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IP.Board 3.3 Dev Update: Miscellaneous Enhancements

With every release of our products, we like to spend some time identifying areas which can be improved slightly, and small feature suggestions we can use. 3.3 is no exception, and I wanted to write a quick blog entry to highlight just some of the smaller enhancements we've made to 3.3 to make the product more powerful and easy to use.



Login autosave

In 3.2, we introduced a login popup box when you click "Sign In" to make logging in faster. Previously, the content for this popup was loaded by AJAX which meant some browsers would not automatically fill in your username and password like they normally would.

In 3.3, we've changed the way this is loaded so that this is no longer the case. It still works exactly as it did before, except browsers will now be able to autofill your login details.





Emoticons in sigatures

Emoticons (smilies) are now supported in signatures.




Log in as member

Sometimes it is useful to log into your community as a member if they're experiencing issues, or to check you have set permissions up correctly.

Previously, you would have to change the user's password and then log in as them normally in order to do this.
In 3.3, we've added a button to the "edit member" page in the Admin CP which will log you straight into the community as that user, without you needing to know their password.

This is of course protected by Admin CP Restrictions, so you can choose which of your administrators have access to this function.





Duplicate forum

Sometimes you want to set up several similar forums. This can be a real hassle having to create every forum, and set the settings and permissions for that forum manually.

In 3.3, we've added an option in the drop-down menu in the forums management screen which allows you to "duplicate" a forum, so that you can easily create multiple forums with similar settings and permissions.





Remove ability to create status updates

Sometimes, you might want to remove a user's ability to post status updates. Previously, this could only be done in the Admin CP, however, in 3.3, we've added this option to the "edit member" screen on the front-end, so moderators can toggle this setting without having to log into the Admin CP.





Tasks as cron

IP.Board features a powerful task manager which is used to run certain tasks throughout the day to perform cleanup, send emails, etc. The task manager has always supported running tasks using cron for sites which would prefer to do so or perhaps do not receive enough activity for tasks to be triggered by users.

Previously, each task had to have its own cron job set up. In 3.3 however, you can create a single cron which will execute any tasks that need to be ran.



Delete guest posts

IP.Board has always had the ability to delete all posts by a certain member. However, if you allow guests to posts, there was no tool to delete all posts made by a particular guest. In 3.3, we've added this feature.





Rebuild reputation


When you delete a post, the user's post count does not go down as this is representative of how many posts the user has made. IP.Board however, does have a tool to rebuild post counts based on what's currently in the database to set the post count for each user to be the current number of posts on the community.

Reputation has a similar problem - when a user receives reputation, if the post which received reputation is deleted, their reputation does not go down - this is by design. Up until now however, there was no way to "rebuild" this like you can do with post counts.
In 3.3, we've added a tool to rebuild reputation based on what's currently in the database, just like the tool to rebuild post counts.







Upgrader custom script

This is a change which only applies to application developers. In 3.3, we've added support for two scripts which are executed before and after an upgrade, respectively. Developers can use this to verify the application is compatible with the IP.Board version, and to run any post-upgrade rebuilds that may be necessary.



Email tester

We've also added a tool in the "Support" section of the Admin CP which will send a test email so that you can verify your community is sending emails correctly.







Feel free to comment on this blog entry below or, if you have feedback unrelated to this blog entry, start a new topic in our feedback forum.

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These all look good, but I wouldn't call them all 'enhancements'. Some look like 'bug fixing' or fixing 'missing features'.

Eg:
We should be able to save login information like we could in past. Bug fix.
Rebuild Reputation not previously available. Missing feature.
Unable to Delete Guest Post. Bug fix.

etc.

Please look at enhacing the image uploading functionality.
1. Allow uses to upload images from their PC by clicking the Image bbCode.
2. Allow users to upload images from a URL and save it in their attachments (for later use, and also if the source site removes their content).
3. Embed thumbnails of images (uploaded via Attachments, or Image bbCode) so they display inside the Post-Edit windows (just like vBulletin).
4. Also be good if users could re-size images inside the Post-Edit window (like vBulletin) but not larger than the "max dimensions" we set in ACP.
5. Option for 'shared images' library which content creators can use when writing Articles and Blogs and Posts.

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Fantastic additions! Thanks for adding emoticons in sigs. I never could understand why that wasn't a feature since you could add images anyways. Love the login autosave. That definitely was needed. And the duplicate forums is a time saver. Wow! Lots of goodies here.

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The only issue I am having with Login as Member is that it attaches your IP to the account. If at some point you need to ban the user, smods/admins (with proper access) that don't know what you've done, can end up IP banning you from the AdminCP.

That, and there should be a log for this kind of activity to dissuade abuse.

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