Oxwall Store: Introducing Item Pre-moderation.

You have probably noticed our ongoing efforts to make Oxwall Store a better place for finding great plugins and themes for your new, shiny website.

Today I’d like to inform you that all new items (plugins and themes) submitted to the Oxwall Store will be reviewed by editors before appearing in public. We will try to make item approval time blazingly short, so users can get their hands on the new stuff as soon as possible.

What exactly do you review?

– We make basic quality and security checks.
– We try to evaluate how the item fits the overall Oxwall  user experience, look’n’feel, process flow, interface conventions, etc.
– We want to make sure an item provides substantial value, doesn’t fully duplicate (or steal) other items in the Oxwall Store.

Why do that?

Oxwall platform is open, and we are after the best possible user experience. That’s why quality check for the main resource is so important.

Without those checks (as we’ve seen on other platforms) quality deteriorates quickly. When that happens, not much can be undone without significant ecosystem shocks.

As an example, in worst cases a user finds themselves searching for a “contact form” plugin and finds 20 of them. Half of those can be discarded upon the first look (bad reviews, no support, confusing description and screenshots), another quarter will not work because the author didn’t bother to keep the item updated. Finally, 2-3 items may be identified, and they will satisfy roughly 60-70% of user’s needs. We will work to make this process shorter and the final prize (the one fitting item) better. Basically, we want to fight quantity with quality. If we don’t start now, it may be too late.

Users still use/buy without your checks

True to some extent, because in a lot of cases they have no alternatives. When we raise quality standards and improve Store inventory, they’ll know the difference. The approval process will allow Oxwall community to achieve the next step of quality and size, and prevent from ending up on a local maximum. With better software more people will want to choose Oxwall over other solutions.

Possible reasons for disapproval

Approval rules are based on clause 3 of the Oxwall Store Terms of Use. Make yourself familiar with those. Expect additions and corrections in future.

You don’t honor developers?

We do, but we honor users even more. If this measure helps users find what they want faster and easier — and will make developers and designers work harder — we are all for it.

In the end, a better average Store item means healthier and larger user community, which is everyone’s goal, including authors.

My item wasn’t approved. Now what?

We encourage you to process given feedback, modify your work and to resubmit your item. If you do not agree with our opinion, feel free to release the item elsewhere, like on your site. This is open source. We do not play dictatorship, we just want to keep the main resource comprehensive and easy to search.

Oxwall project is growing, so let’s take user experience on another level together. We’re on to something big here.

Thanks,
Emil
Oxwall team

Summer Break

Dear Oxwall Community,

Oxwall team will be taking a short summer break July 26 – July 30. Drop us a line in the Forum if you encounter any problems. All reports submitted during our absence will be addressed immediately upon our return to operation on Monday.

Have a great weekend,

Oxwall Team.

Oxwall Store Digest:
Top of the Line

Dear friends,

With great pleasure we want to present a new section of this blog. After seeing the steadily climbing popularity of the Oxwall Store, as well as general improvement in quality of the items that end up there, we decided to shine some light on the best plugins and themes on display. And today we have not one, but two of them!

Mochi Games for Oxwall

Oxwall Store Digest: Top of the Line

Games are often one of the most thought-after features in social networking and Mochimedia.com presents a wide variety of options in this area. Mochi Games for Oxwall plugin integrates Mochimedia services into any Oxwall website almost entirely hassle-free.

Oxwall Store Digest: Top of the Line

You’ve got everything from Action to Strategy to Racing, to even Classic Nintendo Spoofs, all as part of a huge collection that can make any casual gamer happy.

Among other things, the plugin eliminates all steps requiring the insertion of custom Javascript codes, and allows most games to set up Leaderbords integrated into Oxwall Newsfeed, to keep members posted of new highscores. On top of that, Mochi Games for Oxwall works perfectly with User Credits plugin, allowing admins to charge or award members with credits for using games on the site.

Mochi Games for Oxwall is sold for a one-time fee of $20, and its creator promises frequent updates and support.

Download Plugin.

Try Demo.

Questions

Another top-rated plugin that is quickly gaining popularity is Questions, which allows users to submit polls for others to answer, Facebook-style.

Oxwall Store Digest: Top of the Line

Incredibly easy to setup and manage, Questions are very useful for adding interactivity to any site, and getting the community even more involved in joint activities.

Oxwall Store Digest: Top of the Line

Needless to say, after publishing the created poll will appear in the Newsfeed, and depending on chosen options, members can select a ready answer or add one of their own.

The plugin is absolutely free and has already seen over 1000 downloads since appearing in the Store.

Download Plugin.

Try Demo.

Coming Up: Oxwall 1.3.2

Dear members of Oxwall community,

We are happy to inform you about the upcoming update of the Oxwall software. The release will be presented to you after we finish the current round of beta and quality testing, in about a couple of weeks or so.

Oxwall 1.3.2 is mostly a maintenance release, where we’ll fix several annoying bugs and improve numerous features. Among other things you can expect to see Newsfeed, Groups, Events and Data Importer  enhancements. The full list of changes will be released along with the update.

Oxwall: The Progress

Oxwall: The ProgressLadies and gentlemen,

Today we would like to share some great news with you. Oxwall Foundation has reached several important milestones, which prove that we are moving in the right direction, steadily giving the community tools necessary for our common success.

First of all, Oxwall Software now boasts over 71000 source lines of code. Compare that with 64000 of the very first Oxwall iteration released in August 2010. Not bad, considering that this metric is a very important indicator of a project’s size, and shows the effort the development team puts behind it.

Now, that was the platform itself. Even more impressive is the rapid increase in the number of source lines of code for plugins developed by the Oxwall Foundation. Altogether they now take over 64000 LOC (30% growth from the times of Oxwall 1.0.1), which is really impressive, when you take into account the time-frame and the relatively small team size.

All of that, coupled with the success of the recently released Oxwall 1.3 helped to boost the platform downloads from the 250 per day average in 2011, all the way up to 350 at the start of 2012.

Finally, Oxwall Store also witnesses some stable evolution since its full-scale launch a mere year ago. By now, the gradually growing number of published items have passed 100, adding even more to the progress of the entire project.

With our joint efforts and great input from the international Oxwall community, these achievements have been reached in just under two years. This is the programming productivity and expansion rates we are quite content with, although we’ll be obviously looking to build on this success even further in the near future.

UPDATE

An unfortunate slip made its way into the above text. Of course we meant the DAILY download average (not monthly) in the fourth paragraph. So, the daily platform download average in 2011 was 250, boosted up to 350 since the release of Oxwall 1.3.

 

 

Stop SOPA

Let’s cut to the chase. If you are reading this, you likely already know what SOPA and PIPA are, you’ve seen the darkened Wikipedia, you’ve noticed Google’s laconic petition, and you’ve heard millions of protesting voices all over the net screaming in rage against a couple of bills currently moving through the US Congress.

If you haven’t notice anything at all, congratulations. You just might be one of the few people, who, along with SOPA and PIPA proponents, talk about “online community” as if it was some sort of outcast group. This failure to realise that the world has really changed, and absolutely everyone is now part of this online community; that absolutely everyone will be harmed in one way or another if the bills will make it, is simply overwhelming.

Here at Oxwall and Wall.fm we support websites, companies, and individuals who are protesting SOPA and PIPA. We believe that installing censorship in any form, blocking websites, killing the notion of “fair use”, disrespecting user submitted content, reducing privacy, etc., is not only a huge blow to the progressive development of the Internet, but also a general assault on democracy and freedom of expression – something we give people collective tools for.

Most importantly, we do not want anyone to have the ability to puppeteer the Internet and then face the grim future where the law could suddenly place too much power into wrong hands, inevitably leading to the abuse of said power. Stop SOPA.

First Official Oxwall Google+ Hangout January 19

As promised last month, we have finally found time for a Google+ Hangout with you guys. All admins running Oxwall-powered websites, or anyone interested in joining our rapidly growing community are welcome to join us next Thursday, January 19th, at 12PM EST (6PM CET) for an informal chat.

Once again, Oxwall founder Emil will be on hand to speak about his vision for the product, answer any questions, and even make important announcements concerning Oxwall Software and Oxwall Store. Oh yeah, and also to simply hangout with like-minded people. Trust us, you don’t want to miss it.

For those not in the know – Google+ Hangout is basically a multi-user video chat available to anyone with a Google account. Before joining a Hangout you should make sure your webcam, microphone, and speakers (or headphones) are all working properly. Also, we advise to run a quick test Hangout if you’ve never done it before, just to make sure you have all the necessary plugins installed. If you have everything ready, add Emil (gplus.to/emil) to one of your Circles and wait for him to launch the Hangout at designated time – you’ll see a notification on your Google+ Stream.

Now, since we have a truly international community here, with members all across the globe, we had to think long and hard about the best time to hold the Hangout. Launching it at 12PM EST seems to be the best possible compromise, but as always, we are open to your suggestions. Let us know what you think, what you want to talk about, or if you have any technical questions regarding the Hangout in the comments bellow.

Oxwall Store Increased Quality Control

Dear friends,

We are happy to report that Oxwall Store is coming along quite nicely, judging by the steadily growing volume of new items and sales. Unfortunately, quantity does not always translate to quality, and like everyone, we notice the appearance of mediocre-to-poor submissions.

This is not what we had in mind initially. We are also sure most Oxwall admins will agree that Oxwall Store should not become another online collection of second-rate mods of existing plugins and themes.

Oxwall Foundation always strove for improved quality for the end user and we anticipate the community will follow our lead. We all still have a long way to go to reach the desired level of excellence, but with small steps in the right direction we can do it.

One of such steps will be the introduction of stricter quality control for Oxwall Store submissions, in accordance with our Terms of Use. We hope everyone understands that this decision will benefit the project in the long run. Let’s make Oxwall better together.

Oxwall Drops IE7 Support

It looks like the time has come to finally push that button. Starting with Oxwall 1.2.7 we’ll completely cut support for Internet Explorer 7. It just had to happen somewhere down the road for a number of reasons. Microsoft’s browser is outdated, unresponsive, incredibly slow, and has a major disadvantage of having far superior and popular competition worth supporting out there. Check this out, it’s browser popularity last month –

Oxwall Drops IE7 Support

Now, if you think that’s not representative enough, look at last year’s graph –

Oxwall Drops IE7 Support

Also, we have more pictures –

Oxwall Drops IE7 Support

See, that’s Microsoft hunting down its own IE6 – trying to eliminate the last few remaining copies of that cursed software. Well, we are not Microsoft, so we boldly went even further and just decided that IE7 doesn’t cut it. Want to know who cuts it? We have a list of all browsers supported by Oxwall right here.

Anyway, IE7 is out of the picture for good, and only good can come of this, obviously. Just thought that’d be good news to start the year. Good.

Happy 2012!

Happy 2012!And so the time has come to say goodbyes to 2011. We hope that the past year gave you a lot of great memories, just as it did to the Oxwall Foundation staff.

At the same time, we are sure that 2012 will see even more breakthroughs, innovation, and real success, as we look forward to continue bringing our vision to the community, in the form of Oxwall Software.

Our entire team wishes you all the best in the New Year! Let the Dragon bring power and wealth to all of you!