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IP.Board 3.0 Development Introduction

We are moving rapidly on IP.Board 3.0 development along with its related IP.Blog, IP.Gallery, and IP.Downloads updates. As we approach being able to post these updates for a preview and an eventual release we think we are getting close enough that we can start talking about some of the new features we have planned.

I will be purposely vague in this first blog entry about IP.Board 3.0's development and let our development staff get into detail in future blog entries. While not promising a set schedule, you can expect an update from a developer almost weekly going into detail about a specific change or new feature.

Our full new feature list is very long but here is a sampling for everyone. Our development team will go into detail about each one in the coming weeks and also introduce all the other additions not mentioned in this introduction.

Interface
There will be a great focus on usability and streamlining functions. The introduction of a new template engine which allows for multiple default template sets, easier skin editing, and a brand new default skin is something we are very excited about. Search engine friendly URLs will not only make your community more interesting to search engine spiders but allow for more human-friendly linking.

Control
The overhauled BB Code manager along with moving all default BB Codes to the system so you can edit them will allow forum administrators greater control over how their users interact with the community. We are implementing greater configuration options including being able to turn off features you do not use and finer controls on current features. Finer tuning your user signatures, turning specific options off, or even removing entire sections such as the calendar will allow you to gain finer control of how you want your community to be presented.

Features
There will be quite a few new features but, for now, we will save those for our upcoming blog posts to reveal what's new. A quick sampling: user reputation system, more permission configuration options, moderator enhancements, and ... lots more.

Integration
We want you to integrate your community with the rest of your web site with minimal effort. To make this easier for you, we will be putting great focus on creating a new hooks system for developers, more advanced APIs, content syndication, login methods, and more. Our applications (IP.Blog, IP.Gallery, and IP.Downloads) more tightly integrated with each other and with IP.Board itself.

Coding
There will be a lot of low-level code improvements which will make working with our codebase much easier for our community of developers. Everything we do will be with an eye toward resource usage improvements to make our software lighter on servers.

Server Requirements
To take advantage of many new capabilities, we will be officially dropping support for PHP 4.x series and requiring a minimum of PHP 5.x for our software. The software will work on the MySQL 4.x database series but we will highly suggest using the MySQL 5.x version.

Oracle Database
Due to slowing demand over the past few years, we have decided to discontinue supporting Oracle database system. We will continue to support MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server.

Subscriptions Manager
Again, due to slowing demand, we have decided to stop updating the subscriptions manager in IP.Board. We will be fixing all current known bugs to make the system compatible with IP.Board 3.0 so those currently using the subscriptions manager will still be able to upgrade. Anyone currently using the subscriptions manager will still be able to upgrade and everything will work normally for you. From there, we will be looking for community developers to keep it up to date. We will be posting a blog entry when ready to ask for assistance in keeping the subscriptions manager up to date. Anyone wishing to use our new IP.Nexus commerce system when it's available will be able to migrate as well.



Of course this is just the short version. Keep an eye on our blog for more detailed updates and new feature reveals in the coming weeks. And finally, when will it be released? Right now we are thinking the fourth quarter of 2008 (IP.Board, IP.Blog, IP.Gallery, and IP.Downloads will all receive a new version at the same time) but of course that's subject to change... it could very well be sooner...

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Just a comment in the skinning...I would suggest you to introduce two column forum listing...the current single forum listing looses on the monitor real estate. Atlast a reputation system and more moderator controls...this is really very exciting.

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I'm very interested to find out more about the search engine URL's you are developing. This is interesting but I have some concerns...

Will we have the option to keep the old style URL's?
Will the correct 301 redirect header be produced to convert old URL's that are well established in the search engines?
Will this be highly customisable in the ACP so that each board admin can set it up exactly how he wants it for his own installation... for example, keep existing old style URL's but make all future ones search engine friendly?

This is going to be a great feature but it needs some very careful consideration... you've got to get it right first time.

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I personally don't like the concept of a 2 column forum mentioned earlier in here.

Anyway this is pretty exciting news and I am looking forward to it. The only thing I am not looking forward to is having my custom components altered to work with it, unless they will still work. I kind of doubt it though since some methods used "in" the components will likely be totally different.

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Great news! I definitely hope that the more user control applies to things like exactly which fields are and are not required in a profile.
I am really looking forward to the built-in SEO as well.

As for the Subscription Manager, I'm somewhat alarmed as I was in the process of setting up the use of it on our site for the first time. However, it might be nice if the functionality of the Subscription Manager could be tied in easily with IP.Nexus. That way you could have a Customer category for both the site and the forums.

Any way, I look forward to the updates :)

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I'm glad to hear that development of 3.0 is progressing, but I'm very alarmed at the discontinuing of the subscriptions manager. My site is a company for me that generates a good bit of revenue from the subscriptions manager. I wouldn't mind it being discontinued if you offer a direct path for migrating over to IP.Nexus for this purpose, but if this isn't going to be the case then I fear that some customers, including me, are going to be in a bit of a conundrum.

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Subscription manager will be updated to work with IPB 3.0, but no new features will be added. Once it is updated to IPB 3.0 code, we are looking as having it taken over as a community project (as a component) such as the bug tracker, etc.

You will not be left out in the cold when 3.0 rolls around, it is just active development of new features and updating will be handed over to the community.

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That's a feature which most forum software developers didn't want to offer out of the box. GREAT FEATURE!


Should speed up things a lot. :)


It's about time putting some pressure on hosting companies. ;)


That's good news for big boards.

This sounds very good to me. Thanks for keeping us up to date. :)

Search engine friendly URLs

being able to turn off features you do not use

we will be officially dropping support for PHP 4.x series and requiring a minimum of PHP 5.x for our software

with an eye toward resource usage improvements to make our software lighter on servers

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Now THIS is good news!

I was alarmed about Subscriptions until I read the clarification. The Sub Manager actually shouldn't need much more updating, anyway. In 2.3.4 it's stable, and the existing Gateways work fine. With some minor editing (after some major head-scratching) I was able to create a Gateway for PayPal's "Sandbox" system that worked perfectly.

Only NOW, the Forum for which I was pushing an upgrade (they run 1.3.1 for god's sakes, lol) is saying "Let's wait until 3.0"..... ;)

RV

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I saw this when I was at school on my touch, pretty sick. Gives me a reason to renew my *cough* eight board licenses and components haha. Anyways looking good IPS.

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