GuildPortal Dev Blog

Updates from Aaron Lewis, GuildPortal Code Monkey

Posted 10/27/2012 4:38 PM by Aaron Lewis. 1196664 reads. Share:

10/27 Update - Activity Wall

The Activity Wall, a new widget, goes live today! It's like the walls you'll find commonly on social networking sites. It's what the old Status Updates widget was kind of trying to do, only it does it a lot better. It could also be looked at as a replacement for shout boxes altogether, since it supports media.

In order for people to post to it, they'll need to be granted higher than public/applicant access to your site. Here are some of the features:

Posting

The familiar WYSIWYG editor is used, only in a slimmer version. Tools available for now are: toggle full-screen edit mode, spell check, some formatting, insert link, insert image, and insert video (from either YouTube or Vimeo). You may find the area too small to work with, especially if you're inserting big images or videos, so make use of that full-screen toggle on the far left!

Adding Video

Adding video from YouTube or Vimeo is easy. Just go to the web page on YouTube or Vimeo where the video is shown, copy the address, click the blue Play icon to the far right in the wall editor, and paste the URL. Hit your tab key and you'll be presented with a preview of what it'll look like in your post, along with some options.

Most of them can be left alone. The one you want to pay attention to is "Play the video automatically on load." You'll probably want to un-check that box, else risk the wrath of guildies opening the page with the wall on it, getting hit with all kinds of videos starting to play at the same time!

The Next Thing

Sample wall postOnce you've added your text/video/images, click the post button and boom -- there you have it. Emoticons are automatically parsed based on defaults and/or any custom emoticons the guild uses. Clicking on the name of the poster displays the standard drop-down menu for doing things like viewing their profile, visiting their blog, chatting with them if they are online, and all that good stuff.

Images

Know how sometimes, you can put an image in a post or a news item and if it's too big, it'll stretch out the page, wrecking the design? Well, I think I've got that figured out now (and with all the layout possibilities there are due to customization, and the fact that IE ignores max-width unless everything's set a particular way at the parent level, it took a while -- that, and I'm dumb as a rock)! Anyway, when you post an image to the wall, it'll now do its best to fit inside the available space, without stretching things out. Notice: if your browser is way, way old, it'll probably be icky like before. So with a large image (the one shown is actually around 1200 pixels wide, in a widget that's about 700 pixels width), here's what a well-behaving browser will show (minus the purple arrows I thought were neat while putting the screens together in Fireworks):

But hey! What if the image is gigantic because there's that much going on? Easy to do with something like an in-game screenshot. And you might want to see it full size. No problem! You can click any images on the wall and they'll open up all sexy like in a gallery-type scroll view dyno-resizing nifty thingy. Stuff. Whatever you wanna call it. Hey, I'm not a writer, k? Anyway, it's got arrows (way better-looking than my purple ones up there) that you can use to move between other images on the wall.

The Morning After (after you post, I mean)

There are a few things at the bottom of each post. People can click on Comments to show comments or add their own. The date and time of the post has been sacrificed in a pagan ritual, making way for the more friendly "how long ago" display. There are tools to delete the post if you're a Super Admin or the original author, and if you're the author you can edit the post, too.

The comments are pretty simple. Not much to explain there. I thought about spinning it so they sounded all complicated and neat and shiny, but... Yeah. No. Oh, and both of those posts are from me. I talk to myself while testing, and for a reason I cannot fathom, I always revert to a despicable sub-set of the English language.

Future Enhancements

Instead of cramming the thing with everything I could think of, taking ideas from some of the major social sites out there, I decided to hold back and push it as it is now. I'm counting on feedback to direct the decision making when it comes to further enhancements for the wall. After all, there are things I found that I like which a lot of you might really not, and there were some features the big boys are sporting now that I really find... icky (who says "icky?" I do!).

So let me know what you would like to see done moving forward. Maybe WYSIWYG editing of comments instead of the simple type-and-hit-enter behavior it has now? Or automatically-entered posts by the site when people apply, add a shout, post something in the forums, add a news item, create a new raid, add an image to the gallery (all linked automatically to the source item)? Anyway, let me know!

Chat Updates

When someone requests a one-on-one chat session, you will now hear a... beeping thingy. Useful if you have more than one browser window open, are looking at a different screen, or have your head spun around facing behind you, like that girl from the Exorcist. I do that sometimes. Don't judge me!

Typical GP Chat

Also, on-demand playable sound effects have been fixed in guild chat. Type /sounds for a clickable list of the currently available ones. In addition, lots of little bugs and stuff were fixed.

Other Stuff

  • Many widgets have had their displays cleaned up a little. There will be more of this going forward, as we move to a more universally clean (and still customizable) theme format. This is primarily being done to enable us (and you) to create much higher quality themes than is now possible. We will be making use of HTML5, CSS3, and responsive design principles.
  • Quirky behaviors in some of the style editors have been un-quirkified.
  • Your hamster has been watching you with malice as you sleep.
  • The ability to add an image to a post via link instead of the image manager has been restored.
  • Many other bug fixes.

Posted 9/4/2012 12:02 PM by Aaron Lewis. 236793 reads. Share:

Hey all! Please, feel free to rate the dev blog service updates (using the star rating thing), and leave comments! Let me know what you liked about any update, what you didn't like, what you'd like to see more of, and all that good stuff. So far, most of our feedback comes from admins who post in the Help Community, and while they provide many of the feature suggestions that are pushed out every week, they represent .78% of all active guild leaders -- and .13% of all recently active members -- on GuildPortal.

Now, I'd love to get more guild leaders (and even their members -- we know they have ideas, too) into the Help Community, but if you don't want to join that, feel free to leave any comments on any release here on the blog at the bottom of any post, and I will read them

I know a lot of people might not expect much along the lines of responsiveness from SaaS (software as a service) providers when it comes to listening to their ideas. Even fewer people expect to actually see their feature requests implemented any time in the foreseeable future. It's totally understandable, and I empathize.

For example, I've had ideas for things I'd love to see added to Facebook, Hotmail, GitHub, and many other SaaS providers. But I didn't send them in because either 1) they didn't even bother putting up a form or forum where I could submit my request, or 2) I had absolutely zero faith that any human being that was capable of making the decision to implement my idea would ever actually see it.

Now, the guild leaders who know this isn't the case with GuildPortal are the ones who frequent the Help Community. They make feature requests all the time. Here is how we break down feature requests, and how long it usually takes before each category of request is live on production (keep in mind that providing support for existing functionality takes up the bulk of our time, and that maintenance, upgrades, tuning, and refactoring must also be constantly done to keep GuildPortal speedy and clean):

 Who Benefits from Feature Complexity ETA (Cycles) 
        
 Many Guild Leaders Low  1-2
  Medium  2-4 
  High 4-8+ 
     
 A Few Guild Leaders Low  2-4 
  Medium 4+
  High 8+
      
 Many Guild Leaders, Many Guild Members Low 
  Medium  1-4 
  High  4+ 
     
 Many Guild Members Low  1-2 
  Medium  2-4 
  High 4-8+ 
     
 Few Guild Members Low 1-4
  Medium 4+
  High 8+ 

Behind the scenes, our "cycles" are milestones. Every week has its own release milestone. But sometimes single features -- or a combination of related features -- will have their own milestone and branch of the code, so that it can be worked on without its changes (especially if there are a lot of core, architectural changes) interfering with the regular support/feature update milestone code bases. This is a fairly recent addition to our toolset, and it makes the entire development and release process -- including adding new features -- much easier to manage.

Every feature request that is made is reviewed by both Sandy and I, whether it comes in via a post on the Help Community, in a Support Ticket, or a comment on the Dev Blog. It is then entered into our issue tracking system, which is a ticket system developed in-house that integrated with GitHub, where bugs, feature requests, and a lot of other things are stored in a way that allows us to link fixes and enhancements to the actual lines of code that were affected.

Feature requests with no ETA are internally assigned to a milestone specifically for those types of feature requests, and it is regularly reviewed to see if anything in there can be squeezed into the next actual release milestone. Not all feature requests are implemented. For each of them, we need to balance the benefit versus the impact to GuildPortal overall. Also, we have to consider the amount of time each request would take to develop.

But no feature request is ever deleted or ignored.So please, for the many guild leaders out there who haven't asked for anything because you don't think anybody's listening, please, talk to us. We're not Microsoft -- we're entirely family-run by a married couple with a dog who forces us to go outside every couple hours to throw the ball for her. We do listen. Most of the features you see us adding to the service, week after week, are the direct result of a guild leader asking for it either on the Help Community forums or by sending in a support ticket. I'd like to see that extended to commenting on development blog service updates, as well.

Posted 8/31/2012 2:15 PM by Aaron Lewis. 222250 reads. Share:

The following went down during this release cycle (some of the more urgent items were deployed as hotfixes):
  • Enhancement You can now customize the names of the access levels (Public, Associate, Member, Council, Officer, SuperAdmin). They appear in the forums and other places. From any guild page, click the Admin item on the Guild Bar, hover over Member Management, and then select Custom Level Names. You can also get there from Member Management in the Control Panel.
  • Enhancement The paging while reading posts has been enhanced a little.
  • Css A div has been added that wraps around quotes (previously, the quote titles and bodies were all on their own). The class name is quoteWrapper.
  • Css Widget and forum category headers now stretch their background images vertically to match the height of the container. This was done to remove the need to regenerate your images/gradients whenever you changed the font size or the padding.
  • Css The ForumCategoryHeader class had rules with !important in them, making it difficult for those who dig into CSS to customize it. The !important directives have been removed.
  • Bug When mod authors update their mods, the "details" will now save properly.
  • Bug The edit dialog for voice server status widgets has been set back to the correct one.
  • Bug For IE users, the voting poll results were sometimes not displaying. Fixed.
  • Enhancement Auto-suggest has been added to the public GuildPortal page search (along the top). It'll make it easier for people to find your guild more quickly -- it displays things like your game, server, and even more detail if they hover over / select it via arrow keys.
  • Enhancement Tooltips from GuildHead have been incorporated and will now automatically work on any GuildWars2 site.
  • Bug The new, less-intrusive widget admin "thingy" (technical term) was sometimes making IE go into convulsive fits, playing with its mind, attempting to get it to give up the location of the rebel bases. I told it that IE does not know the location of the rebel bases, so now it's all better.
  • Enhancement Member admin tools have been added to the Guild Bar.
  • Enhancement The shout box was displaying uglier than a dirty monkey at a fancy dinner party. Well, I've never been to a fancy dinner party, but I imagine a dirty monkey would look pretty ugly at one. Anyway, it's been cleaned up (pretty much to spec with what Pinstripesc suggested). Thanks!
  • Bug The ability to disable paging, and to select page size when it's enabled, has been restored to the admin member editor grid. Now if too many of you guilds with over 1000 members disable paging and refresh the grid a whole bunch, I'm going to know about it and I'm going to do something really mean. I'm not sure what  yet, but you're not going to like it one bit!
  • Maint Some enhanced debugging tools have been added, so it'll make problem resolution faster and all that.
Thanks for choosing GuildPortal! We am u!

Posted 8/28/2012 5:44 PM by Aaron Lewis. 214193 reads. Share:

Some of you running a couple different virus scanners are running into alerts on your guild sites. They're false positives centered around a trojan called JS:Blacole. The scanners are freaking out about something they don't like in the resource files GuildPortal passes down to support some of the richer client-side control. We use Telerik (a control vendor) for much of this.

They are aware of the problem, and so are the virus scanner developers, who are now (or already have) updating their definitions so that these false positives will go away, and take their ZOMG-factor with them.

For anyone interested, the Telerik threads talking about this are here and here, and at the Avast forums over here, but they've announced they've fixed it, so go grab the latest definitions.

Posted 8/24/2012 6:49 PM by Aaron Lewis. 421716 reads. Share:

There are a couple releases rolled up in this:
  • Those who have topic update notifications sent to their mobile devices (via SMS) will now be able to click a link that will take them directly to the topic on the mobile version of their site (site.url/m).
  • Clicking on profile links now displays a context menu that provides the following options: Member Detail (displays the window that used to be the only option when clicking a profile link), Private Chat (if they're online), Visit Site (their personal site), Visit Wall, Send Mail and, if you're a roster admin of the guild, a link that will open up the member editor.
  • The voice server status widget now displays detail for both Ventrilo and Mumble servers. Previously, only Ventrilo server detail was available.
  • The Global Guild Bar can now have the foreground text of the main bar customized.
  • The Star Wars: The Old Republic server status widget was hanging when the SWTOR servers were slow to respond, so the duration the data is cached has been increased.
  • The Who's Online widget will now auto-update its list as members log in and time out.
  • Links to support videos in the Control Panel Dashboard have been fixed.
  • New CSS classes have been added for the Shouts widget for those who want to modify the appearance of it at a more detailed level. They are gp-shout, gp-shout-source, gp-shout-body and gp-shout-ally-link. They, along with full descriptions of where they appear and what they contain, are documented in the GuildPortal CSS class listing (available from many of the Custom editor sections of the Control Panel).
  • The Forums widget would stretch out beyond the boundaries of the page width style settings if any of the forums had a lot of sub-forums. This only happened in IE, but it's fixed anyhow.
  • The One-on-One Chat area that displays incoming chat was not scrolling far enough down when new items came in. This has been fixed, along with an overhaul of the One-on-One Chat UI.
  • The member editor grid in the Control Panel now offers the option to export to Excel, PDF, Word or CSV.
  • The member editor grid has also been enhanced with an easy-to-use filtering control that lets you build complex queries against your member listing. For example, you could easily build a query to return all members with an access level less than officer that haven't logged on for over a year.
  • The queries involved in reading posts in a topic have been optimized quite a bit, so your forums are a bit quicker.
  • The border color of Guild Global Bar sub-menus can now be customized.
  • The size of the content zones (left, center and right) on any guild page can now be dynamically resized by simply clicking and dragging when you are logged in with Designer rights. You don't even need to enter page edit mode.
  • When updating to the latest version of a widget-type mod, your settings for which page it appears on, the title, and the order were all wiped out. This no longer happens.

Posted 7/13/2012 4:12 PM by Aaron Lewis. 299524 reads. Share:

Here are the highlights from this week's update:
  • One-on-one chat now works across public-side (meaning just browsing around GuildPortal), blogs, and guild pages. You'll be notified of chat requests no matter where you are.
  • Posts now have a link along the bottom for forum moderators/admins that lets them move the post to another forum/topic of their choosing.
  • Inbox messages now show up on the /m (mobile) versions of your sites.
  • The guild chat link again displays the count of people in chat.
  • A new widget, called "Available Achievements and Medals," has gone live. It lists the achievements from the guild that members may earn, medals they may be awarded, and also GuildPortal achievements that are available.
  • The "Wall" and "About Me" links are now back on the profile page.
  • Some more work has been put into the Dev Status pages. Next week's milestone is empty, but that just because this week's kept me busy up until the very end. I'll be filling it in on Monday.
  • RSS links have been added to the issue comments so you can subscribe and be notified when issues you are interested have updates to their status.
  • The member editor's "Characters" tab for each member now displays a link indicating whether that character is blocked from display on the roster. It also allows you to toggle block status.
  • The member editor grid displays more rows now.
  • Achievements (all three kinds) now display on the "About Me" page of member blog sites.
  • The roster blocks that were mysteriously applying themselves to innocent victims have been slain.
  • A bug causing the forum moderators editor to come up blank has been fixed.
That's all for now!

Posted 6/27/2012 12:48 PM by Aaron Lewis. 46274 reads. Share:

Forum full-text search goes live! There is a link along the top of your forums that says "Search." It has two available modes, controlled by whether you have the "Exact?" check box checked.

If you do not have the "Exact" check box checked, GuildPortal will find posts that match what you type in, but it will also find posts that match based on the meaning of what you have typed in.

If you do have the "Exact" check box checked, GuildPortal will find posts that match what you type in. In addition, you can use operators in your query. For example:

  • "bad monkeys" (note the use of quotes with phrases) would return posts where "bad" and "monkeys" appeared right next to each other.
  • "bad" AND "monkeys" would return posts where "bad" and "monkeys" appeared, regardless of whether they are next to each other.
  • "war*" OR "ever*" would return posts with "warcraft" or "warhammer" or "everquest" or "everquest2" in them.
  • "warcraft" or "everquest" would return posts with either "warcraft" or "everquest" in them.
  • "war*" OR "ever*" AND NOT "everquest2" would return posts with "warcraft" or "warhammer" or "everquest" in them, but not those with "everquest2" in them.
You can also do searches for a particular author, whether or not you specify anything to search for in the subject/body of the posts.

Posted 6/22/2012 1:38 PM by Aaron Lewis. 39405 reads. Share:

Today's update includes stuff and things! Namely:
  • Added the ability for forum moderators to merge topics.
  • A new right that you can grant members, called "Designer." Those granted this access will see a link to "Site Design" on guild pages, and when they click it, they will be taken to the Control Panel, but with only the design-related areas accessible.
  • Added ability to move images between galleries in the editor UI by dragging and dropping them from one gallery to another.
  • Fixed broken one-on-one chat.
  • Fixed icons in the WYSIWYG editor.
  • Fixed the "View" link in the gallery editor.
  • Fixed the Forum Moderator selection UI.
  • Fixed forums mass move functionality.
  • Fixed link to blog when viewing the pop-up profile for a member.
  • Fixed the gradient builder not saving widget header gradients.
  • Made the gradient builder open in a larger window, so IE users could see everything.
  • Updated GuildPortal to the latest non-beta .NET framework, including an update to our tools which should result in improved productivity. :)
  • Removed the forced delay that made you wait 10 seconds before going back to edit a post you just made.
  • Fixed the "No Signature" check box not working when adding a new topic.

Posted 5/22/2012 10:56 PM by Aaron Lewis. 216919 reads. Share:

Note: If you do not want to read through this whole post and just want to get to your mobile site, the address is your.guild.domain/m. For example, if your sub-domain is icanhaz and your primary domain is guildportal.com, your mobile site would be at icanhaz.guildportal.com/m
Phone showing GuildPortal Mobile I've been mostly working on support tickets and this nebulous thing I'm calling GP-5 (shhh, Sandy would be furious if she found out). Also, Sandy and I are really going to put our heads together to come up with something for the progression widget. However, with all this stuff going on, we managed to get something pretty neat out the door for those of you who use a phone to check up on your guild forums and web mail...

Now, a lot of people already know that GuildPortal can notify you of things such as when new web mail arrives, an event/raid is starting soon, whether someone replied to a topic that you are subscribed to, when your (or others, if you're an events admin) event/raid status changes are sent to your SMS-capable phone. Also, admins can be notified the instant a new applicant signs up to the site.

For those who didn't know about this feature, open Profile from any guild page, then click Text Messaging to set up your cell phone provider, number, whether notifications are enabled, and which types of notifications you want to receive.

Okay, this next part is a relatively big deal for us. If you go to your site's domain (like http://admins.guildportal.com) and add /m after it, you will be on a site that has some functionality of your full site, but has the added benefit of being much faster to load. So, if you're a member of the Admin Help Community, head on over to http://admins.guildportal.com/m right now on your phone and check it out. If not, try your own guild's domain.

The mobile site was written on jQuery Mobile, and so it should support the following devices with no problems (although not all the bells and whistles may be there on older devices -- like mine. Iphone 1. I swear it's gas-powered.):

The so-called "A-grade" browsers. Full enhanced experience with Ajax-based animated page transitions.
  • Apple iOS 3.2-5.0 - Tested on the original iPad (4.3 / 5.0), iPad 2 (4.3), original iPhone (3.1), iPhone 3 (3.2), 3GS (4.3), 4 (4.3 / 5.0), and 4S (5.0)
  • Android 2.1-2.3 – Tested on the HTC Incredible (2.2), original Droid (2.2), HTC Aria (2.1), Google Nexus S (2.3). Functional on 1.5 & 1.6 but performance may be sluggish, tested on Google G1 (1.5)
  • Android 3.1 (Honeycomb)  – Tested on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Motorola XOOM
  • Android 4.0 (ICS)  – Tested on a Galaxy Nexus S. Note: transition performance can be poor on upgradeddevices
  • Windows Phone 7-7.5 – Tested on the HTC Surround (7.0) HTC Trophy (7.5), LG-E900 (7.5), Nokia Lumia 800
  • Blackberry 6.0 – Tested on the Torch 9800 and Style 9670
  • Blackberry 7 – Tested on BlackBerry® Torch 9810
  • Blackberry Playbook (1.0-2.0) – Tested on PlayBook
  • Palm WebOS (1.4-2.0) – Tested on the Palm Pixi (1.4), Pre (1.4), Pre 2 (2.0)
  • Palm WebOS 3.0 – Tested on HP TouchPad
  • Firebox Mobile (10 Beta) – Tested on Android 2.3 device
  • Chrome for Android (Beta) – Tested on Android 4.0 device
  • Skyfire 4.1 - Tested on Android 2.3 device
  • Opera Mobile 11.5: Tested on Android 2.3
  • Meego 1.2 – Tested on Nokia 950 and N9
  • Samsung bada 2.0 – Tested on a Samsung Wave 3, Dolphin browser
  • UC Browser – Tested on Android 2.3 device
  • Kindle 3 and Fire - Tested on the built-in WebKit browser for each
  • Nook Color 1.4.1 – Tested on original Nook Color, not Nook Tablet
  • Chrome Desktop 11-17 - Tested on OS X 10.7 and Windows 7
  • Safari Desktop 4-5 - Tested on OS X 10.7 and Windows 7
  • Firefox Desktop 4-9 – Tested on OS X 10.7 and Windows 7
  • Internet Explorer 7-9 – Tested on Windows XP, Vista and 7
  • Opera Desktop 10-11 - Tested on OS X 10.7 and Windows 7
"B-grade" browsers  Ehanced experience except without Ajax navigation features.
  • Blackberry 5.0: Tested on the Storm 2 9550, Bold 9770
  • Opera Mini (5.0-6.5) - Tested on iOS 3.2/4.3 and Android 2.3
  • Nokia Symbian^3 - Tested on Nokia N8 (Symbian^3), C7 (Symbian^3), also works on N97 (Symbian^1)
C-Grade Basic non-enhanced HTML experience that is still functional
  • Blackberry 4.x - Tested on the Curve 8330
  • Windows Mobile - Tested on the HTC Leo (WinMo 5.2)
  • All older smartphone platforms and featurephones – Any device that doesn’t support media queries will receive the basic, C grade experience
There is a feedback button there in your member screen. Please feel free to use it. We would love to hear back from you on this. We will no doubt be adding more features (right now, only mail and forums really work completely, oh and the welcome message, underneath the user's start page for the guild).

For more information on graded mobile browser support based upon JQuery Mobile (which we are using for the /m functionality of your sites) library, click here.

This is not the regular update. There's just been enough testing that I'm comfy letting you all know about it. :)

Posted 4/18/2012 3:03 PM by Aaron Lewis. 139839 reads. Share:

Going out today:
  • Authenticated RSS feeds (for the guilds that use them) have had their token system changed. You will need to update your links. 
  • Forum read/unread icons sometimes not displaying correctly should be fixed. 
  • The Star Wars: The Old Republic server status widget has been updated to work with the changes they made to their site. 
  • Blog links and posting are now working correctly. 
Now, for the boo-boo. Yesterday, I put a trigger on the Shouts table of the database that fired when a new shout was entered. The idea was, it would take the oldest shouts over the count of 50 and delete them. Kind of a self-cleaning thing, for performance. Only, I pulled the ones to be deleted back in the wrong date order. The result was, the trigger ended up wiping the newest 50 shouts. 

I'm very, very sorry about that. 

Posted 4/16/2012 4:32 PM by Aaron Lewis. 118319 reads. Share:

Today's update includes the following:
  • A rendering fix for the iPhone (things were getting squished!).
  • The addition of tagging functionality to the custom status change notifications for calendar events. You can now include [username], [eventname] and [eventdateandtime] in your notifications, and they will be dynamically replaced in the messages that are sent out to the recipient.
  • A bug that caused the custom emoticons section of the control panel to go all whacky has been fixed.
  • Forum icons now align more towards the top, by the forum title. This will help with forums that have a lot of sub-forums.
  • Sub-forum icons will now show up when viewing them alongside the topics listing of their parent forum.
  • The standard roster will no longer show characters without names.
  • The control panel has been cleaned up a bit.
  • Blogs now support custom CSS + HTML.

Posted 3/30/2012 5:43 PM by Aaron Lewis. 25922 reads. Share:

Big enhancements to the calendar system have been made over the past couple of weeks! Here's what's been done:

Event Submissions : Associate-level and higher members of your site are now able to submit events for approval by events admins. When they view the calendar, they have a new button in the top right-hand corner:



When they submit the event, event admins are notified via web mail. When they go to the calendar, if there are any submissions pending, they see the following:



Clicking the button shows them the details of the event, and gives them the option to Approve, Approve and Edit, or Reject the submission.

Simplified Sign-Up: Signing up to an event no longer requires multiple steps. Members can now sign up directly while viewing the event:


In-Line Sign-Up Admin: Like the sign-ups, administrating status and role of sign-ups by event admins has been simplified to a couple of drop-down boxes that appear in-line while viewing the event:


Enter Loot Drops from the Event: Entering drops for an event used to require several steps. Now, it's right there in the event view and much more efficient:


Enter / select the item that dropped. If you start typing the name of the item, a drop-down appears with matching items that have dropped for your guild previously. You can then use your arrow keys or mouse to select any match, or just type in the name of the item if it's something that hasn't dropped before:



Selection of the person who received the item works in the same way. You begin typing, and a list appears with matches:



Here's a partial list of the rest of what's been done over the past couple weeks:
  • New topics default to "subscribed."
  • E-mail notification is sent out when you receive web-based mail.
  • Users can delete their own posts unless the admin disallows it by clicking Edit under their forums, Options, and then checking "Disallow users from deleting their own posts."
  • Ventrilo server status was fixed.
  • The calendar now lets you choose between Monday or Sunday as the first day of the week (click Edit under the calendar, go to Display Options, and select the day from the "First Day of Week").
  • Fixed duplicate characters appearing on the default roster.
  • Added two new widgets: Rift Addons: Hottest and Rift Addons: Newest.
  • Event categories now support a background image, which appears on the large calendar display. To configure event categories, click Edit under your calendar, and then Event Categories.
  • Multiple events may now be deleted at once from the calendar editor by checking the boxes and clicking "Delete Selected."
  • The EverQuest 2 auto-roster has been fixed.
  • The forum icon legend now shows if you have custom forum icons, but can be disabled by clicking Edit under your forums, clicking Options, and checking the "Disable forum/topic icon legends" box.
  • Selected character fields now show up in event sign-ups.
  • An asterisk is displayed next to events that you have signed up for in the main calendar view.
  • If there are applicants awaiting approval, the member admin link flashes.
  • Many Web Fonts have been added and can be selected for your widget titles and widget body areas by going to the Control Panel > Style Tools > Content Boxes (Widgets). Not all of the fonts work with Internet Explorer.
  • Other miscellaneous bug fixes. =)

Posted 2/14/2012 9:45 AM by Aaron Lewis. 20225 reads. Share:

GuildPortal now supports the Mizus RaidTracker third party Add-On for WoW guilds when used with the EQdkp Plus XML export option for loot drops. Because of its superior functionality and popularity, it replaces the GPHelper add-on for this functionality. For more information, open an event follow-up and select the Loot Drops option.

Aside from numerous other minor bug fixes, the following also went live:
  • Event sign-ups are now numbered.
  • "New Activity" link from forums main view shows you new topics since the last time you logged in.
  • Tooltips of most recent posts have been improved, especially for quoted items.
  • "Deleted" shown in sent items next to read status when recipient deleted the item.
  • Selected mail folder now bold.
  • Fixed info section editing problem.
  • Multi-event days now say which event is blocked from sign-ups, or available to be signed up to.
  • Fix for bug when editing an alliance event.

Posted 1/20/2012 8:26 AM by Aaron Lewis. 22879 reads. Share:

  • Welcome Letter goes live with today's update! When you have one set up, it is sent out to people when they have their access level to the site upgraded from public to member (or higher). To start using this, open your Control Panel and click Welcome Letter.
  • The Idle Monitor will now let Super Admins know who received warnings for inactivity, and who was automatically disbanded.
  • The Mass Move functionality in the forums editor is now working correctly.
  • $block[variable] tags now work correctly in mods.

Posted 1/17/2012 11:08 AM by Aaron Lewis. 11571 reads. Share:

Most of the updates done since the last change log entry have to do with bug fixes and small tweaks in response to support tickets. Aside from those, the following has gone live:
  • Mass Move is available in the Forum editor. This allows you to move a lot of topics at once from one forum to another.
  • Many raid progression entries have been added for different games to get them up-to-date with their latest expansions.
  • The correct amount of available file space is now shown in the file manager.
  • The login bar border color can now be customized in the control panel.
  • The WoW GPHelper add-on has been updated to a new version, to make it compatible with WoW's latest update. Those who use it will need to download and install the latest version.
  • Date/time stamps are now shown on event comments.

Posted 12/16/2011 8:09 AM by Aaron Lewis. 17293 reads. Share:

  • Multiple choice voting is now available! When creating a new poll, just click the checkbox at the bottom to indicate that it is multiple choice.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic Server Status widget is now available to ST:TOR guilds. It displays your server name, up/down status, and current population.
  • The most recent posts count to display has been split out from the regular forum and most recent posts stand-alone widgets, so they can each have their own values.
  • When browsing Site Mods, you now have the option to display only those that are installed on your site.
  • 30 signature backgrounds were added to the signature generator background gallery specifically for Star Wars: The Old Republic.
  • The crafting marketplace now requires explicit selection of the tradeskill required to make the requested item.
  • The crafting marketplace now displays orders from all approved alliance guilds!
  • The needs list widget now has a new field for "days/times available."
  • The event signup texting reminder is now firing.
  • Section wrapper opacity now allows for more fine-grained selection.
  • There is a new "mailbox" in your mail widgets, called "GuildPortal Updates." It displays these entries, and is there in an effort to better communicate changes to the service to our members.
  • Spaghetti is good with or without meatballs, but better with.

Posted 12/9/2011 7:10 AM by Aaron Lewis. 18973 reads. Share:

  • Widgets sometimes only adding to the home page (regardless of what page you select) has been fixed.
  • Newest Members widget displaying incorrect data has been fixed.
  • You can now specify a custom favicon (the icon that appears in the browser when people are visiting your site) to be used instead of the default GuildPortal ones. The place to specify the icon to use is in Control Panel > Style Tools > General > Layout.
  • Story chapters will now display in order of chapter number instead of the order in which they were entered.
  • New widget: Torhead Search goes live! For those using the Mod, you no longer need to (but you still can).
  • In the forum display options, you may now specify that the most recent posts to show should be 0. If you do, the most recent posts will not be displayed at all. Some may find this useful, especially if used in combination with the Most Recent Topics widget.
  • Bank items with "Display to Members" un-checked no longer show in the bank widget.
  • Guilds with subscriptions expiring soon will now receive a more informative e-mail reminder.
  • Guild Events/Raids can now be set to "Block Signups" when entering them. Doing so prevents members from signing up to the event.
  • Application Questions may now be edited, although once the type is saved (multiple choice vs. text entry), that cannot be changed.
  • The maximum number of Recent Posts to Show in the forums has been raised from 20 to 50.
  • The signature generator should now always update your profile with the new image.
  • A new page in the Control Panel, called Raid Points Tools (under Member Management), provides quick and easy ways to mass adjust everyone's raid points/DKP by a set amount (either deducting or adding), reset everyone's DKP to 0, and individually edit member DKP without having to enter an adjustment.
  • ATT/AP were dropped from the Raid Points Standings widget. The data was essentially meaningless, and became only moreso over time.

Posted 10/7/2011 1:45 PM by Aaron Lewis. 16879 reads. Share:

On Monday, the following updates will be deployed to live:
  • XML/XSL Transforms where either the XML or XSL files are being loaded from guild storage will work properly.
  • Text filters will function correctly.
  • Voice server purchasing will be fixed for a few guilds that were having trouble with it.
  • The main GP page login control will now correctly say that it's an invalid login if no user name and password are provided, instead of providing no feedback at all (just sitting there, staring back at you).
  • Announcements will now be shown directly on the calendar widgets, instead of being their own listing before the calendar.
In addition, many updates have been made over the past couple weeks that have already been pushed to live:
  • Performance enhancements have been made to the forums and news widgets.
  • Cache duration of guild data has been reduced, causing less of a delay between saving some changes in the control panel and being able to see them appear on your site.
  • Text Messaging functionality has been made available for open beta. Check your Profile settings to see what it's all about!
  • Registration and application completion have been merged into a single page, so that people applying to your site won't think they're done after completing the registration part, and exiting prematurely.
  • New CSS classes have been added to the forums, mostly to facilitate alternating item displays in the post listing.
  • Maximum individual file upload size has been increased from 5 MB to 7 MB.
  • The ability to enter a custom color code, instead of being limited to the drop-down choices provided by the picker, has been enabled for section wrappers.
  • Section wrappers! A new set of options are available in the Control Panel, underneath Style Tools > General Style Settings > Section Wrappers. These enable containers that wrap around elements on your site, such as the navigation bar (if you use it), the content table (where all the widgets are contained), and the footer. While they're attractive in old browsers, they look especially good in CSS3-compliant browsers (most of the latest browsers are CSS3-compliant).
  • By default, signatures will not show in forum posts when the post is by a guest user (non-associate or higher access level). In order to override this behavior, click Edit under your forums widget, then Options, and then "Show non-associate (guest) signatures and thumbnails."

Posted 7/15/2011 11:12 AM by Aaron Lewis. 12227 reads. Share:

We've begun using new file storage with this update. All of your existing files are still available at their old location, but newly uploaded files will have URLs that look like /GuildFiles/[your guild ID]/[file name] instead of http://www.axiomfiles.com/[your guild id]/filename. This removes the need for your browser to determine a different host's IP (axiomfiles.com) when loading each image. While you can leave your old files where they are, you could benefit more from this change by copying them back down to your hard drive and re-uploading them. Once you have all references pointing to the old image updated, delete it to free up more of your available file space (also keeps things tidy). To help differentiate between which files you have on the old system and which you have on the new one, I've added a URL column to the Control Panel > File Manager file listing.

For yet more performance gains, we are now using CDNs (content delivery networks) from both Google and Yahoo to serve up the more common Javascript libraries we use. What makes this so great is that those services will automatically route your request for the file(s) to your nearest data center, making it very, very fast. It also takes the burden off GuildPortal, no longer needing to serve up these very common Javascript libraries, instead giving it more resources to dedicate to just your content.

Many support tickets were addressed (and small features tweaked) in this update, as well:
  • The signature generator now saves your preferences. You will no longer need to start from the beginning when using the tool.
  • The signature generator now provides links that you can use in your signatures on other forums/web sites!
  • Associates and higher are now able to upload images directly when using the WYSIWYG editor to post, and then insert that image into the post immediately after.
  • Event/Raid templates now correctly import any custom category they were saved with.
  • Clicking on an entry in the "Recent Blogs" widget will now only open the blog in a new window, instead of opening it in both your current window and a new window.
  • When editing your profile, you will no longer default to the "Casablanca" time zone. Unless that's your time zone, of course.
  • The World of Warcraft server status widget is now back and functioning correctly, now calling an API provided by Blizzard instead of parsing the old server status page.
  • In the Funds widget, guild transactions may now be entered using more than one type of currency at a time.
  • A guild in an alliance that has had a forum shared with them by another guild is now able to set one of their forums as the parent forum of the shared forum.

Posted 6/1/2011 12:54 PM by Aaron Lewis. 17693 reads. Share:

  • New: "Newest Members" widget now available. By default this is included below the forums on new guild sites.
  • New: "LOTRO Server Status" widget now available for Lord of the Rings Online guilds.
  • New: Fade animation for background color of grids with alternating colors for odd and even rows. Can be disabled in Control Panel > Style Tools > Content Boxes > Grids.
  • New: It is now possible to add a comment when adding a transaction using the guild funds widget (previously, you had to edit the transaction after creating it).
  • New: Setting the margins at the top and bottom of your banner image is now possible in Control Panel > Style Tools > General > Banner.
  • Updated: "Latest addition" column in the guild bank widget made wider.
  • Updated: Signups table in event view of the calendar now shown with slightly smaller text.
  • Updated: "Edit/Delete" link added to the beginning of each transaction in the guild funds widget.
  • Fixed: When importing drop from a list of previous drops for an event, the description was not being brought over.
  • Fixed: WoW Integrated Rosters were unable to parse Battle.net for EU guilds.
  • Fixed: Add New Forum window in the forum editor was appearing above the top of the editor in FireFox.
  • Fixed: When posting, the option to subscribe to replies was being ignored.