The Events Calendar/PRO/add-ons 3.7: Things to be aware of

We just released a new build (3.7) for most of the plugin suite, and it has a bunch of new features and changes. There are some cool items for all our users.

WordPress builders & tweakers! We figured it was a good time to call out the areas that will have the biggest impact on your workflow and/or customizations. As you might have seen last month, we’re starting to publish these blog posts highlighting high level changes in each release. To save yourself some possible headaches, it’d be a good idea to read (and make sure you fully understand) this blog post before applying the updates. As always, those interested in checking out the full changelog can review each plugin’s readme.txt file for a complete overview of what’s changed.

1. Community Events now includes a required fields hook. For customers using the Community Events add-on, 3.7 makes it much easier to set fields as required or not. For example:


add_filter( 'tribe_events_community_required_fields', 'my_community_required_fields', 10, 1 );

function my_community_required_fields( $fields ) {
$fields = array(
'post_title',
'post_content',
'EventCost',
'EventCurrencySymbol',
'EventURL',
'_ecp_custom_2',
'EventStartDate',
'venue',
'organizer',
'event_image',
);
return $fields;
}
[/code]
This makes a whole lot of fields required. Some special cases to point out:

  • @venue@ and @organizer@ are shortcuts for making the entire venue/organizer section required. Either you pick an existing one, or you create a new one (at least a name), but you can't leave it blank.
  • @_ecp_custom_2@ corresponds to one of the custom field IDs. The whole custom field system needs some re-work, but this is what we have for now.
  • @event_image@ requires you to upload an image if the post does not already have one.

Any field marked required by this filter will automatically have "(Required)" added to its label on the front end. If a required field is empty, you'll get an error message telling you which field, and the field label will be highlighted red. Note that sites with custom templates for the community form will need to incorporate some of the template changes to reap all of the benefits of this tweak.

2. Email notifications for Community Events have been moved to their own template file. You can now edit the Email Notification that is sent from Community! In version 3.7, we've added the 'email-template.php' view, so you can perform a standard template override and customize the notifications to your heart's content.

3. Venue and Organizer fields can be customized via a filter. With this latest release, we've introduced 4 new filters that will allow you to change the words & permalinks used for Organizers and Venues. These filters are:

  • tribe_venue_label_singular
  • tribe_venue_label_plural
  • tribe_organizer_label_singular
  • tribe_organizer_label_plural

By utilizing the filters, the front-end of your site and back-end will both use these new labels (as you can see here), along with changing your permalinks to use the 'singular' label that you designate. Here's a practical example of how to use these new filters:

 add_filter('tribe_venue_label_singular', 'change_single_venue_label' );
function change_single_venue_label() {
return 'Church';
}

add_filter('tribe_venue_label_plural', 'change_plural_venue_label' );
function change_plural_venue_label() {
return 'Churches';
}

add_filter('tribe_organizer_label_singular', 'change_single_organizer_label' );
function change_single_organizer_label() {
return 'Pastor';
}

add_filter('tribe_organizer_label_plural', 'change_plural_organizer_label' );
function change_plural_organizer_label() {
return 'Pastors';
}[/code]
4. Countdown widget has been optimized for sites with many events. The countdown widget's admin interface allows users to select from a list of future events and - on sites with a very large number of upcoming events - building this list could, unfortunately, "crash" the widget admin page. To mitigate this problem we are taking what we feel is a more reasonable approach by allowing site admins to select any of the next 250 upcoming events. In most cases this should be more than ample - but we've left things open to extend the range with some simple snippets. So, should you find yourself in that boat, definitely feel free to contact support and we'll be happy to assist.

5. Links to days, weeks and months outside range of available events has been disabled. Up until now it's been possible to navigate forwards or backwards in month, week and day view almost infinitely. That meant visitors could navigate back to July 1970 (for example) even if there were no events prior to 2012. While it's unlikely a human would do this, a number of customers raised a concern that search bots would - which could be undesirable from an SEO perspective. To resolve this, we are no longer link to days, weeks or months outside the range of available events.

6. Filter Bar stylesheet can now be overridden. By popular demand, we've added the ability for customers using the Filter Bar add-on to override the Filter bar stylesheet by creating the following folders/file: 'THEME_DIR/tribe-events/filterbar/filter-view.css'.

7. Map view now orders posts by event date, not distance. Map view was the one outlier that didn't order events by date - though the distance view was helpful, we also got a chunk of feedback from members of the community saying that they found this ordering confusing. As a result, starting in 3.7, events are sorted by event date instead of distance on map view. Distance will still show above title of each post, so that the information is still easily available to the folks browsing your site.