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By on Jun 23, 2015 at 12:08 PM (Edited Jun 23, 2015 at 12:09 PM)

In recent days one of the things I've been working on is loadable data sets. I found a free source with ~400 business types organized into categories and subcategories, and I've added that as an option in the WSN Directory installer. I'm also using that to generate a dataset of the same categories as 3rd and 4th level subscategories beneath USA states and Canadian provinces (e.g. Canada -> Ontario -> Finance -> Insurance).

What other datasets might be useful?


By on Jun 17, 2015 at 3:55 PM

Sometimes you may want to incorporate a new page into a sub-wrapped area like the member home or the moderator control panel. In the past, you might've done that by linking to the new page as profile.php?TID=x to make it appear as part of the member home with the member home menu present. This is problematic if you're trying to incorporate a standard template though, like the help section. If you wanted to make the help section part of the member home, you might've decided to just copy the member home subwrapper content directly into the help templates -- making your site hard to maintain.

Now there's a solution:
<!-- usesubwrapper=homesubwrapper.tpl -->

This works the same as the long-existing <!-- usewrapper=customwrapper.tpl --> syntax that was used for defining a custom wrapper inside the template instead of inside the URL. Now you can do it with subwrappers too. Just put <!-- usesubwrapper=homesubwrapper.tpl --> anywhere inside a template and that template will become part of the member home area.


By on Jun 11, 2015 at 5:47 PM

By default, the option for visitors to reassign a listing has been showing up for members on both the submit listing and edit listing pages. I feel this can be confusing on the submit listing page and people may end up generating new accounts and assigning listings to them when they don't read carefully. I can't think of any reason by a non-admin would want to reassign a listing during the submission process -- an admin would want to, and a member might want to reassign later when they sell a site but not during submit. So, to limit potential confusion, I'm changing it so that non-admin members only see the reassignment option on the edit listing page -- not on the submit listing page. This change is in the next release of 9.1 and 9.2.


By on Jun 08, 2015 at 8:35 AM

In the last few days: Changed WSN Forum's category names to use <h2> tags for better SEO. Converted the registration defaults to use a serialized array instead of the previous custom format, and added a helper function for changing a registration default. Did a lot of code refactoring for 9.2. Improved the details of parameters in backtraces in bug reports.

Made a lot of progress on the ability for the upgrader to update templates and styles from a theme instead of from the standard. Hopefully this will be finished for 9.2.1. After it's finished I'm hoping to incorporate simple theme selection (with just the best themes shown) into the installer, instead of the guided start. Then at some point I'll try to incorporate bootswatch to let people visually choose the coloring for bootstrap themes.


By on Jun 04, 2015 at 6:42 PM (Edited Jun 04, 2015 at 6:51 PM)

Found a nice tool called browsera for detecting javascript errors and layout problems that are specific to Internet Explorer.

Most of the time, WSN's template conditionals make things easy. There's a long-standing annoying case where they're buggy, though: checking whether a complex HTML field contains a term. Suppose you want to do <IF {LINKDESCRIPTION} contains widget>This listing mentions a widget</IF>. If the description has HTML tags, the conditional can error because the closing tags in the HTML are taken as closing the conditional. Worse yet, if you've enabled search highlighting even simple text can become HTML on the search results page. When someone searches for widget, 'widget' is replaced on the page with <span class="searchhighlight">widget</span> in order to highlight the searched word and this causes the same HTML comparison problem. One workaround for that is to exclude any fields you compare that way from search highlighting, but that's not ideal and it's hard to notice and catch the problem.

In order to have a safer way to do these sorts of comparisons, I'm introducing an optional new syntax {LINKVARCOMPARE[description <,> contains <,> text]}. You'll be able to safely write the conditional as <IF {LINKVARCOMPARE[description <,> contains <,> widget]}>. The first parameter is the template variable name, the second parameter is the operator, the third is the needle. The operators names are the same as in the conditionals syntax: is, is not, contains, does not contain, greater than and less than.

This new syntax will be available soon in both 9.1 and 9.2.


By on Jun 01, 2015 at 8:25 AM

The biggest issue with using a custom theme is that it gets out of date. The bootstrap theme modifies the majority of the templates, so it's especially succeptible to this. I'm thinking about how to allow people to use themes without that drawback. Here's the plan so far. Each theme can include a special file that specifies a URL to get a theme-specific template schema. WSN's manage templates page and upgrade.php can then check that URL, which will return an array of standard uniqueness hashes for theme-customed templates. For templates the user hasn't altered, upgrade.php will automatically replace them with the latest version of that template for that theme. When a user clicks 'revert to standard' in the template editor, the template will revert to the standard for the theme rather than the standard of the default theme. For templates that the theme hasn't altered, the template editor and upgrade utility will use the default theme standard versions so that there are no problems if the last theme update was a few versions back.

I think this plan should significantly improve the experience for people using themes other than the default.


By on Jun 01, 2015 at 6:20 AM

Just released 9.2.0 non-beta, though as the experimental series it's always kind of beta. Most people will probably hold off on upgrading to 9.2 until there's a specific feature you want in it. Note that the 7.1 series is now expired, so the active series are 8.0, 9.0, 9.1 and 9.2. Really there's no reason to use 9.0 though, because the upgrade to 9.1 is easy and 9.1 is now the stable series.

Discovered that the "last post" link for threads in WSN Forum was getting cached to older pages of the thread when using Firefox. This was because I was using an HTTP 301 redirect, I've fixed it to a 302 redirect. In other WSN Forum news, also fixed an issue where forum posts ending in a URL would end up sucking the [/quote] closing tag into the URL link when quoting them.


By on May 30, 2015 at 5:53 AM

Came upon an annoying little bug that only affects WSNs which were originally installed more than a decade ago and upgraded to 9.1. The category parent field was originally a tinyint instead of an int field, and this caused it to be treated as a boolean by the fairly recently added field normalization code, resulting in categories becoming subcategories of category #1 when editing them. Fortunately I'm probably the only one who was affected, but I've added a field type fix to the upgrade script.

Added a processing time check to the unused files cleanup utility so that it splits itself into multiple pages when it's running slowly (as can happen on sites with very large numbers of file attachments).

Fixed a template visual mistake on the listing settings page. Also improved a couple more bootstrap template spots. Probably WSN 10 will default to bootstrap, but will of course continue supporting non-bootstrap themes as well.


By on May 28, 2015 at 10:56 AM

Today's first task was a long time coming. Using localStorage, I've finally got WSN 9.2 remembering the open or closed states of all the named boxes. When you click on a box title bar to minimize it, it now remembers that and stays minimized on future views. I'd previously considered doing this with cookies, but it risked running up against the maximum cookie length limit so I never implemented it.

The other major envevour of the day was to add automatic error reporting to the autosetup.php installer. Hopefully this allow me to find out why so many people abandon the installation process and determine what sort of less common server configurations I should aim to support.


By on May 27, 2015 at 6:01 AM

Fixed some issues with the helper queue system which were causing updates to not get applied when a robot was the one triggering the helper call for it. That's the main change in today's 9.1.29 release.

Just released 9.2.0 Beta 1. Most of the work in it is bootstrapification. I've made it so that when various images aren't present in the style images directory an appropriate bootstrap glyphicon is shown instead. This process entailed creating a new template function {FUNC_SHOWICON[iconname <,> label <,> cssclass]} which is now used to display a variety of icon-like images. I've also replaced the unicode ready to chat IM icon with an appropriate glyphicon when using the bootstrap theme.

Another little change is that {IMAGESURL} can now take a filename parameter, so you can
write {IMAGESURL[flag.png]} instead of {IMAGESURL}/flag.png.
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