Dev Diary, February 6, 2014

We know that as a rule our posts tend to be surprise announcements of releases, despite the fact that many community members are keen on learning what us, Oxwall guys, are actually up to in the times between updates. Well, recently we’ve come to think that it’s a pretty good idea to let you in on all the fun we have inside, namely, our work process and development progress. Ready? Here we go.

We understand that there are still many elements within Oxwall software that can be improved. Let’s take a look at one such area, which will likely make it to the next iteration – the functionality extension of user roles and account types.

The problem here is the lack of option for admins to assign an individual user role per individual account type during new member registration. At the moment all new site members get the same user role, unless admins set said roles manually, which significantly complicates their work on community-driven sites. Say, you have a literature-driven community with writers and readers. These roles are obviously different for members, as writers write posts, while readers can comment or grade them. Putting an option in place for admins to assign individual user roles during registration will make their lives much easier.

Now, there are also a couple of related issues with account types. The interface is somewhat difficult to grasp, and there is also the fact that one question can be assigned per one account type only. Both of these will be tackled, and in the result the interface will become significantly more user-friendly, while single profile questions will be allowed to be assigned per multiple account types simultaneously. Hopefully this gives you a bit of insight on the things that keep us occupied. There’s a lot of stuff we have to share with you, so keep reading our blog for more info on our adventures in development.

Love, Oxwall Team.

Oxwall 1.5.1: Bug Fixes and New Theme

We hope everyone had enough time to play around with Oxwall 1.5, since we are ready to give you the next regular update. This release will remedy a few pesky bugs left from 1.5, and will further improve the software performance.

  • Profile questions are no longer removed alog with deleted account types;
  • Site activity notifications are now sent to users who haven’t logged in for more than two days;
  • Slideshow preloader improved;
  • Blogs routing bug fixed;
  • Resolved Cron error for theme processing;

Of course, it’s not a proper Oxwall release without a new theme, and this time we are joining the dark (but fun) side, with an all-original Darklets social networking template. Expect more quality themes in the future. Enjoy!

As always, do not forget to back up your sites before launching the update, just in case, as an extra precaution.

  1. Back up your site;
  2. Update the platform (Instructions);
  3. Update all of the installed plugins;
  4. Update your themes.

Oxwall Store Revamped

General Thoughts

The essential changes to the Oxwall Store that we’ve talked about for some time now are finally here. As the Store experienced the increased activity, we couldn’t help but notice the system becoming cluttered. Something had to be done, and thus we undertook the task of introducing some order and organization within the project. It is our belief that Oxwall Store should be a simple and comprehensible place. Here’s what we did to achieve that.

Oxwall Store Revamped

Different Listings

Prior to the change, Oxwall Store featured one single listing of all plugins created for the platform. Needless to say, that wasn’t really convenient or efficient. Instead, we’ve come up with a division into four different listing types.

Oxwall Store Revamped

  • Featured

Items found here will be carefully selected by members of the Oxwall Foundation, as most beneficial for the entire community.

  • Most Popular

The section will show the end-user what the community thinks are the best themes and plugins. The popularity of items here will be measured by the combined score of top ratings, most downloads, etc.

  • Top FREE

Most popular free items will end up in this category.

  • Latest

This is self-explanatory – all the latest items will be automatically placed here.

Reviews

Oxwall Store RevampedReviews are now comprised of three sections – title, short user opinion of the item, and the score (with the maximum of five stars). Also, all reviews can now be rated as helpful by other users. Paid items will be open for reviews only upon purchase. In addition, all submitted reviews will be pre-moderated by the Oxwall Team. Ain’t the democracy a great thing? ;)

Oxwall Store Revamped

Note that all support questions will be separated from the item score, and could be addressed or reported only on the forum.

Oxwall Store Revamped

While converting to the new system we have moved all comments about the item to a separate section of the item’s forum called Support Questions. It is no longer possible to leave simple comments on the item’s page. The scores (without feedback) have been saved as well. So if you browse the Store and see a score without any actual reviews around, that can mean only one thing – this score was converted from submissions prior to the introduced change.

More Items Widget

Oxwall Store RevampedWe’ve added a new widget to item pages, called ‘More plugins/themes from this author.’ It will show other items the user has added to the Store, which is a very convenient tool for promoting specific store items through the ones already achieved popularity. The item list for the widget is compiled by the user through the item edit page.

Minor Stuff

We have also revamped item pages themselves, to allow visitors immediaely see all the necessary information and scores left by other users.

The presentation of each item in the overall listing was made more detailed and informative.

Traditionally, we’ve fixed some minor system bugs.

Conclusion

We hope you will like this latest improvement of Oxwall Store. In our opinion the changes will benefit everyone, including visitors looking for new plugins, and developers displaying their creative output. Check out our progress and tell us what you think. Enjoy!

 

 

Oxwall Market Partners oDesk

Dear friends,

For quite a while now we’ve been looking into introducing improvements for Oxwall Market to streamline its entire operation. To do that we’ve partnered with oDesk – the world largest and fastest-growing online community of freelance developers.

For your convenience we’ve placed oDesk widget on the Oxwall Market page, listing all available developers pre-screened as qualified for Oxwall Jobs. The database of contractors can be searched right from within Oxwall Market, with the option to filter results by hourly rates, location, feedback score, etc., to find the best developer for the job.

We believe the partnership will boost Oxwall Market efficiency, and bring the community directly in contact with professional developers offering quality help.

Oxwall Market Partners oDesk

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 1.4.0: New Photo Viewer, Google Contacts Importer, Improvements and Fixes

Hey guys, remember when we promised you a hot summer ahead? Well, the time has come, and we are ready to roll out the next eagerly anticipated update! By now you’ve seen bits and snippets of it everywhere, but here’s the real deal: Oxwall 1.4.0 is finally here. Before you get to it, though, don’t forget to

BACK UP YOUR SITE BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO UPDATE THE SOFTWARE!

Seriously, this will save you a lot of headache if something goes wrong, although, nothing really should. Anyway, just follow these simple steps and you’ll be fine:

  1. Back up your site;
  2. Update the platform (Instructions);
  3. Update all of the installed plugins;
  4. Update your themes;

Also, don’t forget that you don’t have to do a thing manually. Just wait for the AUTO UPDATE BUTTON, pressing which will do the trick. The button will appear in the Admin Area within 24 hours after the launch of the update.

So, let’s get down to business and see what’s inside Oxwall 1.4.0:

PHOTO

  • Completely redesigned photo browsing;
  • Private photos: fixed display in top rated list;
  • New design element, Context Action: currently on photo view only;

INVITE FRIENDS

  • Google Contact Import is back and improved;

QUICK LINKS

  • New dashboard widget Quick Links, instead of separate plugin widgets;

NEWSFEED

  • Profile Newsfeed: new ability for others to post;
  • Main  Newsfeed enhanced;

FORUM

  • Added search results order by date and relevance;
  • Form buttons location redesign;

COMMENTS

  • Ability to choose preview images for posted URLs;

VIDEO

  • Long titles and descriptions are now truncated;

GIFTS

  • Fixed a bug with “&” symbol in personal messages;

GROUP LISTS

  • Fixed double paging;

VARIOUS IMPROVEMENTS AND FIXES

  • Birthday fields (date/month/day) can be translated via Language section;
  • Fixed online user display in case of “me only” mode;
  • Flagging now works without page reload;
  • Moderators now can see private content for moderation;
  • Various language strings fixed;

So now you can see where our excitement came from. We hope you like the update, and if you do, tell us about it in the comments. The forum is the place if you encounter any problems. Enjoy the update and don’t forget to check our blog for more exiting news about future released.

Oxwall: 100,000 Downloads and Counting

Oxwall: 100,000 Downloads and Counting

Dear friends,

As many of you have noticed, we have climbed over another impressive milestone. Ladies and gentlemen, as of last week Oxwall Software has been downloaded over 100,000 times since first becoming publicly available! These are the numbers straight from our site, so the final figure is even bigger once auto-installer downloads are counted in.

We take this as great encouragement and a sign that we took the right development trajectory. In a few days we will give you Oxwall 1.4, and with the next programming cycle around the corner, we are already working on even more impressive features.

Indeed, we have a pretty hot summer ahead, with plenty of tasty delights coming your way pretty soon. Here is a sneak peek at what to expect in the nearest future:

  • New default theme
  • New real-time notification system
  • New member console
  • More professional themes
  • Store improvements
  • Mobile version
  • New CMS functions

As you can see, we are keeping quite busy to make sure all people downloading our software are not disappointed. Expect some of the listed features this coming season.

We would like to thank the entire Oxwall community for making this breakthrough a reality.

Oxwall Team.

Get Ready for Oxwall 1.4

Hey guys!

We know you’ve been patiently waiting for a full-fledged release for a long time, and we are happy to tell you that it’s finally coming your way (pretty soon). Those of you following us on Facebook already know how excited we are about the new Photo Viewer, but there’s more in the lineup.

Let’s see. Among other things, we’ve added Gmail contacts importer, additional options for sorting forum search results, profile newsfeed commenting, and redesigned newsfeed activity on the index page, on top of a myriad of bug fixes and other improvements.

All of that and more will be available in about a couple of weeks, right after we finish all in-house quality testing. The full list of all the new features and fixes will be posted along with the notification about the release of Oxwall 1.4.

Cheers!

Oxwall 1.3.2: User and Admin Improvements, Minor Bug Fixes

OXWALL 1.3.2

Following the completion of quality and beta testing we are ready to present you Oxwall 1.3.2. The new release fixes several minor bugs, and also introduces User and Admin improvements among other things.

IMPORTANT NOTE: ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR SITE BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO UPDATE THE SOFTWARE

Just follow these simple steps while bringing your software up to date, to avoid possible future issues:

  1. Back up your site;
  2. Update the platform (Instructions);
  3. Update all of the installed plugins;
  4. Update your themes;
  5. Enjoy the new version;
AUTO UPDATE BUTTON

The Auto Update button will appear in your website’s admin area within 24 hours after the release of the update.

WHAT’S NEW IN OXWALL 1.3.2

Platform

  • Cron setup changed (now uses HTTP);
  • Default user role is now impossible to remove;
  • Fixed the bug with the number of pics for WYSIWYG gallery;
  • Notifications “Someone posts a wall comment in a group I participate in”, “Someone invites me to a group”, etc., enabled by default;
  • Additional admin now cannot delete the super admin profile;
  • XSS vulnerability in the update script fixed;
  • Added file_get_contents check on server;
  • While editing a custom page it’s no longer possible to enter existing pages’ URLs.
  • Added rel=”nofollow” for auto-linking and WYSIWYG;
  • Changed buttons for group actions on profile lists in admin area;
  • Removed Exception message that happened while approving an already approved member;
  • Changed the order of displaying CSS graphics in the admin area;
  • Multiple language entries corrected;

Blogs

  • Post tags are now added to meta keywords;
  • Added messages about successful post creation and editing;

Friends

  • Fixed friend request template;
  • With friend request a user automatically follows another user;

Instant Chat

  • Fixed ‘OW Debug’ error message when admins deactivated ‘Friends’ plugin;
  • Fixed ‘last activity 42 years ago’ bug;
  • Removed switching ‘for all’ and ‘friends only’ modes, making it dependent on the ‘Friends’ plugin;

Links

  • ‘More’ button does not stick to the last letter any more;
  • Links now open in the new window;

Forum

  • ‘Ghost’ topics now removed in five days after the original topic move;
  • User no longer redirected to a new forum section after moving a topic;
  • Fixed ‘Latest Reply’ field when author profile deleted;

Video

  • Fixed Flash object overlap;

Advertisement

  • Now more than 14 banners can be added to one ad place;
  • Added the ‘Hide Ads’ authorization action for user roles;

Events

  • New events are now at the top of the list;
  • Long event locations now stay within widget;
  • If ‘Friends’ plugin deactivated you can invite all site users (who were not invited yet and are not registered for event);
  • Invite interface now shows all site users (up to 100) if ‘Friends’ plugin is inactive;
  • Added ‘Accept/Decline’ buttons to event invitations;
  • Event notification now disappears after visiting event page;

Mailbox

  • Fixed avatar while sending private messages from profile;

Privacy

  • If ‘Friends’ plugin deactivated all ‘Friends Only’ settings change to ‘Only Me’;

Groups

  • If ‘Friends’ plugin deactivated you can now invite all site users (up to 100);
  • Group listings changed;
  • Invite notifications now disappear after visiting invitation list or group pages;

Newsfeed

  • Redesigned group activity display;
  • Individual pages for every newsfeed item;
  • New option to choose preview picture for attached URLs;

Birthdays

  • E-mail notifications about new comments or likes for birthday items;

Enjoy the new release and feel free to drop us a line if you encounter any problems with it. Thank you for being such a great community!