2008 Reflections and 2009 Resolutions
Having already reflected on 2008 for my family, I thought I'd look back at what has happened "professionally" over the last year and make some resolutions for 2009.
SimpleModal - jQuery Plugin
SimpleModal gained quite a bit of traction in 2008 and was downloaded nearly 20,000 times. That number includes all versions and each variation (full, min, packed). After releasing 1.1.1, I started on a complete rewrite of the code. I ended up modifying the existing code for the 1.2 release and have yet to decide what to do with the rewritten code.
At this point, I am unsure of the fate of SimpleModal. The jQuery UI library has improved dramatically since I initially released SimpleModal and I am contemplating talking with the UI team about combining efforts (with the Dialog UI) instead of duplicating them.
SimpleModal Contact Form (SMCF) - WordPress Plugin
After quite a few requests, I released SMCF which was based on the SimpleModal Contact Form demo. It was my first WordPress Plugin and over the course of 2008 I became very familiar with WordPress and released many SMCF improvements. The SMCF plugin gained some fans, and was downloaded almost 8,000 in 2008.
I have quite a few ideas for SMCF, including themeing and the ability to create custom forms. I think the direction will depend a on what happens with SimpleModal, but either way, I'd like to improve the contact form, regardless of what powers it.
Other than the release of a minor bug fix in February, it has been another quiet year for my image gallery script. Despite the lack of updates, emAlbum continues to be the top rated script on The CGI Resource Index and Hotscripts.
emAlbum is my baby - the first version was released in 2003 and since then it has evolved into two versions, emAlbum Standard and emAlbum Pro. The Pro version was created at the encouragement of my wife and some users for a very affordable $25. I've wanted to re-write emAlbum for years and have considered turning emAlbum into an open-source PHP project, but I just haven't had the time or resources to do so. Hopefully I'll be able to resurrect the project some day - anyone interested? ;)
In the first full year since its re-opening, the site has received a steady increase in traffic. I posted 26 blog entries in 2008, covering a wide variety of topics. SimpleModal is by far the most popular project and the WordPress Pumpkin was the most popular post.
In 2009, I hope to double my posting count and narrow the focus in on a couple of topics, WordPress and jQuery. In addition, I've been working on a site redesign, which I hope to release in Jan or Feb 2009. I'm on my third or fourth attempt at a re-design, so hopefully the current one will stick ;)
In addition to focusing on WordPress and jQuery, I plan on discussing my new favorite topic: photography. I bought a Nikon D40 DSLR in August and have really enjoyed expressing my creative side through photography. I'm still learning the basics but have been happy with some of the photos I've managed to capture. Check out my Flickr photostream...I'd love to hear your feedback. Here are my favorites.
I finally started using Twitter (my account) in 2008 and have had mixed feelings. One thing is for sure - I'm getting tired of trying to stay connected in so many different places. I plan on sticking with Flickr, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Among others, I never really used MySpace (who does anymore?) and Plaxo left a lot to be desired.
Happy New Year
Better late than never, I guess! 2009 should be an interesting year, especially in the U.S. A new President and financial crisis will certainly keep things interesting. Thanks for visiting and have a great 2009!