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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 This means bootstrap is no longer at risk of getting out of date, either on my end or due to customized templates during your upgrades.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 I'm planning to write a script to collect a list of known outdated installations and email the owners of those sites to ask them to upgrade, probably sometime within the next month.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.
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