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Author Topic: November Update  (Read 63944 times)

Offline Arantor

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November Update
« on: November 04, 2013, 06:27:18 PM »
So, it's been a few weeks since I last wrote anything in here, and I want to give an update as to where things have been going lately.

As ever, anyone who checks our Github will probably have already seen some of the changes we've done - for those who haven't, https://github.com/SimpleMachines/SMF2.1 is where it's all happening.

First up, as you can imagine the first part of October was spent in dealing with the security issues reported to us, and which lead to 1.1.19 and 2.0.6 being released. That took a fair amount of time to get sorted, as you can imagine, but we're done on that score now.

So, changes in SMF 2.1 itself:
* A makeover to the moderation center - we decided to make it a bit more usable; the 'Latest from SMF' block was unlikely to be useful to most of the people in the mod centre, and mod notes being hidden by default was a mess given the fact that it's probably the most useful feature in the moderation centre! Suki put in a lot of time cleaning it up and adding extra little gadgets, I won't give you all the details, I'll let you explore that for yourself, but a screenshot is attached of the mod centre as it stands now.

* Some of the help popups in the admin area got reworded and made more useful.

* Myriad bugs got fixed (it's all in the log, don't really want to drag through all of them)

* Likes are currently being added (still a WIP), screenshot is attached. Please note that we deliberately aren't including names of people who liked a post, partly because that fits in with the minimalism aspect of the theme but much more importantly, the way we're doing it uses far fewer queries.

* Sent messages are automatically and always saved to your 'sent items', rather than having to enable it or to configure it to do so.

* Some of the images in the theme were converted into image sprites. More to do yet though.

* Admin panel overhaul...

I want to take some time to explain this one, because it's a big thing.

Firstly, Core Features. Many of you who've read some of my topics know the hate/hate relationship I have with this concept. I'm fine with the concept of turning off features that you're not using, or even having to turn them on if you do want them.

Except having a page of items whose sole thing in common is that they're all things that can be turned on/off is unintuitive, especially because these things don't tend to come up in searches. The net result is you had items that were well known to be in SMF but no-one could find them because you had to go to an unrelated page to enable them.

So we did away with all that - and in some ways it was a shame to wave goodbye to the code in question because the changes in 2.1 did make some great usability improvements to it compared to how it was done in 2.0, but honestly not having it makes everything easier to find.

On that note, I know for some time there has been a huge debate on the sidebar vs the menu, over the usability and practicality of each, and in the end we have removed the sidebar. There are issues most people don't realise that come up (translation issues, some usability issues that cannot be meaningfully corrected without rewriting good chunks of the admin, moderation and profile code), and in the end having two rather different ways to do the same thing just isn't particularly clever.

There is, in hindsight, one aspect to having the sidebar that the menu doesn't give you, a sense of discoverability, being able to see everything that's there in a differently structured way, and so I did something I've done before, based on OS X System Preferences, cPanel and other systems. Screenshot attached, you can't miss it.

There are a variety of other changes made to the admin panel (and there's probably more I'm forgetting):
* Configuration > Server Settings has been moved to Maintenance > Server Settings (you're not generally supposed to be touching!)
* Items are always displayed even if they are not enabled; items that are disabled are shown greyed out.
* Configuration > Security and Moderation no longer exists; the warning system (formerly Security and Moderation > Moderation) is now Members > Warnings, anti-spam (formerly Sec & Mod > Anti Spam) is now simply Configuration > Anti Spam, and the general security stuff (Sec & Mod > General) is now under Maintenance > Server Settings > Security. The idea, of course, is to push all the most-used stuff further up the page.
* Reports is always on, cannot be 'disabled' like it used to be. There was no benefit in disabling it.
* Integration Hooks is always on, now under Maintenance > Forum Maintenance.
* The moderation, admin and profile-edit logs can be individually enabled/disabled, from Maintenance > Logs > Log Settings (this page replaces the old Log Pruning page), and for new installs, the moderation and admin logs (only) will be on by default.
* Search Engine Tracking is no longer under the Members menu but now in the Forum menu.
* Forum > Drafts has been moved under Forum > Posts and Topics.

Anyway, that's all from me for now... back to getting likes finished, I guess... ;)
To assume is to hope that those who came before had the presence of mind and capacity to implement the dreams of those who would come after.

You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. It seems you have chosen which, and now I must do the same.

Offline Irisado

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Re: November Update
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2013, 06:32:49 PM »
Fantastic work all round there.  Thank you for the update.

The changes to the moderation centre are particular beneficial to me, and the overhaul of other areas mentioned is also welcome.

Thank you for the detailed post.
Soñando con una playa donde brilla el sol, un arco iris ilumina el cielo, y el mar espejea iridescentemente

Offline Antes

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Re: November Update
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2013, 06:34:56 PM »
Awesome post !
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Offline margarett

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Re: November Update
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2013, 06:35:45 PM »
Nice one, devs! Almost time to replace that "Alpha" with the "B" word, hey? :)
Se forem conduzir, não bebam. Se forem beber... CHAMEM-ME!!!! :D

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Offline Chalky

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Re: November Update
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2013, 06:37:26 PM »
It's getting exciting now!  Thanks for the update  :D

Offline Arantor

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Re: November Update
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2013, 06:37:56 PM »
Nice one, devs! Almost time to replace that "Alpha" with the "B" word, hey? :)

We're getting there, there's a few things to do yet before we bring out the dreaded B word. ;)
To assume is to hope that those who came before had the presence of mind and capacity to implement the dreams of those who would come after.

You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. It seems you have chosen which, and now I must do the same.

Offline ApplianceJunk

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Re: November Update
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2013, 07:10:32 PM »
Thanks!

Offline mashby

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Re: November Update
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2013, 07:15:24 PM »
Myriad and Beer in the same topic. I love it...looks great so far! :)
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Offline SoLoGHoST

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Re: November Update
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2013, 08:19:51 PM »
Congrats.  Sounds promising.  And if users want a sidebar in the admin, I'm sure someone will make a mod for it.

Offline Arantor

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Re: November Update
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2013, 08:23:39 PM »
While yes, it would be possible to make a mod out of it, I really wouldn't encourage them to do so. It wasn't removed lightly in the first place.
To assume is to hope that those who came before had the presence of mind and capacity to implement the dreams of those who would come after.

You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. It seems you have chosen which, and now I must do the same.

Offline SoLoGHoST

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Re: November Update
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2013, 09:01:10 PM »
Well, I kinda got attached a little cause it reminded me of the early days of phpBB.  I haven't see the newer days, but the early days of phpBB, my first actual forum software installed and was owner of www.acroaddicts.com.  Those were the days!
« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 09:19:10 PM by SoLoGHoST »

Offline CountryLady

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Re: November Update
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2013, 01:05:39 AM »
Wow, lots of good news in this update, Arantor. I really appreciate your ability to give us details without bogging us down, or talking over our heads.

Many "Thanks!" to Arantor, to all the Devs, and the whole SMF Team for continuing their wonderful work on SMF. Great Job~!

Offline Colin

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Re: November Update
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2013, 01:13:29 AM »
Awesome stuff! Thank you.
"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody is not thinking." - Gen. George S. Patton Jr.

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Re: November Update
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2013, 01:14:54 AM »
Lots of thanks to the dev team who have really been pushing through development lately. :)
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Re: November Update
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2013, 04:37:11 AM »
Thanks devs! :)

Offline Kindred

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Re: November Update
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2013, 08:50:06 AM »
Nice!


I blew away my previous alpha test install and have this version running on my test site, if anyone wants to try it.
(If I know who you are, I may be willing to make you mods or possibly admins to test deeper features)

http://test2.turtleshellprod.com
Please do not PM, IM or Email me with support questions.  You will get better and faster responses in the support boards.  Thank you.

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Re: November Update
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2013, 12:40:01 PM »

Offline Ricky.

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Re: November Update
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2013, 01:01:55 PM »
Very nice, I am already missing LIKE button here :)

Offline iMiKK

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Re: November Update
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2013, 05:19:57 PM »
I love that "Likes" has been added to the core. :)

Offline ApplianceJunk

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Re: November Update
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2013, 06:34:36 PM »
Wow, lots of good news in this update, Arantor. I really appreciate your ability to give us details without bogging us down, or talking over our heads.

Many "Thanks!" to Arantor, to all the Devs, and the whole SMF Team for continuing their wonderful work on SMF. Great Job~!

It's good to see Arantor on the SMF Team. :D