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Josh
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How we designed IP.Board 2.2

I see this question come up once in awhile on the forums and I thought it would be nice to give you a little behind the scenes information on how we designed IP.Board 2.2.

When we map out a new release, we usually have a specific goal in mind for that release. This can be anything from increasing security, reliability, new features, or some combination of the three. For example, when we started mapping out IP.Board 2.2 the overriding goal of the release was to streamline the software and make it easier to use. We didn't want to focus on adding a lot of new features, we wanted to improve what was already there.

We spent a lot of time looking over every section of the forum and figuring out how we could make everything easier to use. We already knew most of the areas that needed improvement from our day to day customer service issues. We ended up with a huge list of tweaks, enhancements, and minor features that we wanted to include in 2.2.

With development of 2.2 now underway, we began discussing adding one major feature to the release to add a little flavor. We decided that the profile could really use a overhaul, it really had not changed much since 1.0 and was one of the more stagnat portions of the forum. In fact a new profile system was something we had discussed off and on for a few years and with social networks on the rise, it seemed a good time to finally make those changes to IP.Board. Also, while the profile system was certainly a massive change, it still was more or less inline with our goal of improving existing functionality.

We also selected a small group of customers to test 2.2 as it was developed and give feedback on the changes we were making. They were shown the profile system in a few different stages and their feedback was instrumental in the final profile.

All the while this is going on, we continue to closely monitor the feedback forum and keep an internal list of features we want to add to the board. This list basically breaks down into three sections: Include in this release, would be nice in this release, and to be included in a later release. Anything that fit in with our goals for this release found it's way onto one of the first two lists. Anything that did not, but was still a good idea, found it's way onto the third list. After 2.2 was feature locked, everything left was moved to the last category.

That's obviously a pretty broad overview of the process, but I think it gives you a good idea of how we handled 2.2. I plan to go into more detail on some of these points in the next couple weeks. If you have any questions about our development process, feel free to post them here and we may blog on it in the future.

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[quote name='dlh' date='Mar 21 2007, 12:46 PM']This is not exactly on the subject, but I'm more interested in the AJAX stuff you made and are you going to continue following that road?

Do you mean using AJAX in general? We'll continue to use AJAX where we feel that it makes sense, we're not going to be adding it just for the sake of it. The next version will have a few changes to the way AJAX is handled within IP.Board that should help performance a bit.

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I really liked the way you can fast edit your posts - if you could the adding in AJAX too it'll be cool.

Btw, how does the IP.Board stuff feels about user-moderated content? Like digg, reddit, etc. Can we expect something like this in the next, 3.x version? With the thresholding and everything...

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[quote name='dlh' date='Mar 21 2007, 06:39 PM']I really liked the way you can fast edit your posts - if you could the adding in AJAX too it'll be cool.

Btw, how does the IP.Board stuff feels about user-moderated content? Like digg, reddit, etc. Can we expect something like this in the next, 3.x version? With the thresholding and everything...

User Moderation is something that we have discussed off and on for quite some time. At this point it's not something high up on our road map, as we haven't come up with something that we feel truly makes sense for IP.Board. So it's on our radar, but as of right now not something that is planned.

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[quote name='StealthAgent87' date='Mar 21 2007, 04:53 PM']Very nice... yes I agree Ajax is a fun little toy, but you don't want to overhaul your software with it, then it becomes pointless and unnecessary.

I can totally agree. Not all my users use browsers that use AJAX so if a lot of things become AJAX I lot of mymembers will leave.

Thanks IPS for not over doing it with the AJAX.

Speaking about that can we keep AJAX out of the Admin CP. It's nice the way it is now but using AJAX there I will feel you guys are over doing it. This feature works great in the Member Search area though because the list over there was becoming kinda long with the number of fields that have been added over the years.

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[quote name='Josh' date='Mar 21 2007, 05:57 PM'][quote name='dlh' date='Mar 21 2007, 06:39 PM']I really liked the way you can fast edit your posts - if you could the adding in AJAX too it'll be cool.

Btw, how does the IP.Board stuff feels about user-moderated content? Like digg, reddit, etc. Can we expect something like this in the next, 3.x version? With the thresholding and everything...

User Moderation is something that we have discussed off and on for quite some time. At this point it's not something high up on our road map, as we haven't come up with something that we feel truly makes sense for IP.Board. So it's on our radar, but as of right now not something that is planned.


I would like to see this as an on/off feature but it is turned off by default.

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[quote name='BigTom3007' date='Mar 21 2007, 08:34 PM'][quote name='Josh' date='Mar 21 2007, 05:57 PM'][quote name='dlh' date='Mar 21 2007, 06:39 PM']I really liked the way you can fast edit your posts - if you could the adding in AJAX too it'll be cool.

Btw, how does the IP.Board stuff feels about user-moderated content? Like digg, reddit, etc. Can we expect something like this in the next, 3.x version? With the thresholding and everything...

User Moderation is something that we have discussed off and on for quite some time. At this point it's not something high up on our road map, as we haven't come up with something that we feel truly makes sense for IP.Board. So it's on our radar, but as of right now not something that is planned.


I would like to see this as an on/off feature but it is turned off by default.


In my personal opinion, any feature that is turned off by default is probably not something that should be in the default package. Now clearly there exceptions to that, but it always raises a giant red flag for me when talking about a feature being disabled by default, especially for a large feature that would require a significant time investment.

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Imho you should take this to two directions:
1. Update the rating system with just two options - vote up and vote down.
2. Give a facelift of the 'portal' page - now it's pretty much useless. If you give it the social site style, now this will be something that worths seeing. Ofcourse, then the user will need an option whether the default forum page should be the usual or the portal. And let's not forget the threshold.

But then again, that's just what I think.

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[quote name='dlh' date='Mar 22 2007, 09:45 AM']Imho you should take this to two directions:
1. Update the rating system with just two options - vote up and vote down.
2. Give a facelift of the 'portal' page - now it's pretty much useless. If you give it the social site style, now this will be something that worths seeing. Ofcourse, then the user will need an option whether the default forum page should be the usual or the portal. And let's not forget the threshold.

But then again, that's just what I think.

I definitely agree that the portal page is due for an update and in fact we've been throwing around a few ideas internally, nothing concrete to share yet though.

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