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Secondary HTML Content 3.0 preview

As much as we like giving back to the community, it’s often hard to find time to keep some of the more sophisticated plug-ins up to date. One plug-in that hasn’t been updated in some time that I am frequently asked about is Secondary HTML Content.

I’ve had a number of ambitious goals for 3.0 for some time:

  • Enable a more complete editor experience (notably, Visual / HTML tabs)
  • Allow users to customize the labels for each content block
  • Add support for custom post types (not just posts and pages)
  • Remove arbitrary limit of 5 editor blocks
  • Integrate the settings with the “Writing” settings page (a logical place for them; I’m make a conscious effort with my themes and plug-ins to not “clutter” the settings panel)
  • On top of all this, provide a seamless upgrade path for 2.0 users

The first bullet has been by far the most challenging. While WordPress has a number of core functions that simplify adding a visual editor, they simply weren’t built with multiple editors on one page in mind. For the technically savvy, there are many hardcoded ID attributes, interacting with both CSS and JavaScript that rely on those IDs. As we know, the DOM is not intended to have multiple elements with identical IDs (particularly when we’re hooking events with JavaScript).

Nonetheless, I’m excited to say that the biggest hurdles have been tackled. Since we can’t work on hobby projects full time, the release is probably at least a couple of weeks out, mostly having to do with the upgrade path code.