HTML Logo by World Wide Web Consortium (www.w3.org). Click to learn more about our commitment to accessibility and standards.

Moving forward with Composr

ocPortal has been relaunched as Composr CMS, which is now in beta. ocPortal 9 will be superseded by Composr 10.

Head over to compo.sr for our new site, and to our migration roadmap. Existing ocPortal member accounts have been mirrored.


4.2: Status Update

Login / Search

 [ Join | More ]
 
Posted
Rating:
#52345 (In Topic #11416)
Avatar

We want to give everyone an update about our latest feature-packed release: ocPortal 4.2.

We know that version 4.2 has been a long time coming (it's been in development well over 6 months now!). The good news is that we have been busy with lots of client work (commercial projects), which in turn has provided new feature developments and usability improvements (made for these commercial projects), which are now a part of version 4.2.

In addition, we want 4.2 to be a good release that will last for a while. We want to see more activity in the community (that's you!), so we will emphasize the community and make it easier for everyone to develop their own addons and themes. With this in mind, we are making sure that 4.2 is a stable platform for you to develop on, so that your addons and themes will remain compatible for some time.

As we've said before, 4.2 has tonnes of exciting new features. In addition to what's already been announced (here and here), we're happy to add:

True multi-language support
We've re-introduced an old feature from ocPortal 2: the ability to have truly multi-lingual websites. This means virtually all content (news posts, forum posts, CEDI pages, etc) can be translated. We disabled this feature in v3 for performance/usability reasons, but it's back now in a much slicker and stable way.

More data-conversion choices
You can now import data to ocPortal from standard formats everyday software can use. This includes:
  • Import catalogue data with CSV files
  • Import/export members/newsletter lists with CSV files
  • Import news from RSS
  • Read JPEG meta data when bulk-uploading images

Google Sitemap generation
Automatically maintains an XML-sitemap of all publicly-accessible areas of your website, and makes this available to Google and other search engines.

Newsletter 'drip' sending
Because some hosts have limits on how many e-mails can be sent at once, you can now dispatch newsletters over a period of time if CRON is enabled.


Other improvements
  • Twitter syndication
  • Accidental double-clicks on form submissions are now suppressed
  • A new override system makes it easier to extend JAVASCRIPT.tpl
  • The download and catalogue systems can now have single-page tree indexes. See a full overview of what's in there, like a company telephone index or reference printout.
  • A new weather block to show the current weather in a given location
  • CSS uses less inline styles
  • Base URL changes are detected automatically now. No more forgetting to clear caches after moving servers.
  • If you forget to add a page title or are using [b]s instead of level 2 titles (which is bad for a number of reasons: seo, accessibility, breadcrumbs need them), ocPortal will remind you when you save the page.
  • The "Add New Page Wizard" shows proper menu titles instead of codenames (we are gradually moving away from requiring administrators to know codenames in such cases)
  • The zone editor is easier to use: when hovering over a panel it widens.
  • The template tree is now more accessible (people seem to miss it!). It is now mentioned in the "edit template" page and always accessible via a footer icon.
  • Easily move menu items between nodes and menus


Minor improvements:
  • Forum search dropdowns are now ordered more intelligently
  • ocPortal.com news posts now shown in your Adminzone
  • The "Competing field" form UI mechanism is now a lot more clear
  • You can update the forum rules without forcing your members to re-accept (great for minor changes)
  • The menu editor is a little faster to work wit: double-click text fields to jump to the corresponding fields.
  • Extraneous images no longer appear in Comcode page breadcrumbs (it was a common problem that people would put images in titles and it'd cause layout issues)
  • Search results in the forum now show post author, date, and topic titles
  • RSS blocks now don't cache error pages if there is a connection problem. Visitors will always see the latest cache without errors.

Look for a new beta to be released in the coming weeks. :thumbs:

Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#52348
Avatar

Honoured member

YES! I salivate with expectation!

Wow, you wanna talk about timing. It seems that I'm at the right place at the right time here.

Absolutely fantastic. Reading the 2 other posts mentioned here.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#52349
Avatar

Community saint

It all sounds very good.
Can not wait until it comes out.

I wonder if I should wait to start making new themes although I guess I should just making them as I have time and not wait.

I run http://otakuplayground.com and am hopping to make themes and other things for ocportal even though I no longer use it for otakuplayground.com I still love it and feel it could go far with the right help. It needs themes and needs people to advertise for it.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#52351
Avatar

Honoured member

I've almost completed one for 4.1 already.  I don't mind reworking it for 4.2   It was a good intro into OCP and time well spent.

It can only get better.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#52353
Avatar

Community saint

I have all the themes that were on oc4themes available in one zip in a topic where some one asked about them.
I will be rewriting all of them. Well all the ones that I made the ones some one else made I will let them do it.

I run http://otakuplayground.com and am hopping to make themes and other things for ocportal even though I no longer use it for otakuplayground.com I still love it and feel it could go far with the right help. It needs themes and needs people to advertise for it.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#52362
Avatar

Community saint

I know for other CMS', updating themes to match the current software isn't too complicated unless there is a really big change to the coding.

Eric DeMars . com
My electronic portfolio and personal site. Uses ocPortal!
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#52404
Avatar

Community saint

Wow, thanks for the update Allen, it all sounds great. Can't wait to get my hands on it. I only hope that the site that Chris built for me for the cat sanctuary doesn't break when upgraded. Anyway, thanks to all of you for your hard work.

Rick Henson

OCP 4.3.2 & 5.0.1
PHP 5.2.5
MySQL 5.0.51a
FireFox 3.6.8
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#52407
Avatar

Honoured member

Allen, is all this functionality available in the current 4.2 bleeding edge release?

If not, does OCP make SVN hemorrhaging edge builds available?

Thx.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#52421
Avatar

Hi,

No, the "bleeding edge" release on our download page is an older beta and doesn't have these features yet. Nor is there a public SVN tree.

Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#52442
Avatar

Honoured member

Thx Allen.

Wait it is then.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#53081
Avatar

A few more features for you all…

  • IPB3 support (note we don't support FaceBook connect/OpenLDAP, just standard members)
  • vBulletin 3.8 tested and confirmed to work
  • SMF 2 support
  • All the menu templates and CSS have been rewritten to be far easier to understand and modify
  • You can now choose to disable the banner size restrictions, and banners will be resized via HTML instead
  • You can now have Comcode 'img' tags that link to webcam feeds - you can add a new parameter so they auto-refresh themselves on a regular cycle
  • A new screen has been added where you can see all the current holders of awards
  • You can now ask ocPortal to automatically extract files from a ZIP/TAR attachment, showing the extracted files as attachments (very handy for bulk uploads of images in posts!)
  • Also various other little improvements that aren't interesting enough to mention, but make things that little bit nicer in various areas

We might just have something bigger to announce next week too :).

I really want us to release 4.2 RC1 next week, so I'm working to try and make that happen. The situation so far has been we're trying to find the ideal time to release, in terms of our time getting everything through our quality control, fitting in features we're doing for clients that we want to include, being able to do a development freeze on the codebase without impacting our developers, and avoiding spending a lot of time having to maintain fixes across two development branches. It's tricky-business but it shouldn't be long now.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, we've added a tonne of new config options…
  • Enable post titles
  • Enable anonymous posts
  • Enable Guest time-zone detection
  • Enable topic descriptions
  • Enable topic emoticons
  • Force guests to preview submissions
  • Allow members to choose enforced previews
  • Make the whisper feature prominent
  • Enable logging-in as invisible
  • Alphabetical member directory browsing
  • Allow members to opt-out of emails
  • Explain the possibility of exceeded data limits
  • Automatic keyword extraction
  • Enable emoticon choosers
  • Extended Admin Zone breadcrumbs
  • Force memory conservation
  • Allow tree structures of Comcode pages
  • Provide CMS/Admin Zone icons after actions
  • LDAP login domain
  • Show banners to admins
  • Enable access-restricted private chat-rooms
  • Create download galleries under
  • Choices for the number of entries per page
  • Take latest thumbnails as rep-images
  • Advertise member's personal gallery totals
  • Maximum member title length
Most of these allow you to easily change things that used to be hard-coded.


Last edit: by Chris Graham


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#53082
Avatar

Honoured member

Thx for the update Chris! Looking forward to working with the new version.

I guess none of your commercial clients have requested better galleries support.  I'm curious…

Would it be inappropriate to request a page with links to commercial projects by ocPortal?  so we can see the "potential" of the platform?
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#53084
Avatar

Community saint

Wow, that is an awesome list of features. When you add what had been announced before and add what you just gave us I think this will be one of the biggest updates to date. Can't wait to install it to test it out.

Chris, not sure if you remember the work that you did for me on the Cat Sanctuary site or not but if you do, do you think that upgrading that site to this will break any of the awesome work that you did for me?

For those that don't know, the guys at ocProducts do some phenomenal custom work. If you need something that is not part of the built in functionality just submit a ticket at ocPortal.com - Experts by the hour and they can make just about anything possible at a fairly reasonable rate. I have worked with Chris on a project and I have to say that it was a very pleasant experience. I highly recommend these guys, you won't be disappointed.

Rick Henson

OCP 4.3.2 & 5.0.1
PHP 5.2.5
MySQL 5.0.51a
FireFox 3.6.8
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#53086
Avatar

I guess none of your commercial clients have requested better galleries support.  I'm curious…

Well, not recently, but kind of - 4.2 does have gallery improvements, but it's more of a tidy up than adding lots more dynamism.

Would it be inappropriate to request a page with links to commercial projects by ocPortal?  so we can see the "potential" of the platform?[

It's up there, under Hire ocProducts.

Chris, not sure if you remember the work that you did for me on the Cat Sanctuary site or not but if you do, do you think that upgrading that site to this will break any of the awesome work that you did for me?

I don't think there are any compatibility issues particularly with catalogues. Please post in the support ticket if something breaks.


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#53087
Avatar

Honoured member



Right,

Hire ocProducts… I've seen those…  was hoping there was something else.

Ok, thx

Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#53088
Avatar

I think I'll talk about galleries a bit more, or very generally about how we determine plans. Actually this rather long post (it's ballooned when I was writing it ;)) has turned out to be very little about galleries, and much more general.

There isn't a strict rule that we only do things if it's for a client site – in fact, maybe 35% of what is in 4.2 we just did as we wanted it in there. With updating the look of galleries, it would be a major CSS and template change, and this is something we try very hard to minimise across "minor" new versions (which technically this is), so it's not something we can really look at until we would be looking at v5 (which isn't confirmed/announced – I can't say anything about that at the moment). We've learned with the delay of 4.2, that in the future we should develop new client features separately, and then integrate them back into new releases in a more controlled way – this reduces the chance of delays and minimises compatibility issues across minor versions.

As you can see above we did rewrite the menu CSS and templates, which is a bigger change than I'm usually comfortable doing, but also I realised was very important, as even I was struggling to understand the old menu code when doing themes for clients so no doubt others would more – and menu changes are involved with just about any major retheming project, so it was a roadblock that affected just about any serious ocPortal project. That's a pretty good example of how we plan changes we do outside client work, and how we will sometimes overrule our normal rules of maintaining compatibility – it's like a cost/risk/benefit process we go through. We're constantly listening, evaluating and re-evaluating things as a team, and there's like an equation we use to make decisions (well, it's more gut of doing what we feel is most critical and what we can get away with slipping into a release – but it could be an equation). It's fair to say gallery improvements are a part of our plans, but also have too high risk and cost factors to put into a 4.2 release.

What we try to stress is for people to not rely on us for their plans, unless they're paying us directly to do something. We release new versions of ocPortal, try and make sure the base is strong, maintain it, document it, support the community, etc – but we don't want people waiting on us to release free new features, and we rarely announce them until they're done. That's because our resources are limited (money comes only from direct work we do for people – not something scalable like product sales), and we want to discourage people putting too much pressure on ourselves. We stress that ocPortal is extendable without us, it's all very modular, anybody with the right skills can extend it in a tidy way, or anyone with a budget can pay somebody (us or anybody) to do the same. What we really want to see is more people making/releasing addons, like as seen in other Open Source communities – that's much healthier for everybody. Everybody here wants something slightly different – wants some part of the system to be tuned in a different way, or to excel in certain use cases, or compare to a different base line – and we could spend millions of dollars trying to meet 100% of what everybody wants and never do it. It's interesting listening to feedback – all users of (any) software subconsciously think they define the strengths of the project in the same way as every user does, but in reality people's perspectives vary quite wildly.

Here's an analogy I just 'cooked up'…
The full process of developing an ocPortal site is probably not a free lunch, we organise a picnic and maybe we supply the first course, but we don't want people to wait for us to come along with their choice of pudding too ;).

So, to clarify – galleries are in our plans (actually 169 things are at the moment), but not something we have anything to announce about for now, so addons are the best way to go if current behaviour isn't sufficient for a particular project.

Hopefully this all seems reasonable to people, I just thought it was a good opportunity to explain our vision for how things should work in the community.


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#53091
Avatar

Community saint

Chris Graham said


Here's an analogy I just 'cooked up'…
The full process of developing an ocPortal site is probably not a free lunch, we organise a picnic and maybe we supply the first course, but we don't want people to wait for us to come along with their choice of pudding too ;).


Love the analogy!  :lol:

Eric DeMars . com
My electronic portfolio and personal site. Uses ocPortal!
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#53092
Avatar

Community saint

I remember trying to figure out the menu for a them I was trying to make and just eventually gave up.  I did try deleting all css and putting each one back in to try and figure it out but still did not get it working. So thank you very much for making that change.

I run http://otakuplayground.com and am hopping to make themes and other things for ocportal even though I no longer use it for otakuplayground.com I still love it and feel it could go far with the right help. It needs themes and needs people to advertise for it.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#53115
Avatar

Community saint

ocPortal_Noob said

rick said

Wow, that is an awesome list of features. When you add what had been announced before and add what you just gave us I think this will be one of the biggest updates to date. Can't wait to install it to test it out.

Chris, not sure if you remember the work that you did for me on the Cat Sanctuary site or not but if you do, do you think that upgrading that site to this will break any of the awesome work that you did for me?

For those that don't know, the guys at ocProducts do some phenomenal custom work. If you need something that is not part of the built in functionality just submit a ticket at ocPortal.com - Experts by the hour and they can make just about anything possible at a fairly reasonable rate. I have worked with Chris on a project and I have to say that it was a very pleasant experience. I highly recommend these guys, you won't be disappointed.

[ From “4.2: Status Update” ]

Would you mind sharing the url to your cat sanctuary site and possibly pointing out the custom work?

[ From “4.2: Status Update” ]

ocPortal_Noob,

I know that you whispered your request to me but I thought that I would share my response to everyone to show what Chris did for me and to show what is possible with OCP.

What Chris did for me was to completely redo the Catalog system for me. If you are familiar with the Catalog system you will know that it is very powerful and very flexible but does not always look as nice as you might want it to. I asked HERE if anyone knew of a way to make it look different but was told by most that it was basically set and could not be changed the way that I wanted. If you look at SoccerDads response you will see what I would have had using what was available to me at the time. It's ok but not nearly as nice as what Chris did for me. Well I finally decided to spend the money and donate the finished product to the Sanctuary and submitted a work order to Chris. As stated above I am extremely satisfied with his help and would recommend ocProducts to anyone without reservation.

Now on to the site, let me first say that I am not done with the site yet and there is a lot more to do for my client so it is not available by domain access. It is currently only available by direct IP access to my server. To get to the site Click Here. From there click on the Adoption link either on the side or top link, then click on one of the categories.

It is here that all of the Magic that Chris did starts. Everything that you see is entered and dealt with from within the Catalogs. I enter a thumbnail picture in the entry as well as all of the data and it then displays all of the Cats in Alphabetical order showing their picture and names in Pink or Blue based on the sex that I selected in the Catalog entry. You will also notice some brief info by mousing over any of the pictures, this info is also taken from one of the Catalog entries. If you click on any of the Pictures it will take you to their entry which you will see is formatted much different than the default Catalog Template. I can also enter up to 10 pictures for each entry, if you would like to see what that looks like you can see Sammy's entry by clicking HERE. If you would like more info please let me know.

What I would like to suggest to Chris is that at some point if it is possible to create a WYSIWYG template editor for the Catalog system. My idea would be to create a catalog in the normal fashion imputing all of the fields that you require. Then click on an "Edit Template" button that would bring up a WYSIWYG editor showing all of the fields and where they would show up on the screen. Then you would click and drag the fields where you want them. You would also be able to create boxes and tables to put those fields into as well. I am sure this would be an extremely difficult thing to implement but if it was ever done would make the Catalog system the most powerful feature of any CMS available on the market.

Rick Henson

OCP 4.3.2 & 5.0.1
PHP 5.2.5
MySQL 5.0.51a
FireFox 3.6.8
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#53119
Avatar

I think Truffles is absolutely adorable ;)

Back to the top
 
There are too many online users to list.
Control functions:

Quick reply   Expand