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AlexWright

5.0 - A Discussion

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I know, I know. 4.4 isn't even here yet, and here's a topic for 5.0. How dare I! The shock and horror! In all seriousness though, I think it's a perfect time to start talking about what kinds of improvements can or should be made for Invision Community 5. Some of these may not be possible, some might be, some might not even be thought of yet (oi, post those too). So let's start:

Something many members have asked about, and something I would absolutely love to see, is a member-customizable home page. What I mean with this is the ability of a member to customize what content and blocks they see when they log in. Some members want to rearrange how content is displayed on the home page, and currently that isn't possible. As an admin, I can do this for everyone, but not all members agree with certain choices in this regard. Allowing a member to customize their user experience going forward would be a huge gain.

Another thing to consider in regards to users is Profiles. Currently, clicking on a user link takes you to the Activity feed for that member. An option to select which tab is the "active" tab when a user link is clicked on could be useful for those communities who wish to prioritize, for instance, the About Me section over activity.

On the moderation side of things, the report interface is somewhat lacking. For those of us with the "gallery" application, when an image is reported, that image is not forwarded to the Report center. All that the report center gives is a link to the image and/or the album that was reported. This should at least update so the image reported it available directly and immediately in the report. This will save a lot of time for image heavy communities.

I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting, as I'm at work, but I'm liable to post more later.

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8 minutes ago, AlexWright said:

Something many members have asked about, and something I would absolutely love to see, is a member-customizable home page.

I remember this kind of thing in the early 2000s (different software). It wasn't popular. As long as it can also not be customisable, fine.

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8 minutes ago, PoC2 said:

I remember this kind of thing in the early 2000s (different software). It wasn't popular. 

Yep. While it sounds good in theory, it was tried over and over again on so many sites, but it failed and was removed. 
It remains a back end feature for all sorts of services, but only there. 

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1. I applaud you for starting an IPS 5.0 feedback topic before me.  Props to you.  

2. Customizable homepage - no.  I want to control the display and presentation (and I will admit, the ad placement because I'm a greedy admin farming my user's data.  Take that GDPR!).  

-- 2a. I'm okay with personalizing the content on the page. For eaxmple, pushing content from followers or prioritizing popular content for more interesting and relevant content.  But not the overall layout.  

-- 2b.  If this were Blogs or Profiles that are tied to the user, I could understand.  Those are "individual spaces"in the where it makes sense to give more design control.  But again, not the homepage which is a community homepage.  

4.4. See how I skipped to this number.  IPS is taking it's sweet time.  

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16 minutes ago, Joel R said:

1. I applaud you for starting an IPS 5.0 feedback topic before me.  Props to you.  

2. Customizable homepage - no.  I want to control the display and presentation (and I will admit, the ad placement because I'm a greedy admin farming my user's data.  Take that GDPR!).  

-- 2a. I'm okay with personalizing the content on the page. For eaxmple, pushing content from followers or prioritizing popular content for more interesting and relevant content.  But not the overall layout.  

-- 2b.  If this were Blogs or Profiles that are tied to the user, I could understand.  Those are "individual spaces"in the where it makes sense to give more design control.  But again, not the homepage which is a community homepage.  

4.4. See how I skipped to this number.  IPS is taking it's sweet time.  

Oooh, do I get brownie points for that?

2a. I suppose that's more the request being asked for. Some users would like to be able to modify certain front page blocks pertaining to content feeds (like the New Posts, new images block) to only see certain areas, or to users they follow. I'd be ok with it being an admin set layout where users can modify the content.

2b. This would be useful. Gives users the ability to make their profile unique. This might be a better suggestion overall.

Another admin thing occurred to me as well: email templates. These are difficult to modify currently for those with little experience. Would be nice to have easy to edit color settings.

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At this stage, any discussion about 5.0 should be about the architecture (dev side) of the product imo. Unless a drastic new feature is planned that would warrant going to 5.0. Nothing the topic starter has suggested would qualify. 

All these features could be introduced in the 4.x series. (not that they should).

Example topic:

Should the dependency on PHP be reduced? Many modern websites work in a single page application type format. How about introducing technology such as React.js? 

What about using the power of Node.js? Could IPS software benefit from having access to npm packages?

I think I remember IPS once saying 5.0 would not have a major overall with the architecture of the software. But, seeing how fast the dev world is evolving and changing, it may not be wise decision.

 

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I think it’s time that us (customers) and the team look over on what has been asked many, many times on here and have a poll system to which we could vote (anything core based for the software). I'm sure over the years we've asked for features to be implemented and had to wait years for it to come to the system; i.e. - Subscriptions, but I feel it was featureless and rushed.

We often see the team spend time on introducing new features without listening to us on what it’s loyal customer wants. Now don't get me wrong, we've had some great things added too, but a balance would be great and really help us connect to the team more and really show that we can openly ask and discuss future options. After all, without us a business doesn't exist.

 

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11 minutes ago, Tom S. said:

At this stage, any discussion about 5.0 should be about the architecture (dev side) of the product imo. Unless a drastic new feature is planned that would warrant going to 5.0. Nothing the topic starter has suggested would qualify. 

All these features could be introduced in the 4.x series. (not that they should).

Forgive me but I disagree. If a discussion of features wanted isn't also started now, then there isn't really a point in also discussing the architecture. Besides that, I believe one of the IPS staffers has already stated that they have no plans at the current time to move away from php dependency. Though you are correct that things do change. Whether its wise or not remains to be seen. Regardless, this is an overarching discussion, so I don't see why both architecture and features cannot be discussed side by side.

As far as the suggestions already made, could some of these be planned into 4.x? Sure. Will they be? It's doubtful. Anyways, that's enough of that being said, moving along.

More descriptive error messages for Gallery. If "minimum number of tags" is set, and members attempt to upload images without tags, all they get is a generic "there were issues, please check indicated uploads".

Also for Gallery: have a Browse option that doesn't involve albums. A "fluid" version, if you will, for browsing the Gallery. I understand that if albums aren't used, this can be accomplished, however users like to sort and organize their images, and Albums allows them to do so.

Clubs: allow different club membership levels/subscriptions. Allow the club manager to open new areas depending on the member's subscription level. Think Patreon style. Also allow the club manager to add pages which they can organize (from the Pages app).

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Continuing thoughts on this, architecture a little bit.

With the ever increasing threat of compromise (dont tell me that it won't/can't/isn't likely), perhaps it's time for a different method of password management? The md5/sha1 types are outdated, and I'm fairly certain that's what Invision still uses? Would be better to use Argon2id and XChaCha20-Poly1305, or something similar, if this hasn't already been dealt with.

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3 hours ago, AlexWright said:

Continuing thoughts on this, architecture a little bit.

With the ever increasing threat of compromise (dont tell me that it won't/can't/isn't likely), perhaps it's time for a different method of password management? The md5/sha1 types are outdated, and I'm fairly certain that's what Invision still uses? Would be better to use Argon2id and XChaCha20-Poly1305, or something similar, if this hasn't already been dealt with.

We haven't used salted md5s since v4 😉 We use bcrypt.

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2 hours ago, Mark said:

We haven't used salted md5s since v4 😉 We use bcrypt.

Good to know, thanks! Would it be possible to implement other forms of password encryption? Would this even be necessary? 

Edited by AlexWright

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4 hours ago, AlexWright said:

Good to know, thanks! Would it be possible to implement other forms of password encryption? Would this even be necessary? 

We use whatever PHP defines as the 'default' algorithm in your PHP version. At the current time, that is blowfish for all PHP versions. Argon2ID was added in PHP 7.3 and would be eligible to be the default algorithm in PHP 7.4/vNext, although there's no guarantee they'll do that.

http://php.net/password_hash

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On 12/12/2018 at 3:36 PM, AlexWright said:

Clubs: allow different club membership levels/subscriptions. Allow the club manager to open new areas depending on the member's subscription level. Think Patreon style. Also allow the club manager to add pages which they can organize (from the Pages app).

I've seen posts from members, myself included, asking for more patreon-like features like this for clubs.  I was kinda hoping they'd be added before 5.  Our club usage has decreased rapidly because our artists would prefer setting different sub levels instead of having to average out a one level deal for the content they want to provide to supporters, and being able to do this directly on our website instead of having to have a separate off-site account is our end goal with clubs for now.  😞

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4 hours ago, Alismora said:

I've seen posts from members, myself included, asking for more patreon-like features like this for clubs.  I was kinda hoping they'd be added before 5.  Our club usage has decreased rapidly because our artists would prefer setting different sub levels instead of having to average out a one level deal for the content they want to provide to supporters, and being able to do this directly on our website instead of having to have a separate off-site account is our end goal with clubs for now.  😞

Agreed, and for basically the same reasons. It would be nice before 5.0, but I'm not sure that'll happen. Thus it's here.

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Just a few points from me...

1) In my POV it is far better for you to create individual topics for individual requests. It is rare that we spend time reviewing large "how about all of these things" topics because frankly it's difficult and time consuming. We can and do, however, flag individual requests for follow up on our side quite often.

2) We absolutely DO base our changes off of requests clients have made. They may not be requests YOU have made, but why would we (as a business) spend time implementing things no one wants? That's just illogical. It's important to remember that we get feedback from many different sources (this forum being but one of them) and you may simply not be aware of common things we hear about from other avenues.

3) We'll be sticking with PHP for 5.0.

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On 12/13/2018 at 5:08 AM, AlexWright said:

Something many members have asked about, and something I would absolutely love to see, is a member-customizable home page.

I realise this isn't exactly what you're talking about, but I currently use Kevin Carwile's Rules application to redirect sign-ins to group-specific splash pages with customised feed blocks and information.

On 12/20/2018 at 3:21 AM, bfarber said:

3) We'll be sticking with PHP for 5.0. 

This is good to know since, well, the vast, vast majority of servers and setups are PHP/mySQL. 🙂

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