There’s movement in the Podlove world: We have a podcast! We decided to talk in German 🇩🇪 — so if that’s a language you understand, have a look at our Podlovers podcast.
Even if you don’t, it might still be interesting to have a look at the website. It’s powered by Podlove Publisher, but the website you see is not a WordPress theme. It’s a statically rendered site fed by the Publisher API. There’s a sticky Podlove Web Player 5 that continues playing when navigating between pages. We transcribe every episode: The transcript is connected to the web player, so you see what’s being said and you can click on a section in the transcript to jump to the audio section. Comments are integrated via Discourse, our community platform.
But let’s get to the main event:
The Podlove Publisher 3.0 Release.
First: Why 3.0? Because it’s a major rewrite and everything is different? No, nothing to worry. We follow semantic versioning. If you don’t know what that is: only major versions may include breaking changes.
I hear you saying: “Wait, Eric, you JUST said not to worry. Now what’s that with BREAKING changes?”
There’s a good chance the breaking changes won’t affect you. They’re about cutting off very outdated technology that gets more and more cumbersome to maintain as time goes on. Here’s the complete list:
- requires PHP 7.0 (or newer)
- requires WordPress 5.2 (or newer)
- Web Player:
- removes Podlove Web Player 2
- removes Podlove Web Player 3
- removes “insert player automatically” option (probably does not affect anyone as the web player is by default inserted via template)
- removes “Chapters Visibility” option (use dedicated Web Player settings instead)
If you’re running an older PHP version, here’s a whole guide by WordPress on how to upgrade: Update PHP. If you’re running an older version of WordPress, well, you really need to upgrade, if only for security purposes.
If you’re still on Podlove Web Player 2 or 3, it’s time to make the jump to Podlove Web Player 5. It’s shiny, has its own configuration interface and there are guides if you’re looking for a deep dive. You’re going to love it!
- [Tutorial] Podlove Web Player 5 and Podlove Publisher Integration
- [Tutorial] Podlove Web Player 5 WordPress Plugin Core Concepts
- [Tutorial] Podlove Web Player 5 Templating
And that’s it! If your PHP and WordPress are up to date, you’re ready to upgrade.
What else is new?
The following shortcodes received a fresh default style:
podlove-episode-downloads. More importantly, the contributors list now has a variant dedicated for RSS feeds, so they look much nicer in podcatchers.
Publisher 3.0 includes the Publisher Plus module, an integration for a service I’m building at plus.podlove.org. Publisher PLUS is a Feed Proxy, which takes care of your RSS feed. With a Feed Proxy you can receive detailed subscriber statistics. And when your podcast gets more popular (yay!), you don’t need to worry about performance issues serving your feed, because Publisher PLUS takes care of that. PLUS is currently in beta but I hope to open it up to the public soon. Once it’s live, there are plenty of ideas for more features that make your life as a podcaster easier and more enjoyable that are hard or impossible todo within the confines of WordPress.
We’ve worked on a Shownotes module that is not yet where we want it to be, but decided to include it into the release anyway. If you’re curious, have a look at the changelog, which includes more details on how to enable and use it.
Finally, there’s a long tail of tweaks and fixes and I encourage you to read the changelog for a complete list.
From a developers perspective, this release feels like a spring clean. Bumping the PHP requirement means I can update many libraries I depend on and clean up code. Speaking of which, the whole source code is formatted following the PSR-2 style guide now, and an auto-format script is in place to keep it that way.
All in all, a big release. Not feature-wise but spiritually. Working with an 8-year-old, growing codebase is tough, but occasional cleanup-releases like this make it possible to keep up the maintenance and feature development. I wish you a problem-free upgrade and look forward to upcoming releases.