Oxwall 1.7.1 is out

Oxwall 1.7.1 is available for download immediately. All details about this release can be found here.

Important: If you are running Oxwall of any previous version, you are encouraged to wait until the auto-update prompt appears in your admin area. Before you attempt it, make sure to:

  • Back up your website. Seriously, folks, better safe than sorry;
  • Install all available plugin updates right after the platform update completes;
  • Install a theme update right after the platform update completes.

If you don’t want to perform the update yourself, our friends from Skalfa can do it for you. Also, check other companies specializing in Oxwall support.

Thanks,

Emil & the Oxwall team.

Oxwall 1.7.1 beta available

As we are returning to 5 week release cycle, Oxwall 1.7.1 public beta is out today.

Most notable changes are:

– New join form for mobile version (which didn’t make it to the 1.7 release);
– Messages plugin enhancements (based on feedback and real-life testing).

Here’s the complete changelog for Oxwall 1.7.1:

Platform

– new join form for mobile version;
– reorganized action buttons for profiles on the profile view page; new buttons ‘more’ and ‘moderate’ for grouped actions;
– default avatar image vulnerability in the Admin Panel is fixed;
– the bug preventing the save of changes in the admin panel > user settings >general due to the error ‘The image is not valid’ is fixed;
– all comments longer than 150 symbols are now truncated, and “View more” link is added;
– display of profile action buttons in mobile version is fixed;
– new option to create links to external sites in mobile menu;
– design improvements for account type administration interfaces;
– embedded videos are now playable on-site, no need to leave for external destinations.

Messages

– new form to create a message and select recipient;
– various performance improvements;
– new tooltip with user info on user avatar mouseover;
– new invitation labels within text inputs for clarity;
– new option to send messages to users who have no permission to ‘read’, ‘write’ and ‘continue chat’, in case the site has pre-installed Memberships and User Credits plugins;
– ‘Chat now’ button now disappears when user is online and the mode ‘Chat Only’ is turned on;
– new line formatting bug is fixed (sorry for this one).

Photos

– both “post_max_size” and “upload_max_filesize” PHP settings are now recognized during the calculation of file’s maximum limit for upload;
– action buttons for albums are now displayed on album view page;
– optimized display performance of ‘User’s albums’ widget on profile view for users with a large number of photos;
– the bug affecting ‘Add photo’ button for users with unavailable ‘upload photos’ service is fixed.

Groups

– group description text on the group listing page is now truncated after 300 symbols;
– now user automatically unfollows the group after leaving it;
– the bug allowing unauthorized users to delete wall comments is fixed.

Forum

– performance optimization for supporting large number of topics.

Video

– vimeo support now fixed.

Birthdays

– design improvements for the widget and newsfeed listing.

Events

– display of private events in user dashboard is fixed.

Public release of Oxwall 1.7.1 is scheduled for Monday, August 25. Beta testers now have time to test the new release. Developers and designers need to check their items for compatibility.

Thank you,
Oxwall Foundation team

Oxwall Store: important improvements

Hello there Oxwallers,

Our community grows. It’s exciting to see this growth since it assures that our work is important, and warrants that Oxwall is here to stay. With user growth some aspects of the community work also need to evolve, and today it’s the Oxwall Store that is affected.

We just released some small and big improvements that I want to introduce. They are based on developers’, designers’ and users’ feedback, and also on our own careful examination of the usage patterns. Let’s look in detail:

My purchases:

  • Item list is now divided into Plugins and Themes;
  • Search by item name (new);
  • Add review for purchased items right there (new).

My items:

  • Item list is now divided into Plugins and Themes;
  • Search by license key and buyer’s username.

Item listing improvements:

  • Oxwall Store now supports version compatibility between items and the platform. From now on every item should state platform versions that it supports, and users will see it;
  • Mandatory “Terms of Use” field for items (new);
  • Optional “ReadMe” field for items (new).

Suspended items:

  • Suspended items are now shown to license holders in “My Items”;
  • “Item suspended” page is shown to all but license holders;
  • Suspended items can’t be deleted by owners but will be deleted in 4 months unless activated by Store moderators.

Reviews:

  • Now authors can not only modify but also delete their reviews.

Apart from these changes there are many tiny things changed to help developers better manage their items.

Policy updates

Last but not least, we have updated Oxwall Store Terms of Use, and added Store Item Policy and Item Review Policy. Everybody is encouraged to actually read this document, it’s written by humans for humans in the most comprehensive way possible.

Enjoy the updated Oxwall Store and leave your feedback! We are always listening. Also, there’s a special Store-related forum, so developers can find additional technical info and questions.

Nominate Oxwall for People’s Choice CMS Awards

Hi guys!

We hope you are enjoying the summer (as well as our latest release), and have some free time on your hands. Feel like giving us a small pat on the back for all the work we put into the project? Here’s your chance.

The nominations for the annual People’s Choice CMS Awards are open until August 15, and we need a little help from you to get to the finals. We already claimed the accolades for Best Social Network Solution in the past, and it’d be nice to repeat that.

So here’s where you come in –

  • Go to People’s Choice CMS Awards nomination form;
  • Enter your name and email;
  • Enter “Oxwall” as the product name;
  • Tick off the “Best Social Networking Solution” “Best Free PHP CMS” and “Best Open Source PHP CMS” categories;
  • Give an example of when you’ve used Oxwall or list URLs of sites you’ve created with it.

And that’s it. The process is free and takes only a couple of minutes, but it gives us an enormous confidence boost, confirming that we are moving in the right direction.

Thanks,
Emil
Oxwall Foundation

Oxwall 1.7 release

Today is July 8, and as promised, Oxwall 1.7 sees the light of the day. This is another big milestone for the product: an important platform update, plus completely redesigned photos and messages.

Oxwall 1.7 is available for download immediately. All details about this release can be found here.

Backup!

If you are running Oxwall of any previous version, you are encouraged to wait until the auto-update prompt appears in your admin area (that make take up to 24 hours). Before you attempt it, make sure to:

  • Back up your website. Seriously, folks, better safe than sorry;
  • Install all available plugin updates right after the platform update completes;
  • Install theme update right after the platform update completes.

If you don’t want to perform the update yourself, our friends from Skalfa can do it for you. Also, check other companies specializing in Oxwall support.

Theme support

With this release we drop support for the following themes maintained by Oxwall Foundation:

  • Grunge
  • Basic
  • City
  • Green
  • Pastel
  • Graphite
  • Graphite+
  • Club
  • Rainy
  • Spring
  • Stars
  • Silent

If you use one of these themes, please be aware that they are not getting updated to Oxwall 1.7. Feel free to choose another theme in the Oxwall Store (check 1.7 compatibility), or apply the changes by yourself if you have the skills. The reason for this decision is simple: focus. In order to concentrate on iterating critical product components, we have to cut off non-core ones.

Have fun and tell us how you like the new Oxwall. We hope to impress you once again, not less than we do with every release.

Emil & the Oxwall team.

Oxwall 1.7 on July 8, beta today

Finally, we have definite release date for the next version. Oxwall 1.7 will be out on July 8, with developer beta available today.

As you know, we first planned to have 1.6.1 release with a lot of improvements and fixes. However, a few distinct platform changes creeped in, so this release is shaping up more important than just a new build, and we call it minor version advance, namely Oxwall 1.7.

Important changes

Attention, developers, designers, and admins! Apart from some updated plugins, there are platform changes that require your attention:

  • New option to assign specific user roles for each account type;
  • New option to assign separate list of profile questions for each account type;
  • Modified user permission check (developers, you need to adapt your plugins!);
  • Attachments for all media (messages, forums, comments, etc) are redesigned (designers, you may need to adapt your themes!);
  • Comment box redesigned (designers, you may need to adapt your themes!);

For all changes see complete changelog.

Apart from that there are two major advancements to highlight:

Complete photo redesign

We’ve been working on the new photo plugin for the last 6 months. Hopefully, it works better than the current one, so your community enjoys easier and more effective photo sharing facilities:

Photo list

Single photo view

Newsfeed photos

Among the most notable features are:

  • New advanced bulk photo upload;
  • New photo list view;
  • New photo album view;
  • Optimized photo preview (info and comments in sidebar);
  • Search by keywords, users, hashtags;
  • Full-screen slideshow;
  • Photos posted to newsfeed are now collected in a photo album.

There are a lot of hidden gems in this one, so we’ll leave them for you to discover when Oxwall 1.7 gets released to the public.

Mailbox + Chat = Messages: complete redesign + mobile version support

The new Messages plugin comes to replace the two old plugins: Instant Messenger and Mailbox. When you install the new plugin, it will migrate the data from the Mailbox and deactivate it automatically.

Oxwall messages

 

Messages  Messages

What’s in it?

  • Chat only mode, mail only mode, or both;
  • Additional on-page interface for chat with saved history;
  • Now possible to send a message from mailbox to any recipient;
  • Revamped attachments for both chat and mail;
  • Inline images and video in chat;
  • Chat and mail is now also in Oxwall mobile browser version.

We hope you will appreciate the interconnectedness and easiness of the new way of sending messages in Oxwall.

This plugin is deeper than a few screenshots could show, so we invite you to explore its capabilities.

Developer beta

It’s available for download now. If you signed up for beta testing, you will be able to obtain it from the private beta release forum. Check it out.

If you are a developer or a designer but haven’t signed up for it yet, you are recommended to do that right away. There’s a high chance that you need to update your work to make it compatible with Oxwall 1.7. Developer’s guide to the platform changes is packed with the beta.

We are eager to send the new bulk of awesomeness your way. July 8 is the day it hits the ground, together with the updated versions of plugins by 3rd party developers.

All hail Oxwall!

Emil & the Oxwall team

Oxwall 1.6 released

Today is January 8, and somehow this date is important… Oh yeah, today Oxwall 1.6 is getting unleashed into the wild.

Oxwall 1.6 is available for download immediately. All details about this release can be found here.

Important: If you are running Oxwall of any previous version, you are encouraged to wait until the auto-update prompt appears in your admin area. Before you attempt it, make sure to:

  • Back up your website. Seriously, folks, better safe than sorry;
  • Install all available plugin updates right after the platform update completes;
  • Install a theme update right after the platform update completes.

If you don’t want to perform the update yourself, our friends from Skalfa can do it for you. Also, check other companies specializing in Oxwall support.

Everybody, have fun!

Emil & the Oxwall team.

Oxwall 1.6 goes live January 8, beta today

Oxwall community is a patient bunch; That’s a hard fact, which we really appreciate, and have something to show you in return. Oxwall 1.6 has finally taken shape for a beta release, and I’m glad to give you a sneak peek of what our team has built.

New Theme: München

Per our tradition, we highlight every major release with a brand new theme. This time it’s a shoutout to the fine town of München:

Munchen

Theme Auto-update

One important thing to note is that now themes can also be auto-updated, just like plugins. It will definitely make life easier for designers and all users.

Social Share Plugin

We decided to make our own integrated social sharing solution that third party plugins may also utilize. It doesn’t place sharing buttons on every page, instead locating them exactly where you need – right near the content in question.

IMG_29112013

Mobile Browser Version

That’s right, Oxwall is now mobile-friendly. Yay! First of all, this is neither a responsive theme, nor a hack to “mobilize” content. This is a completely reimagined product for phone screens (that’s one of the main reason why it took so long to develop it), and it’s optimized for performance in major mobile browsers available today:

In this roll-out we are starting with basic features and several native plugins that show the direction for what Oxwall mobile browsing experience is going to be. We can’t wait to hand it over to the community. You can also expect other native and third party plugins to have their mobile executions ready soon.

Beta and Release

We are entering public beta stage, making Oxwall 1.6 Beta 1 available today.

  • If you are an approved beta-tester, join us at the Beta forum. We start accepting feedback immediately.
  • If you are a plugin developer / theme designer / translator, then you have work to do right now. We urge you to apply for beta-tester status and start making your goods 1.6-compatible.

On January 8, upon the completion of public beta period, the upgrade will be available for all the Oxwall websites out there, as always, right from the admin area.

Oxwall 1.6 is a huge milestone in the product lifecycle, since it finally opens up the new platform for plugins, namely mobile. In a sense, this is more important than anything we’ve done in the last couple of years. Now that mobile context is enabled, other developers can pick it up, and continue their work along with us. Let’s see how this turns out.

This has been a long and arduous year for us, finally bringing the team to the final stages of hard work during this holiday season. January 8 can’t get here soon enough.

Big and exciting things come to Oxwall, so stay tuned and we’ll surprise you. I promise.

Thank you for creating with us!
Emil & the entire Oxwall team.

Service provider interview: YouNet

We are starting our interview series with individuals and companies creating all kinds of products and solutions for Oxwall. The first in the spotlight is YouNet company. Here we go:


YouNet is a leading niche social network consulting company with more than 120 engineers. We offer full services for Oxwall including Consulting, Plugins, Templates and Customization. With more than 4 years of experience, having completed 400+ social projects, we are the best partner for your success.

Q: Please introduce yourself and tell us about your experience in web development.

A: Formed in 2008, we are a company dedicated to services on open source platforms for social networks. Over the years, we have developed many useful tools and solutions for social network development projects. We have completed more than 400 projects so far including governmental projects.

Q: What level of projects are you ready to tackle for the benefit of Oxwall users?

A: We provide full-cycle services starting from consulting, design, development and maintenance. Consulting is very important as it is the first step to build a successful project in terms of cost, schedule, and quality. During consultation, we synthesize our technical experience with our client business concepts to develop a feasible and successful social network.

Q: What sort of client-company communication model do you employ? Share the rules and regulations if you have any.

A: One of our strengths is the communication process with clients. We use Online Project Management Tracking System (Jira) in which clients can work/communicate with us as a leader of project so that they can monitor all activities/changes of the project with Agile Model. In addition, we also provide chat and phone for further communication when needed.

younet
Figure 1: YouNet Communication Process

Q: Do you see any particular shortcomings within Oxwall software that need immediate attention?

A: The first prominent shortcoming of Oxwall is that it does not provide rich options for Admin configuration, especially for layout customization; For instance, it seems that widget option to drag/drop is not supported in many pages, but only Homepage and Dashboard. The provided layout and functionality also introduce some uncommon designs, such as when users want to embed a YouTube video link in Feeds, they have to copy whole embed code instead of URL only, which may make users confused.

Q: Do you have any plans to develop and release purely Open Source products for Oxwall?

A: We plan to develop most popular plugins for Oxwall platform by the end of this year. With these plugins, we hope to bring the community a complete productivity suit to further advance their social network to the next level.

Q: Are you currently developing your own plugins and templates for Oxwall? What can we expect in the nearest future?

A: Yes, we are working on some plugins. We are going to have a dedicated team making templates and plugins for Oxwall as well. That is our commitment in supporting Oxwall community.


Check out YouNet store profile and feel free to ask your own questions in comments bellow. We hope to have company representatives answer them.

CSV import for Oxwall

While Oxwall 1.6 development is humming along nicely, we never stop making other, less noticed but very useful things for the community. Earlier we released a CSV user data import plugin. Here it goes: http://www.oxwall.org/store/item/718

It does what it says — lets you import your user accounts from other databases to restart your community on Oxwall. It doesn’t import other content like blogs, photos, etc, but attempts to bring all critical user profile data into the new place.

People always asked for such a tool, so we tried to make it as useful and easy to use as possible. Feel free to try it out. This is version 1.0, so we are listening to your feedback, and of course, problem reports.

Thanks,
Emil
Oxwall team