Simple History: 50,000 downloads + preview of v2

This week my WordPress plugin Simple History passed 50,000 downloads.It feels great to see that there is an interest in this type of plugin.Also, by looking at the reviews, I know that the users of it find it very useful.

Actually, one of the most happy users of the plugin is… me!

Yep, I develop the plugin, but I also use it a lot. I install it on most client sites, where it helps me keep track of plugin installs, post updates, and similar. When a client contacts us to let us know something is broken or wrong with their site, we can usually track down the problem fast by going through the site activity using Simple History. It’s a real time-saver!

Anyway, the current version of the plugin works good and looks pretty good too. There are however several aspects of the plugin that could and should be improved. Memory usage is one big thing. Extendability another. And looks a third. So slowly, quietly, I’ve been working on a version 2 of the plugin, that will improve these things, and more.

It may be far from complete, but to celebrate 50,000 downloads I want to share some details of the next version with you:

First we have the looks. Version 2 of the plugin is nicer and clearer…

Screenshot of Simple History 2

…and is shows more information (context) about an event where needed, such as in this case after I installed the plugin Autoptimize:

Screenshot of Simple History 2 showing an example of some detailed output

Then we have the API: more easy to use than before. It’s simple, yet extendable:

// Most basic example: just add some information to the log
SimpleLogger()->info("This is a message sent to the log");

// Log entries can be of different severity
SimpleLogger()->info("User admin edited page 'About our company'");
SimpleLogger()->warning("User 'Jessie' deleted user 'Kim'");
SimpleLogger()->debug("Ok, cron job is running!");

// Log entries can have {placeholders} and context
// When the log is displayed all placeholders will
// have their values replaced by the key in the context
    "User {username} edited page {pagename}",
        "username" => "jessie",
        "pagename" => "My test page"

Well, that’s a short intro for version 2 of Simple History. I will add more info on its new domain, so visit that page for more up to date information.

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