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(RSyvarth) Social Groups


rsyvarth

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You community should work out just find with how I plan in implement VNC.

Also, I have fixed the issues with IE7/IE6 users not being able to join groups. I have started to tackle display issues with earlier IE versions too...

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I would also like to see an option for the administrator to limit the number of groups users can join :)



Good suggestion, I posted a note in the tracker so I wouldn't forget.

Just a small update on development. It has been going slowly lately since I have finals right now. I have fixed multiple functionality bugs with IE 6 and IE 7. I have fixed an issue with non-english character sets causing issues when inviting new members. I have also added a plugin for the portal which will show the latest groups on your portal.

I am aiming to release RC1 within the next two weeks, this will resolve numerous bugs along with add some small features. I also am going to try to make the app fully translated into language bits for this version.
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Wanted to let everyone know who is currently using or who is considering buying this app, it just keeps getting better and better. We make heavy use of our portal (it is the landing page for our board instead of the forum) and the left 2/3 of the page is filled with [url=" Eisner's Super News Feed.

We have renamed our portal and call it 'Dashboard' and the beauty of this super news feed is the constant updating of all activity across the entire board: calendar events, blog entries, status updates and comments on status updates, profile comments, profile photos, forum topics and forum posts, and now .... thanks to Esther's expert programming skills, she has created a plugin for the Social Groups.

This means the Dashboard now shows when a member has created a group and when a member has joined a group. What is so really cool is the links in the Super News Feed to all of the different activities so you can click on the name of the group that a member has just created and badda bing, you're looking at the new group.

We already have 27 groups created.

For those who are looking to promote their groups, this is how we do it and don't give up on the portal just yet ... with Michael John's help, it will be around for quite a while longer, I hope!

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Wanted to let everyone know who is currently using or who is considering buying this app, it just keeps getting better and better. We make heavy use of our portal (it is the landing page for our board instead of the forum) and the left 2/3 of the page is filled with [url="

Eisner's Super News Feed.



We have renamed our portal and call it 'Dashboard' and the beauty of this super news feed is the constant updating of all activity across the entire board: calendar events, blog entries, status updates and comments on status updates, profile comments, profile photos, forum topics and forum posts, and now .... thanks to Esther's expert programming skills, she has created a plugin for the Social Groups.



This means the Dashboard now shows when a member has created a group and when a member has joined a group. What is so really cool is the links in the Super News Feed to all of the different activities so you can click on the name of the group that a member has just created and badda bing, you're looking at the new group.



We already have 27 groups created.



For those who are looking to promote their groups, this is how we do it and don't give up on the portal just yet ... with Michael John's help, it will be around for quite a while longer, I hope!





Can you provide a link so I can take a closer look? It'll make more sense to me if I can view it :)
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I just installed and it's looking good so far! Great work!

I just have one question for now, - will you make it possible to translate everything later on?
As you know we use swedish at my board and right now it's quite a mix as I almost finished the strings you put in.

If you are, I can focus on the actual groups and settings and wait for upcoming versions.

Thanks for a great app!

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Suggestion: when a members tries to view any item within Groups that he doesn't have correct permission to view, they receive teh following message:


IP.Board Message
You must be a member of this group in order to view their forum.

Return to group home




You should offer up a link to join this besides to returning to member home.


Also, why does it say IP.Board and where can we edit that ?

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Yes. In your ACP if you go to Social Groups->Settings->Individual Group->Group Forum Display and change the setting to "Show All" it will show the group forums to all of your members, even if they are not members.

For the errors, I will be working on making them more descriptive / useful in the next version. Right now they are all very generic.

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Yes. In your ACP if you go to Social Groups->Settings->Individual Group->Group Forum Display and change the setting to "Show All" it will show the group forums to all of your members, even if they are not members.



For the errors, I will be working on making them more descriptive / useful in the next version. Right now they are all very generic.




That's great if we want to set this individually for each group. I was thinking we should really have this as a global option. Say we could allow public groups to be viewable and private not etc.

The idea behind this app (in my head) is to allow members to branch off in to their own little communities. Mirroring the concept we have running off our main forum. All of our forums are viewable to the public, for that matter search engines as well. We need a way to get these forums and groups indexed (if they aren't private) We receive most of our traffic from SE's....

I just wanted to mention that thus far, groups have really taken off very very nicely on our site. IMHO this is one of the best mods available in the marketplace and it's at a very reasonable price given it's usefulness and feature set.

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@Alex LBT:

I'm confused by your reply. Perhaps you are taking the labeling in the ACP as a misnomer because although it says Individual Group Settings, that is really a global setting:

Group Forum Display
Set how group forums are to be displayed on the forum index.

Hide All - Hide every group forum from the index
Show Mine - Only display the forums for groups of which you are a member
Show All - Show all group forums on the index

Did you mean that there should be one or two more settings here? Maybe:

Show All Public - Show all group public forum on the index but not the private groups
Show All Public and Private - Show all group public and private forums on the index but not the hidden groups?

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I plan to improve the way group forum's are hidden in the next version. Currently there are a few issues with it. I will also make sure to make it so you can show only public groups on the index.

The setting will end up being like this:
Hide All
Show Mine
Show Public
Show All

That should cover what you are looking for. I will also be using caches in the next version for hiding forums, which will save you at least 1 query on each forum page.

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I plan to improve the way group forum's are hidden in the next version. Currently there are a few issues with it. I will also make sure to make it so you can show only public groups on the index.



The setting will end up being like this:


Hide All


Show Mine


Show Public


Show All



That should cover what you are looking for. I will also be using caches in the next version for hiding forums, which will save you at least 1 query on each forum page.




Ok, I see how to display all forums on index. My issue is actually that only the forum names and topic names are viewable by guests and non-members in Public groups. I'd like for these actual posts and forums to be readable, without having group membership.

Also, how can I only display the Parent forum on Index without displaying every group that has a forum under it on my index page ? It will get quite cumbersome once we reach over 20-30 forums.....
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Showing the group forums to non-members is setup by each individual group in its Manage section, under 'Manage Permissions'. From there you can check the Read permissions for Non-members and they will now be able to read topics in that group. I was going to make a setting to control what the default permissions were, but i felt like that may have gotten a little bit confusing. Right now you can make a rather simple file edit to change what the default permissions are for each group, but seeing how useful it would be to change the default permissions for many groups, I may consider adding in a default permission grid, similar to what I have for group forum permissions.

I agree with you on how showing the group subforums on the index can be annoying with a large number of groups, I should be able to hide the sub forums on the index. I'll try to work this in to the next version.

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Yes, I just finished putting all of the strings into language bits. This will be included in the next version.




Perfect! Thanks! :thumbsup:


I just wanted to mention that thus far, groups have really taken off very very nicely on our site. IMHO this is one of the best mods available in the marketplace and it's at a very reasonable price given it's usefulness and feature set.




I agree! The members of my testgroup at my board and I have been playing around with Social Groups the last couple of days and everyone is very excited. Hopefully this will give us the push forward that we need!
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As we're adding groups, I just realized, it would be a great feature if the members were able to add links (in a future version of SG).

I'm not sure if someone has asked for this before, I haven't read every page of this thread, but for us it would be a great feature.

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I have something in the works which would allow some functionality similar to this, it just may be awhile. I'll let you guys know when I have some more finalized details and such because right now it is just a series of drawings in a notebook.

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Do you have any plans on taking advantage of the tags-system to improve the group-system further in 3.2?

Because on large forums I think it would just create too much forums all around and I think using special group tags or something to mark topics might be smarter. So they could still sit in their most relevant categories, but still be available in one sort of special "group category". So I might add the tag "ChristmasGroup" to my topics and it would show up on the group page/-forum, regardless of what normal forum they were placed in.

Have you thought about something like that?

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The app will take advantage of the tags system in 3.2, but it will be nothing like what you are looking for. It will news tags for news articles and maybe add some other minimal options.

The entire point of the system is that it separates the group's posts from all of the rest of the posts on the website. It allows for more private "sub-communities" to be created which are intended to be separated as much as possible from the rest of the site. What you are suggesting would reduce the group system to being a mere RSS feed of topics which contain certain tags. It may potentially be possible to "link" a post back to a group by adding a specific tag on it, but I don't feel like that would lead to creating a cohesive and tightly knit group which is what I am trying to make this system emphasize.

What your are asking for may also be completely impossible anyways since I haven't had the ability to look at how tags will be implemented in 3.2 but I don't think that it is likely that a feature like this will ever be implemented in the core of the product. I do plan to add many hook points in the near future so addons can be created to further integrate this application's framework in other sections of your website. So if there are enough people requesting this sort of integration, any developer could write an addon for this app which would do what you are looking for.

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Just had to let my idea be known ;)

It of course wouldn't be forced upon all forums who already used this mod, but for those who wanted. I'm not sure what's possible either, but if something like that was possible I would find it more interesting - and I still think people would get the sense of community and organized content with it.

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Hey guys, I just wanted to give you an update. I have had finals for the last week, so I have been kinda busy with that, but now that is all over with, so my attention is going back to this app.

I just finished a very simple version of a converter that will take vB's Social Groups and convert them over to IPB Social Groups. Currently it only converts Categories, Groups (excluding the logos), Members, and Invites. I do plan to eventually add support for converting the "discussions" into IPB topics, but I think that may end up being a little bit more difficult, so I am putting that on delay until I can have the resources to properly test it. On the subject of testing, I have only been able to test this conversion on a very small database (4 groups with 7 members total) so if you happen to have a larger vB database with lots of Social Groups laying around that you would like me to to, let me know!

Anyways, I will be spending the next few days working on getting RC1 finished up. It should contain multiple bug fixes along with a few small new features.

Before you ask, I plan to upgrade this app to 3.2 as soon as the first beta is released, from that point on, all development will be done on 3.2 and bug fixes will only be provided for 3.1.x versions if they are serious. Most of the changes for this app for 3.2 will be skin related so later versions may still work on 3.1.x, but they will probably have some visual issues. I will do my best to get a stable release out before 3.2 so everything will nice and functional and you don't get stuck with bugs if you are not planning on installing 3.2 for awhile.

Just wanted to give you all a quick update. Thanks,
Robert Syvarth

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