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Beta-countdown: May 1st - Comments

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Beta-countdown: May 1st

Posted 01 May 2006, 2:14 PM

ocPortal has had 'downloads of the week' since the first version, but it has moved on a long way since then. After working with many clients we've come to the conclusion that similar features for other types of content (especially, catalogues) would be just as useful. Because it was so unfair that we supported downloads in this way but not things like catalogues, we've dropped the 'downloads of the week' functionally from ocPortal - consistency is so important after all, and we wouldn't want people saying we prefer downloads to catalogues.

I have previously mentioned how RSS has now become much more powerful. Perhaps you'd like a screenshot of the calendar with an RSS overlay?

:lol:. I hope you're still reading, because we wouldn't really just throw out good features for such silly reasons ;). Downloads of the weeks may have gone, but we've created something much better that absorbs all of what downloads of the week can do, yet provides the same kind of functionality for almost any kind of content. The new feature is named 'awards' and you may create awards for any of the following types of content:
  • authors
  • catalogues
  • catalogue categories
  • catalogue entries
  • comcode pages
  • downloads
  • download categories
  • calendar events
  • forums
  • galleries
  • usergroups
  • images
  • members
  • news
  • forum posts
  • quizes
  • CEDI (formerly, 'seedy') pages
  • CEDI posts
  • forum topics
  • videos
and then select entries for holding that award when you add/edit them. Each award may be placed using a block, such that it's content is summarised and linked in much the same way downloads of the week used to be. Each award has it's own archive, and members may be given points automatically if their entry is selected for an award.

So, why are are these awards so useful? Well, clients often come to us wanting to be able to feature different entries of the same thing on their front page. For example, a boating club might have a catalogue filled with different types of yacht, and want to be able to select a different one to show on their front page each week. This is very easy using awards, because you can just create a catalogue award, place the award block on the front page to refer to the award: once this is done, you can change the 'Boat of the week' just by editing a boat's catalogue entry.

Also, if you don't wish to make up awards, you can simply use the new 'main_content' block to directly place any content entry of a content type that supports awards. That block even supports filtered randomisation: so you could, for example, choose to display random downloads from a certain set of download categories.

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