GuildPortal Dev Blog

Updates from Aaron Lewis, GuildPortal Code Monkey

Posted 8/24/2012 6:49 PM by Aaron Lewis. 549133 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 3/30/2012 5:43 PM by Aaron Lewis. 25957 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 7/29/2010 1:38 PM by Aaron Lewis. 6000 reads. Share:

Forum and topic listings will now show the thumbnail image of the most recent poster next to their name link. This can be disabled by an admin by clicking the Edit button at the bottom of the forum widget and then clicking Display Options.

Only thumbnail images that were uploaded via the characters/settings page will display. Images that are hosted externally will not. This is for security, as browsers (like Chrome) are sometimes blocking pages that have images on them which are hosted on domains with a bad rep. If your thumb is hosted elsewhere and you would like for it to show up, right click and save it to your hard drive, then upload it in your Characters/Settings page.

The custom HTML editor in the Control Panel for banner, footer, and widget areas has been updated to occupy more of the available space, and the font size has been reduced a bit so that you can see more of your code at once.

When creating a new Ventrilo server, you now have the ability to specify which codec you would like for it to use.

If you try to edit the Footer Text under Style Tools, but you have Custom HTML defined for it, the Control Panel will now let you know, providing a link where you can either disable or edit your Custom HTML.

If you imported a theme through Control Panel > Style Tools > Browse Themes, it would not previously bring over the dynamic text banner settings, in order to avoid overwriting any existing banner. Now, it still doesn't overwrite your actual banner, but it will bring the settings over into your Banner Builder in order to make it easy for you to create a new dynamic text banner with the intended style set forth by the person who created the theme.

Posted 7/27/2010 1:55 PM by Aaron Lewis. 135118 reads. Share:

We're happy to announce that GuildPortal now provides Mumble voice server hosting, at the same rate we provide Ventrilo hosting for (which is pretty darn low, seriously)! The only difference is the lack of a 5-slot option, which is due to licensing.

One thing to keep in mind: while the voice servers themselves are solid, the APIs aren't all that ironed out for querying server status and the like, so for the time being, the voice server status widget will display only connection-related information to your members, along with a link to download the client software.

Getting started is as easy as going into your Control Panel, clicking Ventrilo/Mumble Server, and selecting your options. The admin password you enter during creation of the server can then be used by you when logging into the server to manage user and access lists, but one thing that's different here is you must login to the Mumble server as "SuperUser" (without the quotes) with the Mumble client.

More information on Mumble is available at mumble.sourceforge.net.

Posted 4/16/2010 2:48 PM by Aaron Lewis. 5473 reads. Share:

That's right, the feature list just had triplets!
  1. Member of the Month. With this widget placed on any of your site's pages, members can vote on other members that they feel deserve being called the member of the month (or called out, depending on your guild's particular type of humor). It also allows people to see who's getting the votes for the current month, but doesn't show them from whom the votes are coming. That would lead to harassment, bullying, and eventually, blood in the streets.
  2. Random Member. Operates a bit like the Member of the Month, only completely different. There's no voting involved. The person displayed is completely arbitrary. Computer-selected. It does allow the entry of a short bio that is specifically between your members and your site, and it's displayed along with them.
  3. External Voice Server. Alright, not really a feature so much as a patch to help with the confusion that resulted from us offering Ventrilo server hosting. If you have your Ventrilo (or other) voice server hosted by someone else, you'll probably want to use this widget to paste in any "Server Status" scripts they provide you, to display who's currently logged in and all that. It also gets around that problem you used to have with scripts being too long, by replacing the old way they were stored with a bigger field in the database.

To add any of these widgets to a page on your site, head to the Control Panel, click Pages and Content (Widgets), pick a page, and then click the Add Widget tab.

Posted 4/9/2010 3:09 PM by Aaron Lewis. 7025 reads. Share:

The Login Bar can now be styled in in the Control Panel, under Style Stools -> General Style Settings -> Login Bar.  It's the area that lets your users log in or invites non-logged in visitors to join your site, and contains links to their blog, chat, mail, and settings.  Previously, it adopted style settings from your widget style.  It will continue to do so, however, if you do not give it a style of its own.

Also, three new videos have been added. One's about changing your site's name, game and/or server (game-wise), including re-generating a dynamic banner if you want to.  Another's on adding sound to your web pages.  The last covers creating a new Ventrilo voice server for your guild.  To see the videos, head to the GuildPortal home page, scroll to the bottom, and click the Videos link.

Posted 4/6/2010 12:29 PM by Aaron Lewis. 5519 reads. Share:

Ventrilo voice servers are now available directly from GuildPortal.com! To get yours started, go to your guild's Control Panel and click on Ventrilo Server. Here are the reasons to choose GuildPortal to host your Ventrilo server:
  • Some of the lowest prices around.
  • Easy configuration and management, directly from the Control Panel.
  • Seamless integration with the Voice Server Status widget.
  • Did we mention, some of the lowest prices around?
Also going live with today's code push: fixes to custom content box image rendering, the ability to set the padding on the table that contains widgets, and miscellaneous fixes in response to support tickets.