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IP.Blog 2.3 Development Update

As part of our application updates schedule, we've been quietly working on IP.Blog 2.3. Initially planned as a maintenance release, we've gone through the bug tracker and fixed a lot of bugs, but we've also expanded our plans for the release to include many of the things you'll come to expect from our product line. Here's some of what we've been working on:

1. You guessed it, "Like" and comments

We've implemented the new, centralised Like and comments systems from IP.Board 3.1.3, allowing us to remove all of IP.Blog's own commenting code, it's "blog tracker" and more. In IP.Blog 2.3, you can Like both blogs and blog entries, allowing you to follow not only new entries, but new comments too.

2. Notifications and Reputation

As a happy side effect of implementing the Like system in IP.Blog 2.3, we've also been able to implement support for the IP.Board Notifications system. You'll be able to receive notifications of new entries on your Liked blogs, and new comments on entries you've Liked.

Additionally, until now, you've only been able to give and receive reputation on blog comments, but not blog entries. We've added this in, so you can now give reputation on great blog entries, as well as the comments that follow them.

3. Cleaner, tidier look and feel

One area we always get a lot of feedback on is the look and feel of IP.Blog, and this is something we've started to improve in the next version. This isn't a dramatic change, or even a redesign, we've simply tidied up what was already there. We've moved things into more logical places, brought the font back into line with IP.Board itself, straightened things up. Here's a few key areas - but please remember that this is a work in progress and is likely to change more before release:

The blog homepage:
blogentry-26432-0-04801500-1288969467_th

An individual blog:
One area we'd like to highlight here is that, for individual blogs, you'll notice that the two column view has been dropped in favour of a date-ordered list of entries.
blogentry-26432-0-27925100-1288969477_th

A blog entry:
As you can see, this screenshot features the new Like, commenting and reputation functionality.
blogentry-26432-0-23667900-1288969472_th

Blog settings:
The whole "manage blogs" area has now been moved out of the user control panel, into it's own section of the Blog application. We've started out by tidying up the settings page, but we'll show you some other areas of improvement in a later blog entry.
blogentry-26432-0-54567700-1288969481_th

We hope you like what we've done with IP.Blog so far, and we'll be showing you more in later blog entries. As usual, all feedback is welcomed in the comments below, let us know what you think.


ørret likes this


28 Comments



Posted

Awesome!

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Excellent so far :)

I do like the slightly changed (improved) homepage screenshot and the new additions are excellent.

I have a small suggestion, please add an ACP switch so the administrator can set the default initial style to either list or the new one, this way each site can configure to their liking (and individual members can always simply switch modes)

I'm simply thinking ahead with this, as although I do like the newer layout this way its more a win / win situation for those who do prefer a basic listed layout for their site.

ørret, Amy T, DKOL and 5 others like this

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I'm with AndyF here a switch is a good idea. Really liking where the blog is going looks great!

ørret and AndyF like this

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I am really happy i converted to IPB earlier this year, All the new things sound so great :thumbsup:

Thank you.

G Fox, ørret and AndyF like this

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Great so far, please can you add facility in AdminCP to edit the header/skin options tied to a members blog?
D'oh, I know, use the feedback forum! >_<

ørret likes this

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Posted

Finally rep on blog entries! :D Good work!

ørret likes this

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Posted

I've liked the look of a lot of the updates so far from other apps, but this one looks a bit sloppy as far as the layout.. things look quite cluttered, especially the blog posts and the main blog listing page.

AlexJ and ørret like this

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[quote name='mat206' date='05 November 2010 - 08:13 PM']
I've liked the look of a lot of the updates so far from other apps, but this one looks a bit sloppy as far as the layout.. things look quite cluttered, especially the blog posts and the main blog listing page.

I agree. I hope there's a way to go back to the two-column serif layout, it just looks so much better.

ørret and AlexJ like this

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Posted

Awesome !

ørret likes this

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We won't be bringing back the old style, no, and nor is there a setting for changing between old and new style. We will however continue to tidy up the interface between now and the release of IP.Blog 2.3.

If you have any specific feedback, it is of course welcomed.

ørret likes this

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Posted

How about a time to go with the date of a blog entry? :D

ørret likes this

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[quote name='Dan' date='06 November 2010 - 12:26 AM']
We won't be bringing back the old style, no, and nor is there a setting for changing between old and new style. We will however continue to tidy up the interface between now and the release of IP.Blog 2.3.

If you have any specific feedback, it is of course welcomed.

The front page layout (two column) is great, but personally I'd be going back to a serif font on my own install.

The individual blog layout is what I don't like. In a world of widescreen monitors, having two columns is much more efficient (and more aesthetically pleasing, IMO) than having a single, wide column.

If you're changing the layout, most people must disagree, but I thought I'd give my 2¢.

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[quote name='Dan' date='05 November 2010 - 05:26 PM']
We won't be bringing back the old style, no, and nor is there a setting for changing between old and new style. We will however continue to tidy up the interface between now and the release of IP.Blog 2.3.

If you have any specific feedback, it is of course welcomed.


Comments on blog frontpage:

While I will agree that the existing design doesn't match the other apps, I think two much prominence is given to the colored boxes in the design.. in fact, the lines created by those boxes are almost distracting from the blog content and create a cluttered look. What this design needs badly is some additional white space between entries at the very least to alleviate the cramped feeling.

The use of non-serif font matches the motif of the other apps so that's good. But I think the featured box should be a single color from top to bottom like it is now. The light-blue, then white, then light-blue again is hard to read because I keep getting drawn back to the title and away from the middle text.. also, the lack of white space above and below the blog post itself also contributes to a cluttered feeling.

Blog listing:
Looks good except for the featured blog posts again.. use one solid background color and stick with it. You did for "drafts".. do that for "Featured". Lose the stripe.

Comments on blog post:

Holy cramped.. please space this out much more vertically. This design has a lot of potential and actually looks pretty good overall but right now it's like you squished everything so that things are almost on top of each other. Add some vertical white space below/above the blog post, above the "4 Comments on this entry", and above the comment text box.

AlexJ and ørret like this

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Posted

Please please add a feature to easily delete multiple blogs.

Or

A feature to list all blogs in ACP, with check boxes and options in top.


Thank you.

ørret likes this

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Posted

not more notifications, make sure there switched off by default.
my members are complaining that theres to many notifications and regard them as spam.

The Old Man, ørret and AlexJ like this

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[quote name='bearback' date='06 November 2010 - 09:53 PM']
my members are complaining that theres to many notifications and regard them as spam.

So point your members to their user CP where they can disable what they don't want.

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I feel good about having chosen IPB as the platform too. I'm tempted to convert my non-profit phpBB site to use it too, just for its awesomeness.

ørret likes this

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[quote name='timestandstill' date='07 November 2010 - 02:42 AM']
So point your members to their user CP where they can disable what they don't want.


Or set up defaults for notifications that lessen the number of notifications they receive.

ørret likes this

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My suggested was to have notifications disabled by default, if my members want to activate the notifications then they can but should have a choice and not forced upon them.

something i have noticed since upgrading from 2.6 to 3.1.3, notifications by email to members have increased 3 fold.

ørret likes this

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Posted

Looking forward to this :)

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Great job. Thank you!

However, I definitely do not like the idea below:



My site community users are very happy with the 2 columns view + blocks that can be turned on and off. Moving to a plain list of blog entries is not a good idea at all. This should be a blog and not just a plain list of articles...

One area we'd like to highlight here is that, for individual blogs, you'll notice that the two column view has been dropped in favour of a date-ordered list of entries

ørret likes this

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[quote name='estan' date='10 November 2010 - 08:54 AM']
Great job. Thank you!

However, I definitely do not like the idea below:



My site community users are very happy with the 2 columns view + blocks that can be turned on and off. Moving to a plain list of blog entries is not a good idea at all. This should be a blog and not just a plain list of articles...


The content blocks are still there, and can still be moved around on the left and right hand sides of the page. The only thing that has changed is that the blog entries themselves are now in a linear list, rather than two-up. :)

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Glad to see the more professional and uncluttered single-column display coming back. However, I'd like it to be on the blog preview page for all blogs as well. Perhaps it could be a user-selected switch?

Will users or the admin be able to set the number of characters shown on the preview? Right now that feature exists but doesn't work.

Right now there's a bug where the preview stops displaying when it encounters an HTML or BBcode closing tag. Will that be fixed?

Can blog entries and comments be made to increment user post counts in the forum as well?

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