Views 1.9, Layouts 1.2 and CRED 1.4 beta – Happiness Update #1

   Amir

June 16, 2015

Three months ago, the entire Toolset team got together for discuss one question:

“What would make our existing clients happier?”

This discussion was limited to things that Toolset plugins already do, but could do better. The idea is to make it easier to use Toolset and have clients and our supporters work less. Sure, we have all sorts of ideas about great new features that people may be looking for, but we wanted to focus on how we can make what we already have better.

Toolset support team was happy to get center stage. They immediately came up with a few recurring issues.

  • Some shortcodes have options that require reading documentation (bad, that’s like having to read documentation for the WP_Query call, so what’s the point in using Toolset?)
  • Conditional output in Views is really hard to get working.
  • It’s hard for new clients to understand how to do stuff with Toolset, especially when mixing Views and Layouts.
  • It’s hard to style the output of some of Views shortcodes
  • HTML with many shortcodes becomes unreadable because we can’t break it into lines (we’ll get line breaks in the output)
  • CSS in Views and Content Templates is cool, until you get lost in it.
  • Layouts editor freezes when saving cells.
  • Sometimes it’s really hard to tell what you’re going to edit or delete in a layout.
  • It’s pretty annoying to have to upload images one at a time.
  • We need to use third party plugins to create and edit users (CRED only handles posts).
  • Uploading large files to CRED forms doesn’t work.

As you might imagine, this call wasn’t very fun for Toolset development team. It’s pretty depressing to hear all those bad things about your hard work.

So, we made it our goal, in the next two release cycles, to resolve ALL these issues and more.

Now, we are ready with Views 1.9,Β Layouts 1.2 and a beta version for CRED 1.4. Together, these solve most issues and (we believe) dramatically improve your experience with Toolset plugins.

To see the full list of updates, please visit Views 1.9 release notes,Β Layouts 1.2 release notesΒ and CRED 1.4 release notes.

You can get Views 1.9 and Layouts 1.2 directly into your WordPress admin (if you’ve registered your site) or manually from your wp-types.com account. Since CRED 1.4 is still in beta, it’s only available from your wp-types.com account. Log in, click on Downloads and the switch from ‘released’ to ‘beta’.

If you run a side-by-side comparison, you will see that these versions cover most of the ‘most wanted’ changes. They also include a number of improvements not covered in this list (but still requested very frequently by clients).

As we are releasing this version, Toolset dev team is already hard at work on the next set of usability issues. This will include a complete rewrite for the wpv-if logic. It will come with a nice GUI and much cleaner syntax. We’ll also have multiple file uploads to Types.

If you are running into frequent usability problems in any Toolset plugins, please tell us. We want to dedicate the next release to covering all of them.

 

Comments 33 Responses

    • It’s ready now. Go your wp-types.com account and click on Downloads. Then, switch from ‘released’ to ‘beta’ and you will see CRED 1.4 beta. Let us know how it’s working for you.

      • Hi Amir, yes the beta is ready, but I have to much work to do to start playing with the beta, so I will wait until the final version is released. But it is so great that CRED finally can be used to edit user profiles.

        I can’t believe that such a feature is missing in WordPress completely.

  1. Just have to say, that the performance in Layout is FANTASTIC, and the update solved an issue for me which I faced yesterday.

    GREAT GREAT…

  2. One thing I’d love to see is the ability to “lock” Toolset component entries.

    For example – lock a view, lock a layout etc.

    Reason being in complex implementations it’s really easy to modify something you’re using as a reference while editing something else. Locking the item editor for a tools entry would prevent this.

    The other issue for locking is in Layouts. If one duplicates a layout and forgets to change the slug in time you can play havoc with the original view (happened several times.)

    • I think that we need to add that too. We’ve added ‘capabilities’, so you can control which users can use different admin features, but we should also add it per element (a layout, a View, etc.).

      How important is this to you? I’m asking because in Views 1.10 we want to focus on other things. Mainly, we are redoing the conditional output. We will replace the wpv-if with something a lot nicer, easier to use and easier to understand. It’s a big project, so we want to focus mainly on this.

      What do you think?

      • The locking of elements is a great idea and most welcomed. However, I think it’s long overdue to simplify the Views conditional output. I’ve been using Types/Views for nearly 2 years now and still sometimes get confused with the syntax for wpv-if, especially since there are multiple ways to do it.

        My excitement for these new releases is primarily for CRED’s user capabilities. I need this feature like months ago and was about to start adding a PHP function to help with this. I will begin checking out the new CRED beta today.
        Kudos to your team, Amir!
        Jeff

      • Hi Amir,

        Thanks for replying.

        I can cope without it for now, certainly something I’d like to see eventually. Even if it was simple “collision checking” of slugs when the slug is saving would avoid this. I know when clicking “duplicate” an attempt is made by naming the slug copy-slug-name, but it’s a really easy to screw it up when renaming. Types handles this well with CPT’s – the collusion check on the slug is perfect there.

        However – your conditional output work is extremely tempting to me, too. So I’m happy with the next up date featuring that.

  3. This is fabulous!
    Toolset is very powerful & feature-rich as is, to the extent where it was quite hard to work with. Any usability enhancements to the current feature-set is more important in my view than adding new features – a wise decision on your part!

  4. Appreciate this update. What I would love most and may already be somewhere, but a 15min video that takes a beginner to Toolset through a complete tour, so I get a good understanding of what I can do and where.

    I am not a WordPress developer, which is why I selected your Toolset product πŸ™‚

    However I have a design and coding background, just more corporate CMS.

    I think such an Intro would really get newbies started in the right direction. As it took me hours playing to get even basic concepts….which is because like most nerds we don’t read manuals but dive in πŸ™‚

    Also, once you start getting into mobile apps with WordPress and Toolset – get me involved as a beta tester PLEASE !

    Anita

    • Yes, we’re actually doing this right now. Instead of a 15 minute video (that’s good for napping and replying to emails while it plays in the background), we’re creating a 15-minute learning course. During this course you will learn the basics by doing. Agnes is working on it and we will have it ready very soon.

      We are creating this course with chapters, starting from very basic through more advanced subjects. First chapters are already in proofreading now and will go online shortly.

      • Very good news. I have lifetime license toolset and I believe that this my best investment in software. I am not a coder or developer. I bought toolset because you said that build website/application without php code. That is true.

        And video tutorial toolset for beginners like me is very useful. I am waiting for the videos.

        Thank You

    • You guys rock.

      Can I also ask if you have had success with any wrapper tools with Toolset in use (for mobile apps)?

  5. Every release gets better and better and more stable. I’m so glad I found your guys a few years ago after being so frustrated with the WP Editor. Now I can do so much more and my business is growing. Can’t wait for future releases.

    • Gotta say I agree with Roberto – indeed the best investment I made was a life time license back in 2012.

      Toolset – I have to add – is the only plugin orientated lifetime developer level license that’s actually continued to grow and massively improve. Most have fallen by the wayside – and several never got out of Beta (the definition between Beta & Alpha being debatable πŸ˜‰ )

      Kudos deserved for the level of dedication to the product. Friendliest support forum in the WordPress ecosphere, IMHO.

  6. An excellent update. Many things become really nicer, thank you for that!

    To make it even better I would like (if I might) to put to discussion some suggestions I had after a talk with my client.

    1. Very many of my clients are familiar with WPBakery’s Visual Composer and no surprise it’s what they compare Toolset with it. Toolset and Visual Composer are different, and Toolset is much more powerful. However, both Toolset and Visual Composer have visual editors, and I think there are some features of Visual Composer that Toolset might benefit from.

    1a. Visual Composer has 40+ predefined Component Elements, that are similar to Layout Cells. Those elements are social media and other buttons, Google map elements and so on. I wish Toolset has more of this predefined. With custom cell interface it seems to be easy. So it wold make sense to have a library of cell elements everywhere would benefit from, and not every developer creating a version of his own. And it would be less frustration for users looking for a way to display their location on contact page, for example. Maybe even start something community-driven for this?

    1b. Clients are used to make all post editing within post editor interface. They are usually unfamiliar (afraid of) anything else. Changing a page layout is a post editing too. So it would be great if Layout editor be displayed as a block in a post editor, similar to what Visual Composer does. The other Toolset elements can be where they are now, they are too technical for an average user and should be hidden, but editing post layout is the first thing a user would want. So it’s better to have it in post editor, I believe, and scare them less with redirecting to some other page.

    2. Almost every site has a contact form. It takes some information and sends it in an email. That’s what CRED knows how to do. But it creates posts as well. Please add an option to disable post creation, and there will be no need for another plug-in to create contact forms. It would be also probably worth considering creating a type of CRED forms that would take just user input and do nothing, providing PHP callbacks for the code that will do the actual data processing.

    3. To make Content Templates even more flexible I would suggest make them capable of accepting user parameters. For example, a Content Template might display a promo banner, and its parameters can pass background image location, message text, and a button link. That would allow to reuse the same Content Template in multiple places without recreating it again and again.

    4. Allow Filed Groups to be displayed conditionally for specific Layouts, not Templates only. Because Layouts are the backbone of the page now, and Field Groups are often used to provide page options, it would be essential to tie them all together.

    That’s probably all I can think of right now. And, of course, it’s just my two cents.

  7. I’m just hoping that your team keep in mind that many of us, the users and developers, have many sites we’ve developed and keeping track of them is difficult. Major revisions are great in theory, but not when it requires re-coding many past sites.

    So, for example, if you re-write the wpv-if usage, please make sure to have it still work with the old codes so it doesn’t break sites. Or at the very least, a utility program that can run to automatically go through a site and change it’s code.

    Other than that – keep up the great work – I’m a big fan!

    • Hey Scott, Views lead deve here πŸ™‚

      You do not need to worry, we consider backwards compatibility a must, so instead of rewriting the wpv-if conditional shortcode and logic, we are creating a new shortcode with a new logic for it. We will be using this new one from now on, adding a GUI for it, documenting it and expanding it, while keeping all the code related to the old wpv-if so existing sites do not need to do anything.

      So in any future development or usage, the new one will provide a moe powerful experience, while on existing instances no side effect should happen at all.

      Cheers!

  8. Whilst I like Toolsets it has always caused me problems on each upgrade, including this one.

    One problem with the upgrade is that it is not fully compatible with FireFox!!! I, like many others, dislike using Chrome for many reasons, but it appears that now, when I wish to do certain tasks with ToolSet I must change over to using Chrome!

    Not impressed with that at all.

    • Hi Jill, Views lead dev here πŸ™‚

      Can you lease elaborate on what you mean with “not fully compatible with Firefox”? I usually do develop using Firefox as my default browser, and then test on all the other major ones, and I never found a problem.

      Anyway, if you do have an issue and some things are not working for you on a specific browser, I strongly recommend you to please open a support ticket so we can properly confirm, debug and fix any problem.

      Thanks in advance!

      • Hi Juan.
        Thanks for replying to my comment.

        I raised an issue on the forum that I was having since the upgrade and, at the time of making my comment, was advised to use Chrome as it worked in that browser.

        Since then the forum moderator replying stated he tried it in FireFox and it worked. However, the problem still persists for me in views latest version, but works fine in version 1.8.1 of wp-views.

        The forum moderator advise me was referring the case to the Dev Team.

  9. Hi
    Thanks for these updates !
    I was looking if by chance, the user management is integrated in the new cred version?
    That’s a really major point now if we want to manage from A to Z any membership site for example !
    Let me know
    Regards
    Pat