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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 ocPortal 9 will be superseded by Composr 10.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.


ocPortal 4 public beta testing

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Posted
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#39204 (In Topic #8788)
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After a month of testing, we're pleased to be able to release to you the first public beta of ocPortal 4.

Attachment
Beta 2, Quick installer
» Download: quick.zip (11 Mb, 278 downloads so far)


Attachment
Beta 2, Manual installer
» Download: manual.zip (12 Mb, 258 downloads so far)


Please bear in mind that because this is the first public beta, it is not yet widely tested. There could still be very major bugs and we can't guarantee any schedule for getting bugs fixed. For this reason we strongly recommend against using this beta on a live website.

Also please bear in mind that three four aspects of our development process have not yet been completed:
  • The new version 4 addon system
  • Updating of importers
  • Passing of our automated quality testing system
  • Documentation of new features and changes


Here's a reminder of what ocPortal 4 is all about…

ocPortal 4, the highlights

The thrust of the new version

Almost every screen in ocPortal redesigned for increased usability and attractiveness.

A new philosophy of feature minimalism to fight feature bloat and make ocPortal easier to learn and deploy.
  • Systems that have always been in the core of ocPortal, such as galleries, do not have to even be installed anymore if staff do not want them. (this is not entirely finalised, but will be in later betas)
  • The Setup Wizard allows more things to be turned off, right from the offset.
  • Other features that staff may not want can now also be disabled, removed from view to improve usability and strength of website design.

Even higher standards

ocPortal 4 premiers a ground-breaking new approach to preventing cross-site-scripting security vulnerabilities. If we make a mistake in our coding we will pick up on it right away, almost totally avoiding the accidental and until-now inevitable XSS vulnerabilities that plague web applications. Our new approach is so elegant, we could publish a scientific paper on it.

The entire code of ocPortal is now written to be 'type strict', a process helped along by a new development version of PHP written by ocProducts. What this tech-speak means to you, our users, is that the proportion of bugs that could slip past us will drop, meaning your future ocPortal experience will be more stable than ever.
Stability has also been improved via a number of other techniques (please note that the beta of course will not be fully stable - this is about the long-term stability of ocPortal websites).

We have cleaned up our terminology, our template file naming, and generally improved code quality and consistency throughout the software.

Web standards improvements:
  • We now provide support for real XHTML (this is not something many products actually have - which is a bit of a dirty little secret). In technical terms, ocPortal can now work through a strict XML DOM model. This prepares your website for the future when XHTML becomes more important
  • ocPortal now has a new more flexible and semantically accurate CSS layout, compared to version 4
  • Markup semantics have been improved. This means the search engines of the future will better understand your website
  • Full distinction between GET and POST forms. This means that you can now bookmark, and link to most result screens. It also means improved search engine access.
  • Better Javascript and Cookie-facility detection
  • A print stylesheet, to make your website print cleaner, using less ink
  • Automatic cleanup of invalid XML syndicated onto the web site from external sources (e.g. RSS), so that external sources cannot dirty your clean and high quality website

A lot of new features…

Menu improvements:
  • the ability to place images on menus
  • more control over the zone menu
  • ability to easily override and customise the zone, management and community menus

A powerful new filtering syntax that can be used with many different ocPortal features.

News improvements:
  • Better news archive
  • 'Ping' support, so you can inform blog search engines about new articles you write
  • Chicklets support ?
  • A new "on this day in the website's history" news block
  • News ticker

The word-filter now supports search and replace of swear words, in addition to the former 'blocking of submissions' approach.

OCF member accounts and usergroups improvements:
  • Email address verification can now be disabled
  • Auto-detection of timezones for new member's and guests
  • Member blog posts available directly on profile screens, bringing the blog and forum closer together
  • A powerful new punitive system, to replace the warning system
  • A feature to allow the staff to easily delete lurking members who never contribute
  • Secret usergroups
  • "Club usergroups" that come with a forum and are managed by ordinary members
  • Powerful member and usergroup searching, giving ocPortal social networking strengths
  • Friends lists on member profiles

OCF forum improvements:
  • The ability for member's to move public topics out to become personal topics
  • Group-shared personal topics
  • Easy quick creation of 'Happy birthday' topics
  • You can now "sink" topics, the opposite of pinning them
  • In-topic search
  • An enhanced "reply" screen for moderators, with support for scheduling (deferring) replies
  • Feature "hot topics" using the main_forum_topics block

Downloads improvements:
  • Import a filesystem directory of files into the downloads system
  • Statistics
  • Licenses
  • Anti-leech functionality

Trackback improvements:
  • Moderate trackbacks
  • Ban trackback spammers
  • An effective trackback spam prevention measure

The reason for IP address bans can now be recorded

Catalogue improvements:
  • New field types
  • A new tabular listings view
  • Emailed reports to the owner of entries, so they can see what hits they are getting
  • Time-limited entries (useful if using the catalogue system for classified directory advertising)

eCommerce improvements:
  • Support for SecPay and WorldPay as well as PayPal
  • Usergroup subscriptions may now be configured work for either primary or secondary usergroup subscription

A very powerful new way of filtering and constraining form submissions. Useful for adding per-group word-filters, re-capitalisation of sentences, adding strong field type restrictions to catalogues, and many other things.

Comcode improvements:
  • Rollover buttons
  • A new 'overlay' tag, for creating Comcode layers and popups
  • Integration with the banner system, for text-triggered overlay banners
  • A currency conversion tag
  • List entering syntaxes for numerical and alphabetical lists
  • Inline links now have automatic detection for their link titles
  • Syntax highlighting (requires GeSHi to be installed)

Banner improvements:
  • Full support for banner types, with configuration of the parameters that define a type and constrain the banners that may be included within it
  • Text banners
  • Flash banners
  • Banner permissions (for adult advertising, for example)
  • Unique-click assurance
  • A new specific permission for members to not have to see banners
  • A new block that can show banners from a single banner type together (for displaying a set of sponsor logos)

A new 'form to email' block that gives you the option to allow visitors to email you directly from your website.

A new collaborative task/message handling system, as an alternative to the support ticket system.

You can now recover form data if the web browser crashes.

Theme changes:
  • A new, more minimal and unassuming theme layout
  • Say good bye to the 'TOP' and 'BOTTOM' templates - these have now been merged with 'HEADER' and 'FOOTER'

Forum driver improvements:
  • phpBB 3 support
  • Basic Invision Board display name support
  • Much better control to tie ocPortal themes to forum skins
  • Comment counts now shown for entries presented in ocPortal categories
  • Automatic comment topic creation

PHP 6 and Unicode compatibility (in theory- PHP 6 is not out yet).

Installation improvements:
  • Detection and explanation of various server issues that would inevitably cause ocPortal to not work correctly.
  • Auto-creation of a .htaccess file, to give an optimal run-time environment

A new permissions log, so you can easily track down the cause of permission problems.

Optional spell checking functionality for all form submissions.

A new 'integration' module that can help to tie the interfaces of other web systems into ocPortal.

New features for those using ocPortal to develop websites for clients:
  • The ability to easily remove all ocPortal branding from an ocPortal website, including from the Admin Zone
  • A new simplified Admin Zone interface that automatically enables for those with reduced access

Search improvements:
  • A much better search interface
  • Logging and stats for search keywords, to help you optimise your website navigation
  • Users can search inside downloads, such as word documents
  • Highlighting of search terms within results

Auto-correction of mistyped page names.

Email improvements:
  • Better support for different HTML mail clients
  • Better support for text-mode webmail clients
  • Much smaller email transfer sizes
  • Improved algorithms to make email less likely to be seen as spam
  • Recipients now have the ability to reply without having to battle the email background colour

Version history for language files.

The date and time internationalisation support has been completely overhauled, and now the calendar can be internationalised.

A great deal more…


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
Rating:
#39307
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A huge thank you to everyone who's tested ocPortal 4 so far. Here is beta 3, which has fixes for all bugs identified so far…



Attachment
» Download: quick.zip (11 Mb, 282 downloads so far)




Attachment
» Download: manual.zip (12 Mb, 251 downloads so far)


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:
#39312
Avatar

Community saint

Hey Chris! Thanx mucho for Beta 3! From a testing point of view, at this point, would you prefer simply overwriting the files of Beta2, a fresh install, or both?

"no violence, no hate, no pain, no enemies
just peace, unity, tolerance and love" - The Beloved

OCP V7 | Advocating monetary reform - FreeOurMoney

Need OCP friendly hosting? Look no further:
Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, and Dedicated Servers w/cPanel - Elief! - Official hosting partner for ocPortal.
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Posted
Rating:
#39313
Avatar

I'd suggest a fresh install using the quick installer, because it'd be quicker than uploading all the new files manually.


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:
#39318
Avatar

Community saint

I will test it soon i am doing some upgrades for my IPB and some mods either do not work with the newest version or are no longer needed as they put them  in the newest system.

I am just about done and hope to do some  tests with this soon.

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.
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