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IP.Board 3.3: What to expect

IP.Board 3.2 was a major new version boasting a new sleek skin with a major overhaul to the user interface. We also added in long requested features such as tagging, the shared media panel, and a brand new moderators control panel along with many more improvements.

We have been thrilled with the overwhelmingly good feedback since 3.2's release and we are ready to take IP.Board to the next step by targeting specific needs with laser-like precision.

The next version of IP.Board will be 3.3.0. But what is in a number really? Do not worry, we are revising our version numbering so that a major increment reflects any added functionality. The development cycle between 3.1 and 3.2 was lengthy because of the massive changes we made. This cycle will be much quicker.

We want you to think of IP.Board 3.3 as improving and refining what we already do - not as a huge update that will require extensive changes. In fact, unlike the 3.2 update, the 3.3 update will not have a new default skin or sweeping code-base changes that impact existing hooks/apps. So lets look at the areas we are targeting.

Search Engine Optimization
We have had lots of feedback about this area of the software. We have made huge strides in the past by ensuring the correct headers are sent and the HTML is as clean as possible. We even have our free-to-customers product IP.SEO.

We are taking this a step further in IP.Board 3.3. We set up a small focus group earlier this year and asked them directly where we can improve and we received some great responses which we will work on.

Moderation
Key to running your community efficiently is good moderation tools. IP.Board has tons of functionality but sometimes there is a little overlap or areas that are not crystal clear. We will be working on some of the moderation tools to improve that and we are also introducing a major overhaul to a popular moderation feature!

Admin CP
Our admin control panel is incredibly comprehensive but we are looking to make it a little smoother and easier to use in common areas. We have some specific ideas on how to speed up common tasks which we will implement in 3.3.

Large Boards
Many of our customers have grown with us and taken their small community into new territory with millions of posts. Other customers have converted to us from a large established community. Either way, there are some specific needs that larger community owners have that we are working on for 3.3. We have an innovative cool new feature currently being written that we know large community admins will love!

Refinement
As always we continue to refine existing areas of the software. Our development staff continually works through our bug tracker and support tickets to fix reported bugs. Beyond bugs we often make little changes that make a big difference. Simply rewording the text of a button or moving a link to a more logical location can make things work more smoothly. All those little changes add up to the overall polish of the software.

We are happy to say that IP.Board 3.3 will not mean a complete new skin and neither should your custom skin need reworking from scratch. Existing modifications and hooks should operate just fine too.

Everyone at IPS is very excited about this release and cannot wait to start blogging about the new features and improvements we have implemented. We are shooting for an late first/early second quarter 2012 release date (a release date from IPS!). Keep an eye on our blog for more news soon!

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Oh man..I was so worried (before I read further into the blog) that 3.3. will mean another round of skin converting, waiting for updated mods and hooks, glad to see that won't be the case. Everything else sounds great! :D

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Looks great, but PERSONALLY I wouldn't have minded a 3.2.4 in the meantime fixing the 100-or-so-bugs (which now show as fixed in 3.3.0). Perhaps a patch? :x

Either way sounds good, hopefully it doesn't mean too much of an increase in frequency of small updates though. It can become rather troublesome when dealing with overly-frequent updates whilst trying to maintain a heavily customised board :tongue:

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Haha yeah I wasn't that clear :tongue:

What I meant by increase in frequency of small updates was added functionality & areas changing etc which could have an impact on customisations applied :tongue: I gathered from the blog article that a 3.3 was the start of many more .3 / .4 / .5 changes which would mean potentially more frequent additions of content.

I meant that as opposed to 'frequent' bug fixes where functionality and design would all remain the same with no new added areas just issues getting fixed with customisations being easily applied in moments after upgrading.

Don't get me wrong though I'm excited about additions of features. I just prefer them coming in bulk batches so that one can spend a week solid working on upgrading scripts and custom code and for it to just be done :P

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I see in the Tracker that bugs assigned to 3.2.4 are now assigned to a 3.3.0 release. Does this mean we have to wait until "First/Second Quarter 2012" for these bug fixes now? A bit disappointed if that's the case.

..Al

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I'm extremely excited for this update mostly because it's taking what is already good and improving it further. It's exactly what IPS should be doing. Never just accepting what is done in 3.2 and remaining stagnant. They are constantly trying to improve in any way possible.

The only thing I ask is that the editor be more friendly for darker skins, or at least made easier to edit for darker skins. There are some parts that involve so many screwy work-arounds to make it look decent on dark skins without editing the global files for the board itself.

On that note, will there be any skin changes in 3.3?

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[quote name='AtariAge' timestamp='1321933173']
I see in the Tracker that bugs assigned to 3.2.4 are now assigned to a 3.3.0 release. Does this mean we have to wait until "First/Second Quarter 2012" for these bug fixes now? A bit disappointed if that's the case. ..Al


This. Please say no...

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If you expect to be lauded for not making code-breaking changes for the first time in a very long time, that is a very poor precedent for design standards. I have been using Invision since it was Ikonboard, and I'm about ready to leave, given the major breaks that have happened with every upgrade. There needs to be, if not built-in backwards compatibility, at least some documentation to the often arcane changes made on backend structure.

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[quote name='Scarred Sun' timestamp='1321941539']
If you expect to be lauded for not making code-breaking changes for the first time in a very long time, that is a very poor precedent for design standards. I have been using Invision since it was Ikonboard, and I'm about ready to leave, given the major breaks that have happened with every upgrade. There needs to be, if not built-in backwards compatibility, at least some documentation to the often arcane changes made on backend structure.


in general, we look toward the future, not the past.

As for freq upgrades. personally, I could do without the week to week
upgrades, as long as the bugs are small enough that they will not
interfere with the forum/members, etc..then I think I can wait a bit longer...
(other then security risks, which would need to be addressed ASAP)

its a plus when we do not have to re-skin any theme. You need to
make it possible that we never need too..If we have to re-code something
for the skin to work again, that is not moving us forward, it is costing us extra!
and it costs skinners tons of time because they have to recode their skins.

I suggest making it easier for skinners, not more complex for us all...

as far seo > Ive made an excellent suggestion:
http://community.invisionpower.com/topic/351401-better-seo-url/

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That's good. This skin is really GOOD and there shouldn't be any big changes. My members like new features but don't like at all when skin is changed after each big update (few members abandoned my board when I upgraded from 2.3.x to 3.0.x). However, cosmetic changes are permitted, if they can improve some features. IP.Board should own native skin, and who wants other skin, there is big database of pretty skins in Marketplace.


I don't believe! :D

the 3.3 update will not have a new default skin

(a release date from IPS!)

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  • Management

[quote name='.time' timestamp='1321951557']
I'd like to see some work done on IPB's error handling. The whole "An error has occurred" thing is a little much for, say, viewing a thread you aren't permitted to see.

This is already on my list.


[quote name='Demeter' timestamp='1321952541']
Last time I do not understand IPS....How you can anounce 3.3 while so many bugs in 3.2.3 ?! And we have to wait for first/second quarter 2012?What about 3.2.4 with fixed bugs first ?!

As we've stated, we would normally call the next release "3.2.4" but we're choosing to increment the 'major' version number because we're adding some functionality.

As always, if we need to release a 3.2.4 then we'll do that. We're not inflexible. :)

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  • Management

[quote name='Scarred Sun' timestamp='1321941539']
If you expect to be lauded for not making code-breaking changes for the first time in a very long time, that is a very poor precedent for design standards. I have been using Invision since it was Ikonboard, and I'm about ready to leave, given the major breaks that have happened with every upgrade. There needs to be, if not built-in backwards compatibility, at least some documentation to the often arcane changes made on backend structure.


We have to keep moving forwards though! If we didn't make any skin changes then we'd not be relevant in a few years time. Really though, we've had a major skin change one since 3.0 which was released just over three years ago. That's not so bad is it?

The web is always evolving. Techniques and tools available to us today weren't available to us three years ago. And likewise in three years time.

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I also feel that a bugfix-version (3.2.4?) needs to be released prior to this new release. One example:

http://community.invisionpower.com/tracker/issue-33938-acp-tab-hidding/

This is a major flaw in the basic functions to me, and I did set up a ticket about it (1 month ago) but was just refered to this being a known issue and a link to this bug-report. I for one feel we shouldn´t need to wait 3 more months to have things like this fixed. It might not be a critical bug as in "the whole site is down" but for a closed forum it´s not nice being forced to show your work to the public (guests) or not at all.

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What differents makes a number ????? 3.2.4 or 3.3.0 if all bugs get fixed in following version who carse. I am (well was) a bit worried about some skin change again and buy all skins again, if that was the case i had to aply a second job in the morning........delevering newspapers.

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If this really means that we won't see any bugfixes until 3.3 this is unacceptable and very unprofessional.
For the customers that don't want to update every week, here is a hint: don't do it.

But those who suffer from bugs that are already fixed in an upcoming version will gladly update their software.

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