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Joel R

My 4.0 Community Wishlist

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Dear IPB,

To give you a little bit of background: I've been a user of your product for about seven months now, and am a susbcriber to IP.Board, IP.Downloads, IP.Blog, IP.Gallery, IP.Content (including databases and articles, but not the media system), and IP.Nexus. My website gets about 5,000 hits a day.

These are some things that I would really like to see improved for the community suite as a whole. These should not be taken as criticisms of any of your existing work, but merely one user's personal experiences and obstacles with using your product. I'm sure you've probably heard some of these ideas before too, so consider my information to simply be another 'vote' in favor of making particular changes:

  • Plugins, extensions, and hooks -- One of the biggest things that makes me cringe is how hard it is to administrate plugins, hooks, and extensions. First, one thing that I'd really like to see in your Marketplace is to see mandatory information regarding compatibility with versions. The information is currently optional, which makes downloading and using the plug-in risky. Second, the plug-ins and hooks could be better centralized in the ACP. A new System Settings tab in the ACP per developer is too much; all non-IPB plug-ins and extensions ought to be grouped together (or even better, custom grouped by the administrator). Third, make it easier to cleanly uninstall and delete all files from an extension. From what I understand, there's really no easy way unless you manually go in and delete the files individually. This highly discourages administrators from testing and trying new extensions, since his server will be littered with leftover files.
  • Consistency -- Consistency in both design and user interface across all of the apps. IP.Board obviously has much more developed moderation interface than, say, IP.Blogs.
  • Skinning and design -- If you could offer a built-in simple 'skin creator' that offers administrators basic options to change the background, header, color, and logo, then you will have satisfied the design preferences of a vast majority of your clients. I would still encourage you to offer skin plug-ins from the marketplace for people who desire a more dramatic change to their community's appearance.
  • Balance among the IP.Apps -- Clearly you have a historical legacy of IP.Board being your focal point. For people who are looking for a broader solution, however, this is almost a handicap since your bias for the forums is manifested in small and large ways. My only suggestion here is for you to continue your innovation in forum development, but to strike an equally innovative development and balance amongst all of your apps.
  • Blocks -- It would be nice to be able to use blocks across all IP.Apps. It was definitely an awkward moment when I realized that blocks for IP.Content were not the same blocks that could be chosen on IP.Board.

In any case, best of luck on your development with 4.0

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Dear IPB,

To give you a little bit of background: I've been a user of your product for about seven months now, and am a susbcriber to IP.Board, IP.Downloads, IP.Blog, IP.Gallery, IP.Content (including databases and articles, but not the media system), and IP.Nexus. My website gets about 5,000 hits a day.

These are some things that I would really like to see improved for the community suite as a whole. These should not be taken as criticisms of any of your existing work, but merely one user's personal experiences and obstacles with using your product. I'm sure you've probably heard some of these ideas before too, so consider my information to simply be another 'vote' in favor of making particular changes:

  • Plugins, extensions, and hooks -- One of the biggest things that makes me cringe is how hard it is to administrate plugins, hooks, and extensions. First, one thing that I'd really like to see in your Marketplace is to see mandatory information regarding compatibility with versions. The information is currently optional, which makes downloading and using the plug-in risky. Second, the plug-ins and hooks could be better centralized in the ACP. A new System Settings tab in the ACP per developer is too much; all non-IPB plug-ins and extensions ought to be grouped together (or even better, custom grouped by the administrator). Third, make it easier to cleanly uninstall and delete all files from an extension. From what I understand, there's really no easy way unless you manually go in and delete the files individually. This highly discourages administrators from testing and trying new extensions, since his server will be littered with leftover files.
  • Consistency -- Consistency in both design and user interface across all of the apps. IP.Board obviously has much more developed moderation interface than, say, IP.Blogs.
  • Skinning and design -- If you could offer a built-in simple 'skin creator' that offers administrators basic options to change the background, header, color, and logo, then you will have satisfied the design preferences of a vast majority of your clients. I would still encourage you to offer skin plug-ins from the marketplace for people who desire a more dramatic change to their community's appearance.
  • Balance among the IP.Apps -- Clearly you have a historical legacy of IP.Board being your focal point. For people who are looking for a broader solution, however, this is almost a handicap since your bias for the forums is manifested in small and large ways. My only suggestion here is for you to continue your innovation in forum development, but to strike an equally innovative development and balance amongst all of your apps.
  • Blocks -- It would be nice to be able to use blocks across all IP.Apps. It was definitely an awkward moment when I realized that blocks for IP.Content were not the same blocks that could be chosen on IP.Board.

In any case, best of luck on your development with 4.0

The plugin system will change in 4.0.

The consistency in the areas you are talking about will be much improved in 4.0.

We already have a visual skin editor available which allows you to click on the front end and change colors visually and easily. If you need assistance using this tool feel free to ask. :)

The balance will be improved in 4.0 as forums will no longer be a required component of our framework (you would be able to just buy IP.Content or IP.Gallery for instance).

Blocks in IP.Content can be used in other apps by adding the special block tag to your skin templates. They are not the same as IP.Blog blocks, however. This goes back to consistency though which as I said you will see many improvements with.

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Thanks for the information. I wasn't even aware that IPB offered a Visual Skin Editor, which I'll need to play around with. Can you direct me to the download, or is it offered within the ACP?

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Can you direct me to the download, or is it offered within the ACP?

When your installation is provided with an active license, you can use the Visual Skin Editor with every new skin you create ("Create new skin" in Look&Feel).

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Next on my 4.0 Community Wishlist:

  • Better moderation panel -- Right now when you go into moderation, it's divided up into all of the separate sections, and I never realized that, which meant that there were some comments that were needing moderation that dated back 4 months. You should be able to show one list that pulls together all of the moderation items.

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I don't know what happened to mobile development but is there going to be Android / iOS apps?

No. This was blogged about many months ago. We are instead going to refocus on the "webapp" route, which allows us more flexibility and does not require a specialized mobile app developer.

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My wish is for Invision to remember that the forum is their main product. It's why we're all here. The whole IPS Community Suite worries me. Don't fall behind XF through concentrating on all these others apps at the same time - it must be an enormous amount of work and will no doubt delay the release date.

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My wish is for Invision to remember that the forum is their main product. It's why we're all here. The whole IPS Community Suite worries me. Don't fall behind XF through concentrating on all these others apps at the same time - it must be an enormous amount of work and will no doubt delay the release date.

actually the ip.content/cms is more important to me with, when 4 comes out, forums being a supporting module for the articles.

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Back of house maintenance tasks need some work for version 4. Boring but essential on larger forums. Here's some things that need attention:

Ability to mass delete attachments of deleted personal messages. When you delete a personal message (conversation) any attachments are not deleted.

Ability to mass delete attachments by various criteria e.g. date / days old, member name, group. Currently you have to manually delete attachments via the ACP a page at a time.

Ability to mass delete personal messages by various criteria as above. Currently I'm having to use a 3rd party plugin to do this. This should be part of IPB

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My wish is for Invision to remember that the forum is their main product. It's why we're all here. The whole IPS Community Suite worries me. Don't fall behind XF through concentrating on all these others apps at the same time - it must be an enormous amount of work and will no doubt delay the release date.

I agree with the above replies about the other apps (particularly IP.C) being at least as important as the forums. General forum functionality is pretty well developed as a standard, though there's certainly always room for improvement. There is a LOT more room for improvement in the way articles/CMS, galleries, downloads, blogs, ecommerce etc. interact in a community platform. The breadth and maturity of the IPS platform itself is why we, and I'm sure others, are here. If all we wanted was just a forum there are plenty of options out there.

actually the ip.content/cms is more important to me with, when 4 comes out, forums being a supporting module for the articles.

EXACTLY. We want to build the system so all discussion occurs in the forum, but the vast majority of content creation is done in IP.C. :)

James

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I'm sure if you asked all our customers they'd each say "My wish is for Invision to remember that the <the application I use> is their main product." or "<the application I use> is as important as the forums" :p

You needn't worry though - every application is going to rock in 4.0 ;)

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What i want for my wishlist is for a integration to stop multiple member accounts signing up from the same ip instead of relying on a mod.

Must have. :thumbsup:

We need a tool that reports members who use multiple accounts on the same computer to access our community.

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just as long as not a block against multiples from the same iP without allowing us the option to disable it.

my wife and I would show as same IP, don't want to block either of us. many examples like that, people at a business will all show same ip.

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