The latest version of WordPress plugin Now Reading Redux was released on New Year’s eve. It has many awaited features that should prove very useful.
The main focus of this release has been, by and large, to refurbish the plugin and make it more flexible and usable. To that end there were two main types of changes. First, a new set of options were introduced to make the main templates vastly more customizable and thereby reduce the need to make manual changes to the template files themselves. Second, a number of internal cleanups were performed to make the plugin code more up-to-date with WordPress. In that vein, the minimum WP required version was bumped from 2.8.0 to 2.9.0.
These changes, which are both user-visible and internal, are by all measures the biggest done in the Redux incarnation. As versions 6.2 and 6.3 were internal, 6.4 was skipped and 6.5 was chosen to mark the significance of this release.
There is a lot more work and a longish todo list waiting for realization. My main goals are to make NRR as flexible and as usable to as wide an audience as possible and to make the plugin more active and interactive. As it is, the plugin just passively shows off the owner’s library of books. This is less than satisfactory in an age of interactive networking. Without going into much details, what I’d love to see in this plugin is the ability to share, exchange and even interact with anyone’s library. Much like we did when we visited a friend and went through their albums, commenting, comparing, borrowing and trading.
I’d also like to see more people using the plugin and upgrading from the older versions that are out there in the thousands. So I ask the users of NRR to rate it on WordPress, add their feedback on the plugin’s homepage, report bugs and issues on git (or on the homepage,) and to make suggestions for improvements and feature requests. To help promote the plugin, I’ve added a link from the widget to the homepage that is hidden only to become visible on mouse hover.
I hope this plugin encourages people to read more and talk about books and the ideas contained therein more than ever. I hope it’s a good aid to those who have a reading list but procrastinate or can’t get organized to create the time necessary to finish a book before dust collects and it becomes a reminder of unfinished business.