The Story of Events Manager
Posted on November 2, 2010
Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nice little boy named baby tuckoo
Or was it nutsmuggler? I do not know, memories gets blurred when mind travels so far back in time. The story is partly concocted though, for there was no cow after all, just yours faithfully and a friend of his, who started a Irish traditional music band, in the year of 1999. Phew!
That said, this very Irish music band needed a website, and that is why I got into web development. I did a crazy site in Flash, only to realise it would take ages to load; we’re talking about 2000 after all. So I got into HTML and never looked back. I did a simple static site with Dreamweaver, visual editor. And, like we all did, I discovered CSS and PHP.
When I discovered WordPress I migrated my old website into it, and hey, that looked ver professional. Still, I had to change the Gigs page all the times. I needed an event plugin. So I did one.
And events Manager 1.0 came to light. It was a super simple plugin based on a straightforward idea: events are not posts. I wrote the code in 2006, but kept it private, until 2008. I was in Paris at the time. I remember the excitement when committing 1.0b to the WordPress SVN. And looking at the graphs, and at my website analytics.
A few users appreciated it, especially for its templating features: you could customise what to show for any event, as much as you wanted. But that was it, a very simple plugin with a simple feature set.
But then Brian Richards called me.
Brian is a talented designer, and the developer of Startbox, a new framework for WordPress.
Brian posted a comment on blog post of mine. He liked what I had written about custom tags, apparently. We exchanged a couple of emails, and we got to talk about my events plugin. Brian liked it, but needed a bunch of features, chiefly RSVP and recurrence, plus some tweaks into locations. We talked and made a deal.
Luckily I also got contacted by Tyler Suchman, wh was interested in some location centered features. It was thanks to Brian and Tyler’s sponsorship that Events Manager 2.0 got developed.
A year after Events Manager 2.0 was launched I got an email from Marcus Sykes, AKA netweblogic. He was sending a patch that added categories and attributes to Events Manager. Jiminy, I thought, that’s cool stuff. I integrated Marcus’s code and the invited him to come on board. Marcus has a number of clients who rely heavily on events manager, so he has a chance of testing the plugin and making sure it always works.
After a few months of mild maintenance, Marcus decided to do some serious refactoring to the Events Manager base code. The plugin worked all right, apart from the occasional bug, but the code was a bit too convoluted for our liking. Marcus took all the hidden Events Manager functions and rewrote them in an object oriented way. He created a new API, so now advanced users can query the Event object directly, in a very flexible and sophisticated way. It took a few months, and a couple of weeks of testing, but this is how Events Manager 3.0 was born.
The majority of bugs have now been fixed and we’re now working on new exciting features for Events Manager, to make it an even better plugin!