Working on a 5.0.5 release, thoughts?

Sep 11, 2013 at 6:11 AM
I've had some time this week now that my racing season is ramping down (Nationals was last week) to do some Active Forums work. Primarily I fixed a problem with Full Text Search not returning results for my site (http://sccaforums.com/) due to the amount of topics/replies that it had to search through for results.

I also spent some time this evening merging my changes into the TFS codebase, and checked all of those in.

Because of the SQL changes, and how long ago the 5.0.4 beta was release, I'll do a 5.0.5 package as a Beta later this week.

My development environment is currently compiling against DNN 7.1.0, so I need to figure out if anyone needs 7.0.* support, of if 7.1.0 is fine for the release? I'm leaning towards 7.1.0 and if you want to compile it against an older version you can do that yourself.

Thoughts?

Any other major issues that could be quickly fixed for a new release?
Sep 11, 2013 at 6:24 AM
You made my day, and its only 1:22 am. Any chance of trying to figure out whats up with not being able to save "default dnn editor" as html editor? I have experienced it being all over the board. Sometimes it works just fine, and others it won't stick. I can select it and see it once or twice but it won't stay that way.

Thanks Chris
Sep 11, 2013 at 6:43 AM
Not sure what the issue is? You can't set the editor that is used for the forums? Or is it an individual user problem?
Sep 11, 2013 at 6:53 AM
Sorry I should have explained this a little better.

Here is one person's take on it and some responses: http://activeforums.codeplex.com/discussions/455131

And I have a feeling this is related: http://activeforums.codeplex.com/discussions/452311

What I have seen is the following, I have 3-4 groups with 3-4 forums per group. All forums set to inherit from group.

I go in and set features for Group A. Enable HTML input and select Default DNN editor as editor. Save. Go out, test. Sometimes I can get DNN html editor, sometimes only text box. Usually only text box. Go back in and look at settings and its back to text box.

I've even played around in control panel, set group a up with default dnn editor, go set group b the same way. Saving after selecting both. Go back in to group a and its already gone. It doesn't stick is the best way I can describe it.

The only other assumption I have and I have nothing else to base this on, is I have AF installed on 6 websites. Activeforums.org is the only site that it seems to be working on, and it was a fresh install with no existing content. The rest of the sites have ALL been migrated from DNN forum.

One of my migrated sites I was able to get the DNN editor to stick for a little while. Long enough to go in and change a few photo sizes. However after a few days it went back to text box.

Does that make sense at all? I'm sure there are bigger fish to fry than this, but this one thing is really keeping me from launching AF permanently on several of my sites. I have to make it easy for end users to post links to photos, as we won't allow attachment uploads.
Sep 11, 2013 at 7:10 AM
Hi Chris,

Thanks for working on this again.

Since you asked;

Is it possible to show the topics view for Social Groups instead of forums view?
Is it possible to enable Daily Digest by default to all (or set) group members?

:)

I have not upgraded my website to DNN 7.1 but if you make AF compatible with DNN 7.1, I will upgrade.

Again, thank you very much.
Sep 11, 2013 at 1:55 PM
Go for DNN 7.1, keep it moving...
Sep 11, 2013 at 4:10 PM
FrozenDNN wrote:
Hi Chris,

Thanks for working on this again.

Since you asked;

Is it possible to show the topics view for Social Groups instead of forums view?
Is it possible to enable Daily Digest by default to all (or set) group members?
Those are definitely things outside of the scope of what I am willing to work on this week :D I'm not even sure what you're asking :D
Sep 11, 2013 at 6:37 PM
Go for DNN 7.1.0
Sep 11, 2013 at 7:15 PM
Chris,

Thanks for taking the time to do a little work on the project. My summer has been super busy too, but I'm hoping to get involved again sometime in the not too distant future. As the weather gets colder, I should have more time to devote to it again.

The reason that 5.0.4 was never made into a production release was related to Azure not being compatible with the search updates. To be honest, this issue did somewhat dampen my enthusiasm for working on the project. I don't use Azure and I'm not really a SQL guy, so I've had a hard time trying to figure out how to attack it.

So... I guess Azure compatibility is another issue that we need to think through before moving forward. It's not important to me at all, but I know it's important to some AF users.

As for the version. My personal opinion is that We should stick to 7.0 as the base development environment. I'm guessing there are a lot of users (myself included) that haven't upgraded to 7.1 yet for a number of reasons. However, with that said, my opinion on the matter is not really that strong and I'd be fine with it if we decided to move to 7.1.

One issue that definitely needs to be sorted out is "friendly urls". They've never worked properly in 5.0 and I'm not sure that they couldn't be done better with 7.1 functionality but I haven't researched it enough to know for sure.

Thanks again!

-JB
Sep 11, 2013 at 7:20 PM
@JB,

I think that Azure compatibility is important, but personally I think that can come in a future release. My intention this week is a 5.0.5 release that is BETA like 5.0.4, and then move that to Production in the coming weeks.

URLs, agreed, but I would say that can come for a v5.1 release, maybe this fall.

Chris
Sep 11, 2013 at 7:31 PM
If we are willing to give up Azure compatibility in the short term, then IMO we should go ahead and release 5.0.4 to production. I've had it running in production for months and I haven't run into any issues that don't already exist in 5.0.3. It also fixed several issues that people have run into with 5.0.3.

Personally, I think we should just strip out all of the friendly URL code and start from scratch in a future version. The only thing that code is doing right now is making things more complex during development.

The other big issue that I think needs to be fixed in the short term is the bug where when you reply, you always get taken back to the first page in the thread. I tried to fix this once, but it turned out to be a big can of worms and I ended up backing out of the changes.
Sep 11, 2013 at 7:34 PM
My understanding about Azure SQL and full-text is that the full-text feature is only available if you deploy (i.e. install) SQL Server on a virtual machine, and is not available if you simply deploy DNN to an Azure web site with its built-in SQL database.
So anyone who is deploying DNN to an Azure web site would need to disable full-text search in the AF control panel. If they really need it, they would have to migrate the SQL database associated with their DNN install from an Azure web site to an Azure VM.
Sep 11, 2013 at 7:40 PM
The Search capabilities introduced in 7.1 are 10 times better than full-text. My suggestion would be to move away from full-text and leverage the new Lucene based search in the platform. This will give you the best performance and eliminate all Azure concerns.

Thanks,
Will

Will Morgenweck
VP, Product Management
DNN Corp.


Sep 11, 2013 at 7:50 PM
@johnhenley Correct. I'd be fine with saying that Full Text search is not supported on Azure installs. However, the major issue is that 5.0.4 won't even install on Azure because the SQL upgrade script errors out.

The more I think about it, the more I think we need to fix this before moving forward, otherwise we may have trouble ever getting past 5.0.3 on Azure. I'll see if I can find some time this week to look into this a bit more.

@Will I've been wondering about that since I heard that it was a big part of 7.1. However, this is another area where my expertise on the matter is at zero. Is there any chance we could get some guidance from someone at DNN to help with this? This seems like a bit of a complex issue because of all of the permissions that can be associated with different forums in AF.
Sep 11, 2013 at 8:00 PM
The security model in the new search will handle the permissions that AF needs. One of the requirements of the new search was to have the ability manage security at the content level. Let me see if I can dig up some support for this effort.


Sep 11, 2013 at 8:19 PM
jbrunken wrote:
Personally, I think we should just strip out all of the friendly URL code and start from scratch in a future version. The only thing that code is doing right now is making things more complex during development.
One suggestion I would make is to evaluate some way to maintain backward compatibility in some fashion (i.e. history / mapping from previously-entered topics/replies, stored in a separate table or in the DNN url configuration files or something). I know a lot of posts on my site are ranked pretty high in Google, and it would be nice to maintain that without breaking historical links... :)
Sep 11, 2013 at 9:18 PM
7.1 would be good for me and friendly URL's should be a plugin for the new URL provider in 7.1 I think. Thanks :)
Sep 12, 2013 at 12:19 AM
@Will If there is someone who can help get me jump started with the Lucene stuff, that would be a big leap in the right direction.
Sep 17, 2013 at 3:52 PM
@Will Any more thoughts on Lucene?

I made quite a bit of progress on Azure compatibility last night. The last remaining issue is that there are 3 or 4 tables that need clustered indexes created. Hopefully I'll have that finished up tonight.
Sep 18, 2013 at 5:13 AM
Success! The new 5.0.5 build will pass all of the EVS tests and install/run on Azure.
Sep 19, 2013 at 10:01 PM
I never saw a reply to fixing the Default HTML editor bug. I believe that when you load the settings for the forum, instead of using the setting stored you are defaulting that value to text editor. Thus whenever you edit the settings and do not go and change that setting, it will be set as text editor when you save. It's an annoying problem.
Sep 19, 2013 at 10:09 PM
Someone posted a SQL script a few days ago. I'm in the car so I don't have it easily. But I'm sure if you look it's there. It manually updated that setting for all forums. Worked like charm for me 4 times now on 4 different sites.
Sep 20, 2013 at 5:07 AM
ActiveModules wrote:
The Search capabilities introduced in 7.1 are 10 times better than full-text. My suggestion would be to move away from full-text and leverage the new Lucene based search in the platform. This will give you the best performance and eliminate all Azure concerns. Thanks, Will Will Morgenweck VP, Product Management DNN Corp.
I have a question about this. If we move towards Lucene based search, how is this going to affect existing sites that need upgraded, forum content that needs migrated, etc? Or will it?

I haven't tested this but plan on it this weekend. What happens if I migrate a site currently on 5.6.8 (not all at once obviously) to DNN 7.1 and convert content over from DNN forums to AF. Will the search features work properly?

@Will has any thought been put into sites that will be upgrading and not just new installs of DNN? I'm not criticizing I'm just curious because this sounds like its opening up a new can of worms for existing sites when you talk about granular permissions.

I'm excited to see some new life put back into this. For what it's worth, I have someone committed to making some serious CSS contributions and facelift work when we are ready. I would like to see the module "fit in" when a responsive skin is used. I know we have tapatalk but still would be nice to play nice with the skin.

Thanks all!!!
Sep 20, 2013 at 9:33 AM
Personally I had basically rule out ActiveForums, as the project seemed more or less dead! I'm very happy to see that this is not the case! :)
I had planned to migrate to DNN earlier this year, but have canceled that plan, until I figured out if I should use ActiveForums, or something completely different like the Q&A module (DNN xChange), YAF.NET for DNN or I have even started evaluating PHP based platforms.

Basically what I don't like about ActiveForums is the missing features in the What's new module. Here I especially think about the fact that it doesn't display new threads, now it displays new posts (where a thread with 5 answers would display 6 times) - just want the newest reply to be displayed, like in other forums i know (ref: https://activeforums.codeplex.com/workitem/1960). Also I'm looking for a few minor enhanced to the tags which can be used in the "what's new" skin. The ability to specify the forum name incl. the link to the forum where the post was posted to. And the ability to specify an alternate css tag, so that every other line can have it's own design. It's supported in some of the other skin tags, but not here.

The above are what I believe to be "small changes" and I would hope to see it in the next release. :)

I also have some requests/comments I would like to see in a future release.

In terms of tagging, then I believe that this feature is getting more and more important all over the Internet. Users really start to appreciate it and use it. Also in terms of SEO it's important. I have many of my "tag pages" listed as number one on Google. But I would like to be able to use the same tagging taxonomy all over my site. So it would be great if we as part of the setup could specify if wanted to use a new tag list for the forums only, or use the standard DNN tags.

The brings me to my next "big wish". Because I'm missing the ability to integrate the forum content with the surrounding world in DNN. Right now everything happens within the AF box! I would really like to be able to have way where I can create a link between AF (forum group id, forum id, post id or especially the tags used in the post) and the DNN modules in the "surrounding world". The purpose is to be able to link posts to related content in blogs, wiki's, articles, advertising, downloads, media, links and everything else with the same tag. I know that most of these modules would also have to be build this way in order for this to work. The way I have seen this done in SharePoint is really my personal inspiration for this.

The above may or may not be part of the plans I can hear above in regards to a this general face-lift work. But a general face-lift is really needed.

The last thing I have on my list of concerns is in regards the anti-spam functionality. Well currently, as I see it, this doesn't exists. Would it be possible in an easy way to build in support for some of the standard blogging/forum anti-spam solutions available here on CodePlex? My current site is often "under attack" from companies spamming my site with subjects completely unrelated to my forum. If I didn't have the functionality I have to day to regulate my anti-spam filter, then I would not have been able to do anything else for a number of hours every day.

But thank you again for "re-activating" AF.