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MD Drop-ins Manager (sneak peaks)

Alex

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The next evolution for Marketers Delight is what will be known as the Dropins Manger. The big picture is that it will make importing existing Dropins to your site as easy as installing a plugin. But in the finer details, it adds an entire system that will make your site data portable and allow us to finally start releasing new styles, templates, and more advanced dropins (while being able to keep them up to date).

Think of being able to install custom child themes and designs with a simple interface that already use all of MD's rich features and design options to make your design even more of your own.

We will use this thread to document our progress and thinking throughout this endeavor. Thank you for the suggestions over the years and especially to @Leo Gopal for your recent work on this.

For now, a simple screenshot to start help you paint the picture:

Screen Shot 2020-06-10 at 12.48.58 PM.png
 
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Alex

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Part of the first move towards building a more integrated Dropins system is going into the admin panel, so MD5.2.1 brings in the new Dropins admin page. You will see the list of Dropins available on MD.com as well as some feature snippets from the Theme Mods forum.

Screen Shot 2020-12-10 at 10.19.43 PM.png

As Dropins have become more popular, we are moving towards a better way to install and update from the MD admin panel. The child theme method is simple, but an automated approach will make all of our lives easier as more features are developed.

Keep an eye out for more sneak peaks and MD5.2.1 coming soon. 😎
 
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Alex

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Are you ready to see the next evolution of MD Drop-ins?

Here's a sneak peak at what the new Drop-ins Manager is shaping up to be in MD5.3 (still in alpha development).

Trust me, this is already more than just a pretty interface...
 

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Alex

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Here's another update. You'll see the screenshot has two categories for "Installed" and "Core" Drop-ins.

Screen Shot 2021-04-19 at 1.52.44 PM.png

Installed Drop-ins are ones you can upload via .zip file through the Drop-ins interface. You can activate and deactivate them like WP Plugins, which makes the old way of installing Drop-ins via child themes obsolete.

Core Drop-ins come shipped with Marketers Delight and in version 5.3 the definition of a Drop-in has changed. As MD exists now you see features like footnotes, subtitle, MD editor blocks, and a couple other things listed as Drop-ins that will now be treated as regular MD features. Those features I just mentioned can be enabled in MD > Site Design > Content.

Screen Shot 2021-04-19 at 1.57.10 PM.png

You'll also notice in the first screenshot I included a file window from the /wp-content/ directory. All Drop-ins you upload will be stored in this new folder where they can be updated by reinstalling the Drop-in, and eventually will be able to receive auto-updates like the MD theme.

This marks a big move because your uploaded Drop-ins will now primarily be stored outside of your child theme. But don't worry, you can still edit Drop-ins from your child theme, only now it works more like editing plugin and parent theme files.

For example, to edit the main Documentation loop template you should first go to /wp-content/md-dropins/docs/templates/category-listing.php and copy the file contents.

Next, go to your child theme and recreate the same directory (minus the md- prefix): /wp-content/themes/my-child-theme/dropins/docs/templates/ and create the file and paste its contents.

The huge advantage here is that your child theme no longer has to carry Drop-in files, and in fact will only hold the ones you've made changes to without getting lost in updates. As the purpose of a child theme is to store your own customizations, the new MD Drop-ins system makes that goal even easier.
 
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Alex

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A dream come true. :love: Here's the new manager fully loaded with everything from the current Drop-ins library!

We're going to need filters for active and inactive Drop-ins once you guys start going crazy creating new Drop-ins!
 

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Alex

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...In-between some other work today I squeezed in those tabs. 🙈
 

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Leo Gopal

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Loving the screenshot and all that it proves to offer and especially that its coming in the next sub-major iteration of MD! Great work bringing this to life @Alex

Side joke for a bad release idea: Release the this manager as a drop-in (dont listen to me)
 
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Alex

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Breaking - MD.com is the first website to run the new MD Drop-ins Manager! You can try it soon too, but first—here's a new sneak peak hot off the press.

 
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Alex

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Loving the screenshot and all that it proves to offer and especially that its coming in the next sub-major iteration of MD! Great work bringing this to life @Alex

Side joke for a bad release idea: Release the this manager as a drop-in (dont listen to me)
Funny enough I do have a "Drop-ins Drop-in" built just for the MD site I'll have to convert into the new format. You are not very far off. 😂
 
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Alex

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What I believe to be the final release candidate before official releasing MD5.3 is now on the MD.com website.

Challenge: can you spot what's new with the Stream? hint: it's in the stream post listing.

 
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