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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 ocPortal 9 will be superseded by Composr 10.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 for our new site, and to our migration roadmap. Existing ocPortal member accounts have been mirrored.

ocPortal 6 beta1 released!

ocPortal 6 beta1 released! Version 6 beta1 has now been released. This version is a major release that improves ocPortal's usability in a number of areas. Upgrading is not recommended for live sites.

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 (created via the form below) during step 3.
Please make sure you take a backup before uploading your new files!

Your upgrade to version 6 beta1

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)

Good news everybody!

Testers of v5.1 beta 1 may have been wondering why there's been a 3 month gap since our most stable beta ever, and we haven't made a new release since then.

The reason: since then we've been pushing ourselves really hard to go a lot further than originally planned, to make another groundbreaking new ocPortal release.

So, instead of v5.1 beta 2 we now have v6 beta 1 for you.

Version 6 is another big step forward for ocPortal, and we'll show you why below. However like our previous big releases in recent years we've been able to do it (with some discipline) without creating any major disruptions, so the upgrade should be relatively easy. But this is a beta version and there have been thousands of changes under the surface, so we don't recommend anybody update any live sites at this point. We expect another beta will follow when any possible teething problems with upgrades have been fixed.

Since v5.1 beta 1 we have made the following improvements…

  • Install profiles built into the Setup Wizard now allow you to set up a new site really easily. Choose from: blog, community site, info site, portfolio and shopping site. We've gone to significant efforts to tune each profile, particularly the blog profile, to make it work really cleanly for what it is designed for.
  • Many former 'core' addons are no longer core, meaning you can strip back and simplify your ocPortal site more than ever (don't worry though, they are still bundled and there by default, nothing is removed). Simplifying ocPortal for new users and small sites is a critical part of our strategy to increase ocPortal adoption.
    • Easily remove the whole collaboration zone (long overdue): collaboration_zone.
    • Disable RSS if you don't want to offer it: syndication.
    • Simplify site design by removing the zone logos feature: zone_logos.
    • Simplify things on open community sites by removing validation from the website completely: unvalidated.
    • Cut back the member system to avoid overwhelming members with unneeded functionality: ocf_clubs, ocf_cpfs, ocf_member_avatars, ocf_member_photos, ocf_member_titles, ocf_signatures.
    • Cut back the forum system with power features most sites don't need: ocf_multi_moderations, ocf_post_templates, ocf_reported_posts, ocf_warnings.
    • Remove admin features (for a simpler Admin Zone): awards, custom_comcode, debrand, match_key_permissions, msn, redirects_editor, xml_fields.
    • Remove further admin features: actionlog, errorlog, page_management, securitylogging, setupwizard.
    • Remove further site features: captcha, facebook, guestbook, help_page, jwplayer, search.
  • A new 'Add Comcode Tag' button has been placed on forms, which allows you to fill in a simple form to add any Comcode tag rather than typing it by-hand. This brings into the open a lot of very rich functionality that existed in ocPortal that many users won't have realised was there (for example, carousels, or tab navigations).
  • Usergroup subscription upgrade paths are now shown on the login block, so you don't need to worry about how you are going to advertise your upgrade options anymore.
  • When you add a catalogue it now asks if you'd like it added to your menus. When you install all default catalogues are now given direct menu links, rather than going through a catalogue index.
  • A fixed-width option for themes is now built in.
  • There is a new Google analytics option, to make it really easy to add Google analytics to a site.
  • There are new options to turn on/off tags and social media links (so template edits are not needed).
  • The Admin Zone menus have been rearranged (in particular member functions now rearranged into a single 'Members' menu option).

Helping users:
  • A new chat room has been integrated allowing ocPortal webmasters to easily support each other from inside their own websites. This chat room is also now linked from our own site, replacing the old Jabber room. Our hope is that inexperienced users will be able to help each other in realising their ambitions, rather than giving up in some cases. We try to stress that people often try to solve a diverse set of difficult challenges using ocPortal and that ocP makes it easier than in any other software, but still inherently requires quite a lot of knowledge, so we aim here to help that knowledge spread better.
  • It is now very easy to file a usability report from inside ocPortal that automatically gives the URL to where you found a problem. Again, we are targeting inexperienced users in the hope that if any aspect of the system is not as well designed as it could be that it's super-easy to let us know. Inertia for users actually reporting problems is always a challenge, so we are making things quicker.

  • ocPortal has now been very carefully tested with millions of entries, meaning even huge ocPortal sites now run smoothly. This has involved hundreds of changes across the system, including improving memory usage, improving queries, and improving algorithms.
  • As part of the above, more things can be paginated in the system, such as comment topics or buddy lists.
  • Aggressive speed improvements now give us a very similar speed to our biggest competitors, regardless of ocPortal being a much bigger more flexible system.
  • Our new 'Advanced admin cache' feature will blow your mind. Once enabled, Google Chrome webmasters will have page's cache locally on their own machines, whilst the server generates the latest version of the page in the background and delivers it slightly later (e.g. 1 second later, whatever it would be if the AAC cache was not enabled). This means you can click around ocPortal at lightning speed as the server has to do zero work, yet nothing is actually cached in the annoying sense. Saving a few seconds does not seem like much, but it really makes things much more fun.

Important new features:
  • The default theme now has mobile support (work in progress - will be improved for the next beta), and our mobile detection and framework has been refreshed to meet modern hardware.
  • The Theme Wizard can now be run on any theme, meaning you can easily recolour any arbitrary theme that gets released on
  • A new side_news_archive block has been added. Written with the 'blog' install profile in mind, this allows browsing through news posts by date.
  • .po files can now be exported, so people can import local translations into Launchpad to share them. This allows a back/forth workflow between multiple translators who prefer to develop their changes on actual sites (e.g. using the 'translate strings used on this screen' feature, which makes it a lot easier to translate the minimal amount required).
  • A new main_multi_content block has been added that allows you to embed sets of any kind of content, sorted in a number of ways (for example 'most viewed', 'highest rated', 'most recent', etc).
  • Added webm and HTML5 video support.
  • New functionality for creating temporary usergroup memberships.

Removing any legacy non-standard interfaces from ocPortal sites:
  • Breadcrumb support and flexibility has been further improved since v5.1 beta 1. Since v5:
    • you can customise breadcrumb chains.
    • there are default rules to hide that catalogues are catalogues, that blog posts are news, and to unify all the zones into a single breadcrumb hierarchy.
    • because we now have a unified breadcrumbs hierarchy we are able to go to the conventional way of showing page titles. For example, if you are viewing a download it will say 'Downloads Home' in the breadcrumb, so the page title now just says the download title without including the prefix 'Download: '.
  • Welcome/Site zone merging is now done via an option rather than Redirects, vastly simplifying website management.
  • The 'Personal Zone' has been renamed to 'Account'.
  • (also see notes above about how the zone_logos and collaboration_zone addons may now be uninstalled).

Other improvements and bug fixes:
  • The screen/template previews have been significantly improved for accuracy, making previewing your themeing work much easier.
  • info.php files can now be stripped down more, to allow multiple developers to work using the same files with greater ease.
  • The Comcode tag list block now shows addon-created tags.
  • The side_weather block now has a temperature unit choice.
  • The sitemap now shows default zone pages first in the list of pages in a zone.
  • Various XHTML/WCAG errors have been fixed, since we rescanned compliance of all templates using our screen previews.
  • Fixed parameter interpretation bug with main_search block.
  • Made numbers reflect locale settings properly, working around a PHP design flaw.
  • Fixed bug in main_content block regarding two-level filtering.
  • New 'show_in_full' option for main_news block, to turn off summarisation (designed for the 'blog' install profile).
  • There is a new option to make tags show on the main_news block (designed for the 'blog' install profile).
  • The side_users_online block now includes link to the detailed "what people are doing" summary page.
  • The main_newsletter_signup block now sends confirmation emails.
  • Addons may now add HTML to the footer without overriding the FOOTER.tpl template.
  • The site footer now is handled correctly by the Tempcode preprocessor.
  • CEDI pages now may be chosen for awards.
  • Checking of broken URLs may be disabled via a new option.
  • Improved news previews.
  • Fixed issues with dark theme wizard themes.
  • Survey questions can now be marked required.
  • Fixed various small ecommerce bugs and design flaws.
  • Theme Wizard equations may now be calculated on the edit CSS screen, making it easier to make Theme Wizard themes (you don't need to worry about equations for the Theme Wizard to work on a theme, but you get more control if you do).
  • Fixed bug in forum cleanup tool for subforums.
  • The persistant cache now has xcache PHP extension support and wincache PHP extension support.
  • Changes in XHTML/WCAG validation code, fixing false positives.
  • Powerful new thumbnailing support in Tempcode, for making complex site designs.
  • Fixed bug in HTTP resume support for downloads.
  • Lots of fixes to download content searching.
  • Hidden feature (for developers only for now, to avoid breaking database compatibility) for separating out required-fields from fields required on join form.
  • Basic support for integrating with an external transcoding server (requires our API, programmers may access our implementation from our subversion repository).
  • Fixed some situations where bad Tempcode could create a stack trace.
  • Fixed issues with filtering out 'keep_' parameters if search engines find links involving them.
  • Cleaned up Facebook/Twitter integration, disabled on PHP4.
  • Passwords are now stripped from stack traces.
  • 'Missing resource' errors now no longer generate error emails because badly written bots generate them too much.
  • The XML Sitemap has moved to site root, since Google changed their requirements.
  • Fixed auto running of addon installer code.
  • Added 'site unavailable' HTTP status for closed site message.
  • Themes can now define logo wizard font-sizes/coordinates.
  • OcCLE can now be run on the command line, for people working (for example) via a SSH connection.
  • Fixed OcCLE SQL syntax.
  • Worked around suhosin restrictions affecting some users.
  • News form rearranged for usability.
  • Fixed various bugs with quiz timeouts.
  • Partial member CSVs may now be imported, if for instance a single column of data has been changed and is disconnected from the rest of the member data.
  • Fixed spacing between blocks from setup wizard.
  • Allowed any currencies to be configured for the eCommerce system.
  • Rearranged footer buttons/links.
  • Made help panel smaller. Fixed movement to bottom if resolution too small.
  • Fixed WYSIWYG bugs since v5.1 beta 1.
  • Documented HEADER template with additional Tempcode comments.
  • Fixed some potential (unlikely to happen) JS errors.
  • Logout buttons are now POST requests, to stop web accelerators accidentally logging users out.
  • Some small gallery CSS improvements.
  • Improved the addon import interface a little
  • Improved error messages a little.
  • Improved installer usability a little.

In parallel to version v6 we have also released additional non-bundled addons to further enhance people's options:
  • Facebook addon: extensive Facebook integration, including allowing Facebook logins.
  • Aviary addon: allow your members to easily make changes to images attached to their content online.

To re-cap from our version 5.1 beta 1 announcement, we have already made these substantial improvements:
  • Switched WYSIWYG editor to CKEditor: better editor, with added support for IE9, Safari, Google Chrome and Opera.
  • New breadcrumbs editor (for advanced users, uses a new XML syntax).
  • Added XML editing interface for the advanced fields editing (fields.xml) feature.
  • The quick installer no longer needs to run via FTP on SuExec servers (i.e. install just got even easier for people on good servers).
  • Added new optional method of using the Theme Wizard where no CSS is overridden (works via a new kind of CSS Tempcode include); adds complexity, eases theme upgrades.

As you can see, we have been focusing heavily on usability by simplifying things wherever possible, and adding in new wizards and support options.

If anyone does (crazily) decide to update their current sites, to get full benefit of the performance improvements new database indexes are required. A script is attached to this announcement that can be uploaded to the ocPortal data_custom directory and loaded up, to create these indices. It may take some time to run, depending on the size of the site.

» Download: new_indices.php (13 Kb, 505 downloads so far)

To celebrate our new version we'll soon be updating our own home page design, to show more clearly than ever why we kick the asses of the more well known CMSs.

Any common upgrade problems are being tracked in this forum topic.
If you have another problem, please file a bug report and ocProducts will respond and update the topic accordingly.

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