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By on Mar 29, 2016 at 5:05 AM

WSN 10.0 is now available. The initial new feature is an adblock detection and nag tool, which allows you to show a message to people who are blocking your ads asking them to please whitelist your site. This should increase your advertising revenue, if your ads are inoffensive enough that people are willing to leave them whitelisted. Go to Admin Panel -> Revenue -> AdBlock Prevention to activate this tool (it requires that your ads be set up through WSN's advertising slots system).

The current development goal is to just do incremental changes -- no more big releases that contain dozens of new features saved up at once, because I found those led to more bugs that took longer to discover compared to just introducing the features one at a time in minor releases. Thus 10.0 isn't a major change from 9.2 yet, though it will become one over the coming months.

The 10.0 series is where new stuff will be added from now on, making 9.2 the stable series which will only get fixes. Basically the purpose of 10.0 is to stabilize 9.2 so that those who don't want to deal with a lot of changes and
possible bugs can upgrade from 9.1 and enjoy the 9.2 features. 9.1 becomes a legacy series which will only get security fixes, but the 9.1 -> 9.2 upgrade is easy and risk-free.

Whether you want 9.2 or 10.0 for your site just depends whether you value updates or stability more for the site, or whether you spot a particular feature added to 10 that you want at some point.

By on Mar 15, 2016 at 10:58 PM

For the past decade plus, WSN has made use of google pagerank to give you and your visitors a quick indication of how popular the domain name a link comes from is. Unfortunately, google is no longer making pagerank accessible to the public in any way. Changes in WSN are thus necessary.

As a replacement for pagerank, I've decided to use alexa's site ranking. Alexa provides an esimtate of where a site lies on a list of the most popular websites, where 1 is the most popular and unpopular sites number in the millions. As of 9.2.47 Beta 1 you can show this rank number in a template using {LINKALEXARANK}. That number doesn't mean much at a glance though, so I've converted it into a pagerank-like 1-10 ranking (1 being least popular, 10 being most popular) with {LINKALEXAPOPNUMBER}. To show the pagerank-like bar image, use {LINKALEXARANKIMAGE} and it'll look just like what you're used to.

To make the transition easier, you don't have to make any template changes. If you leave your templates as-is, google pageranks will be displayed for domains where you've already fetched them and the alexa-based popularity bar will show on new listings where pagerank isn't available. The two improvements you'll get if you swap out your old pagerank template code for the new {LINKALEXARANKIMAGE} are tooltip text listing the exact alexa rank number and automatic hiding of the image when data hasn't been calculated for that domain yet.

Pagerank and alexa rank use different fields though, so you will have one significant problem if you don't update your templates: you won't be able to sort a category by pagerank, except for old listings that still have that data. For that reason, I'm automatically updating templates to swap the pagerank sort for an alexarank sort in the "Sort Links" template. If you have a customized theme where the sort options aren't in that template, you may have to manually update to change option="pagerank" to option="alexarank".

It's important to ...

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By on Mar 08, 2016 at 2:01 PM

Looking to update to PHP 7 to take advantage of improved speed and memory management? WSN 9.2.44 Beta 4 introduces preliminary compatibility with PHP 7. Be advised that PHP 7-specific bugs are likely to be popping up for a while, so it's probably best to keep stable production sites on PHP 5 for now.

The main issues with PHP 7 so far have been the new requirement that method prameters be the same on child classes as parent classes, and a change to the behavior of assigning array indexes as proprties of objects (it used to assign to the property name indicated by the array index, now in 7 it creates an array as an object property instead). I've updated my development PC to PHP 7 and am fixing these issues as I encounter them.

By on Feb 19, 2016 at 12:21 AM (Edited Feb 19, 2016 at 12:25 AM)

A new theme, 'downloads', is now available for all of the WSN scripts. To install it, go to Admin Panel -> Themes -> Add Themes and find it in the list. It was initially made for WSN Software Directory but is adapted for the others. Best used with the 'left side category menu' switch turned on.

Demos: WSN Links, WSN Gallery, WSN KB, WSN Forum, WSN Classifieds, WSN Software Directory, WSN Directory

By on Feb 04, 2016 at 10:37 AM (Edited Feb 04, 2016 at 10:39 AM)

Sometimes, especially in WSN Gallery, you may want to overlay text on top of an image. Today while working on a custom theme I applied this simple CSS to overlay the image titles over the top of the image thumbnails (in category and search results) and the tool links over the bottom of the thumbnails:

.gallerylink .linkbitinfo .linktitle, .gallerylink .linktools { text-shadow: -1px -1px 0 #FFFFFF, 1px -1px 0 #FFFFFF, -1px 1px 0 #FFFFFF, 1px 1px 0 #FFFFFF; }
.gallerylink .linkbitinfo { position: relative; top: 25px; }
.gallerylink .linktools { position: relative; top: -45px; }

The text-shadow line puts a white outline around the dark text so that it'll be readable on any color of image. The other lines move the title down and the tools up, respectively, using relative positioning CSS.

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