Part III: Developing WordPress Plugins in Java

Generate Code 128 in Java Part III: Developing WordPress Plugins
Part III: Developing WordPress Plugins
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may be useful later on. Also, it is probably a good idea to remove the data on deactivation, which is recommended for all plugins when doing manual WordPress upgrades. Leaving the database the way you found it is all you need to think about, really. And it is common sense as well.
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After Uninstalling
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It is easy to forget that when a plugin is uninstalled, it may leave things lying around. Database data is one thing, and hopefully the uninstall at least gave the user a chance to clean up after the plugin, but there is one thing that is even more pressing: shortcodes. What happens when a plugin relying on shortcodes gets uninstalled The shortcode won t be parsed, hence it is output as regular text. Your [myshortcode] shortcode will end up printed just like that, in the middle of your post. It won t look good. So while the plugin may not be active, or even present anymore, you still need to maintain some sort of backwards compatibility to it. That means that you should offer some sort of solution for the user to make sure the posts aren t littered with un-parsed shortcode. One way would be to run a SQL query and simply remove all the shortcode automatically, but that may be a bit drastic, and what happens if something breaks during this process It may destroy the database. Or, more likely, how do you know that there isn t a human error within the post that for some reason causes the remove shortcode query to cut too much How you choose to handle redundant shortcode depends on the kind of usage you have introduced in your plugin. One ugly fix would be to include a plugin that changes the shortcode from outputting whatever you had it doing in the first place to outputting nothing at all. It goes without saying that you need to consider all these things in order to not put the user in a fix when uninstalling the plugin after some time of active usage. Obviously, not all types of plugins will need this treatment. For example, plugins utilizing widgets will just stop displaying the widget when removed.
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Adding Widget Support
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A widget is one of those elements you can put in the widget area(s), dragging and dropping it from within the WordPress admin interface. The idea with widgets is to make it easy to customize the contents of a blog or site. WordPress ships with a few widgets, such as one for outputting RSS, one displaying the latest posts, listing the Pages, the categories, and so on. These widgets may not be enough, however, and when you create a plugin you may want to give the user the chance to run it from within a widget area. This is a lot more user-friendly than having to put the plugin PHP template tag in the theme s template files, so it may be a good idea to widgetize your plugin if it is doing something that would fit being displayed in a widget area.
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7: Anatomy of a WordPress Plugin
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The means to create widgets was greatly improved as of WordPress 2.8, with the release of a new widget API. Thanks to this, creating widgets for your plugins isn t even all that complicated anymore. What you do is extend the built-in widget class, called WP_Widget, give it some instructions, and then register it so it will show up:
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class SmashingWidget extends WP_Widget { function SmashingWidget() { // The actual widget code goes here } function widget($args, $instance) { // Output the widget content } function update($new_instance, $old_instance) { // Process and save the widget options } function form($instance) { // Output the options form in admin } } register_widget('SmashingWidget');
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In the example above, what you did was extend the WP_Widget class with your SmashingWidget widget. The first function, which is just function SmashingWidget(), is the actual widget with the functionality you want, so that s where the action is. The widget(), update(), and form() functions are necessary to get the widget to behave the way you want. Obviously, you wrap it up by registering the widget with register_widget(). And no, there are no submit buttons or anything here. Both the cancel link and the submit button are built into the widget API, so you needn t worry about them when it is time to save whatever changes you ll let your users meddle with.
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