt on the front page without the password being entered. Kind of defeats the point of a password being required ;)

    I managed to get around it by specifically excluding that post's ID, but thought I'd bring it to your attention.

    Thanks!
    steve :)

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