Handy Post Widget

Topics: Controls, Themes
Aug 9, 2013 at 8:53 PM
Hi Folks,
Been messing around with an idea for a widget that displays posts by category and am now using it on my own site. My own front page consists mainly of this one widget. The thinking here is to make it easy to compose themes, simply by dropping in as many of these widgets as you like.

Widget is highly configurable, select number of posts, show post thumbnails, titles only or with descriptions, post date etc. Screenshot of display options.

All images are served scaled(not in browser, unless you want to).

Widget dynamically adjusts itself when browsing by category, in this example, as a popular posts widget, to show relevant posts for that category rather than all posts(or whatever it was set to display). When used to display popular posts it has the option to show a score bar, indicating relative popularity.

The widget can of course be styled to look whichever way you want it to.

At the moment, this is designed primarily as a posts by category widget, but maybe that idea could be extended.

This is where I'm asking for input, notes of interest, suggestions. If there's sufficient feedback, then I would be willing to develop this further for general use.
Aug 10, 2013 at 11:30 AM
I'd definitely want such a widget. Will it render the popular posts, recent posts and random in one of those 3 tab arrangements like Wordpress does?
Aug 10, 2013 at 4:41 PM
It should work wherever it's placed.
For tabs I'm using plain old HTML/JavaScript at the moment with controls dropped in place, but it would be nice to have a 'tab widget'.
Maybe something that lets you select widgets or something like that, and generates corresponding tabs and panels, might look into that.

I was considering another option for displaying post lists, perhaps as slides.
Used sparingly, I think this could work well, I'll test it out and see how it performs.

I might be preoccupied for the next week or so, but when I finish pottering around with this, I'll pass it on.
Aug 10, 2013 at 6:57 PM
What is the overhead associated with widgets in Blogengine? Too many widgets on a page = bad?
Aug 10, 2013 at 7:45 PM
Interesting question, I've always been more concerned about what's going on inside specific widgets rather than the actual framework.
Speaking personally, my site relies heavily on the use of home grown widgets and controls, some of which are doing quite a bit of work(efficiently I hope).
I've never noticed any kind of perceivable performance hit(modern servers seem to be able to mince through anything you can throw at them).

Without digging deeper, I suspect that the framework overhead is negligible, especially when compared to the benefits, anyone step in and correct me here if I'm wrong.

What would concern me in terms of overhead, would be something like a single large image download, liberal use of third party plugins(share buttons and the likes) and an overabundance of JavaScript.
Aug 26, 2013 at 12:20 PM
To lsudvm,
Where should I send the zip file for this?
Sep 3, 2013 at 8:43 PM
Fabry has made a nice job of integrating these into his site, it's worth a look.

Front page

browse by category
Sep 6, 2013 at 5:26 PM
Edited Sep 6, 2013 at 5:26 PM
andy, could you please share this widget ? is it compatible with BE 2.8 ? AND are you going to update it in future with BE versions ?
Sep 6, 2013 at 10:45 PM
Hi Pepper,

I think people could find imaginative uses for this, which would be nice to see, but it would require feedback to make adjustments and steer it forward.

I haven't observed any issues using it myself with BE 2 and the BE 2.8 version appears to work well in a single blog environment using BE 2.7.
I've done some testing with a multi blog setup for BE 2.8 locally using a very limited dataset and for this it looks OK, but would need some real world testing under different configurations.

I'll package up the files and send them to you tomorrow, if that works for you then I'll post to Gallery(if I can remember how to do that).

With regards to future versions, if I win the lottery this weekend I'll be spending my days swinging on a hammock between two palm trees on some equatorial island being fed grapes by plentiful maidens and by night much the same(excepting the grapes will be fermented). Although, they say that if you buy a lottery ticket on a Wednesday, you're more likely to be dead by the Saturday than to win. Barring either event, my intention would be to stick around for future versions if the interest is there.
Sep 9, 2013 at 1:58 PM
haha...very nice ad interesting explanation Andy. I totally understand about keeping up with future releases requires time and I am sure you have other important things. I was just asking if you have plan to add this widget in BE gallery and planning to keep the widget updated with future releases.

Please let me know if you want me to provide you my email address to send the widget or if you are going to post on BE gallery ?
Sep 9, 2013 at 3:36 PM
Hi Pepper,

I used your codeplex contact details to send an email.
There's no option for adding attachments, so I uploaded the file, which I'll leave in place for a day or two.

This includes a readme, which suggests that this widget might be best used in widget zones that are shown or hidden according to location, i.e show only on front page or show only if browsing by category. This is fine if you are writing your own theme or know how to make that kind of customization, so I may include an option within the widget itself, show on all pages, show only on front page, show only when browsing by category (or something along those lines).
Sep 9, 2013 at 4:19 PM
thank you Andy - downloading the file
Sep 9, 2013 at 9:12 PM
Hi Pepper,

I just remembered, if you are using the AllTuts theme, images may not show in the category widget.
There's a CSS rule in that theme that sets images within links in list items to display: none.
Since images in the category widget are inside list item links, this needs fixing.

I've revised the widget CSS with style rules that are more specific and should work across most themes.
The new file is online and the stylesheet is in folder Content/Auto