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Matt
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IP.Blog 2.1.0 Wrap Up

As we near the release of IP.Blog 2.1.0 final, I wanted to run through some of the new features you can expect to see after upgrading. This is a very substantial upgrade that gives your blog a major facelift as well as drastically improving functionality.

User Interface
The user interface has had a complete facelift to bring it up to standard. The new look feels more 'bloggish' and enhances the experience. I've added drop down menus at the top so that you can quickly access common areas and start new entries where you have permission to. The post screen has been overhauled to add functionality. You should find the new version much easier to navigate and easier to use.

Group Blogs
This is a new feature that allows you, the admin, to set up a group-wide blog. This blog is a normal blog in every other way. For example, you could set up a blog for your staff and everyone in the staff group will instantly be able to start writing new blog entries and managing comments, etc.

Blog This!
This is a brand new feature that adds a "Blog This" button to every post. This allows you to use post content in your blog entry. Furthermore, the relationship is remembered and all linked blog entries appear at the bottom of the topic when viewed.

Per-Entry Rating
You can now rate each blog entry rather than just the entire blog itself. The blog rating is still shown on the homepage as an aggregate of all rated entries.

Report Item and Reputation
You can now report an entire blog entry, or just a single comment. You can now also give someone a reputation increase/decrease in comments.

List View
A common request was the return of a fully sortable and filterable list view for blogs that emulated a forum view. I have added this in. You'll notice you can click the table headers to sort on that column and click again to reverse the sort. There is also a "List Blogs" sidebar block to quickly filter and list the blogs.
There's even a little 'preview the latest entry' icon that shows the entry excerpt in a pop-up so you don't have to leave the page to preview it.

Dynamic Sidebar
I've moved some the footer links (Top 10 bloggers, etc) into a dynamic sidebar along with Recent Entries. This makes it easier to locate and saves a bit of space.

RSS Imports
Another long requested feature was to be able to create entries from an RSS feed. This is now a feature. You can control which member groups have access to this as well as limit the number of items imported on each cycle.

Banish Entries
You can now banish entries from the front page to remove any 'clutter' such as 'testing' blogs or other unsuitable content.

ACP Clean-up
I've gone through and cleaned up some of the Admin CP pages to make them a little easier to understand and navigate. I've added explanations to the 'Headers' / 'Dynamic Headers' pages so it's clear what they do.

Efficiency
I've removed several slow queries and introduced several more caching layers to substantially reduce SQL overhead when dealing with large numbers of blogs.

We hope you find the updates useful, and we look forward to your feedback to continue improving the product.

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I'm looking forward to installing this once it goes final. My main concern is the skinning work that will be involved. In addition to the stock IP.Board skin, I have seven other skins that will need updating. This includes the three Community Project skins (Classic Blue, IP.Board Pro, and IPS Beyond), CleanCut, two third-party skins, and my primary forum skin.

I just checked, and Classic Blue, IP.Board Pro and IPS Beyond are completely broken with this version of the blog. CleanCut is better (usable) but still needs work. Hopefully it will not take too long to see these skins updated.

..Al

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The "Group Blogs" feature sounds great!

A great addition to the "Blog This" feature would be the ability to choose between

i) leave comments in/below blog, or
ii) redirect all comments back to the original thread
----- if the blogged post is not the first post in a thread, then copy post to its own new thread

A bit of wishful thinking, I know. Some food for thought, I hope. :)

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Matt I would like to know how exactly recent entries work.

Top 10 Blogs
Top 10 Viewed Blogs
Top 10 Commented Blogs
Top 10 Bloggers.

Does it calculates Top 10 from certain amount of recent period? If yes what is the cut off date from the present date.

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Am also hoping cleancut gets upgraded with this release, as it does not look professional at the moment with it.

Shame that my question to IPS on the forum was totally ignored by IPS :(

Even just an acknowledgement would be nice.

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[quote name='ragtek' date='11 January 2010 - 06:21 PM']
how exactly will the group blog work?

can everybody have a group blog and add "authors" to it?

I haven't seen group blogs in 2.1 yet, but I think admin can set a whole user group to participate in one blog instead of assigning each single user how it works now.

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Group Blogs - as it sounds, you can create a blog that you can assign to entire member(s). Each member of that group (primary and secondary) will be able to add entries.

Ian - what was your question? I try and read everything but I do miss the odd topic or comment here and there.

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@Matt
At the moment in 2.0 it is neccessary that a member has to have the right "create hosted blog" to create an entry he is an editor of. Is this still required in 2.1 or will they be able to participate in a group blog without the ability to create their own blog? I think this would be very useful.

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Matt,

Thanks - trying to find out when cleancut will be upgraded - we run it as our main skin and cannot upgrade to the latest versions as cleancut has not been updated. Getting concerned.

For example here on the blogs it displays wrong and there is not 'blog this' button etc.

Appreciate these are beta versions of the apps - but cleancut has been in beta now for a long time......

Thanks.

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Can't wait for final release!
I love all that great ideas!

Further more we would like to have a list of latest comments on each blog outsite in the main page of all blogs list.

In that way all the members of the community can see where are the latest hot conversations.

This list will be in the right side in blog's main page.

The list should contain the username of the user that wrote the comment, the title of the blog where the comment was written and date & time that the comment was written.

For example:
"Username1" wrote a comment in "blog's name1" at 2.30am, 24-10-2009
"Username2" wrote a comment in "blog's name2" at 2.45am, 24-10-2009
"Username1" wrote a comment in "blog's name3" at 2.47am, 24-10-2009
"Username3" wrote a comment in "blog's name1" at 2.48am, 24-10-2009

as I also asked this in my blog

Thank you!

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Hello,

Thanks for this new feature and particularly for sql optimizations.

But I'm surprise with one major change : on each blog homepage, there is now two messages per row, with a snippet instead of the full message.
This is an unusual way to present information on a blog homepage.
I hope this is an option because non professional users won't understand you need ont more click to access to information, spécially with post containing only images that will be empty.

Thanks

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The RSS Import has a Bug.

If you import RSS with HTML Code in it (for example an image) for the first time everything works fine. If it does an automatic update and refreshed the new entries, this does not work. The HTML code is written directly to the Blog and not being translated.

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[quote name='EvieKounavie' date='13 January 2010 - 01:35 PM']
Can't wait for final release!
I love all that great ideas!

Further more we would like to have a list of latest comments on each blog outsite in the main page of all blogs list.

In that way all the members of the community can see where are the latest hot conversations.

This function is of utmost importance and I'm little bit worried it wasn't tackled until today :(

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