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About Dan

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Dan's Activity

  1. Dan added a post in a topic: Heartbleed and IPB   

    I think Greenlinks is referring to the idea that if you can steal someone's session ID by exploiting the Heartbleed vulnerability, you can gain access to other people's accounts within IP.Board by hijacking their session, and is looking for mitigations for that. 
    I guess this is where session IP validation would come in, if you're particularly paranoid about man-in-the-middle attacks, but there's very little else IP.Board could do.
  2. Dan added a post in a topic: IPS 4.0 backward compatibility   

    I think this is your key misunderstanding, which is logical, but still incorrect. Whilst it would certainly be possible to maintain near 100% backwards compatibility if IP.Board included a specific app-facing API, wrapped around the core logic that actually makes things happen, that is not the case.
    In IP.Board (and all competing products,) any part of the software can be used as an API. Third party developers have the ability to extend and modify *any* class within the system, as well as hooking into specific points within templates and pre-defined data hooks. In theory, certain data hooks could be maintained as part of a rewrite, and there could be an intermediary layer allowing "old style" plugins to continue working where they only use those data hooks. However, by their very nature, plugins that hook into core classes within the platform couldn't possibly work if that class no longer exists. The same applies to hooking into templates, if that template (or the part of it you were relying on) is no longer there, how can it be hooked into?
    It is very different developing a piece of forum software than it is developing firmware (or even, for example, a ReST API.) In the latter case you pre-define everything you want to expose, you know what you need to maintain and how to maintain it. It's just not possible to do that when you allow developers limitless access to the core of your application.
  3. Dan added a comment on a blog entry: 4.0 - Rethinking XML Handling   

    That's fighting talk. :p 
    I think the support folk would agree that your sentence should end "That will no longer happen in 4.x (except when it does.)"  GoDaddy and XTREME MEGA HOSTING will make sure of it.
  4. Dan added a post in a topic: Use SQL Timestamp & Datetime for dates in 4.0   

    I agree on the front of using DATE/DATETIME columns in SQL, they're more commonly accepted as the standard for storing dates these days - There was a time when you'd be seen as a crazy person for doing so, but that time has passed. All of the major frameworks use DateTime in PHP and the appropriate DATE types in MySQL now.
    ENUMs, however, I disagree with. They're fine if you're going to use MySQL strict mode, but in a situation where you can't control that (as IPS is,) I wouldn't go near them. In anything other than strict mode, MySQL will silently fail if you pass an invalid value for an ENUM column, storing a blank value in the database - they just can't be trusted. 
    The biggest improvement I could see for the IPS suite in terms of using the database is properly using foreign keys (incl. the ON UPDATE / DELETE functionality) and, where fitting, triggers. It can save an awful lot of code. 
  5. Dan added a comment on a blog entry: 4.0 - Javascript framework   

    I like the look of this. :)
  6. Dan added a blog entry in News and Announcements   

    IP.SEO Update
    When we released IP.SEO 1.0 , we said that we were going to start small and regularly update with new features based on user feedback and SEO trends. We've been staggered by the response to the first release, and have read all of the feedback topics posted so far. So in the spirit of those regular updates, we're now releasing IP.SEO 1.1 to cover some of the most requested features.

    Here's what's new in today's release:

    [*]Sitemap pings added for Ask and Moreover , to add to the existing pings to Google, Yahoo and Bing. [*]XML-RPC ping support for services such as pingomatic.com , weblogs.com, blo.gs, etc. when new topics are posted. This will help you build up a few quick backlinks, and speed up the time-to-indexing of new topics. [*]Select a default skin specifically for guests and thus also for search engines, allowing you to cut out features that you don't feel are appropriate for guest/spider visitors. [*] Beta support for Microsoft SQL server. [*]For developers, a new base class for sitemap plugins. Example code for this and other features has been posted in the contributors forum.

    This is just the first of many regular updates to IP.SEO, so please keep your feedback coming. We encourage you all to post your thoughts and ideas in the IP.SEO forum .

  7. Dan added a blog entry in News and Announcements   

    Introducing IP.SEO
    As anyone with an interest in it will know, search engine optimisation is a difficult and contentious field, not least because of the amount of different opinions and the lack of any definite answers. There are a few things we all know to be good, and a few things that we all know are definitely bad, but the rest is a bit of a gray area. We've done a lot of work to make sure that all of the definite things are covered in IP.Board, and feel we've done a great job at this. Until now however, there's been a selection of features and additions we simply couldn't add to IP.Board core (due to being too resource intensive for many, or too niche), and thus were missing from the product. IP.SEO fills that gap.

    IP.SEO is the combination of two applications we've already built: IPS Sitemap Generator and Search Activity - with the addition of some new features. It's designed to be an application we can add all those missing SEO features to, for those that want them, without overloading those users who do not. Here's some of what it does:

    Sitemap Generation

    Just like in the IPS Sitemap Generator, IP.SEO will build a sitemap for each of your applications that support it, including the forums, IP.Blog, IP.Downloads, IP.Content and more. It will then ping your sitemap to all of the major search engines to let them know what's new.

    Search Activity Statistics

    This area of IP.SEO is designed for those who love to track what's going on with their forum. It'll tell you just how many times you've had search spiders visit your site, how many users have come to your site from search, their keywords and what pages they landed on.

    Meta Tags - Anywhere

    This feature is new to IP.SEO - You can now add meta tags (and, as an added bonus, change title tags) on any page of your site. It works as follows:

    Once you've configured all of your various meta tags on the above page, you can see them in action straight away:

    You can even include the "original" page title (without the board name on the end) in your custom titles by doing entering something like: "My Great Content: {oldTitle}", or simply "{oldTitle}". As you can see above, you can also use * as a wildcard anywhere in your URL to apply meta tags a whole section, or your whole site.

    SEO Guidance

    Also new in IP.SEO, we've added an "Items Requiring Attention" area that will give you guidance on potential problems with your IP.Board configuration. This serves as our guidance to improving your site for search, you can choose to ignore individual notices.

    We intend to update this application regularly, both to add new features and to update our checks for "items requiring attention", to make sure we're always delivering the best SEO performance we can for you. We've already got some great changes planned, including the much-requested HTML sitemaps functionality. If you've got any questions or requests, please drop them in our IP.SEO forum .

    The great news is, this new application is already built! We're just doing our final testing, and will be releasing the application for free in the next day or two, so be sure to keep an eye on the IPS Marketplace for it!
  8. Dan added a blog entry in News and Announcements   

    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:

    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.

    A blog entry:
    As you can see, this screenshot features the new Like, commenting and reputation functionality.

    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.

    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.
  9. Dan added a file in Moderation Tools   

    Akismet for IP.Board - 1.0 Beta 1 v
    The IPS Spam Service is a great way of catching spammers as they try to sign up to your board, but some administrators may want an extra level of protection from those spammers that manage to get around it (by using different email addresses, IP addresses, etc.)

    Akismet for IP.Board uses the well-known blog comment spam filter, Akismet, to check posts for spam before they make it onto your board. It can then: [*]Delete or unapprove the post (or topic, if it is a new topic) [*]Trigger IPB's built in "flag as spammer" functionality [*]Submit details of the spammer to IPS' Spam Service, to help block more spammers for everyone else!
    Other features include: [*]Skipping posts by administrators [*]Skipping posts by users in groups that cannot be warned [*]Skipping posts by users who have posted before [*]Reporting content submitted by known spammers back to Akismet
    Coming in future versions:

    [*]Activity log, telling you what content was flagged as spam and what action (if any) was taken [*]Ability to mark flagged content as not spam

    1. Upload the contents of the zip file to your forum root directory (where conf_global.php is) - If you've renamed your 'admin' folder, please change prior to uploading.
    2. Log into your Admin CP and click 'Manage Applications and Modules', find "Akismet for IP.Board" and click "Install".
    3. Go to System Settings -> "Forums" tab -> "Akismet" and enter your Akismet API key, changing other settings as appropriate.

  10. Dan added a blog entry in News and Announcements   

    IP.Board 3.1.1 Dev Update: Search Engine Optimisation Enhancements
    As many of you will know, search engine optimisation is a process of ongoing improvement. We made some big steps towards making IP.Board more search-friendly when we released 3.0 and we’ve vastly improved on that with the release of 3.1. We've also started to pay attention to SEO details in our other applications .

    However, you had feedback for us as soon as we released and we've done our best to accomodate some of the things you've suggested for IP.Board 3.1.1. Here's what we've changed:

    404 Errors for Non-Existent Pages
    Previously, if someone made a typo when linking to your site (for example, http://myforums.com/l instead of http://myforums.com/ ), or even deliberately added random characters to the end of your address, IP.Board would happily respond with a "200 OK" response.

    What this meant is that when Google (or any other search engine) followed that link, IP.Board was saying "Yep, that's a page that exists." and so the search engine would index that page along side your actual forums link. When doing so, the search engines would also recognise that as being duplicate content, and there was a chance that your site's rankings may suffer as a result.

    Now, those types of links correctly serve a "404 Not Found" error. This tells search engines and web browsers that the page they were trying to access does not exist and should not be indexed.

    Bad Canonical URLs
    If you've ever looked at the HTML source code generated by IP.Board for your forum index, you might have noticed that the "canonical" meta tag was pointing to http://myforums.com/index , instead of http://myforums.com/ . Much like the problem above, this leads to some confusion as to whether the home page for your forums is at "/", or "/index". We've now changed this to point correctly to the root of your forums, without the additional "index" part.

    IP.Content: Title Tags and Keywords in Databases
    If you use a custom wrapper in IP.Content, instead of the IP.Board wrapper, you may have noticed that when viewing a record within a database, the title and keywords tags are always set to those of the containing page. We've now fixed this so that the title tag correctly contains the title of the record instead, and the keywords tag is populated using the article's keywords.


    We've started to better document how to set up your forum for best performance in search engines , but if you've still got any questions, please feel free to ask me !

    Additionally, if there are any tips you'd like to share, please post start a topic in our feedback forums with your ideas. If they are good we will include them in the documentation!
  11. Dan added a blog entry in News and Announcements   

    IP.Board 3.1 Update: Mobile Skin Improvements
    With the release of IP.Board 3.1 and our new iPhone application, we decided to make some further improvements to our mobile skin to expand on the great start introduced earlier this year . We wanted to give the skin a more modern, touch-friendly feel, and improve usability for those devices to suit.

    So here's some of what we've done:

    As you'll see straight away, the board header is now significantly smaller. We wanted to make the content the focus of the new design, so we've cut out all of the space-hogging links and replaced them with a clean button-activated menu. Which looks like this:

    We've also made important buttons bigger and easier to press when you're on the move, on your phone. Where there's too much to display, such as each post in a topic view, we've hidden the buttons behind touch-activation. This functionality is, of course, all backwards compatible with devices that don't support or block JavaScript.

    Another area we were keen to add, to compliment the new iPhone application, is status updates. You can now view status updates by your friends, or all members of your communities, directly from your mobile. We've started small, with just the status updates themselves, but we plan to expand this in future revisions to include status replies and the ability to reply to them.

    Some other enhancements:

    [*] Touchable rows - Anywhere there is a list, such as the forum list on the board index, or the topic list in forum view, entire rows are now touchable. You can press anywhere on the row to go to that item, rather than having to aim carefully for the link within. [*] View new content - In IP.Board 3.0, this list was set by default to "show me all new content since my last visit", even on your mobile device. This meant that if you closed the iPhone application, when you went back in, this list would be empty. We've changed this to default to "show me all content that I have not read", preserving the list across sessions. [*] CSS-based styles - As most modern mobile devices use new, CSS3-compliant rendering engines, we've been able to use CSS-based gradients and border-radius settings to lower the number of images the skin loads, saving and your wallet from hefty data-plan fees. [*] Everything's bigger - This might sound simple, but the biggest change we've made is to make the font size bigger throughout. Hopefully this will mean less squinting when you're trying to use it on your phone!

    We'd love to hear what you think about the improvements we've made to the mobile skin. It will be included as standard, for free, in IP.Board 3.1 when it is released. It will install right along with the upgrade and be available for your members to enjoy.

    If you find any issues, please report them to the bug tracker.


Status Feed

  1. sh300 » Dan

    the im portant thing in seo is the url
    if u make the url topic replies like that

    1. Black-Elmo


    2. ørret

      Do I need a PhD to understand this or what? :P

    3. AlexJ

      I guess thats implementation to support all topics rather then latest :P That's just my guess. :P

    4. nodle

      Thanks Dan for the update!

    5. .Ian

      looks great Dan - thank you.

    6. Breadfan

      Where do we download this? Or is it just a preview of the next version?

    7. Axel Wers


  2. Dan » CruxOfTheMatter

    You're very welcome, glad we got it sorted for you. :)

  3. CruxOfTheMatter » Dan

    Hey Dan! It took me forever to get to the last ticket I submitted, but I just did and I wanted to say thanks for your help! Everything rocks. =)

  4. Dan

    Beta 2 of IP.Blog 2.3 is now running on the IPS company forums: http://goo.gl/Q6KVS #ipb

    1. mat206

      any particular reason the "leave comment" and comments bars aren't matching up across the same row on the blog frontpage?

    2. Dan

      They should do... What browser are you using?

    3. Dan

      Actually, I've figured out why. Clear your cache and refresh the blog homepage. You should see them line up now. :)

    4. Glumbo

      I can't edit comments?

    5. mat206

      Dan - That worked.. funny that I did it for the marketplace and not the blog frontpage. Looks good.

    6. ørret

      What is new? :P

  5. Dan » Liquid_1520

    Hi! Our servers all run CentOS.. I personally have one that uses Ubuntu as well, which has been good.
    I wouldn't personally advise switching to Mac or Windows for your server unless you have a good reason to.

  6. Liquid_1520 » Dan

    Since you're an IPS hosting admin, do you have any specific OS you prefer for your servers? I've been on fedora for a while, and i've been debating to try Mac and Windows, but haven't made the plunge yet.

  7. Dan

    First day full time at IPS tomorrow! Very much looking forward to it. :D

    1. Alan

      Good luck :)

    2. Zhana

      As what?

      Best of luck.

    3. Connor T

      Dan is the new CSA

    4. Alan

      About time they got rid of that cowboy they had before ;)

    5. RobertMidd

      Yes what will you be doing? and are you still based in the UK ?

      Hope you first day goes well.

    6. Dan

      I'll be managing our community hosting, and doing some development too. And yep, still in the UK, I'll be working from my home office. :-)

    7. RobertMidd

      Fantastic !!!

    8. Akabane

      Nice way to work. Doing it too (as a freelance). Loving it. ;)

    9. RobertMidd

      I doubt it is freelance, but I might be wrong.

    10. skinbydragonfly

      Congrats Dan!! I hope you have a great first day :)

  8. Dan

    Down to just a week before I start full time at IPS. Really looking forward to it! :-) #ipb

    1. TheRevTastic

      *Dreams of working for ips*

    2. ZakRhyno

      What will you do for them?

    3. .Brian

      He serves us coffee in the morning :p.

    4. TheRevTastic

      I was going to say he goes out and gets coffee and donuts then is a towl boy in the restroom xD.

    5. Dan


      I'm managing hosting, and doing some development. :)

  9. Dan

    Using the now-discontinued Community SEO for #ipb? This hook will help you to migrate to using IPB FURLs instead: http://j.mp/90166D

  10. Dan

    Working on another little something for SEO fans: http://j.mp/bRj2Nt

    1. .Ian

      yummy :)

    2. DarkGizmo


    3. Mo7sin

      great ;)

    4. Connor T

      sweet. Is it possible to over-ride common error pages like 404, 403, and 401 with an ipb page that of course explains the error?

  11. Dan

    I really don't get why people would pay for a sitemap for their forum. :s #ipb

  12. Dan

    Hi Matt!

  13. Dan

    IP.Board is now #7 for the term "forum software". Time for a celebratory sausage sandwich I think! #ipb

  14. Dan

    I like new things... #ipb

    1. AndyF

      New is fun :)

  15. Dan

    Very exciting day for IPS today, testing out something really cool that should be announced soon! #ipb

    1. AndyF


    2. Chetan105

      Whats it , whats it , whats it !

    3. AndyF

      Beta 4 ? O_o

    4. Steve H

      oooo - IPS News is signed in :)

  16. Dan

    If anyone near Leeds, UK. is looking for a junior web developer job, contact me!

    1. Lee

      What skills are needed??

    2. Lee Craven

      If I still lived in Leeds I would jump, but I moved to Arizona 9 years ago =)

    3. Dan

      @Lee: Skills are PHP, HTML, CSS, a bit of JS... nothing too heavy. :)

  17. Dan

    Also, if SVN, I need a Versions.app equivalent. If Git, what do I use??? :s

  18. Dan

    ... and on that note, does anyone actually use the keyboard backlight dimmer keys? Seems an odd choice of thing to give easy access to. :s

    1. Amy T

      My keyboard does not have one of those.

  19. Dan

    #SEO Poll - Does a product link (i.e. Powered by <x>) on every page of a blog/forum affect SEO? (@davenaylor, @paulreilly, @patrickaltoft)
  20. Dan

    O_O is about all I can say.

  21. Dan

    Loving 3.1, I forgot about a lot of the cool new stuff. :)

    1. Lee

      I love the new status replies!

  22. Dan

    Actual cries. I can't see the content of any topics in the customer forum. =(

    1. AndyF

      Me either :(

    2. AndyF

      Must be a perm issue if everyone else can coz we're 'special' :)

    3. The Geek

      /pass &quot;tissue&quot;

  23. Dan

    RT @mattmecham - Welcome to IP.Board 3.1! Our company forums are now running #ipb 3.1 - come check it out! http://bit.ly/a7wxTV

    1. Depotoir