Archive pages in menus plugin - 01

I’ve run into the need to add archive pages to WordPress navigation menus and since a quick Google search yielded what I see as workarounds I’d like to try and come up with a solution.
[caption id=“attachment_997” align=“aligncenter” width=“960”]Not user-friendly Not user-friendly[/caption] While adding custom links containing search queries and RESTful URLs does work I find that solution too far from the user-friendly UI and interface WordPress offers.
While linking to the /events URL is not difficult the same cannot be done with the built-in and default post type: /posts.

Hooks please

I’ve run some XDebug sessions and dumped output here and there and found out that the screen to publish the meta box markup on is the nav-menus one.
Hooking into the traditional add_meta_boxes hook to add the meta box will actually lead nowhere: a quick action hook list check will reveal the hook is never fired on said screen. What’s fired is, instead, the load-nav-menus.php hook and looking into WordPress source code will tell me that’s the place the magic is happening.
[caption id=“attachment_998” align=“aligncenter” width=“1024”]Hook list Here it is[/caption]

Just print something

First step is making sure I can:

  • hook properly
  • print something to the page

and after quickly scaffolding a new plugin using my faithful grunt-init plugin template (original template by 10up on GitHub) I will hook right there to actually print something

class Main
    public function __construct()
        add_action('init', array($this, 'init'));

     * Default initialization for the plugin:
     * - Registers the default textdomain.
     * - Hooks to add the render the archives meta box on nav menus screen.
    public function init()
        $locale = apply_filters('plugin_locale', get_locale(), 'navmenuarchives');
        load_textdomain('navmenuarchives', WP_LANG_DIR . '/navmenuarchives/navmenuarchives-' . $locale . '.mo');
        load_plugin_textdomain('navmenuarchives', false, dirname(plugin_basename(__FILE__)) . '/languages/');


    public function hookToRenderArchivesMetabox()
        $self = $this;
        add_action('load-nav-menus.php', function () 
        use ($self)
            global $wp_meta_boxes;
            add_meta_box('archives', __('Archives', 'navmenuarchives'), array($self, 'theArchiveMetabox'), 'nav-menus', 'side');

    public function theArchiveMetabox($tax)
        var_dump('hello there');

and that will add the actually un-useful meta box to the list. [caption id=“attachment_999” align=“aligncenter” width=“968”]Var dump to nav menu Hello there[/caption] Next step will be to put something in the meta box and make those archives available to the user for adding to navigation menus.