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This topic was locked 20th Dec 09 at 6:47am by ashkir
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Version 2 : Features List (3rd Jun 09 at 11:03pm UTC)
Announcing exactly what will be in our upcoming upgrade
I've been holding off openly referring to our latest set of upgrades as a version 2. But looking at the list of new features, as well as the numerous changes which have been made to the backend database system, I don't think it can be argued that vForums has reached a new level. So here it is, the list of new functionality which is being introduced.

WYSIWYG Posting Interface
The What You See Is What You Get interface allows users to see what their post will look like as they type it, this includes different font styles, font colours,  images, alignment, links and lists. There are more details on this in the topic New Posting System

Integrated Image Uploader
To save the hassle of having to go to a 3rd party website in order to upload an image, we have integrated an uploader into the WYSIWYG interface. There is no limit of the number of uploads per-forum at this time but we do limit the maximum file size to 500Kb

Integrated Spell Checker
Because nobody (except maybe Jason) is a perfect speller, we have integrated a spell checker which will look for mistakes in your subject, description and message and offers correct spellings. The spell checker uses both British and US dictionaries as well as a few exceptions I have added for common forum terms. This all takes place at the click of a button.

Draft / Message Recovery
I'm sure most people have experienced that pain when you've written a long message, but before you can post it your browser crashes, your machine dies or your Internet connection disappears. To combat all of those worries we have implemented a system which will save a draft of your message up to every 60 seconds. This is an intelligent system which will only save a draft when changes have been made to your message so you need not worry about leaving your browser open and it eating up all your bandwidth. The system runs in the background and uses AJAX methods to save any changes, so you don't get interrupted while typing. The draft will remain saved within the database until you start typing a new message which overwrites it - each user account can only have one saved message at a time.

Forum Statistics
We will be giving every forum an overview of their usage. This can be great to see how well your site is growing. Full details can be found on our blog: Site Stats

Split Topic
Some may feel this feature is a little over due since we have had a "Merge Topic" feature for a while. But this completes the set, allowing you to split a topic into two portions. As with all moderation features, you can control which member groups have access to it.

Board Notification
Rather than opting to receive notifications on a per-topic basis, you can receive notifications for an entire board. This notifies you if a reply is posted (you would only get one notification until you next login) or a new topic is started. Just like topic notification, you can opt to receive these as private messages or e-mails.

E-Mail Template / Structure
We have made a number of improvements to our method of sending e-mails so that they all look professional and are completely function for the end user. Full details, along with an example, have been hosted on our blog: New Look for E-Mail

JavaScript Date Control
This removes the hassle for users of having to set their forum time and then having to update it for DST. By having the dates controlled by JavaScript, we can make full use of the visitors clock on their PC. This also means that any guests viewing your forum will get the times displayed in their local timezone too. Full details have been posted on our blog at Javascript Based Dates

Restructure of the Admin Panel. Including:
Ad Settings
The settings for how the ads look and function have been moved to the "Forum Settings" page to make them easier to find.

Skin Colours / Images
Many settings have been moved out of "Forum Settings" and into the "Customize Skin Colours & Settings" page. This means that you can specify settings such as separating categories or displaying the "Forum Name" bar on a per-skin basis.
There are also two new fields within this Colours & Settings page which can be used to either add your own CSS directly to the <style> tag in the head of your forum or to specify an external CSS file to load. As these are outputted before any content gets written to the page, you can change or hide the welcome table (for example) before the user sees it.
Custom smilies are still added in the same way. However, once added they'll show up on the "Customize Skin Images" page which enables you to specify custom smiley images for some or all skins.

Templates
The templating system has come under fire in the past where they layout possibly hadn't been the easiest to follow or use. We've taken that feedback on board and have restructured that section of the admin panel to address the issues. Everything is now on one portal page but split into 4 sections: Create Template, Modify Template, Delete Template and Assign Template Priorities.
We have also rewritten the front end system for these templates so that you have advanced options on their layout and have access to more information for each.

Forum Permissions
The forum permissions system for categories has been changed to use the same structure as that for boards. What this means is that there is now a tick box to give / remove access to guests, the same as there is for boards. This should help reduce confusion and give you greater control over how your forum functions.

Member Ranks
The procedure of creating and deleting member ranks has been rewritten to be (hopefully) bug free and much more user friendly when it comes to assigning access permissions for new ranks.

Fix Board Totals
There is now the option to fix multiple, or even all, boards at the same time.
 
Sitemap
To help forums get crawled and indexed by search engines, our software will dynamically produce sitemap.xml files for every forum. This file lists up to 350 URLs which are visible to guests (and therefore search engines). This includes any board pages and topics along with the last updated times for each.



We're eager to move forwards with these upgrades and make vForums a leading provider in hosted message board systems.
I've got lots of ideas on how we can do this, but lets get one thing done at a time. Just watch this space {Grin}

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Re: Version 2 : Features List (3rd Jun 09 at 11:20pm UTC)
Very nice work Ross! {Smile}  

I love the idea of some of the admin changes, with the Javascript dates, does that mean that we'll be able to use the JS functionality for this within our own codes etc..? Furthermore, is there any thoughts on perhaps letting us load Javascript in the  header along with the  CSS?
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Re: Version 2 : Features List (3rd Jun 09 at 11:25pm UTC)
Loving the features!

Something that I hope that will be improved is the design of the admin panel but other than that, I know that v2 will pwn.
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Re: Version 2 : Features List (3rd Jun 09 at 11:41pm UTC)
Thanks:)

 
Very nice work Ro:) 

I love the idea of some of the admin changes, with the Javascript dates, does that mean that we'll be able to use the JS functionality for this within our own codes etc..? Furthermore, is there any thoughts on perhaps letting us load Javascript in the  header along with the  CSS?





Yes, you can alter a date format with a single line (or two) in the header. It's as simple as:

dateFormat.masks['message_post_time'] = "'Posted On:' ddd ddS mmm yyyy 'at' HH:MM";
dateFormat.masks['message_post_time_today'] = "'Posted On: <b>'W'</b>' 'at' HH:MMtt";

Which would add "Posted On" before the date above this post. But I could just as easily use it to change the layout of the date.


 
Loving the features!

Something that I hope that will be improved is the design of the admin panel but other than that, I know that v2 will pwn.




As a first step towards this, several sections have been altered. The template controls now have just one central page. The skin settings have been merged with the skin colours and the ad settings have been moved into forum settings. If you have any other suggestions on how things could be more organised (better groupings, reordering, merging pages etc.) then I'd love to hear them.

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Re: Version 2 : Features List (4th Jun 09 at 12:09am UTC)
Sounds great, but here is the question, will any of these updates force further advancement of the API? Like new features having to be added to the APi was well, or anything of that nature? {Smile}
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Re: Version 2 : Features List (4th Jun 09 at 12:15am UTC)
Posted By dog199200 on 4th Jun 09 at 12:09am
 
Sounds great, but here is the question, will any of these updates force further advancement of the API? Like new features having to be added to the APi was well, or anything of that nature?:)

Work will be done to the API after these features are released service wide. There are already a few extra API features but they need the documentation still. I will definitely be making an effort to write these up once these main forum features are fully live. I feel the API is a great, unique, feature; it just needs the right examples and documentation.

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Re: Version 2 : Features List (4th Jun 09 at 12:53am UTC)
I can't wait until V2 Comes out!! {Grin} It looks like it's going to be awesome! {Grin} Ive been wanting a split topic for awhile since I have seen it on other forum services! {Grin}

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Re: Version 2 : Features List (4th Jun 09 at 3:21am UTC)
Awesome features Ross .

I for one believe vForums is a  leading provider in hosted message board systems. {Grin}

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Re: Version 2 : Features List (4th Jun 09 at 8:38pm UTC)
Great stuff Rossey! :)
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Re: Version 2 : Features List (6th Jun 09 at 1:43am UTC)
Very Nice I can't wait until v2 is released.

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Re: Version 2 : Features List (6th Jun 09 at 10:49am UTC)
so is there an approximate release date?
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Re: Version 2 : Features List (6th Jun 09 at 11:09am UTC)
Posted By dog199200 on 6th Jun 09 at 10:49am
 
so is there an approximate release date?


I'd rather wait and see how the first few upgrades go. I'm hoping to start these next week, provided nothing urgent comes up {Smile}

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Re: Version 2 : Features List (10th Jun 09 at 5:59am UTC)
Can there be a setting to disable the WYSIWYG editor? I for one dislike them tremendously. I wouldn't mind some of the other features (spelling, draft, etc.) but I hate WYSIWYG since I'm a coder and prefer manually typing for bold and italics and such.
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Re: Version 2 : Features List (10th Jun 09 at 7:59am UTC)
 
Can there be a setting to disable the WYSIWYG editor? I for one dislike them tremendously. I wouldn't mind some of the other features (spelling, draft, etc.) but I hate WYSIWYG since I'm a coder and prefer manually typing for bold and italics and such.


No there isn't, but you can still add in [b]This[/b] still, and it will work the same way.

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Re: Version 2 : Features List (10th Jun 09 at 5:28pm UTC)
I'm aware doing it manually still works. {Tongue Out} I'd just prefer to disable it entirely in that case.
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