Mini Quilt

Description

Tired of boring lists of recent posts?

Taking advantage of the date to color algorithm used in the Kaleidoscope theme, the Mini Quilt plugin provides a more colorful way of presenting your recent (or random) posts. It also provides–by virtue of the carefully selected color–your readers with implicit information about when those posts were written. Your widgetized areas have never been so good at letting your visitors know what other wonders your blog offers.

Screenshots

  • Three different instances of the Mini Quilt widget used on the Coraline Theme. While I wouldn't necessarily recommend doing this on your blog (it's probably too much of a good thing), it shows the versatility of the types of Widgets you can make with this plugin. The biggest one has large and labeled patches, the left one is what I call a "Mini Bar", and the right one is a small and label-less little quilt.
  • Two instances of the plugin used on the Kaleidoscope theme. The theme--by now a bit long in the tooth--is the progenitor of this color idea, and showcases how far you can take the date-to-color idea.
  • A single simple quilt on the new Twenty Eleven default theme.

Installation

  1. Upload the mini-quilt folder to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
  3. Put the Mini Quilt sidebar widget wherever you would like it.
  4. (Optional) Customize the dimensions of your quilt with different patch sizes and layout, as well as specifying whether or not you want titles printed inside the squares or not.

FAQ

So what?

A fair question. The Mini Quilt isn’t going to cure cancer or make you rich. But, because it’s a visually interesting way for you to showcase your latest works, or a set chosen at random, it could make your blog readers more aware of other things you’ve published that may interest them, and thus make your blog a bit “stickier”

How do the colors work?

They’re derived from the time of year. Deep winter days are solidly blue, spring is the green time of year, and fall is orangish tones. (These are Northern Hemisphere seasons if you were wondering.) Essentially, every single day of the year has a subtly different color, almost imperceptibly subtle. But if, like most blogger, your publishing is spaced by a week or more and erratic, you’ll see very interesting colors side-by-side. (For more on this, I’d encourage you check out my blog, which has a number of posts relating to this algorithm I created.)

What’s a Mini Bar?

A Mini Bar is essentially the same as a Mini Quilt–a visually interesting way to link to your recent (or random) content in your sidebar–but it’s stylistically the easiest was to show post titles (to non-hover-aware users and browsers). You can build one with an instance of the Mini Quilt plugin in (the directions are right in the widget control box) or you can use the standalone plugin.

Contributors & Developers

“Mini Quilt” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.

Changelog

0.9.0

  • Fixed widget constructor usage.
  • Made a ton of minor unnecessary cleanups because it was a mess I felt like wasting some time.

0.8.2

  • Bump to fully change ownership and deploy well.

0.8.1

  • Bump to change ownership.
  • Very minor changes to formatting to better match WordPress style.

0.8.0

  • Made it possible to show post titles, so they can be determined without hovering
  • Added option to randomize quilt
  • Changed the widget controls for greater adaptability necessitated by showing post titles
  • Made it possible to have more than one instance of the widget
  • Thoroughly cleaned and polish all code to a nice luster

0.5.0

  • First public release
  • Allow colored tiles to represent dates in an array of many such tiles