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Development update for April 2022

Welcome to our April developer's update!

This month has seen the developers work on a variety of features coming to our cloud platform, some of which we've been testing here, which include real-time updates on what members are viewing and when they are typing replies and an image scanner which not only identifies what is in the image, it also tags it for search results. Furthermore it can also hold images for moderation if they contain nudity, etc. We've got more to come and will announce them as they are finished.

The cloud platform features leverage multiple technologies such as node, JWT security, and AWS specific functionality, enabling us to build pretty impressive new features quickly. As we expect more sophistication and algorithmic crunching from our web apps, we're starting to break out of the PHP and MySQL limitations to deliver forward-thinking features.

Of course, we have plenty of new features coming to all platforms, including the self-hosting version; I can talk about a few changes we've made but let's start with some housekeeping.

There will not be a full release for May, although we will be releasing several betas throughout the month. We are taking this time to finalise a few bigger changes to our codebase.

For those running their own servers, we are updating the minimum PHP requirement to 7.4 and the recommended version to 8.0. If you're not sure which version you currently use, now is a good time to check!

We are working on PHP 8.1 compatibility still and are aiming to have that finished for June's release.

The list of fixes already in the June release is as follows:

Core

- Fixed an issue that may prevent attaching audio files to content.
- Fixed a minor typo in the forms.css template.
- Fixed upload area not showing on minimised editors for guest users.
- Fixed an issue where post counts were incremented even when a new item was held for approval via the profanity filters.
- Fixed an issue where filters and sort options do not persist between deleting members in the Admin CP.
- Fixed an issue where sitemap may show entries from offline applications.
- Fixed an issue where support account may show as the latest registered member.
- The Editor Preview Button was removed from ACP Editors.
- Removed the deprecated FX Country code from the Geolocation class.
- Removed the ability to rebuild existing attachment thumbnails due to an incompatibility with content attributes required for lazy-loading.

Gallery

- Fixed an issue with the followed Gallery Images page.
- Fixed an issue with rebuilding thumbnails on legacy communities where the original image may no longer exist.

Pages

- Added the missing `__indefart_cms_page` language string.
- Fixed an issue where sorting by a numerical field could duplicate the option with an incorrect label.
- Fixed issue with 'image upload' block carousels not working in the sidebar
- Fixed an issue where custom Yes/No fields, when used as a database filter, were ignored when further sorting.

Converters

- Fixed an issue rebuilding some profile photo images.

Commerce

- Improved performance when updating a large number of existing purchases.
- Removed deprecated Amex Express checkout options.
- Fixed a niche issue where a renewal invoice (for manual payment) would not be generated if a PayPal Subscription was cancelled on an active purchase.

Calendar

- Fixed an issue where the day view wouldn't show today's events when it's being used as the default calendar view.

A few items still being finished before being sent for peer review include tweaks to search logging. Andy added the ability to specify which groups to log anonymous search sessions. We got some feedback that bot searches were polluting the results, making it hard to discern search trends from members over time. As we anonymise the search data, we can't pick out specific member groups once it's been written. Andy also moved the search logs to their own page to reduce confusion over what the data represents.

Andy has also been working on some activity stream improvements to bring a "Solved/Unsolved" filter option to allow you and your members to find unsolved (or indeed solved) topics quickly. This will require a search index rebuild after upgrading.

You may also find a few new hook points added, which are in the following locations:

\IPS\Helpers\Form\Upload::populateTempData()
This is called from within processUploads and allows you to modify the data before it is saved into core_files_temp.

\IPS\applications\forums\modules\front\forums\topic::finishManage()
This is called during manage() and allows you to modify the $topic before it is returned to \IPS\Content\Controller. If you have to overload manage() in your apps, you may find this a better hook point.

\IPS\Content\Search\Index\indexData now allows $content modification before it is stored via an extension in /applications/{app}/extensions/core/SearchIndex

That's it for this month!

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