Media Categories 1.5 Beta and WordPress 3.5

This week WordPress 3.5 was released, and the core team has made a some great improvements to the way media is handled in the UI. I managed to get my name in the credits for a measly few lines I contributed in a couple of patches – nonetheless I’m proud to be a part of it.

The reason I created the Media Categories plugin is because of how neglected the interface for media was. Especially with regard for anyone wanting to add support for taxonomy. In 3.5 media still comes without any taxonomy enabled out of the box (as it should be) – but for those who those who do the custom work of enabling one, the interface is now much improved.

What Changed?

In the past, if you simply enabled any taxonomy for media, the editor would get a simple text field into which users would need to manually enter the slugs from memory. The interface for media was unique from that of any other post type. What they’ve done in WordPress 3.5 is simply make the Media interface behave more like every other post type.

So now when a taxonomy is added to media, you automatically get a built-in metabox, you get a column on the Media Library listing the taxonomy terms applied to each item, and you get a taxonomy page specifically for media. They have also greatly improved the modal window for managing media – even adding the ability to edit the details (title, caption, description) right there in the modal.

So what good is the Media Categories plugin now?

On the surface it seems as though my plugin is mostly useless now. It could be stripped down to a few lines to just enable the taxonomy and be done. Thats not the case. First of all, 3.5 still doesn’t support filtering by taxonomy in the “Gallery” shortcode. Also, since a couple of weeks before WordPress 3.5 was released, I have been working to fill in the gaps where I see some room for improvement.

Whats new in Media Categories 1.5?

The new Media modal window has at once, made it easier for me to allow users to edit the taxonomy of an image from the modal screen, while also making the default behavior problematic enough that it merited an overhaul of my plugin to address this problem.

I’ve added a collapsible version of the metabox, along with the filterable search box to the modal media editor.

I’m not releasing it yet, because I’ve run up against a quirk in how the new modal saves data – it causes the collapsable section to immediately collapse when the auto-save kicks in. Getting the auto-save to work at all with checkboxes was a challenge.

When will Media Categories be released?

Once this auto-collapsing behavior is solved, I’ll probably be satisfied enough to release 1.5. However I do still need to test in 3.4.x and 3.3.x to make sure the plugin still works correctly in those versions. I have a vested interest in making it backward compatible because I use this plugin at work, and many of our sites are on several out dated version of WordPress (shh).

I will continue to work on it, and work with the core team to make this happen as soon as possible. However if you would like to take a look at this new version feel free to download it from the master branch on GitHub.

Update: Media Categories 1.5 Beta 2

2 Comments on “Media Categories 1.5 Beta and WordPress 3.5”

  1. m1ndmaker says:

    Hi there,
    I had a closer look at your plugin and find it pretty useful altough wordpress now (3.5) nearly has the same functionality built-in already.

    I wonder if it is possible to add the categories to the dropdown box in the Media modal window. So the user can actually not only by media type but also by (media) category. I am still looking for a plugin to achieve this functionality as I am planning a site with a few hundred logos that should be grouped into one category so the editor is not forced to dig through thousand other images to find the correct one.

    Any ideas how to achieve this?

    Kind regards


    • eddiemoya says:

      Media Categories 1.5 allows users to edit taxonomy via the Media Modal window, and it allows the use of taxonomy terms with the [gallery] shortcode – neither of which are features that WordPress 3.5 has. This plugin is always intended to contain what I believe is missing functionality in the area of media and taxonomy.

      If I understand what your asking, it sounds like you want a dropdown in the modal that allows the user to filter or sort the media items by taxonomy. This does not exist yet, but its actually one of the features I’d like to add in the next version – that along with the same dropdown on the Media taxonomy page, which is oddly missing from that taxonomy pages in 3.5.

      Hope that answers your question – sorry that I couldnt provide you with a current solution.

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