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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 ocPortal 9 will be superseded by Composr 10.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 4.2 RC1 released!

ocPortal 4.2 RC1 released! ocPortal version 4.2 RC1 is now released. ocPortal 4.2 is officially a 'minor' release, but in fact has a huge number of new features developed over the last 8 months or so.

The features

New features include:
  • Big cleanup of blogging/news features
  • Tidy-up of galleries
  • Posting-rate graph
  • True multi-language support - virtually all content (news posts, forum posts, CEDI pages, etc) can be translated.
  • More data-conversion choices - importing from CSV files, RSS and JPEG meta-data, and ocPortal's new XML format for synchronisation of data between sites
  • Google Sitemap generation
  • Twitter and Facebook syndication
  • A new weather block to show the current weather in a given location
  • Refreshed forum driver support (IPB3, vBulletin 3.8, SMF 2)
  • All the menu templates and CSS have been rewritten to be far easier to understand and modify
  • About 30 new config options, to allow greater flexibility
  • Shopping cart/Online store
  • Error messages are now much more thorough, providing solutions on how to resolve the errors
  • Performance improvements, particularly to reduce memory usage
  • Search-friendly URLs (URLs with keywords in, rather than ID numbers)
  • Reviews support (e.g. people can post reviews for a catalogue entry)
  • MkPortal import, and feature parity: Slide-shows and eCards from galleries, Top-sites support
  • New 'carousel' Comcode tag
  • Overhaul of the support ticket system, including SMS alert support
  • Encrypted custom profile fields (CPFs) and privacy settings
  • Flash and Java based uploaders
  • Further improved best practice compliance for web standards, and support for the semantic web ("Web 3.0") - Microformat support, Dublin Core support, and more
  • tonnes more (most of which is documented across various posts in our public staff chat forum)

About this release

Upgrading is not yet recommended for live sites, but new sites may wish to go with this release; it is still officially 'bleeding-edge' but this will change once it is no longer in Release Candidate status.

This website is now running RC1, and a lot of testing has been done in the last couple of releases - it's past all our code quality tools, and some manual testing. Also, the 4.2 code written since the last beta has been actively used on a number of client websites so is relatively tried and tested.

There is one small caveat in this release - the shopping cart stuff that was recently announced is not yet finished. I still need to review this code and there is some polishing off to do. It currently won't run as I disabled part of it for this release.
As the shopping cart is a relatively isolated part of the system the system should be able to stay stable (with fixes as problems are found) whilst this is finished. So this isn't strictly a true RC release because we wouldn't release it like this - but in terms of stability, it's not beta either.

Upgrading

To upgrade follow the steps in your website's http://mybaseurl/upgrader.php script. You will need to copy the URL of the attached TAR file as one of these steps ("3: Upload an upgrade TAR for extraction").
Please make sure you take a backup before uploading your new files!

alternatively (but not recommended), you can manually upload the files inside the attached TAR file over existing files (7-zip is just one of many tools for tar files). This is not recommended because it will bypass the upgraders addon-aware extraction algorithm and potentially cause problems.

Your upgrade to version 4.2 RC1

You can generate an upgrader from any version of ocPortal to any other version. If you access this upgrade post via the version information box on your Admin Zone front page then we'll automatically know what version you're running.
If you'd prefer though you can enter in your version number right here:

(usually blank)

(example above is for upgrading from 4.3.2 beta1)


Important

ocProducts cannot make any guarantees about the speed of which any new bugs might be patched, for this upgrade or any other upgrade. It is your own responsibility to make and test a full website backup (files and database) before you upgrade, for use in the unlikely event of you wanting to revert your upgrade. Some users may wish to test upgrades (and pre-fix any theme compatibility problems that could occur) on a staging site (a private mirror of their live site).
If you don't follow our advice by taking and testing a backup, and end up needing emergency repair help, ocProducts can help charged at our hourly rate.

For more details, see our upgrading tutorial.


We have posted a topic explaining the key issues upgrading a 4.1 site, or a 4.2 beta site. This URL will be updated if new upgrade problems are found.

Ack, sorry this released got so delayed!

For those who have been following development, this has been severely delayed. Lessons have been learnt here - in hindsight it was a mistake to try and use a single code repository both for developing new client releases, and preparing for an imminent release. The plan had been to keep clients on the main code path, to make it easier for them to upgrade - incorporating their new features directly into development, and choosing synchronised release points. It worked in the earlier stages of 4.2 development when we had fewer clients, but since then it became virtually impossible to manage as so many sites have had so many different and changing schedules and things got so busy, and we've had a number of different developers writing code. So, in the future client sites will be developed in their own forked versions of ocPortal, and then patches from these sites will be applied to create new ocPortal versions as and when is possible on a reasonable schedule; clients will then be able to be synchronised back onto the main development path at a later date.

The future

Our core team is having a group meeting in England for 1 1/2 weeks starting Monday. Whether this means we'll be around more or less during this period I'm not quite sure yet, but I wanted to mention this, and we hope to get a few more exciting things underway :).

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