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We are releasing patches for IP.Board 3.3.x and IP.Board 3.4.x to address a security issue recently reported to us.
 
It has been brought to our attention that a cross-site scripting issue exists within the messenger in IP.Board.  We are releasing a patch today that addresses this issue.
 

3.4.7: patch12_5_2014.zip

 

3.3.4:  patch12_5_2014 - 3.3.x-updated.zip

 

We would like to thank Matthias Ungethüm (http://www.unnex.de) for reporting this issue to us.     

We are happy to release the fourth beta of IPS Community Suite 4.0!
 
IPS welcomes any clients who enjoy testing beta software to participate and post bugs in our bug tracker. These beta releases help us to provide a more stable final release and the more people who participate in testing the better it is for all.
 
This release makes available:

  • Forums
  • Blog
  • Gallery
  • Downloads
  • Calendar
  • Commerce (formerly IP.Nexus)
  • Pages (formerly IP.Content)

 
The upgrade system is now available and you can upgrade from IP.Board 3.4.7 to test this system However: do not upgrade your live community! IPS does not provide technical support or services for beta releases. You can append "-TESTINSTALL" on to the end of your license key to allow to a separate install for test purposes. More information on license keys...
 
Downloading
 
You can download IPS Community Suite 4.0.0 Beta 4 in the client area. Go to your Purchases section, select your license, and click the download link. IPS Community in the Cloud clients do not yet have access to the beta.
 
You will be able to upgrade from Beta 4 to Beta 5 when it is released and to all future betas through final release.
  
Note: If you are already running Beta 3 you can upgrade in your AdminCP. You will see a notice on your Dashboard. If you do not see it go to Applications and click check for update.

We are happy to release the third beta of IPS Community Suite 4.0!
 
IPS welcomes any clients who enjoy testing beta software to participate and post bugs in our bug tracker. These beta releases help us to provide a more stable final release and the more people who participate in testing the better it is for all.
 
This release makes available:

  • Forums
  • Blog
  • Gallery
  • Downloads
  • Calendar

This release does not contain Commerce (formerly IP.Nexus), Pages (formerly IP.content), or Chat. These three apps will be released soon as a separate download in a pre-release state. Both are nearly ready to go to full beta.
 
The upgrade system is now available and you can upgrade from IP.Board 3.4.7 to test this system However: do not upgrade your live community! IPS does not provide technical support or services for beta releases. You can append "-TESTINSTALL" on to the end of your license key to allow to a separate install for test purposes. More information on license keys...
 
Downloading
 
You can download IPS Community Suite 4.0.0 Beta 3 in the client area. Go to your Purchases section, select your license, and click the download link. IPS Community in the Cloud clients do not yet have access to the beta.
 
You will be able to upgrade from Beta 3 to Beta 4 when it is released and to all future betas through final release.
  
Note: If you are already running Beta 2 you can upgrade in your AdminCP. You will see a notice on your Dashboard. If you do not see it go to Applications and click check for update.

IPS is pleased to offer 15% off starting now through Monday on all new purchases for both new and existing clients! This includes all self-hosted software licenses as well as Community in the Cloud packages. Whether you've been wanting to add a new component to your current IPS Community Suite license or are considering IPS for the first time, simply use the coupon code HOLIDAY2014 at checkout to take advantage of this offer.

Get started now!
 

 

We are happy to release the second beta of IPS Community Suite 4.0!
 
IPS welcomes any clients who enjoy testing beta software to participate and post bugs in our bug tracker. These beta releases help us to provide a more stable final release and the more people who participate in testing the better it is for all.
 
This release makes available:

  • Forums
  • Blog
  • Gallery
  • Downloads
  • Calendar

This release does not contain Commerce (formerly IP.Nexus), Pages (formerly IP.content), or Chat. These three apps will be released soon as a separate download.
 
The upgrade system is now available and you can upgrade from IP.Board 3.4.7 to test this system However: do not upgrade your live community! IPS does not provide technical support or services for beta releases. You can append "-TESTINSTALL" on to the end of your license key to allow to a separate install for test purposes.
 
Downloading
 
You can download IPS Community Suite 4.0.0 Beta 2 in the client area. Go to your Purchases section, select your license, and click the download link. IPS Community in the Cloud clients do not yet have access to the beta. That will be coming soon.
 
You will be able to upgrade from Beta 2 to Beta 3 when it is released and to all future betas through final release.
 
If you are not interested in downloading our beta releases you can still check out our IPS Community Suite 4.0 preview site to see the new version in action.
 
Note: If you are already running Beta 1 you can upgrade in your AdminCP. You will see a notice on your Dashboard.
 
Discussion
 
 
 
 
We will be upgrading our own site next week. Stay tuned!
 
 








  •  

We are releasing patches for IP.Board 3.3.x and IP.Board 3.4.x to address two issues recently reported to us.
 
It has been brought to our attention that certain PHP configurations allow for a potential SQL injection vulnerability. Although this exploit requires some knowledge of your configuration and for certain files to be web-readable, we felt it important to release an update.
 
Additionally, it has been brought to our attention that it may be possible to send attachments via the email classes which would ordinarily be removed.

To apply the patch
Simply download the attached zip for your IP.Board version and upload the files to your forum server. You do not need to run any scripts or the upgrade system.
 
IP.Board 3.3.x
 3_3_x_patch_nov_14.zip
 
IP.Board 3.4.x
 3_4_x_patch_nov_14.zip
 
If you are an IPS Community in the Cloud client running IP.Board 3.3 or above, no further action is necessary as we have already automatically patched your account. If you are using a version older than IP.Board 3.3, you should contact support to upgrade.
 
If you install or upgrade to IP.Board 3.4.7 after the date and time of this post, no further action is necessary as we have already updated the main download zips.
 
We extend our thanks to Andrew Erb for notifying us of the email issue privately and promptly.

IPS is investigating a possible security exploit reported to us a few hours ago.
 
We are developing a fix for this issue now and anticipate its release tomorrow. Until the fix is released, clients are advised to delete the following file from their community:
This will disable the IPS Connect service which is our system to allow for multiple sites to share one login. Most clients will not need this service but if you do use it then we still suggest you temporarily disable until a fix is released tomorrow.
 
IPS Community in the Cloud clients: we have already disabled this feature for you so you are not impacted by this exploit.
 
 
Update: Patches are now available.

interface/ipsconnect/ipsconnect.php

We are happy to release the first beta of IPS Community Suite 4.0!
 
IPS welcomes any clients who enjoy testing beta software to participate and post bugs in our bug tracker. These beta releases help us to provide a more stable final release and the more people who participate in testing the better it is for all.
 
This release makes available: [*]Forums [*]Blog [*]Gallery [*]Downloads [*]Calendar
This release does not contain Commerce (formerly IP.Nexus), Pages (formerly IP.content), or Chat. These three apps will be released soon as a separate download.
 
The upgrade system is now available and you can upgrade from IP.Board 3.4.7 to test this system However: do not upgrade your live community! IPS does not provide technical support or services for beta releases. You can append "-TESTINSTALL" on to the end of your license key to allow to a separate install for test purposes.
 
Downloading
 
You can download IPS Community Suite 4.0.0 Beta 1 in the client area. Go to your Purchases section, select your license, and click the download link. IPS Community in the Cloud clients do not yet have access to the beta. That will be coming soon.
 
You will be able to upgrade from Beta 1 to Beta 2 when it is released and to all future betas through final release.
 
If you are not interested in downloading our beta releases you can still check out our IPS Community Suite 4.0 preview site to see the new version in action.
 
Discussion
 
Please post in our special Beta Releases forum on the preview site for anything about Beta 1. Enjoy!







IPS Community Suite 4.0 is nearly here, and we'll be distributing betas very soon. But 4.0 is really just the beginning; with the new tightly integrated, one-version suite of applications, we're already starting to think about all of the features we'd like to add in the future. This brings us nicely to the final 4.0 feature we'd like to talk about: the upgrade system.
 
In 4.0, when a new version is released, you'll see a message like this pop up in the Admin CP:

 
Clicking the "Download" button will allow you download, right from the Admin CP, a zip file with the new version. This zip file will contain just the changed the files from the version you're using (in technical terms, this is called a delta update) to save time and bandwidth when uploading the new version to your server. The system automatically knows what apps you have installed (so you don't have to download a separate zip for each application) and even knows if you've renamed your AdminCP directory and accommodates for that.
 
Here's a video of the process in action:
 

If you like living on the edge and testing new products we would love your help in testing IPS Community Suite 4.0!
 
We now have pre-release versions available for download if you are an active Community Suite license holder.
 
Pre-Release vs. Beta
 
This is a pre-release which means we are not quite done adding/changing some areas of the Suite. It also means that you cannot upgrade between each pre-release. Once we reach Beta stage you will be able to upgrade from Beta 1 to Beta 2 and so on.
 
Important Information [*]This is a preview of unfinished software. Do not install this on a live server or attempt to upgrade your current community. Please. [*]You cannot upgrade between pre-release builds so you will have do a clean install each time we update this package. This will change when we reach proper beta stage. [*]Only download this preview if you are comfortable testing software with known issues and want to provide bug reports and feedback. [*]We provide no support for these pre-release builds.
Please post any bugs you find in the bug tracker and feedback/questions on the preview site. We are getting close to a public beta and the final, supported release of IPS Community Suite 4.0 and appreciate your help getting there!
 
Download Pre-Release Now
 
 
 
Note that Nexus, Content, and Chat are not yet available for download but will show up on our preview site soon.






The IPS Community Suite 4.0 preview site is open and ready for you to start browsing our new software!
 
We have had the site quietly open for a few weeks now getting feedback and addressing issues. We want to make sure everyone is aware so you get a chance to look at what's new.
 
Register and have a look around at what's new. Read our updates forum to check out videos demoing the system. Get involved in feedback and bug testing. Everyone at IPS is very proud of 4.0 and really hope you enjoy it. Public beta releases of 4.0 are not yet available but are just around the corner so take this opportunity to become familiar with IPS 4.0 so your community is ready when it's released.
 
See you on the preview site!
 
 
Please keep all feedback about 4.0 on the preview site so we can keep things organized. Thanks!

IPS Community Suite 4.0, the most significant update to IP.Board and the rest of our apps we've ever made, is fast approaching a state where we'll be ready for a public preview and, soon after that, public beta testing!
 
We know most of you are just as excited as we are about this and can't wait to try it out.
 
With 4.0, we've made some significant leaps in terms of modernization, and it's possible that you might need to do some preparation before you're ready to install it. Notably, our minimum PHP and MySQL versions have gone up. It's the first time we've needed you to do this in 6 years, and the versions we need you to have have been around for a long time, we're not requiring the latest versions.
 
In addition, 4.0 is UTF-8 only (if you don't know what that is, it's a way text can be stored in your database which you may or may not be using at the moment) and while the 4.0 upgrade process will ask you to convert your database if you're not already using it, this is a moderately time-consuming process, so if you convert your database now, it's one less thing to worry about on upgrade day.
 
 
To make this process as easy as possible, we have created a little script which you can upload to your server to test if you're ready.
 
Download Now

I want to briefly show our new cover photo support. Cover photos allow users to upload an image to represent something in the community; we currently support them in profiles and calendar events and may roll out support to other areas later.
 
Here's a video of it in action for a calendar event.
 

 
It's really simple to use, and of course still works responsively like the rest of our default theme. We hope it adds a new element of customization for content in your community.
 
Developers
 
For developers, supporting cover photos in your own addons is as easy as you'd expect. A helper is available which handles the nitty-gritty for you; you simply add $item->coverPhoto() to your template, override a couple of methods in your controller, and optionally build your own menu to control the user interaction (or you can let the helper output them for you, as in the video above). That's it!
 
As always, screenshots are from pre-release software and are subject to change before release.  

We've previously shown how responsiveness works in the AdminCP, but I'd like to briefly introduce responsiveness on the front end, and pick a few views to show you as examples (this will be a screenshot-heavy entry!)
 
What is responsiveness?
 
Before we get to that, allow me to recap what responsiveness is. Responsive design is a method by which you design one page in such a way that it adapts for the available screen space on the device the user is using. This means that one theme handles both the full desktop view and the condensed mobile view with some clever CSS, in contrast to 3.x where we had a separate mobile skin.
 
When we took the decision to use responsive design for IPS4, one key aim was to ensure that the mobile view isn't feature reduced. We want all functionality and all areas of the suite to be available regardless of device, and with only a couple of exceptions we're on track to deliver this.
 
 
Primary navigation
 
In mobile view, the primary navigation collapses and moves to a menu accessible with the icon in the top-right. The breadcrumb becomes a 'Back' control, taking you up a level from the current page:
 

 
The primary navigation, when opened, looks like this:
 

 
Moderation
 
Given that the responsive theme supports all functionality, this naturally includes moderation. IPS4 support full moderation capabilities regardless of the device you're using. Here's an example of moderating images in Gallery. Notice the menu to quickly select types of content to moderate, as well as the floating toolbar at the bottom of the screen to choose actions.
 

 
Settings page
 
Taking the settings area as an example, here's the same screen at the three supported breakpoints - desktop, tablet and mobile.
 

 

 

 
 
Profile view
 
Here's profile view (which we covered in more detail here) as seen on a phone:
 

 
 
Calendar
 
Calendar views on mobile:
 

 

 
 
Gallery
 
Viewing albums & images in a category:
 

 
 
Blog
 
The blog homepage:
 

 
And viewing a blog:
 

 
 
Forums
 
Submitting a topic on mobile:
 

 
 
Conclusion
 
So that wraps up this round-up of responsive views. Naturally, there's many more views than this in the suite and we can't show screenshots of every single one, but hopefully this entry has given you a taste of a variety of views, and a better idea of how we're approaching mobile users in IPS4.
 
 
As always, screenshots are from pre-release software and are subject to change before release. 

Profiles are one of the key sections of a community, as everyone knows. They are what represent your users; where their information is shown and their content is gathered. When users contribute quality content to your community, their profile is where other users go to find it in one place. In short, it's an important area.
 
In IPS4, profiles have had a complete makeover. There's a lot to cover, so I'll start with a numbered screenshot, and address each section individually (please note this is a large image; if you're on mobile, you may wish to wait to view it full-size).
 

 
1 - Header images
 
In 3.x, users could customize their profiles by uploading a background image. In practice, this didn't work well when the software was integrated into an existing website design, and the options presented often ended up with a garish profile. In addition, social networks like Facebook and Twitter have adjusted user expectations on how profiles are customized.
 
In IPS4, instead of page backgrounds, users instead get to customize their profile header image. This provides the best of both worlds - ample space to choose something creative, but it's contained and won't mess up a website design.
 
2 - Reputation
 
The user's current reputation count is shown prominently in the info column, letting other users know if this member is an asset to the community.
 
3 - Warnings
 
For moderators/staff, the profile now provides quick access to warning tools. By expanding the panel, they can see a brief history of recent warnings:
 

 
And clicking one of these pops up the warning details:
 

 
New warnings can also be issued inline, of course.
 
4 - Followers
 
Followers replace friends in IPS4, and the user's followers are shown in this block. Instead of requiring mutual acknowledgement as with the traditional friends system (an approach that isn't entirely useful in a community of anonymous users), in IPS4 you follow users whom you find interesting in order to be updated when they contribute to the community. Users can of course prevent others from following them, if that is a concern to them. We'll have more details on how followers works in a later entry.
 
5 - About the user
 
Traditional information about the user is shown in the next block, including custom profile fields.
 
6 - Recent visitors
 
Recent visitors to this user's profile are shown next. As with 3.x, this can be toggled on and off by the profile owner. In 4.x, this is done by clicking the X in the corner of the block.
 
7 - Follow/Message member
 
These primary buttons enable others to follow the user (if enabled), and send a new message inline, without leaving the page.
 
8 - User's content
 
In 3.x, browsing a user's content was handled by the search area of the community (though links were available in the user's profile and hovercard). We felt this wasn't the best place for it, though. After all, a user's content should be available in their profile.
 
That's what this button does. It switches the profile view to 'content browsing' mode, where you can see everything the user has done. It's smooth and buttery, and because it all loads dynamically, it feels like a true part of the profile. Here's a video of it in action (14MB)
 

 
9 - Long-form custom profile fields
 
IPS4 supports various kinds of custom profile fields, including rich-text editors for long, styled content. Those custom profile fields will be shown in the main section of the profile where they get the space they need to be effective. About Me is a default field, but you can of course add your own too for your users to fill in.
 
10 - User's 'Nodes'
 
A node is a fancy developer term for content containers that a user creates themselves, like gallery albums and blogs (as opposed to forum categories, which are created by the admin). In IPS4, a user's 'nodes' are shown right on their profile page, making it easy to find more interesting content from the user. In this screenshot, you can see my profile is showing my albums, my blogs, and other blogs to which I contribute.
 
For developers, supporting your application in this section is easy too.
 
11 - Status feed
 
The status feed from 3.x is of course still present, and the interaction is all inline without leaving the page.
 
 
Conclusion
 
That's profiles in 4.0. We hope the new focus on content and streamlined design provides a better experience for your users!
 
 
As always, screenshots are from pre-release software and are subject to change before release. 
 

A while ago I blogged about some of the internationalization and localization changes in 4.0. One of the things I mentioned is a "Visual Language Editor" which allows you to quickly change any of the verbiage used throughout the suite just by clicking on a word of phrase.
 
Not only is the really useful for those who want to translate the IPS Community Suite into another language, it can also be used to easily change words and phrases as you like (for example if you want a link to say "Register" rather than "Sign up") - it can even be used to rename forums, categories, etc.
 
Before I couldn't show you it in action as we weren't quite ready to show the front-end interface but now here's a video of the feature in action:
 

IP.Board 3.x supports "My Media", which enables you to share other content from within the community by using the "My Media" button on the editor. This results in: 
 

http://community.invisionpower.com/files/file/4464-ips-gdk-for-ipboard-32-amp-33/


 
While this works, it has a few shortcomings:
  [*]The styling of the block isn't really designed for each type of content it might show [*]Users have to click the My Media button, then browse for the item, when they probably already know the URL they want to link to [*]Not all content types are supported; e.g. you can't use My Media to link to a topic. [*]For developers, implementing support for My Media in other applications was a process involving extension files and multiple methods 
 
We wanted to make sharing existing content much easier in IPS4, both for users and developers. "Embeddable content" is our solution.
 
How to use it
 
To embed content from elsewhere in the community, here's a step by step guide:
  [*]Paste a link to it
 
That's it! When you paste a link to almost any kind of content, whether it's a forum topic, calendar event, gallery album or more, IPS4 will automatically embed a small preview of the content, designed specifically for that content. In order to not disrupt an existing paragraph of text however, the embedded block won't be used if the link is surrounded by text. Embedded content only shows if the link is pasted on its own line, giving users more control over their post.
 
Here's what a post looks like with a few embedded types shown:
 

 
Embedded content can be used anywhere as you'd expect, including posts and comments, but also status updates, IP.Content articles, and so on.
 
For developers
 
Supporting embedded content in your apps is very easy; your content model simply has to implement IPSContentEmbeddable:
 
Your controller then simply looks for an embed request and returns HTML - that's it. Our default blocks also have their own template and CSS file, so theme designers can change the styling on a per-theme basis.
 
Conclusion
 
Our hope is that this easier method of embedding content encourages more cross-posting and highlighting of good content in IPS4. The process is almost wholly automatic, meaning users don't have to think in order to share great content with others.
 
As always, screenshots are from pre-release software and are subject to change before release. 







class _Topic extends IPSContentItem implements ... IPSContentEmbeddable

One of the most distinctive uses for a forum is that of a 'knowledge community', where users visit in order to get help with a problem or question. Our own Pre-sales forum uses this model, but we also have many customers who run forums that are almost exclusively knowledge-based (such as Roxio and Evernote).
 
IP.Board 3.x introduced the concept of a "Best Answer" flag, allowing topic creators and staff the ability to highlight the reply to a topic that they deem best answers the question. This shows a snippet of the post in green at the top of the topic. Many sites now use this feature, but for IPS4 we wanted to expand the functionality offered for these types of forums.
 
Question & Answer Forums
 
Forums in IPS4 will enable you to set a forum as a "Q&A Forum". This adjusts the forum to be specifically designed for knowledge sharing. Instead of topics and posts, it has questions and answers.
 
On the forum index, the forum will be shown as a Q&A forum with its forum icon (unless you've set a custom forum icon for that forum):
 

 
Forum View
 
When you enter the forum, instead of the normal topic listing, you see a list of questions:
 

 
You'll see here that questions that have a best answer are indicated with a green checkbox. You'll also notice that one of the stats on the right hand side is 'votes'. In Q&A forums, questions can be voted up or down by users, in order to give them more visibility. More popular questions will bubble to the top (depending on the age of the question). You can of course still order by more traditional methods, if you wish.
 
Popular questions from the past 30 days are also highlighted at the top of the forum, providing an up-to-date 'knowledgebase' that other users can see. Using our own presales forum as an example, if someone asked a question about an important feature and it was voted highly, other users visiting the forum would see it right at the top, which is great for content visibility and helping users get the answers they're looking for with minimal fuss.
 
Question View
 
Clicking into a question shows an adjusted topic view:
 

 
The question (i.e. the first post) is shown at the top of the page on all pages, with answers listed below. You'll see that replies can also be voted up and down - in fact, this determines the order in which answers are shown inside the question. Popular answers, as determined by the community, will appear at the top, with worse or incorrect answers being pushed down. This is great for quickly finding the best information for the question at hand; in IP.Board 3.x, all too often a high-quality answer will appear in the middle of a topic and unfortunately go unnoticed by the topic creator or others looking for an answer. You can still sort answers by date, if you prefer.
 
In the screenshot above you can also see the first post is marked as the best answer. "Best Answer" always appears at the top, regardless of its vote count.
 
Question/answer ratings are separate from reputation, so you can of course still "Like" posts even if you don't think they're a good answer to the question.
 
Conclusion
 
So that's the new Q&A feature for IP.Board. We think it'll a big step forward for knowledge-driven communities using IP.Board, or even individual forums in other communities (like our pre-sales forum), helping users find answers to their questions more efficiently, and ultimately making your communities more useful.
 
 
As always, screenshots are from pre-release software and are subject to change before release.

One of IPS Community Suite 4's main goals was to overhaul the user interface. We wanted to go further than just a few cosmetic changes to the theme, we wanted to examine each part of the user interface and see what could be improved. The community suite has a lot of functionality and there's a lot of tools that we all use regularly so we felt that any improvements on these common areas would be very welcomed.
 
I'd like to focus on such a change in IP.Downloads.
 
IP.Downloads has always had version control. Essentially, this allows you to upload new versions and keep a historical record of the older versions. You can read change logs and even download older versions where allowed.
 
Let's take a look at how IP.Board 3 does it currently:
 

 
Although there's nothing particularly wrong with this form, we can see that it mixes up the ability to upload a new version with the general file settings such as title and description. The end result is a bit confusing and a little intimidating the first few times you use it. The section to add your change log is a little lost in the file information block.
 
Now lets take a look at how IPS Community Suite 4 handles this:
 
The first step is to enable download revisions for this category inside the Admin CP.
 

 
Now that this has been enabled, lets navigate to the "File Actions" menu to upload a new version.
 

 
This loads the "Upload a new version form". As you can see, it's very clean, very easy to follow and isn't cluttered with settings and text fields that you aren't interested in editing.
 

 
Once you've uploaded your new version, you can see what's new on the file listing page.
 

 
You can even view previous change logs and the download link without leaving the page.
 

 
Conclusion
As this blog entry shows, IPS Community Suite 4 is really focused on making real improvements to everyday interfaces. We believe that these changes are very important to modernise the suite and to make it as easy to use as possible.
 

Effective moderation features are essential for online communities. Forums, blog entries and member-to-member messaging are particularly attractive for spam bots and nuisance users alike. IPS Social Suite has always been best in class when it comes to moderation features with features like the free IPS Spam Service that are completely unmatched by other web applications. Over this series of 5 blog entries I'm going to introduce you to some of the new moderation features in the IPS Community Suite 4.0.
 
Part 1: Setting up moderators
Part 2: Approval Queue
Part 3: Reports
Part 4: Effective Moderation
Part 5: Warnings
 



 
 
Introduction
 
A lot of what I'm going to cover in this blog entry is similar to the warning system in 3.x which was recently overhauled. Since warnings and moderations are such an important aspect of running a community though, I wanted to reintroduce the system, showing off the new UI for 4.0 and highlighting some of the tweaks that have been made.
 
The warnings system in the IPS Community Suite is point-based. When issuing a warning to a member, you select a reason, and each reason is tied to a number of points, and then when a member reaches a certain number of points, an action (such as to ban them from the site) is taken.
 
This is the setup page for reasons - I've set up each one to give one point which is never removed.
 

 
For each reason, I can choose if moderators can override that or not:
 

 
 
This is the setup page for actions:
 

 
I've set up a number of actions so that the following flow happens: [*]On the first warning, nothing happens (it's a verbal warning only) [*]On the second warning, all posts the user makes for the next day will need to be approved by a moderator. [*]On the third warning, the user will be banned for one day and all posts the user makes for the next week will need to be approved by a moderator. [*]On the fourth warning, the user will be banned for a week. [*]On the fifth warning, the user will be permanently banned.   You can control whether members can see their previous warnings or not.     Moderator Permissions   For each moderator you can control is they can see, issue and revoke warnings, and control how often they can give warnings:       Viewing Warnings   You will be able to see the current warning points for a member from their hover card (which shows whenever you hover your mouse over their name throughout the suite) and can see the details in their profile.       Clicking on a warning brings up the details which show a link to the content the user posted which prompted the warning, the notes both for the member and for other moderators, and lists the actions taken (points given, if the member was suspended, etc.):     In addition, when viewing content (posts, comments, etc.) if that post prompted a warning, this will be shown to moderators:       Issuing Warnings   When issuing a warning, selecting a reason will automatically fill in the number of points and actions to take based on the number of points the member already has (these can be changed if the administrator has allowed it). You can clearly see the pre-defined actions for each point level on the right. You can optionally add notes, both a note for the member and for other moderators.       Acknowledging Warnings   You can optionally set the system so that members have to acknowledge a warning before they can post again. When this is the case, the member will se a message on every page:     Viewing the warning details will have a button allowing the member to acknowledge the warning:     Even if you do not require warnings to be specifically acknowledged - members who have restrictions applied to their account (are on moderator queue, are restricted from posting or are banned) can clearly see this and the reason why. For example, this is what a member who is on moderator queue sees when making a comment:     Revoking Warnings   A new feature in 4.0 is that warnings can be revoked. You can reverse all the actions of the warning, or just delete the record of it:  




























































4.0 - Messenger

By Mark,

I can distinctly remember 5 years ago reading a blog entry on this site about the "personal conversations" feature in IP.Board 3.0, which we were working on at the time. Up until then, the messenger system in community software and other websites was much like email - you sent one message at a time, with little continuity between messages. We were one of the first, on the entire of the web, to introduce what we called "personal conversations" - a sort of "private topic" between invited members - it was a really exciting idea back then.
 
For 4.0, we wanted to really focus on the experience of using the messenger - making it super fast and easy to compose, navigate and participate in conversations.
 
Starting a conversation
 
When browsing the site, you'll see a messenger icon at the top of every screen just like you do now. When hitting the "Compose Now" button inside though, the form to send your message will appear as a modal window, and when you send, it will disappear again with no page reload. This makes it incredibly fast and easy to send a message from wherever you are, without interrupting your flow. You can also send a message to a specific member by hovering over their name wherever you see it on the site and clicking the "Send Message" button in the hover card that shows.
 

 
Browsing conversations
 
We've completely redesigned the main messenger pages. You now see a (infinitely scrolling) list of all your messages on the left-side. Clicking on any message opens it up in the main pane. All the common actions are enhanced with AJAX so you can open a conversation, add a user and reply all really quickly.
 
 
 
Mobile
 
We've not forgotten about mobile devices! The new responsive design in IPS 4.0 means the whole messenger works and looks great whether you're on a desktop or on your phone.
 

 
Summary
 
We recognise that when members send a new message, it is often as a response to content read in all areas of the suite. You can now send messages in place without disrupting your flow. We have improved all aspects of sending, receiving and managing messages and are confident these changes will make communicating with other members in private simpler and faster. 

The site eGullet.org was literally the first client of Invision Power Services when our company was founded over 12 years ago. Steven Shaw, along with his partner, stepped up and supported IPS in its first days and stayed with us all these years. They were our first paying client, our first hosting client, and often the first to get early betas of our releases.
 
It was with great sadness that I read today of the passing of Steven Shaw.

Steven was a friend and mentor to me personally. He advised me as IPS grew, provided valuable feedback, was our first attorney (he actually registered the first code copyright of IPB), and was always on board to hear out ideas. My first trip to New York City, my first cruise, and many great dining ideas (the man who convinced me to try wine) were all based around his friendly advice. He honored me with a copy of his book when it was released. And of course he introduced me to the joys of Julia Child by shipping me some old recordings of her show.
 
Steven Shaw will be missed. I personally am in debt to his generosity and advice over the years as is IPS as a company.
 
For other great tributes please Google his name.

Some sites make use of multiple calendars to help differentiate what type of events are being contributed to the community. You might have a staff calendar that allows staff members to add events and a community calendar for the rest of your users.  Or you may have a holidays calendar as well as a gaming "raids" calendar on your community.  Individual calendars are a form of categorization in IP.Calendar, and we wanted to bring some enhancements to them in the 4.0 Community Suite.
 
 
Colors
 
You will now be able to specify colors for each calendar you create.  The software will automatically suggest a new unique color each time you create a new calendar with several pre-determined colors to start with (and then falling over to randomly chosen colors if you happen to create enough calendars to use these defaults up), but you are able to specify any color you wish for any calendar you create.
 

 
(As an aside for developers - you can easily implement similar "color" fields in your own forms using the form helper class IPSHelpersFormColor)
 
 
Merged view
 
If you are familiar with the current iteration of IP.Calendar, you might be wondering what good implementing calendar colors actually does.  After all, the software does not show events from different calendars mixed together right?
 
As of 4.0, IP.Calendar does indeed support a merged-calendar view.  In fact, it is the default in IP.Calendar.  Your users will see all events from all calendars (that they have permission to view) merged into one view, but can click a menu at the top of the page to filter by calendar if they so desire.
 

 
They will see events from all calendars merged together
 

 
When viewing an event the calendar it has been saved to is of course indicated here as well.
 

 
 
The merged calendars model is supported for all of the major views in IP.Calendar: the monthly view, the weekly view, the daily view...and the new "event stream" view which we will talk about in a future blog entry (shhh).
 
 
Conclusion
 
We feel these minor changes makes Calendar more intuitive, and especially makes handling multiple calendars within your IP.Calendar installation more practical and useful.  We hope you find working with multiple calendars to be easier and clearer with these changes, and we hope you find new ways to make use of the multiple calendar support present in IP.Calendar as a result of the merged views and better calendar differentiation.

Copying Settings
 
Sometimes you need to change the same setting across multiple categories. For example, let's say up until now I've not allowed comments on files and now I want to enable it for most categories. In IP.Downloads for 3.x, I'd have to go into each category one by one and toggle the setting on.
 
In 4.x, when editing a category, each setting has a "Copy" button next to it, when opens a window asking which categories to copy that setting value to, so I can make the change to one category and then copy it to others (or all) quickly.
 

 

 
This feature is also available when editing things in other applications, such as forums in IP.Board or products in IP.Nexus.
 
 
New Settings
We've moved some settings which were previously global settings into per-category settings to give you even greater control over your community: [*]"Require approval of comments" [*]"Log all downloads" and "Prune download logs" - we also added a new per-category setting: "Allow file submitter to view log?" [*]"Allowed file extensions" (this used to be managed using complicated "Mime Type Masks" - now you can just provide the extensions which are allowed in that category, or allow any file type). [*]"Enable versioning control" and "Number of revisions to keep"
 






Effective moderation features are essential for online communities. Forums, blog entries and member-to-member messaging are particularly attractive for spam bots and nuisance users alike. IPS Social Suite has always been best in class when it comes to moderation features with features like the free IPS Spam Service that are completely unmatched by other web applications. Over this series of 5 blog entries I'm going to introduce you to some of the new moderation features in the IPS Community Suite 4.0.
 
Part 1: Setting up moderators
Part 2: Approval Queue
Part 3: Reports
Part 4: Effective Moderation
Part 5: Warnings
 



 
   
Multi-moderation
 
It's really important that moderators can quickly take action against undesirable content without spending too much time or effort. If your community is the victim of a spam attack, or perhaps even just an over-enthusiastic poster, you want to be able to hide, lock, move, merge and delete content quickly.
 
Throughout the entire suite, whenever you content (be that topics in IP.Board, files in IP.Downloads or even comments on a particular file in IP.Downloads or anything else you can think of), as a moderator, when you move your mouse over it, you will see a checkbox, and at the top of the list, you have controls to quickly select particular items:
 

 
As you can see, in addition to checking individual items or all items, quick options are available for me to select all hidden, unapproved, pinned, locked or featured items, or even the items that I personally have read or not read.
 
After selecting one or more items, you will see a menu appear at the bottom:
 

 
This menu is incredibly smart. It automatically shows you options available based on the type of item you're looking at and the specific items you've selected. For example, here in IP.Downloads I see the options (from left-to-right): feature, pin, hide, lock move and delete (if you hover over any of the buttons a tooltip will show you what it is). If, I'm in IP.Board instead, I see a slightly different bar:
 

 
Here, I have two new options: merge and Saved Actions (the new name for the IP.Board "Multimod" feature which allows you to define specific actions to do multiple moderator actions quickly).
 
Also, it takes into consideration the specific items I've selected - if I select items which are not currently hidden, there is the "hide" button - if I select items which are currently hidden, there is the "unhide" button - and if I select a mix of both, I see both buttons.
 
After clicking a button, the action is performed on all items and I'm taken back to the screen.
 
Here's a short video demonstration of this in action:
 

 
  
Quick editing
 
Editing posts and comments is something moderators do on a daily basis. We already have quick reply (where when making a post or comment, it appears using AJAX without a page reload) and now in 4.0, we have quick edit too.
 
When you click edit, the post/comment immediately changes into an editor:
 

 
And when you click save, the editor disappears and is replaced by the new content.
 
Here's a short video demonstration of this in action: