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IP.Downloads 2.1

While upgrading our addon applications for IP.Board 3.0 compatibility, we blogged about the state of the updates and our plans for the future. At that time, we detailed that there wouldn't be many new features in the applications initially, but instead that we would be releasing feature updates for our addon applications later this year.

Development for IP.Downloads 2.1 is well underway and we wanted to take a moment to highlight the new features you should expect to see in the next release of IP.Downloads. These features have largely been decided upon based on suggestions in our feedback forum.

Friendly URLs

IP.Downloads 2.1 will feature friendly urls for the main index page, category view pages, file view pages, and downloading files.

Resume Breakpoints Toggle

Some customers have requested the ability to turn off IP.Download's capability of downloading files in "parts" (this is primarily used by download accelerators that request multiple pieces of a file simultaneously). There will be a setting in IP.Downloads 2.1 to disable this functionality.

Global Settings vs Per-Category Settings

Some per-category settings (specifically: max file size and screenshot dimension settings) can now be configured globally as well. Once a global setting is set, if you do not specify the fields when configuring your categories, the global option will be used instead. This will allow you to more easily control some common settings quickly for your entire IP.Download installation, while still allowing for finer-grained per-category control should you need it.

Download Sessions

IP.Downloads already supports download sessions (which are used to track the number of simultaneous downloads a user has going). We will be expanding upon this to allow for download session urls. When a user requests to download a file, a unique link will be generated and this url will be used to download the file. Once complete, this unique url will be discarded. This feature will help prevent users from sharing direct download urls, and instead require users to visit the file information page before the download will commence.

Major changes to file storage

Presently, IP.Downloads allows you to upload (or link to) a single file and a single screenshot with each record. While generally this works well, many customers need the ability to support more than one file or screenshot for each record. We will be changing how files are stored within the system to accommodate some new features that are not presently possible. These features include:

  • Use of the flash uploader for file uploads. This will allow for multiple simultaneous file uploads, as well as progress-bar support, when uploading files.
  • Multiple files per file record. For instance, you might submit "My Home Movie", and then upload "movie.part1", "movie.part2", and "movie.part3" to break your movie into multiple pieces.
  • Mirror support. Along with multiple physical files, you will be able to submit multiple urls, providing for built in mirror support by linking to copies of the download hosted elsewhere.
  • Multiple screenshots per record
Thinking beyond the above features, you will be able to use the mirror support functionality for other things as well. For instance, you could submit links to "Related Tools", "Required Files", or "User-Contributed Files". By allowing multiple files and links per record, you will have a lot more control over the grouping of your files and how they are presented to your users.

We believe the above features represent the most requested and most needed features for IP.Downloads, and hope that our customers will be able to benefit from the new functionality. We will post another blog update later on when IP.Downloads 2.1 is ready for beta testing, as well as blog updates about our other applications in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!



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[quote name='Nuclear General' date='22 October 2009 - 05:26 AM']
Can there be a feature for paid downloads?? Like the one you guys have on the IPS forums? That, imo, is pretty good feature to add.

I would second that motion.

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The way we do paid downloads is rather customized for our needs. A true paid downloads feature would probably need to tie in with the subscription manager, and require the subscription manager to support multiple packages per user, which isn't possible presently.

I don't want to spend time on a half-baked "it works" feature for paid downloads. It's better to just wait until the infrastructure to handle it properly is in place, and do it right the first time.

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I do hope that this doesn't mean that the only way to upload files will be by using a flash component. I want my forum to be available and fully working for the widest variety of visitors, and Flash is a deal-breaker for a lot of people. This won't bother me if it is an option that people can choose to enable or not and for those who don't choose to use it will get an interface that works with web standards (even if that means that the progress bar doesn't appear).

Use of the flash uploader for file uploads. This will allow for multiple simultaneous file uploads, as well as progress-bar support, when uploading files.

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Wish there was a way to tie the downloads to something like Amazon's S3 service...I need storage there, but I don't want the URL unprotected. The actual security codes are pretty easy to add to PHP for authentication purposes...few decent libraries out there but pretty much, I just used the standard SHA1 libraries (err...I think thats what it was) and went from there.

I would love to see this...and I know a lot of users that are using this service to offset their hosting bills would too!

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@Wallbase - ideally, sometime within the next week or two, but don't quote me on that. We're opting to wait until we're sure of the feature set before announcing it, so as not to cause any issues.

@JMO - it will not be possible in this version, but that's not to say that it won't be in the next version. :)

@copiertalk - this is not likely something we'll be able to incorporate into the base product. Supporting such functionality, license requirements for third party scripts, and so forth make working with pdf's a little difficult. No guarantees one way or the other, but it's not high up on the priority list right now.

@Xenboy - the downloads will work like they do in the forums, except we take it one step further and allow true non-javascript fallback for the actual file uploads. That means

1) The page loads with a single file input field for the file, and a single file input field for the screenshot (if enabled)

2) If the user's browser supports flash 9, and javascript, the javascript routines hide those input fields and enable the flash uploader

3) If the user's browser supports javascript, but not the flash uploader, the traditional "attachments" style uploading is used instead (hidden iframe is used behind the scenes to send the file to the server).

The user's usercp setting "Enable flash uploader" will be honored.

@ccmarsig - Amazon S3 and similar services are something I'd like to explore in a future version, however given that it's a paid service, I've been up in the air on the usefulness of the integration. In other words, I'm not sure how many users would make use of it, or if enough users would make use of it to make it worthwhile. Realistically, rather than push this into IP.Downloads only, I'd rather see any distributed services like this available board-wide (attachments, gallery images, etc.) and just have IP.Downloads use a central library. We'll gauge this for a future version, in any event.

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I understand that ghostscript may not make it into this release or be a high priority but with PDF being the document format the internet is based on I would like to see this. The API is open source and I would love to be involved with this technology being included and expanded on in this platform as it moves toward the forum solution the internat community is talking about.

Thanks for the consideration and I look forward to future updates.

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In IP.Downloads, I would like to attache a document (Download) in more than one category, as we can do with Microsoft Outlook categories. Therefore, in a multi categories document, it will be listed under all the related categories.

This would be a powerfull addition.

Therefore I would first create a document and then attached it to as many categories are pertinent to the document.


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Whoo! I've been praying for these features, my users will be so happy to hear they will have greater control over their files! Great job IPS! :thumbsup:

I do have a question/suggestion, is it possible that we might see an integrated ftp upload option in the future? Most shared servers have upload caps and require ftp uploads for any files larger than the capped size. It'd be cool if the downloads module had integrated ftp where the host info is already input via the Admin CP and all the user requires is a password to upload. Many users find external ftp confusing or intimidating so I think it'd be a great feature. :)

Obviously though, I'm a dreamer not a coder, so I have no idea if that's even in the realm of possibility! :rolleyes:

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I don't think such a feature would be very useful on the whole. Most admins aren't willing to give out FTP passwords to their members (for good reason) so I don't think such a feature would really get used often enough to warrant the time it would take to code it.

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