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  1. Early 2010 will see some great new features, enhancements and improvements to our community software here at This is who we are! The creator of our software has lots of exciting things planned and progress has already been made on a few key features. Enhanced Status Updates One of the most popular features at TIWWA is the 'Facebook/Twitter' style Status Updates which have proved to be a lot of fun with our members. Originally intended to be a quick notification of what you are doing, thinking or feeling that you can put in your member profile, once we added the most recent Status Updates onto the main forum index, the Status Updates have often become mini-conversations in their own right. This has happened to other boards as well, and so it has been taken it to the next logical step and will soon allow archived statuses and status replies. There will be a new tab in a member's profile for recent status updates and recent status actions, as seen in this screen shot below. As one would expect, this is all handled via Ajax with normal post operations for those who do not have javascript enabled. Replies appear instantly, comments are deleted instantly and even status updates are removed instantly. See it in action below: There is also a new page for all status updates: You can even receive email notification on any replies to your statuses or any replies to statuses you've replied to: This takes a minor feature and gives it a little more focus and should help increase traffic between user profiles and give more of a social feel to TIWWA. Your status can also be updated automatically from Facebook if you are using Facebook connect (we currently have this disabled). As always, please keep in mind that these are early preview screenshots and may change between now and the finished version. As always, we'd love to know what you think. The forum software isn't the only component to receive some improvements, we'll see some great new functionality and ideas in the Gallery, Blogs and Download sections of TIWWA too. IP.Gallery Major new features coming soon include: Friendly Urls Image Notes Improved Slideshow Profile Picture Album Sub Albums Category and Album Covers Friends Only Albums Reputation Support Interface ImprovementsDownload Button for wallpapers and images. This update brings many refinements, performance optimizations, and new features, including: Friendly URLs IP.Gallery now makes full use of the IP.Board FURL system. Categories, albums, images and more now have the friendly URL structure you're familiar with. Image notes Image owners are now able to add notes to sections of their images, positioning and resizing them to suit. Other members will be able to see the notes when hovering over the image. Image rotation Images can now be rotated in 90° increments, to compensate for those photos taken in landscape or portrait, but saved in the wrong orientation. New slideshow A completely rewritten slideshow feature! It is now a unified interface, loading images on demand as necessary. Users can play or pause the slideshow at will, or jump to specific photos using the thumbnail bar. Profile picture album You can now create a new kind of album, a 'Profile Picture' Album. After this album has been created, any images that you upload to it will be displayed on the change picture page in your User CP, making them easy to select as your profile image. Sub albums Albums now support unlimited sub albums, which work exactly like gallery sub categories. Category & album covers It is now possible to specify one of the images in a category or album to be the cover of that category or album. If a cover image is specified, it will always be displayed for that category or album, instead of the last image thumbnail. Friends-only albums When creating an album, users can now choose to restrict viewing to only those users who are on their friends list. Reputation support in comments We have added support for IP.Board's reputation feature in comments posted within IP.Gallery. Interface tweaks We have updated the style of categories so that larger versions of the image are used, to give more impact. The image listing has also been updated, and will now show as many images on a row as the users browser can fit. This should improve the display of IP.Gallery for users who have higher screen resolutions. The image view screen has also been improved, including support for those features mentioned above. IP.Blog It's a fairly substantial upgrade with many new features and improvements, not least of all an RSS import feature, so you can import content from other sites into your blog, like latest game rviews or release dates, weather or science news updates etc. Major new features coming soon to the Blog component include: Efficiency Improvements - Several more caching layers added for commonly requested data from blogs and entries. This, along with significant SQL query work makes this version the most efficient yet. The improvements are obvious even here. Pages load much quicker with much fewer queries. Categories Interface Improvements - The user interface has had a complete facelift to bring it up to standard. The new look feels more 'bloggish' and enhances the experience. They've added drop down menus at the top so that you can quickly access common areas and start new entries where you have permission to. The post screen has been overhauled to add functionality. You should find the new version much easier to navigate and easier to use. List View Returns RSS Imports Banish Entries Admin Improvements Group Blogs This is a new feature that allows the admin to set up a group-wide blog. This blog is a normal blog in every other way. For example, we could set up a blog for all staff and everyone in the staff group will instantly be able to start writing new blog entries and managing comments, etc. We have something similar now but its been done using a dummy members account. We could set up a blog for a project team for example. Blog This! This is a brand new feature that adds a "Blog This" button to every post. This allows you to use post content in your blog entry. Furthermore, the relationship is remembered and all linked blog entries appear at the bottom of the topic when viewed: Pre entry Rating You can now rate each blog entry rather than just the entire blog itself. The blog rating is still shown on the homepage as an aggregate of all rated entries: Report Item and Reputation You can now report an entire blog entry, or just a single comment. You can now also give someone a reputation increase/decrease in comments: List View Returns A common request was the return of a fully sortable and filterable list view for blogs that emulated a forum view. I have added this in. You'll notice you can click the table headers to sort on that column and click again to reverse the sort. There is also a "List Blogs" sidebar block to quickly filter and list the blogs. There's even a little 'preview the latest entry' icon that shows the entry excerpt in a pop-up so you don't have to leave the page to preview it. There are also countless other improvements and enhancements. Dynamic Sidebar Block Some the footer links (Top 10 bloggers, etc) have moved into a dynamic sidebar along with Recent Entries. This makes it easier to locate and saves a bit of space: RSS Imports Another long requested feature was to be able to create entries from an RSS feed. This is now a feature. You can control which member groups have access to this as well as limit the number of items imported on each cycle. IP.Downloads Major new features coming soon include: Friendly Urls - IP.Downloads 2.1 will feature friendly urls for the main index page, category view pages, file view pages, and downloading files. Resume Breakpoints Toggle Per Category Settings Download Sessions Storage Improvements You can now submit multiple files at one time per file record. For instance, you might submit "My Home Movie", and then upload "movie.part1", "movie.part2", and "movie.part3" to break your movie into multiple pieces.You can now submit multiple screenshots per file recordWhen submitting links you can identify a link "type" (i.e. a mirror, for instance). Along with multiple physical files, you will be able to submit multiple urls, providing for built in mirror support by linking to copies of the download hosted elsewhere.Due to the improved file uploading process, a progress bar is now shown for all files uploading. This will allow for multiple simultaneous file uploads, as well as progress-bar support, when uploading files.
  2. Just a small titbit or two on the forthcoming version of the community software which we use. Firstly there is official confirmation that users will soon be able to have multiple blogs. This will be welcome news for those who have or want a dedicated blog on a particular subject here at TIWWA, but would like to keep a personal blog for themselves. Soon you could have at least two blogs. Secondly, TIWWA will now support a basic implementation of Facebook Connect as an option for users logging into TIWWA and associating their account with the same login as their Facebook account. This feature will be off by default and may be optionally enabled by us when we evaluate it. Should we decide to use this, the basics are that: Users will have the ability to use Facebook Connect to login to TIWWA. They will also have the ability to either associate their Facebook account with an existing TIWWA account, or create a new TIWWA account. Basic profile data such as avatar, profile picture, "About Me", and status will be synced to TIWWA from Facebook. Invision have purposely kept the complexity of the various syncing options available through Facebook Connect to a minimum. They have many ideas on how they would like to expand the capabilities in the future, but they wanted to keep the integration basic for the time being. See it as an additional login option, just like OpenID. If you have a desire to see this functionality enabled, please let us know.
  3. Occasionally we can update you on the forthcoming next revision of our community software, so here's a brief update on the latest development and features together with an update on when we can expect to start using the new release. Gravatar Support Gravatar is as service that hosts your avatar so you can have the same avatar on the various communities you visit. It also allows you to centrally update your avatar and have it show up all over the web. You just sign up on their site and then enter your email address you registered with Gravatar in TIWWA's settings area. Warn Panel Updates (For moderators) The warn panel has been updated to allow for moderators to be able to better control troublesome members and posts without administrator intervention. Enhancements include: Option to "ban" a member permanently from the warn panel Increase or decrease warn value by a custom value (rather than just +1 or -1) for super moderators only Ability to unapprove (hide) all member's posts and/or topics made with the last X days/hours Member's current reputation and other general information now displayed on warn panel Mutual Friends Adding and removing friends is now a mutual option in that if you add someone as a friend you will also appear on their profile as a friend. The same goes for removing a friend: if you remove a friend you are also removed from their friend list. Reputation Logs Administrators can now edit a member's reputation points. They can also view the record of ratings that member has left for others and the ratings others have left for that member. Enhanced Watched Topics/Forums The listing of watched topics and forums in your user settings now displays the number of new topics or posts since your last visit. You can click this link to be taken to the forum listing showing only those new topics since your last visit. Filter Forum by New Topics You can now filter a forum using the filter options bar at the bottom of the page to show only new topics posted since your last visit. Public Polls The option to allow public polls is now in the admin area. Public polls are like normal polls but they show the name of the members who voted and what they voted for in the poll. Administrators can also optionally allow members to delete their vote and re-vote in polls. This new feature only functions with newly-created polls. Administrators can switch a poll from private to public only if the poll has had no votes. IP.Board 3.0.0 Release The preview testing and feedback has been going so well that Invision have decided to re-evaluate their release schedule. A final version will not be out by the end of this year, this will delay the final release until early next year, it brings the benefit of a much shorter beta-release cycle since IPB is being so heavily tested now. This means that there will be fewer beta releases before moving on to the final release. It also means that the final release of IPB will be as good as it can be which is good for everyone. Invision believe that this short delay until the final release will be beneficial for all, as the final version of IPB 3.0 will be as stable as it can be on day one.
  4. With the upcoming release of IP.Board 3, we will of course be updating our components to be compatible with the new architecture. Releases of IP.Blog, IP.Gallery and IP.Downloads will be available alongside IP.Board 3.0 so that we can update everything at the same time and not have to worry about when our other components will be ready. IPS who sell our software have determined that initially for the big release, they will only be working for application compatibility between our components. They want to spend all of their time focusing on IP.Board itself to ensure maximum stability, especially given the fact that they are working on an entirely new platform. This means that you won't really notice any new features to speak of with the Blog, Gallery and Downloads updates. You will, however, notice much better integration between the applications and the board itself, and an updated look and feel for all applications. Some examples of this include: Integrated searching - one search form will search everything Ability to show gallery or blog data on board index through hooks IP.Blog Proper user-customizable headers RSS blogs - allows members to import their remote blog or news into their blogs "Blog this post" support IP.Gallery Ability to crop, rotate, dynamically resize images. Use Javascript for front end, then re-generate image using GD on backend when user saves. Fancy slideshow feature. Something like Flickr, but done completely in Javascript (no flash needed), little simpler probably. Better album control based on friendships - only allow friends to view album, allow friends to submit to your album, etc. Sub-albums Image tagging Correct category/album markers (ala IPB) Allow users to choose album covers from images in an album IP.Downloads [*]Better and more abstracted support for file records. Ultimately the goal would be to allow you to submit multiple files to a single file record. Uses would include "contributed files", breaking single files into "parts" (i.e. for large movies), and multiple screenshots per record, for instance. [*]Support for mirrors [*]More reliable upload progress meter [*]File tagging These are just some ideas are floating around. Final feature lists will be determined after the release of IP.Board 3.0. Shortly after the dust settles following the big releases, and everything is calmer and stable, they will be working on "big" updates for their first-party application addons. At this point, they are still discussing what new features would best serve their customers for Blog, Gallery and Downloads. Below is a list they've discussed that they think we'll like. What do you think of it so far?
  5. Here's some extra FAQ regarding the forthcoming major change to the existing PM (personal messaging) system which is to be replaced by the new Personal Converstations (or topics if you like). Will there be a search facility for the personal conversations? How does moderation and reporting work with this? Any way for the admin/moderator to see a complete listing of personal topics? You CAN report a personal conversation to a moderator and you can report any reply in the conversation as well. The original content from the database is saved in the report, as well as the ability for anyone handling the report to be able to view the entire conversation through the report system. Also we can simply switch off the ability to invite for specific member groups and they're back to 1 on 1 messaging. What if the topic starter decided to delete the "topic"? What if the user wants to deletes a certain "reply"? You can also delete or edit your own replies, if so desired. It's your prerogative. [*]Is the tracking feature will work with the new system? Tracking is no longer required. There's a topic participant box to the left of the conversation which shows you who can read the topic and the last time they read it. [*]Can you still cc a copy of a message to a new user that's not currently in the conversation? A feature to 'cc' a conversation to another user will be added. Also the ability to invite members into existing conversations will be added. Yes, at last there will be a search facility. I currently have over 1000 PM's in my Inbox and Sent Boxes at present, and searching back through them for things is often to time consuming. So with the new system, yes you can search the messages, the specifics of which are not yet finalized. I know many members will find useful. No, they are kept "personal" as per personal messages. We do not invade members privacy. When the topic starter "deletes" the conversation, it will be removed from their inbox but appear as locked for everyone else. Any participant can delete a locked topic.
  6. The following is the next in our series of heads-up style updates on what to expect soon from our board, and is itself a copy of a blog entry announcing the new feature Personal Converstations, which will be replacing the current PM (personal message) system in the forthcoming version of our board software. IP.Board 3: Personal Conversations Posted by Matt, Sep 26 2008, 02:41 PM in IP.Board Around ten years ago, I was hard at work on one of the first 'Private Message' modifications for a board that has long ceased to exist. At the time it was an exciting novelty to be able to message another board member. These days it's an expected feature for any seriously considered forum software. Not much has really changed with messaging's core features. Sure, the interface has become a little smarter and there have been a few little bells and whistles added such as message tracking but ultimately it's still sort-of email based in functionality. In fact, almost two years ago, I blogged about Personal Topics, the next logical step in private messaging. Enter Personal Conversations As, with most of IP.Board 3.0.0's new features, personal conversations - as we like to call them - have been a popular request. A request that we have now fulfilled! Why bother CC-ing and forwarding messages to other members when you can invite them right into the conversation? How it Works Where you would normally 'compose' a new message, you now 'start a new conversation'. The form looks largely the same. However, instead of there being a space to "CC" other members, there are boxes for you to invite other members. How many members you can invite is up to the administrator as it's limited to your group settings. In fact, the admin could remove your ability to invite other members completely if they desired to return to a more traditional messaging system. The recipient and each invited member will be notified they have a new message (in terms of notification, a message is either a new conversation or a reply to any existing conversation). The new conversation will appear in both their "Inbox" and their "New" folders. It will remain in their "new" folder until its read and then it will only be available in the inbox. Why? Well, because of the magic folders. But more of that in a moment. The conversation looks largely the same as a normal topic does; linearly sorted with the newest replies last. There is even a "fast reply" form much like you use when replying to topics. This instantly makes it easier to view previous replies and keep the 'thread' of conversation without having to delving into your 'sent' folder to see what you replied with. The topic starter (and any participating super moderator) can choose to 'block' any participant that is blockable. Immunity from being blocked is granted by the "Not Ignorable" setting. This means you can ensure that you (the admin) can never be blocked from a conversation you are participating in. When a participant is blocked, the topic vanishes from their folders until they are unblocked. Each participant apart from the topic starter can choose to leave a conversation at any time. Once the participant has left the conversation, it is only available in the magic "Finished" folder and the replies no longer count towards your space allowance. The topic starter cannot re-invite you but you can choose to rejoin the conversation at any time. The topic starter can choose to invite more members (up to their invite allowance) at any time from the conversation display screen. Each participant can also view all participants and see the last time they read the conversation. Magic Folders This is the term we give to certain folders that are not editable or removable. They are: "New", "Finished", "All" and "My Conversations". Topics in "New" and "My Conversations" can also be in other folders. "My Conversations" is the default location for any conversation you start. You can then move into another folder -- but it will always be accessible from "My Conversations". "New" simply lists any new personal conversations or any personal conversations with new replies. So, you could have a conversation in "My Folder". When it receives a new reply, it will also be listed in "New" until you read it. "Finished" simply lists all the conversations you've left, allowing you to rejoin if desired. "All", as the name implies, lists all the conversations you are participating in as either a starter, recipient or invitee. We think this is a very exciting step forward for personal communication and opens up new ways to communicate via the forum. Ten years is a long time to wait for change. We hope you find it worth the wait
  7. The Old Man

    IPB3.0 is on the way!

    Coming later this year will be the next major revision of IPB - Invision Power Board. This is the software platform which TIWWA runs on. V3.0 has been written from the ground up with increased performance and efficiency in mind (much provided by PHP5 which it now solely supports) plus a whole lot of new features that will help to improve add-ons like the Gallery and Blog facilities, plus 3rd party Mods. A rewrite of the core programming will allow for many feature requests to be implemented that were impossible before. Over the course of a series of Blog entries, I'll try and highlight some of the more 'member' relevant exciting changes as Invision release details of them. Invision are saying that IPB3.0 will be out in the final quarter of 2008 and that the main core of the software is now supposedly completed.
  8. One of the most frequently asked for facilities here at TIWWA is a chat room. We know you guys often want to talk amongst yourselves. I do honestly keep an eye out for such software that we can integrate with the board, so that you can use your existing log-in's without having to re-register on a separate database. Unfortunately most of the solutions have been very expensive, have security issues or are just plain fiddly. Enter IP.Shoutbox! Rather than a 3rd party mod add-on, IP.Shoutbox is a feature-rich shoutbox/chat system for TIWWA and other forums that use IPBoard that is supported fully by Invision as a community project. You are possibly familiar with the concept, but IP.Shoutbox will enable you to send shouts to each other and allow others can read them. Its basically a small live 'chat facility' where forum members can type quickly messages to each other. It is like a chat-room for the forums, without the need for Java, Flash or any other browser dependency! IP.Shoutbox is still in beta testing but is developing rapidly! At this present time, we do not know of when a final, stable release will be available, but when we do, we will keep you informed via this blog! I won't be installing the beta versions on this live site, but they are close to a release candidate. Here's a couple of stills I grabbed from another site that is using it. This is the board's default blue and white skin, so don't worry, it will blend it when we come to use it. You will have full control in your member settings control panel over its use and its dimensions (width/height etc). You can use public or private shouts, smilies, insert images and use BBCodes etc. I'm sure you'll find it fun and a great alternative to rapid fire PM's when you are trying to discuss something quickly - perhaps even a TV show whilst you are simultaneously watching it! Also, our Elder moderator team will have full moderation powers to track and remove any naughtiness or follow up any complaints - but you guys rock so fortunately that's never much of a problem for us!

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