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Month in Review - June 2015

This is the first in a series of monthly blogs IPS will be posting to keep you up to date on what is happening. Just in case you missed it!

New Web Site

We launched our new web site featuring IPS Community Suite 4! Featuring our newest technology has been great for new and old clients alike. Our demo system is now using IPS Community Suite 4 as well so feel free to sign up and give it a try.

Release Announcements

In the past we would post an announcement for every release we did. With IPS Community Suite 4 that is not really necessary as the new upgrade system notifies you in your AdminCP when an update is available. Not only that but you can easily download a list of only changed files to quickly upgrade your Suite. It is really nice for us to be able to push updates out to you much more quickly and for you to not have to uploads a lot of unnecessary files for a quicker upgrade.

Release Notes

Be sure to check out our new Release Notes section. Theses notes are also fed into your AdminCP on release time but you can also check here for previews on the next release in production. Even more interesting is our Coming Soon section that shows things coming up in the next month or so. It's a great way to keep track of what is in the immediate future so you can plan your community development.

Development Progress

Since we released version 4.0.0 we have made 13 releases to add features requested by our clients, fix bugs, and improve performance. It has been a busy and exciting time. We are so happy that the vast majority of our clients are really happy with IPS Community Suite 4.0. It's also great to see clients provide so much feedback so we can continue to improve. One of our key goals is to communicate what is coming up next and our Release Notes section has been a really great way to do this and clients are enjoying the constant updates.

For those of you interested in such things: we finally switched from SVN to Git. We started using SVN many years ago when it was the cool thing and have been wanting to switch to Git for our repository for some time. Obviously this is not something that impacts our clients but it's really exciting to the group of nerds that is IPS development staff so they felt I should highlight this!

In addition to lots of bug fixes and performance improvements, here are some new additions to IPS Community Suite 4 in the last month:

  • Guest caching feature can now be used with MySQL (previously required a caching engine like memcached)
  • New mobile pagination
  • Max width option for video embeds
  • Legacy PayPal gateway to allow for older PayPal Subscriptions to still be recognised.
  • Attachment Type Restrictions: You can now choose from three options for file attachments in any post content: No files, Images only (this will actually check to make sure an uploaded file is a valid image) or All files (this is default) - If you choose "All files" you have the option to provide a list of allowed file extensions.
  • Merge Concurrent Posts: If a user makes a post or comment and then makes another post or comment on the same item before any other user, the posts will be merged. There is a setting to disable or set the time limit for this to happen. There is a clear, visual indication when a merge happens to avoid confusion to the end user.
  • Moderators can click and hold on topic and other item titles to quickly edit.
  • New setting to optionally set products in Commerce to have a grace period to remain active for a period of time after expiration.
  • New setting to specify domains to exclude from having rel='nofollow' added to links.
  • The "+ Create" menu at the top of the page now has an option to create an announcement.
  • New button to post a status within the status updates widget
  • You can now embed Pages database entries by pasting their link.
  • New widgets for blog entry, gallery images and downloads files feeds.
  • Widgets displaying content feeds can now be given a custom title.
  • The subject lines for emails sent about new content have been changed slightly so email clients can group them better.
  • Announcements now show on every page by default (but can still be removed).
  • New ability to disable but not uninstall an app.

In case you missed it: version 4.0.8.1 contained a security update. You would have been alerted both in your AdminCP and on our Release Notes page. Be sure to always stay up to date.

What's Next

Version 4.0.10 is already in development and our Coming Soon list is well under way:

We will be announcing those exciting changes in the next few weeks!

 

Past Updates

As this is our first update entry we didn't provide previous updates so here is the list of things added since 4.0.0 original release that were prior to the last month:

  • Pages can now be run under your install directory
  • Support Tools enhancements: You can optionally create an admin account and send that as a hidden field to our support staff. A reminder is set in the AdminCP dashboard for you to remove this account once your support request is done. You can optionally send the last PHP and MySQL error logs (if any are recent) as part of your support request.
  • When a new version of IPS Community Suite 4 is available you will now see release notes. This feature is added in 4.0.2 but will not show until 4.0.3 is available.
  • You can now set a maximum image dimension size. If a user uploads an image larger than that setting it will be resized down and the smaller size saved.
  • Setting to limit the length of content item titles Suite-wide
  • Added new notification setting for Members you Follow. On install and upgrade, this setting is off by default to prevent your users from getting bombarded with notifications for members they follow until they are able to decide their preference.
  • If you enable the "use SSL for logins" setting then this will apply to the entire AdminCP: not just the login form. Setting was renamed to reflect this.
  • You can now specify the default view option for the Commerce store front: grid or list.
  • When you upload files for a new version, the AdminCP login box will now prompt you to run the upgrade system before showing login form.
  • Queue tasks should run faster
  • You can now select multiple locations for an advertisement rather than just one in Advertisement settings.
  • We now support multiple version management. This means that we will no longer release "patch files" for major bugs or security issues but will instead simply release a new version even if that new version may only contain one changed file. No more losing track if you have or have not patched as you will simply make sure you're on latest version.
  • Emoticon sets can now be reordered. You can also now delete entire sets.
  • Bulk email system can now filter based on Commerce packages and information.
  • The support tool in the AdminCP will now do MD5 checksum on all PHP files on the system. This allows the system to detect any modified PHP files which is useful both for support and for security. The master checksum values are fetched remotely from IPS to ensure the list is not tampered with locally.
  • Interface improvements to Gallery
  • Theme comparison tools

 

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Oh yes. Please stop integrating new features. With version 4.0.10 I would be happy with just a bug fixing release (so all or most of the bugs in bug tracker should be fixed). This can be good base for future releases. :)

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Regarding Release Announcements, I really do thing it's necessary. There are tons of users that does not go to ACP everyday. Follows Release Notes only tells me when you add a new version (in development). It doesn't send a notification when you change the current version.

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Thank you for the announcement. Its helpful, if you are not every day on the website, to get a good summary from the past month. I agree to the point from Adriano, we need an additional e-mail information about this.

Any release plans for the converter vb 4 to ipb 4?

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Regarding Release Announcements, I really do thing it's necessary. There are tons of users that does not go to ACP everyday. Follows Release Notes only tells me when you add a new version (in development). It doesn't send a notification when you change the current version.

One way around this would be a front end block that only shows to admins and only if the version running < the latest. I guess I'm thinking like a sidebar block or something.

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Lots of great releases and updates.  Overall system is making nice progress. The one item that I hope can be revisited or enhanced is the widget caching.  I may be the minority, but this widget caching is killing me and the site.  I know its good for performance but it is driving members batty.  Stuff in the side bar updates differently for all people, some don't update at all until I go into "support" and do the cache clearing in there.  People use the latest posts feed as a major tool and overall it is now useless.

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Hello @Charles

We still wait Documentation, Bug Tracker and Release notes available in here to come as part of Pages. It is important part of every community. Still no information of when it may come to IP Suite :(

Edited by DavidAM
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Hello @Charles

We still wait Documentation, Bug Tracker and Release notes available in here to come as part of Pages. It is important part of every community. Still no information of when it may come to IP Suite :(

All those areas are standard Pages features :) There's nothing to be made available you can already do them today.

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@Charles, thank for your attention. I believe it can be done using Pages but as c++ dev community we look for the systems to be bundled in Pages or at least for a tutorial from IPS side of how to add them easy :)

We look for ready-to-go solution that will allow us to focus on our Software DEV and the boards+apss (from IPS) would help us in that only. That's way bundled option or guide would be a lot helpful, thanks!
 

EDIT: I have re-read your reply and I am confused, you mean the systems mentioned by me are bundled in Pages already or you meant they can be added by us using Pages? 

Edited by DavidAM
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