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By on Aug 30, 2016 at 11:10 AM (Edited Aug 30, 2016 at 11:37 AM)

Two big developments in WSN Classifieds yesterday (actually in all the scripts but Classifieds users are most likely to be interested), expanding the type of sales websites you can use it for.

First, I've added quantity tracking. When enabled, the listing submitter and set a quantity of the product they have available. Whenever a purchase is processed through WSN's system (paypal/2co/etc IPNs) it automatically deducts one from the available quantity. It will even work for payments sent to listing submitters if the purchase is through paypal, since WSN's generated paypal button for that sets the IPN to call back to WSN. The default (but configurable) action is for the listing to automatically hide itself when the quantity hits 0. This will be useful for any site that sells less than an infinite number of each item -- even if you only sell 1 of each, enabling quantities will allow the listing to autohide after being purchased.

I've also added an auctions system. When enabled, the listing submitter can select to make their listing an auction which will last a number of days they specify (configurable default is 7 days). The price field then acts as the minimum starting bid. Any logged in member can then place a bid, which must be at least 10 cents more than the current leading bid. The configurable default is to autohide the listing after the auction completes, and of course it emails the winner to ask them to make payment and emails the seller to tell them who won, and gives both of them the other's email address to facilitate communication.

These are of course fresh experimental features at the moment, do let me know if you find any probelms or have any ideas to enhance these systems.


By on Aug 23, 2016 at 10:34 AM (Edited Aug 23, 2016 at 10:36 AM)

For the 10.0.18 release, I've finished the long project of merging the default and bootstrap templates. The bootstrap theme from 10.0.18 onward will simply be a custom stylesheet for the default theme. This means bootstrap is no longer at risk of getting out of date, either on my end or due to customized templates during your upgrades. If you have an older version of the bootstrap theme you may want to reinstall it in 10.0.18, though you'll have to be careful to reapply your customizations after.

In other recent developments, I've begun automatically updating 9.0 and 9.1 versions to 9.2. Those two series haven't had a release since last year, and it would be complex for me to update them since they're not compatible with PHP 7 which is what I'm running on my development server now. So I figure the best thing for everybody is to just move everyone up to 9.2. Fortunately this doesn't require any admin interaction and all the customized templates can be safely preserved without much risk. Based on my testing, I don't foresee any problems arising, though this is the first time I've tried automated series updates. Of course this only happens when the site is set to automatically upgrade.

Unfortunately it's not so simple to automatically update 7.1 and 8.0 series sites, because there are major changes to the style and fields systems between those versions which would present too much risk of messing up somebody's site while they're not looking. If you are on any pre-9.2 series you do need to upgrade though. I'm planning to write a script to collect a list of known outdated installations and email the owners of those sites to ask them to upgrade, probably sometime within the next month.


By on Jul 07, 2016 at 1:40 PM

Since June 22nd, Google has begun requiring an API key in order to use google maps on your website. Without the key, you see an "Oops! Something went wrong." notice instead of the map. This affects anyone using WSN's maps features on a new website. Pre-existing websites are exempted from this requirement, at least for the moment, as google doesn't wish to break the entire internet -- but they warn that the quality of service will be lower for the legacy keyless sites and recommend getting a key.

This unfortunately means WSN will no longer be able to automatically display maps reliably without asking you to manually generate a key via google's process. Today's latest releases 9.2.61 and 10.0.11 prompt you to get a key whenever you update the switches page and have the maps switch turned on (and don't have a key saved yet). Sorry for the inconvenience, but it's google's fault.


By on Jun 18, 2016 at 9:00 PM (Edited Jun 18, 2016 at 9:01 PM)

If you're in the European Union, or some of your clients are, you're probably aware of the EU requirement to notify visitors that your website uses cookies. In today's WSN 10.0.9 Beta 1 release, I've added an "EU cookie privacy notice" switch at Admin Panel -> Settings -> Switches. Enabling this switch automatically handles your legal obligations by adding a cookie notice in a semi-transparent bar at the bottom of the screen. The visitor can dismiss the notice by clicking the X (which, appropriately enough, sets a cookie lasting one year to remember that they've dismissed it).

If you'd like to customize the look of the cookie notice bar, style .cookienotice in the stylesheet or edit the notice area in the wrapper template just above </footer>. To change the text on an english-only installation just edit the wrapper template... on a multilingual installation, go to Admin -> Customizations -> Language and search for general_cookienotice.

The notice links to your privacy policy, which uses the "Privacy Policy" template. In multilingual installations, the text of the policy is in the language item privacy_info.


By on Jun 17, 2016 at 2:21 PM

For a long time, it has been easy to convert a WSN site to use https:// secure URLs by default: simply change the http to https in the URL at Admin -> Settings -> System Configuration -> WSN Links Installation Details -> URL. But this misses two common scenarios: the case where you want non-secure to be the default but want to allow people to use a secure version if they choose, and the case where you want to forcibly redirect to the secure version of each URL.

What if you want to optionally enable https, while leaving http as the default? Leaving the installation URL as the http version results in the secure version of the page looking broken due to all the insecure resources it calls which the web browser blocks by default. WSN 10.0.8 solves this problem by automatically detecting when the secure version of the page is being accessed and temporarily acting as if the installation URL is https, without changing it.

What about when defaulting to https isn't good enough and you instead want to force it? WSN 10.0.8 adds a rewriting option at Admin -> Settings -> SEO - > Force Secure URLs which will automatically redirect visitors to the secure version of any page they request. I've implemented this on links.webmastersite.net now, for example.

Note that you can get a free SSL certificate from https://letsencrypt.org


By on Jun 17, 2016 at 3:09 AM

The big enhancement in WSN 10.0.8 is submenus support for the main menu in the menu manager. This solves the problem of having more pages than you have horizontal space for on the menu bar.

In new installations, the Options menu is a submenu associated to the member home menu, such that everything from the member home menu automatically shows on it. If you wish you can disassociate this and build a custom options submenu.

Bootstrap themes use the native bootstrap menu javascript and css. Non-bootstrap themes use superclick. Older wrapper templates may not support submenus until their menu template code is updated.


By on Jun 06, 2016 at 2:53 PM

When you set up a website, there are two ways people can access it: www.yourdomain.com, or just yourdomain.com. This creates a couple of problems. First, unless you've set the site's cookie domain to .yourdomain.com, when someone logs in at yourdomain.com they won't be logged in at www.yourdomain.com -- which leaves them confused if they end up on the other version from a link they found somewhere. Secondly, search engines don't like the duplication.

The solution for this has always been to add redirection into the .htaccess file to redirect www URLs to their non-www equivalents or vice versa. Many of you have done this in WSN using the extra .htaccess content option in the SEO settings.

The latest WSN 10 beta adds automatic handling of this situation, whenever URL rewriting is enabled on a site. It checks the directory url value to see whether you want www or not, so you can change it either by changing the directory URL at Admin -> Settings -> System Configuation or by changing the selection at Admin -> Settings -> SEO -> Domain Format (which will in turn update your directory URL for you). WSN writes the appropriate redirection rules to the .htaccess automatically.

Having a duplicate redirection (one you set in the extra .htaccess content as well as the new automatic redirection) shouldn't be a problem, works fine in my tests, so you don't have to change anything -- but can feel free to remove any redirection you added whenever you're ready, for clarity.


By on May 07, 2016 at 5:17 PM

Today I've been enhancing WSN's "add from web search" option to allow you to add articles from a bing news search. There are 8 categories of news to narrow the results to. If you're running a directory of news articles, this should be a huge help.

If you find this useful, let me know if you'd like the ability to set a category to automatically add new content from search results at an interval.

I've also added a checkbox to specify that the contents gathered from web/news searches should be held for validation. There was already a tweak, but this makes it easier to hold the data for manual review and just use the searches as a fountain of ideas.

In the process of adding that checkbox, I've created a generalized way to make checkboxes that are remembered by cookies -- just use <input type="checkbox" name="x" value="1" onClick="wsn_tickcookie('x')" {FUNC_TICKCOOKIE[x]}> where x is whatever name you want.


By on May 06, 2016 at 9:12 PM (Edited May 06, 2016 at 9:13 PM)

Lots of changes in tonight's WSN 10.0.5 release.

Fixes

I fixed a situation where sponsor type separation had been on by default when it shouldn't be, by disabling it for anyone who hasn't declared the sponsor types in the template. Fixed a bug with sponsor type separation where it wouldn't show sponsored results in a search if there were multiple sponsored types. Fixed the link checkers to not check unvalidated listings. Fixed the ability to disable automatic bug reports, which was only disabling one of the two types of bug reports before. Corrected some wording on updating passwords. Enforced automatic writing of .htaccess files for those who chose in long ago versions to disable automatic write, because managing .htaccess by hand is begging for site-disabling errors and the option to turn off auto-write hasn't been visible for a while anyway.

New Stuff

I've added a URL search to the admin search page, for your convenience in case you want to find listings by URL or parts of their URL. On the listing validation pages I've added the full path to the category so that there's no longer any confusion at a glance about what category the listing is in if your bottom level categories often have the same names. Added server-side thumbnailing of thumbshots, which means your thumbshot images (from pagepeeker or thumbshots.com) are now much smaller and load much faster.

Added a new tweak 'nomembersearch' which provides an easy way to disable the ability for people to search members, and also automatically prevented members from being able to search members when the 'can view member list' permission is turned off for their usergroup (these changes are useful for sites that use emails as usernames and want to avoid exposing email addresses to spammers).

Made some small changes to your paypal receipts for paypal sponsorships for your conveience. The receipt emails now include the sponsorship level description and the listing or member profile url. This makes it quicker for...

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By on Apr 06, 2016 at 7:08 PM

As you upgrade through the 10.0 series in the coming days/weeks, you may notice that there are a ton of small template changes and you may wonder what these are for. These changes are part of ongoing efforts to merge as much of the default theme and the bootstrap theme as possible without changing the appearance of either.

The reason: bootstrap needs to be a first class citizen, so that you can feel secure building on it and easily apply your own custom bootstrap themes even if you start from the default theme. With bootstrap having dozens of customized templates like it has so far, maintenance is difficult and it ends up being buggier than the default theme because I occasionally forget to apply a change to bootstrap that I apply to the default theme. As I merge the templates, bootstrap will be able to directly add its style to default templates. Only a small number of bootstap templates will remain customized -- even though they'll all look just as customized as they do today, and the default theme won't start looking bootstrappy.

How is this possible? Basically, I'm including both the standard and the bootstrap css classes on each element. For extra elements bootstrap has which default lacks, I'm adding those into the default while leaving them unstyled so they're not visible in default. Table header rows on submit/edit pages are the most difficult since bootstrap's titles are above the table while default's are in the table's first row, but I've solved that by changing it to the bootstrap version while making it appear the same in default as if it were the table header row.

So far, so good. While I'm testing as I go, there's always the chance of this messing something up for someone, which is why I'm doing it in the new series and not the stable series (9.2 is now the stable series). In the long run, it's very good news if you're a web designer who wants to more easily take advantage of the many bootstrap themes out there.
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