Soliloquy just got an awesome new feature that you will want: loading icons!
Up until now, loading icons in Soliloquy have been nothing short of an absolute pain. Because Soliloquy is completely responsive with no definite dimensions set, it
is was impossible to do the following reliably: center a loading icon in the middle of the slider, set a defined height while still maintaining a responsive nature, and prevent content from being pushed down when the slider loaded in.
Even with ajax preloading, at least one image needed to load in before any dimensions could be set on the slider, so you could still see content being pushed down in some instances. With the new loading icon feature, those issues are long gone!
How Does It Work, You Say?
Well, it only took me a solid 5-6 hours to figure out how to accurately calculate a proportionate image width/height ratio and apply it to the slider in an unobtrusive way, but I persisted and figured it out.
To get it running is simple: tick the checkbox “Use Loading Icon?” just above the “Show Advanced Options” checkbox. It is off by default, so you will need to check the box in order to enable it.
Once enabled, I use a neat combination of math, jQuery and slider APIs to calculate image ratios that allow me to dynamically set a height on the slider proportionate to the viewing screen. As soon as the slider has been initialized, the height and loading icon are removed from the view, so you still maintain complete responsive AND get all the benefits of the loading icon. Pretty neat, right?
You can see it in action on the home page (I’m using a custom loading icon that I created specifically for this site) and on the individual Themes Addon page (this will be the loading icon used when you select the option to enable it). As always, the loading icon is retina ready so that your slider still shines in brilliance for users with retina-enabled devices.
For those with a developer license, a new Addon will be birthed from this: the Preloader Addon. The Preloader Addon will give you the option to select from numerous different loading icons for your slider (and, like the default icon, they will all be retina ready, too). Watch out for that in the coming weeks.
Looking Ahead to Soliloquy v1.5.0
As I have said previously, Soliloquy 1.5.0 will be launched with WordPress 3.6. The main update to Soliloquy will be the use of the new media manager workflow to handle everything within Soliloquy. Soliloquy will also get slide types in this update so that you can choose to insert image, video or even HTML/text slides into your slider.
Until then, only critical bug fixes are going to be added to Soliloquy. However, during the waiting time, I am going to be pushing out beta updates so that you can be testing out the new version of Soliloquy. Soliloquy 1.5.0 will require WordPress 3.6 to use, but the beta updates pushed out will only require WordPress 3.5.
I will be posting the beta updates for you to test out as well as making blog posts about it in the weeks to come. The first update you will see will be an update that places image metadata editing in the new media workflow. Let me just tell you – once you start using that, you will not want to go back to the old way of doing things.
I’m excited about all of these updates and can’t wait to start pushing them out and blogging about them – get pumped!