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IP.Board 3.0 Miscellaneous Features

We've been blogging for a while about some of the bigger changes you will see when IP.Board 3 is released. Things like enhanced bbcode management, hooks and plugins, and personal conversations, for example, tend to be a bit more interesting to read than smaller features. However, we wanted to take a moment to discuss some of the other smaller features being added to IP.Board that we haven't talked about yet.

Minimum posts to view forum
You can now configure forums to only allow access if you have reached a minimum post count.

Minimum posts to post in forum
Similar to the previous setting, you can require members to have a certain post count before they can post in individual forums.

Only allow posters to see their own topics
A very commonly requested feature, you can now configure forums so that posters can only see their own topics. Of course moderators and admins can view all topics in the forum. This allows you to create "help-desk" style forums without the need for additional software.

HTTPS login form
You can now force your login page urls to utilize https via a simple ACP setting. You are still responsible for obtaining an SSL certificate and installing it to your server properly.

"Performance Mode"
We have several larger customers who have a relatively stationary amount of traffic, but have huge spikes at times (e.g. sports teams have huge spikes in traffic on game nights, typically). During these spikes it is often desirable to disable unnecessary features to maintain site stability, rather than purchase hardware to handle temporary spikes in traffic. The performance mode setting allows you to easily disable many features that can save resources with the click of a button. The system remembers the previous setting values so that when the spike dies down you can disable performance mode and return your site to it's previous configuration.

Registration "question and answer"
In IP.Board 3 you will be able to configure questions and associated answers which will be randomly added to the registration form to help combat automated registrations (spam bots).

Loading javascript files from Google
Google offers a service that allows you to load the prototype and scriptaculous files from their servers rather than your own. This offloads 2 http requests to Google's servers from your own, while allowing them to manage the proper cache and expiration headers for the files.

Guest selectable skins and languages
Guests can now change their skin and language selections if you offer multiple skins or languages. Note that skins can be configured to only be available to certain groups, so you can fine-tune which skins guests can select from.

Better topic/forum subscription controls
You can now unsubscribe individual members from all forums and topics from the edit member page of the ACP, and you can unsubscribe all members from individual forums from the forum management page.

More control over "friends"
You can now disable the friends feature globally via a setting, and individually on a per-group basis (e.g. to prevent validating members from using the friends feature).

Hide last post info for a forum
If you have a forum where different users have different configurations as to which topics they can view, you can hide the forum's last post info on the board index via a setting. This information is cached to improve performance, so it does not utilize permission-based lookups, thus the ability to hide it helps prevent topic information from being leaked.

Contact fields as custom profile fields
All of the contact fields (yahoo, aim, msn, etc.) are now custom profile fields, allowing you to more easily configure them to your liking (or remove them alltogether). Additionally, by default Jabber and Skype will be available for configuration.

Force an entire group to be anonymous
If you would like to force an entire group (administrators or banned members, for instance) to be anonymous upon login, you can do so easily now.

Moderate posts of an entire group globally
You can now configure a group to be moderated across the entire site via a group setting. This will force all of the group's posts and topics to be placed into a moderation queue before they are visible, regardless of individual forum settings.

Per-group signature restrictions
You can now control the maximum number of images, lines of text, and image dimensions for signatures on a per-group basis.

Here's a taste of some of the new features we haven't previously discussed (at least in any detail) which we hope you'll like. Let us know what you think!

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