5.0.4 Beta Notes

Mar 15, 2013 at 5:43 AM
Just posted the first beta for 5.0.4. Here are a few notes.
  1. Just to be clear, It's BETA and not approved for production use yet.
  2. If you already have full text search enbled (under settings), turn it off and then turn it back on. This will ensure that the database is updated with the latest full text procs.
  3. There are some new styles related to search. They are located at the bottom of the module.css file in the themes/_default folder. If you have a custom theme, you will need to copy the styles into your own theme.
  4. There is now a JQuery UI theme incorporated into the Active Forums default theme. IF you have a custom theme, you will need to copy the jquery-ui css files from the themes/_default folder into your own theme folder. There are also a few jQuery UI related images in the themes_default/images folder that you will need to copy as well.
  5. You can easily create your own jQuery UI theme using the tools at jqueryui.com. If you choose to use your own theme, make sure that you use ".activeForums" as the value for "scope" when you generate the theme.
I highly recommend that you use Full Text search if it's available on your database server. Full Text search performs significantly faster than a normal search and provides better results.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

-JB
Mar 16, 2013 at 8:01 PM
Not sure if anyone is even paying attention to this, but here is my personal roadmap (aka things I hope to fix/implement myself) for the 5.0.4 release
  • Search Improvements - DONE
  • Improved Profile Pic Handler - The default DNN profile hander is too limiting (64x64 max). I plan to add a custom profile pic handler that creates the exact size specified in the AF settings. I also plan to add a setting that allow you to specify if the image should be scaled or cropped. This will allow for more design options in the profileinfo template.
  • Popup User Editor - A small user editor that will allow site admins to edit some basic user information in AF. For example: "Caption", "Reward Points", "Trust Level", etc. Right now I don't think there is a way to edit these values in AF 5. This needs to be fixed ASAP.
  • Forum Settings - Add "Trust Level" and "Auto Trust Level" to the forum setting editor. This should make the trust system fully usable.
  • AF Settings - Add a few missing settings to the AF Settings page. For example, "Enable Who's Online", "Enable Breadcrumbs", etc.
Mar 16, 2013 at 8:06 PM
I like your roadmap The only thing I would add is daily digest to bring the people back to forums or remind that they signed up.

Thanks for sharing your work with us I appreciate it and i am sure others do to.
Mar 16, 2013 at 8:07 PM
I second the appreciation. And I'm sure there are many of us watching and paying attention. Thank you
Mar 16, 2013 at 8:15 PM
Thanks guys.

I totally agree that the daily digest is an important feature. However, it falls under the category of things that I'm not quite ambitious/experienced enough to tackle yet. Not to beat a dead horse, but we could really use a few more experienced DNN developers working on this module right now. I'm doing what I can, but my time and dnn module development experience level are both limited.
Mar 16, 2013 at 8:21 PM
Edited Mar 16, 2013 at 8:22 PM
How do we get the developers to participate here? Maybe we can offer some $$? Will and DNN are not going to do anything here. I honestly believe this is an abandoned project. If they dont migrate the DNN forums to AF they are not going to work on this project. Its up to us to keep this alive.
Mar 16, 2013 at 8:26 PM
I've been offering to pay for a year. I have a dev that I pay for other stuff. I'll ask him to join in. See if he is interested. I would love to tackle all of the feature requests here plus a mail connector of some sort. I can't tell you how many emails a day I get from people who obviously don't know what "DO NOT REPLY" means


Mar 16, 2013 at 8:27 PM
That was my frustration last year. I couldn't even pay for what we wanted. We have the budget, just not the skills/time to learn. Its only been recently that I've employed my dev.
Mar 16, 2013 at 10:08 PM
@FrozenDNN - It's not an abandoned project if people like myself are working on it. I realize that this project is of ZERO priority for most of the management at DNN Corp, however, I don't believe for a second that Will wanted to abandon it. I think he's just neck deep working on other projects and doesn't have any real time to devote to it.

How do we get other developers involved? I don't know the answer to that. I wish I did. All we can do is keep moving forward and hope that more people get actively involved. There are MANY ways that people can contribute to this project other than just coding, so (as I've said before) I encourage everyone who wants to see this project move forward to try and contribute in one way or other.

@Supermansrf - Personally, I don't have a problem if you want to pay someone to help make improvements to the code as long as it adheres to the open source license. It's kind of a delicate thing though because we need to make sure that features that are changed or added do serve the project as a whole and not just one user.
Mar 16, 2013 at 10:21 PM
I definitely agree. I think that if anything having options is the way to go.

So far all you've really done is just make this work. Update it to work with core software, putting out fires along the way and adding things here and there. You bridged a HUGE gap that has been in existence for a while now. Now its time to tweak it and make it shine.

Basically what I would be doing is paying him to sit in my place. I can't code nor learn at this point in life but I now have a vested interest in this module. Its currently installed on 3 sites I maintain and have plans to upgrade 5 more. So I'm definitely not going anywhere any time soon.

The biggest issue with AF is that DNN continues to grow but AF is still just barely scratching the surface of what people want. The jump from DNN Forum to AF is huge. However, you compare AF to other forums out there and its well behind the times. Mainly because time stood still for a year+ while other things passed it by.

So until there is enough help to keep moving forward with equal pace as DNN we will always be plagued with scenarios like I'm working on now. I have 5 sites on DNN 5.6.7 that only recently I've been able to even pursue upgrading. My thinking was why on earth would I upgrade at all if I can't go all the way? I like to keep things current and not fall 2 years behind in updates. I maintain servers the same way (not just web hosting servers but my client's servers). If not you're always susceptible to vulnerabilities. Websites should be the first thing you upgrade. They are always public facing.

I'm all about it. I'll email him today and if he is interested I will have him email you directly JB.
Mar 16, 2013 at 10:27 PM
I know this is way off topic here, but is anyone else having issues with profile pictures not showing up properly?

I can see my own,in certain places, but not everywhere.
Mar 16, 2013 at 10:35 PM
Off topic – found

It would appear that if you're staging a site, and not using the default alias pictures don't work properly. This makes no sense to me at all, but whatever. Change the default alias to the test url and its fixed. Ok?
Mar 16, 2013 at 10:45 PM
Yep, we can get there. I look forward to collaborating with you (and others) on getting this project where it needs to be.

Regarding the core profile image handler, I've noticed that too. I like that there is an easy shared way to deal with profile images now, but IMO it still needs a bit of work. That's one of the reasons why I want to add a custom profile image handler to AF. It will still use the same core profile images, just deal with resizing, etc. on it's own.
Mar 17, 2013 at 10:38 AM
Regarding the profile image handler, I have a suggestion for a "quick fix": On my site I use the open-source, free "ImageResizer" found at http://imageresizing.net/. It is by far the best image handler I have ever used and it's easy to use.

You add parameters to the HTML img-tag, like this: <img src="/filename.jpg?width=100&height=100"> and the handler will do the rest - including creating a cached copy of the image to improve performance.

To use this image handler in AF, we just need to be able to insert the userid as a token in the AF templates. You would then be able to add the ImageResizer parameters yourself directly in the template.

I realize that this is not the optimal solution (DNN should provide a good profilepic handler). But it's a quick solution and would free up a lot of your time, jbrunken (I think it's quite time consuming to write a proper image handler with caching etc.)
Mar 18, 2013 at 11:08 PM
jbrunken wrote:
@FrozenDNN - It's not an abandoned project if people like myself are working on it. I realize that this project is of ZERO priority for most of the management at DNN Corp, however, I don't believe for a second that Will wanted to abandon it. I think he's just neck deep working on other projects and doesn't have any real time to devote to it.
I should have been clear. You and other few are keeping this project alive. Not DNN Corp. And if DNN Corp. does not upgrade their forums to ActiveForum...this is a dead project to them. I do not believe that that Will wants to abandon this project because he created this but there is nothing he can do if DNN Corp decides not to upgrade their forums. Upgrade has not happened so far (almost 2 years now?) so I think it's not going to happen anymore.

Has anyone from DNN Corp. worked on this project (code) for the past 6-8 months?
Mar 18, 2013 at 11:15 PM
What does it matter if they work on it or not? Personally I'm glad they aren't working on it. I'm sure if they did it would only be included in the overpriced Professional/Enterprise version anyway.

My bigger worry would be that they do away with the Community edition at some point.

I know some have the money to throw at that license, but me personally, I have 0 clients who would foot that bill yearly.

I have however, devoted paid resources to help further this project. He is a paid dev but we are paying for his time. He has committed to helping and we have committed the financial resources to paying for his time. I know that we won't let this die. I've also started working on graphics for a new "look". Its taking me time to look into the current graphics and what has room for improvement. I also have some grey area that needs explained to me about the use of royalty free vector graphics for a project like this. I know that I can't resell them but not sure about providing to an open source project like this. I'm waiting on an explanation right now from my source.


Mar 19, 2013 at 12:51 AM
@Allanedk Unfortunately, I don't think we could add that image handler without potentially affecting other things in DNN. What we need to so is fairly straight forward and doesn't need to be overly flexible, so we should be able to come up with something that works ok. Hopefully DNN Corp. will enhance the current profile image handler soon and make it a non-issue. In any case, I like your suggestion of making the user id available as a template tag. I can see that being useful in a number of ways.

@FrozenDNN That may be true, but ultimately it doesn't matter if DNN Corp converts their forums to AF or not. I'm sure that they think what's there now is working for them and they probably don't see any ROI in upgrading. It doesn't appear that they are investing any time in the old DNN forum module either. I'm guessing that "forums" aren't a high priority item for the type of companies that are paying thousands per year to license DNN. With that said, I do think it would be a nice endorsement for AF if they did make the switch.

@Supermansrf I don't think the community edition is every going anywhere, although it does concern me that DNN doesn't promote it at all anymore. Ultimately, I think that's bad for the platform, but that's just my opinion.

If you have questions about the images, let me know. I may not have any answers, but I'll try!
Mar 19, 2013 at 10:51 AM
jbrunken wrote:
@Allanedk Unfortunately, I don't think we could add that image handler without potentially affecting other things in DNN. What we need to so is fairly straight forward and doesn't need to be overly flexible, so we should be able to come up with something that works ok. Hopefully DNN Corp. will enhance the current profile image handler soon and make it a non-issue. In any case, I like your suggestion of making the user id available as a template tag. I can see that being useful in a number of ways.
Sure! I agree that we can't embed the ImageResizer handler into AF or DNN. But as a work around, it would work if we could just insert the userid in templates. Plus, as you said, the userid-token would be very useful in a lot of other scenarios as well.

Is it easy to add a new userid-token?
Mar 19, 2013 at 1:57 PM
It should not be difficult to add a token for userid. I'm not going to swear that there is not one already that we just don't know about. I'll take a look. Keep in mind though that you still have to handle the case where the user does not have a profile image, so the userid itself may not be enough.
Mar 19, 2013 at 4:24 PM
Great - thanks.

Note: The image handler that I use (ImageResizer) can handle the situation where a image is not available. You can specify a "fallback" image (and dimensions) to be used if the user doesn't have a profile image. Pretty handy feature.
Mar 21, 2013 at 12:04 AM
According to Will, the next maintenance release of DNN may include some improvements to the image handler. Hopefully that will eliminate the need for any custom image handler in AF.
Mar 21, 2013 at 4:53 AM
I have a questions. Sad to say, I work on this stuff all of the time, but rarely get to use it. I have been playing a bunch with AF over the past several days. I have a question.

What is everyone's thoughts about including the default (or user chosen) HTML editor in AF rather than its current interface? While it is simple enough, I love the features that are included in the core 7x editor as well as CK editor.

Thoughts?
Mar 21, 2013 at 4:55 AM
supermansrf wrote:
I have a questions. Sad to say, I work on this stuff all of the time, but rarely get to use it. I have been playing a bunch with AF over the past several days. I have a question.

What is everyone's thoughts about including the default (or user chosen) HTML editor in AF rather than its current interface? While it is simple enough, I love the features that are included in the core 7x editor as well as CK editor.

Thoughts?
You can already do this using the Settings for the Groups/Forums, enabling HTML
Mar 21, 2013 at 4:58 AM
Can you elaborate? I just see a checkbox there. There is a … icon to the right of the checkbox, but it doesn't appear to do anything.

I know that you can insert html but does that actually use say DNNRadEditor? Or CKEditor?


Mar 21, 2013 at 5:00 AM
Yes, check the box, then click the Icon and you can choose the editor options there. If clicking the icon doesn't do anything look to see if you have any JS errors in the browser.
Mar 21, 2013 at 5:02 AM
Holy crap batman. I just saw it. The site I've been playing around with didn't do that last night. I wondered why that … was there. Now its working. PowerDNN figured out a pretty big issue with my server today. Whatever they did fixed several issues I've been having lately.



Thanks Chris
Mar 21, 2013 at 5:03 AM
I had the same question like 3 weeks ago :D
Mar 21, 2013 at 5:05 AM
It still doesn't appear to be the same html editor though. All I see (logged in as super user) is bold, it, ul, quote, image, code

Should there be more?
Mar 21, 2013 at 5:10 AM
That was premature. I see those few items in quick reply. If I do a reply I get nothing. Smilies down the right of the container. No markup options at all. Back to my original issue. This is happening on multiple sites.


Mar 21, 2013 at 5:18 AM
Geez, ignore me. Never mind. Love it exactly the way it is. This is a great case where RTFM would come in really handy. If we had a manual yet :-)
Mar 22, 2013 at 1:38 PM
Great to see that "someone" is still working on AF! :) As many others then I almost thought it as an "dead" product. Glad it's not true!

What I'm most concerned about is the documentation available for AF has been kept up-to-date. Specifically I'm thinking about the list of "tokens" available. The current is for version 4x and I can see in the example templates that several new has been added, but not having been added to the documentation.

I'm also happy to see that the "What's New" module is back, as this is a very important part of my site. And I would love to see improvements here, like a simple one just allowing for "alternate" displaying options (allowing each "news" topic to be displayed in alternate colors).

I'm a little in the same boat as supermansrf, I have the resources to pay for some development, but cannot do too much myself.

So my question to you Jason and DNN Corp. is what can we as the users/community do to help improve the overall quality and functionality of AF?

Rgds,
Erik
Mar 22, 2013 at 8:12 PM
Erik,

Documentation is a big area that would help a lot of people. Unfortunately, it's not something I can tackle. I only have limited time to devote to this project (occasional weekends and evenings), so I'm just focused on the code.

I'd like to see more people get involved, but I'm not sure how much I can do to coordinate any of it (I'll do what I can).

As for DNN Corp, from what I can tell, forums don't seem to be part of their road map going forward. I wouldn't expect much input/help from them with the exception of Will contributing when/if he gets some free time.

Forums are the heart & soul of my site, so I plan to continue working on this even if it is slow going.

-JB
Mar 22, 2013 at 8:27 PM
I've started working on the documentation. I downloaded everything I could get my hands on from the old articles.

I've gotten it all in what I consider a logical "organized" manner on my Mac but that's about as far as I got. That basically means that its in a folder. I started going through things and realized that I need to learn the function of AF more before I can say whether something is accurate or not and either publish, correct or delete things.

I will get everything published to a google project where we all can contribute or collaborate etc.

Give me a week or less and I will make progress.
Mar 22, 2013 at 8:45 PM
That's great! Ultimately, the documentation should be added to the wiki here in the CodePlex project. We can give whoever wants to work on the documentation access to update the project wiki.

If you want to organize things in Google docs first, that's no big deal. I can understand how that would be much easier in the short term.
Mar 22, 2013 at 8:54 PM
I just don't know how to use codeplex. If you think it's better, I'm all about learning.

Point me in the right direction and ill get on it.
Mar 22, 2013 at 9:08 PM
@supermansrf I've added you to the editor role for the project so theoretically, you should be able to update the documentation. I haven't worked with the wiki that much, but it seems pretty straight forward. Here is the documentation page: http://codeplex.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Working%20with%20the%20Home%20Page&referringTitle=Documentation

BTW, I just noticed there were a few other requests to join the project from various people. Unfortunately it doesn't show any type of a date, so I can't tell if those are old requests or new requests. If there are people out there who are waiting to join, please send me a message.
Mar 23, 2013 at 8:51 AM
jbrunken wrote:
As for DNN Corp, from what I can tell, forums don't seem to be part of their road map going forward. I wouldn't expect much input/help from them with the exception of Will contributing when/if he gets some free time.
Forums are the heart & soul of my site, so I plan to continue working on this even if it is slow going.
I'm in the process of replacing an old Community Server site with 100,000 members to DotNetNuke and Forums is also the most important part, together with blogs etc. and I'm really puzzled with how DNN on the one side can make announcements about "DNN Social" (http://www.dotnetnuke.com/Products/DNN-Social.aspx) and here so clearly having discussions/questions/answers in such a prominent place and then don't even worry about their forum software. Or are those screen shoots not even DNN?
Mar 23, 2013 at 2:13 PM
erikernst wrote:
jbrunken wrote:
As for DNN Corp, from what I can tell, forums don't seem to be part of their road map going forward. I wouldn't expect much input/help from them with the exception of Will contributing when/if he gets some free time.
Forums are the heart & soul of my site, so I plan to continue working on this even if it is slow going.
I'm in the process of replacing an old Community Server site with 100,000 members to DotNetNuke and Forums is also the most important part, together with blogs etc. and I'm really puzzled with how DNN on the one side can make announcements about "DNN Social" (http://www.dotnetnuke.com/Products/DNN-Social.aspx) and here so clearly having discussions/questions/answers in such a prominent place and then don't even worry about their forum software. Or are those screen shoots not even DNN?
Well i think that DNN is moving toward a "Q & A" type instead of Forums, you can clearly see that in their portal. Personally i highly dislike Q & A but to be honest this is what i see in the modern works. Forums are considered legacy ....
Mar 23, 2013 at 2:54 PM
I was told that DNN Social contains some type of "discussions" component. I'm not sure what that means but I'm guessing it's some kind of lightweight facebook-esqe version of a forum.

In any case it doesn't matter to me. What I want on my site is a full featured forum with Social Integration. Forums may be "Legacy" but IMO, they are still the right tool for the job.
Mar 23, 2013 at 10:56 PM
@allanedk Looks like the userid is already available in the profile-info template: [AF:PROFILE:USERID]
Mar 23, 2013 at 11:13 PM
Edited Mar 23, 2013 at 11:13 PM
jbrunken wrote:
@allanedk Looks like the userid is already available in the profile-info template: [AF:PROFILE:USERID]
Thats why I say the documentation needs to be updated. Also some directions on using the token.config would be appreciated.
Mar 24, 2013 at 6:46 PM
Agreed.

There are a couple of people who have joined the project that have indicated that would like to help a bit with documentation. Hopefully we'll be able to get an updated list of supported tags, etc posted.

BTW, I took a look at token.confg and I can tell you that the majority of that file is not used at all. There are 2 or 3 items in it that are used in the source code. I don't know if that is something new that was being added, or something old that was being removed.