Coming Soon: Topic Redirect Plugin

update-newsWe used to say of London’s buses – and perhaps it is also the case around the world – that you would wait an age for a bus and then three would turn up together.

I don’t recall being asked until recently if we had a way to create a topic that wasn’t really a thread of posts but a link. In other words, click on the topic title and the action is not to show posts but to redirect to something else. Like a download perhaps. Or a special page. Or even another website altogether. Apparently some other forums do this but it was clearly a facility that had personally passed me by.

And then we get three requests for just such a plugin. So we will be releasing this soon – soon after the release of our next Simple:Press update.

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Simple:Press Version 5.5.1 – Right-to-Left Language Support

update-newsOne of the long overdue developments we are currently working on, with an eye to getting it into version 5.5.1 – is proper support for right to left languages.

I think one of the main reasons developers in the left-to-right language world are sometimes overly hesitant to build in proper RTL support is simply because they are entering, what is to them, the unknown!

And because RTL translations for Simple:Press in languages such as Hebrew do not yet exist – even if we can not read them! – it leaves us somewhat unsure if we are actually doing things correctly.

Which is why we could really do with some help and have someone who can look at what we are working on and advise us on whether it is working as they need and expect. And if that person is you then please do get in touch using the Contact link on our sidebar. Please do work with us to ensure the development delivers the right level of support for your language.

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Plugin Updates – July 20, 2014

update-pluginThe latest round of plugin updates have just been released and are now available to our users who use them.

Blog Linking

This release corrects an issue where the admin notification emails did not properly contain a FROM user display name and email address.

Gravatar Cache

This release corrects an issue where it was possible for the cache to be seeded with an incorrect size for the gravatar which could result in some uses being up-sized and appearing blurry.

Post By Email

This release corrects an issue with private messages where the forum flood control could impact the processing of multiple posts from the inbox. Additionally, one of our users (thanks Chris Crabtree!) contributed some code to aid in the subscription email production.

Post Multiple

This release corrects an issue with where post multiple may not work due to the forum flood contorl.

Share This

This release modifies the default buttons in use after initial installation to only be the share this button.

Topic Description

This release corrects an issue where invalid html markup was being created due to multiple html elements having the same ID. Now each ID for topic description on forum view will be unique.

Topic Status

This release corrects an issue with the topic status button display in the header and now generates better html markup.

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Simple:Press Codex Now Part of Support Site

codexToday, we finally threw the switch and users will now find when they visit our Codex, that they are actually using the support site. For numerous reasons, the Codex also had its own subdomain. This also caused some issues for us. Since we use the Wishlist Member plugin for managing our memberships, it required us to have it on two sites and communicate user information across a REST API. Most of the time it worked fine, but occasion, especially on renewals, a hiccup could occur where the user information was not synced between the two sites. So, a user might have access to the support site, but not be granted access to the Codex.

So to alleviate those headaches and because the Codex is now using WordPress Custom Post Types for the data, it made a lot of sense to combine it with the support site. It will also allow us to remove a WordPress installation and manage all memberships from a single domain. We spent the last week or so porting over the data and ironing out some CSS issues, but everything went very smoothly. We will still be tweaking the CSS to get things where we finally want it, but we really wanted to get everything live here on the support site.

We still have a lot of links out there, including in every Simple:Press admin dashboard that points to the old Codex site. Luckily with a little bit of .htaccess rewrite magic, we were able to redirect all codex requests from the old subdomain over here to the support site. So, it should be a seamless changeover for our users.

The new Codex is now officially resident at: http://simple-press.com/documentation/codex/

The new Information pages (brought over from the old Codex Information pages) is now officially resident at http://simple-press.com/documentation/information/ and we plan to add more items there over time. We also have a new member of the team who is beginning to work on adding more content to the Codex. First step for him will be to get the missing new plugins for Simple:Press added to the Codex. Welcome Ken!

We hope you enjoy the new location of the Codex. Please let us know if you run into any issues in using or finding information in the Codex.

Posted in News

Coming Soon: Search Plugin

update-newsComing soon will be a brand new plugin for Simple:Press. This plugin takes a fresh look at searching and how it gathers results and displays them to the person performing the search. Currently, our core search function searches in posts and titles (various combinations) for the search terms and criteria (any, word, phrase, etc) and then display a list of topics that met the search criteria. Unfortunately, when you are perusing the search results, you don’t really have know if the search term match is relevant to your search or not. Additionally, it can be frustrating to have to go through the topics to find the actual post that contained the search term.

Not anymore! With our new upcoming Search Plugin, you can now display the exact posts (or topics for titles) that matched your search criteria. The plugin will also give you an excerpt of the post content with any search terms highlighted. Of course, the length of the excerpt is completely customizable in the template tag.

search1

The new Search plugin is also capable of searching post content or both post content and topic titles (but not just topic titles – no content to show). All other search options are fully supported. If the search term is found in a topic title, it will also be highlighted in the title. If multiple search terms are found in the post content, you may (depending on excerpt size) see multiple excerpts displaying with search terms highlighted.

The format of search results (as you can see from the images) is quite different than the current core searching. You get the post excerpts plus you get who posted it and a bit of info on the topic/post such as post count in topic and topic views as well as links to the forum, topic and post.

search2

Another feature of the new upcoming Search plugin is the ability to search your WP blog posts too. Yes, the functionality of the existing Blog Search plugin has been incorporated into the plugin itself. So with a single plugin (the Search plugin will check if both are active and prevent the Blog Search from operating), you can now search you WP and SP posts. We have additionally enhanced the search results to show number of matches in the forum and the blog in the actual tab switching button.

search3

So when can you get your hands on the new plugin? In just a matter of weeks. The new Search plugin will release very shortly after WP 4.0 and SP 5.5.1 release. Both of those are due in mid to late August – WP is slated to release Beta 1 of 4.0 tonight in fact. But, you can see the Search plugin in action now on or support site and take it for a spin.

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