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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 ocPortal 9 will be superseded by Composr 10.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 - more new features

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Posted
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#47474 (In Topic #10336)
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Here are a few new features you can expect from the next beta of ocPortal 4.2…

“Really smart” summary system

You can now make Tempcode intelligently truncate text. By intelligent, I mean it can preserve grammar, and make sensible decisions about where the best 'cut point' is for a piece of text. It'll try and preserve whole sentences and paragraphs.

This is an idea Allen's been excited about for about a year, and it's a really powerful tool for crafting sophisticated and unique themes.

As this feature is implemented for Tempcode it can be used just about everywhere. For example, imagine using a grammatically-sensible proportion of the first post in a forum topic as the meta description provided to search engines looking at that topic. It's not standard ocPortal behaviour, but now you can program it in with a couple of little bits of Tempcode.

You can also use the feature to save space:
  • often handy if you want to show a summary in a block, and the full text only when clicking a link
  • the 'TRUNCATE_LEFT' Tempcode symbol that implements “Really smart” summaries also supports tooltips

Out-of-the-box we're going to be using this for the news system. If someone doesn't enter a news summary it'll automatically create one by creating a “Really smart” summary from the full article. It will take a cut anywhere between about 400 and 560 characters to preserve sentences and paragraphs.

The semantic web

See our separate topic.

Small Comcode improvements

  • The 'quote' tag can now accept hyperlinks as sources, linking to them.
  • You can now nest 'code' tags (i.e. show a 'code' tag inside a 'code tag). You couldn't do this before.
  • A new naming scheme has been introduced to make it easier to tell which ocPortal templates can contain Comcode. This will be explained in the next version of the Code Book.

Other small improvements

  • Programmers can now use the 'real' data type for tables in their custom modules.
  • We've removed a couple of default Comcode pages that were only useful to a minority of sites advertising subscription content ('tease' and 'download_tease'). Anyone wanting these pages can easily add them back, as all they do is place a title then a block.
  • We've tidied up OCF member search a bit, to make the search fields more user-friendly.
  • Authors no longer need to be defined to be used. In other words, any author that is referenced in downloads or news articles will automatically get an author profile that links all those associates downloads/news-articles.


Last edit: by Allen


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  • 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.
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Posted
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#47991
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Even more new features!

  • A new tool for power-users to copy content between ocPortal websites, in XML format.
  • Error messages are now much more thorough, providing solutions on how to resolve the errors. This is powered by a web service that runs off of ocportal.com. This allows us to retroactively link solutions to error messages so that if we accidentally create a bug we will usually be able to provide instant advice.
  • The standalone tools (like the Installation Options editor) aren't so ugly any more.
  • On Firefox and IE the 'Page' button in the Comcode editor now allows you to visually select a page to link to.
  • A new 'Box' button has been added to the Comcode editor, so you can easily create standard boxes on your pages.
  • Instant Messenger-related Custom Profile Fields (E.g. MSN address) can now be clicked. Clicking them will send a signal to the IM program for the contact to be added as a friend (or if the IM software does not support that, to initiate a new message to them). This is implemented for: MSN, Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, Skype.
  • Some changes have been made to the guest/member bar shown at the top of OCF screens. It now adapts to maximum avatar sizes, has an advanced search link, and the guest bar is less bulky.
  • A new warning is given if you try and edit a Comcode page that is on a zone/page combination that is set up to redirect.
  • The results-browser links (the links that allow you to move between pages of a long topic/large category) now include a 'First' link, and have been re-ordered.

Beta 2 should be very soon now.


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.
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Posted
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#50407
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And yet more new features for when the next beta arrives!

Search-friendly URLs

Building on the SEO URL support already in ocPortal, 4.2 will be able to use keywords in URLs instead of numeric identifiers.
For example, instead of this topic having '10336' in the URL, it might have something like '42_more_new_features'.

This provides a bit more information for search engines to work with, and also provides a better experience for people reading the URLs before clicking them.

Search

We have made some significant improvements to the ocPortal search engine:
  • There's an auto-complete feature, so when you start typing keywords it can recommend successful past searches to users
  • Breadcrumbs are now displayed in search results
  • You can now sort by rating
  • "Advanced" searches on individual content types now often allow extra sort options (e.g. for downloads you can sort by file size)
  • If you do an "advanced" search on members you now get results in a table, instead of a lot of individual records
  • The main_search block is now far more configurable
  • The side_search block has been dropped as it is now redundant (because blocks in ocPortal 4.2 adapt, you can use main_search on a panel easily)

Also we have improved the results given on ocportal.com, by analysing common searches and adding extra meta data to our tutorials to guide those searches.

We have also improved the Admin Zone search
  • By analysing what people search our own site for, we've added dozens of new synonyms (e.g. search for "album" and find "galleries")
  • More kinds of resource can now be found in search results (e.g. blocks)
  • Search results now show breadcrumbs so you can better see the context of what is returned
  • Doing a search automatically will now yield a link to repeat the same search on ocportal.com (for searching documentation)

Reviews

You can now review resources, via an extension of the ocPortal comment topic functionality.
For example, catalogue entries can be reviewed - each review given a rating, and an overall rating average shown.

Carousel

A new Comcode tag has been added to allow scrolling through items. It's similar to the kind of thing you see on Amazon.com (where different books get recommended).

Support tickets and custom profile fields

You can now have encrypted custom profile fields (if the PHP OpenSSL extension is available). It's a strong public/private key encryption.

When viewed from OCF the support ticket forum is now much more attractive and usable. Now if you reply to a ticket from OCF it will send a proper notification e-mail out.

Support tickets can have SMS alerts sent to groups of staff (configured per ticket type).

Support tickets can be organised into a complex subforum structure automatically (OCF only, optional).

Automatically-calculated ticket reply 'lead times' (average response times) may be displayed when a support ticket is opened.

Support ticket RSS is much improved.

Users can be provided with an automatic search of the FAQ catalogue when submitting a ticket, before it will save (configured per ticket type).

The support ticket screen can be filtered by ticket type.


The final release of 4.2 still isn't yet set. We continue to be very busy with client work and it has been the case that new features have gone into 4.2 as we've done them for clients. 4.2 now has a very substantial set of new features for a minor release, but architecturally isn't a long way from 4.1, so still remains fairly stable. When we have a good chunk of free time we'll get 4.2-final out but it looks like this is at least a few weeks off. Rest assured all the team love working on ocPortal, so when we can get stuff done, we will :).

Meanwhile we have some other exciting things in the pipeline that we expect to announce/release soon :).


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.
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Posted
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#50427
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Community saint

Well I would have responded sooner but I had to go wipe the drool off of my chin. You guys amaze me more and more every day. Thanks for all you do...

Rick Henson

OCP 4.3.2 & 5.0.1
PHP 5.2.5
MySQL 5.0.51a
FireFox 3.6.8
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Posted
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#50428
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Community saint

Chris Graham said

Building on the SEO URL support already in ocPortal, 4.2 will be able to use keywords in URLs instead of numeric identifiers.
For example, instead of this topic having '10336' in the URL, it might have something like '42_more_new_features'.

I really LOVE that new features!

 :thumbs:
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Posted
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#52355
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Honoured member

lgdesign said

Chris Graham said

Building on the SEO URL support already in ocPortal, 4.2 will be able to use keywords in URLs instead of numeric identifiers.
For example, instead of this topic having '10336' in the URL, it might have something like '42_more_new_features'.

I really LOVE that new features!

 :thumbs:

I've got to second that!  As I make my trek through the OCP landscape, I find myself missing this particular feature that is such common place now in leading CMS applications.

Great news indeed.   People will need to take a sedative before they are introduces to OCP for the first time…. Unbelievable!
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