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  • vBulletin.com Running 3.6

    Welcome to the first public look at vBulletin 3.6!

    This is the first of a number of posts we will be making over the coming week introducing you to what's new in this new version of vBulletin.

    Take some time to wander around the forums and you'll find new features and useful changes throughout the system. Of course, you won't be able to see everything until you play with it as an administrator and there is far too much to squeeze into a single announcement, so we'll be posting new information daily. Be sure to check back each day for an update!

    Let's start with an important change...

    System Requirements
    vBulletin 3.6 now requires PHP 4.3.3 or later and MySQL 4.0.16 or later. These minimum versions are still several years old, so the vast majority of people should still meet the requirements. Check the main page of your admin control panel if you're not sure what versions of PHP and MySQL are on your server!

    Now, let's get into some of the more interesting changes....

    Part 1 - Wednesday May 31st


    Multi-Quote
    The much-requested multi-quote feature allows users to tag multiple posts that they wish to respond to by clicking a small button on each post. Once the user clicks the reply button, each tagged post is quoted.

    To increase usability, by default, only posts within the current thread are automatically quoted. If you wish to quote posts in other threads with multi-quote, you simply need to click a link on the reply page, and the text of those posts will be added without a reload.



    Mark Forums Read with AJAX
    If you wish to mark a forum read, you can simply click its status icon on the index page and the change will be processed without a reload. You can even mark individual sub-forums as read in the same way.




    Quote Tags Link to Quoted Post
    When quoting a post, the ID of the post is automatically included with the [quote] tag. When the quoted text is viewed in a thread, a small icon links back to the quoted post.

    Example:
    Originally posted by Kier View Post
    The output generated by the Archive is now buffered before being sent to the client. Plugins for the Archive that generate output must be adapted in order to work correctly.

    New Buddy/Ignore List Editor Saves with AJAX
    Along with a new interface, your buddy and ignore lists are saved with AJAX to prevent an unnecessary reload. Additionally to make the interface even easier to use, vBulletin searches for matching users as you type their names.




    Options Backup and Restore
    If you have ever tried to setup a test board before making changes to your real board, you have probably run into the problem of trying to move your option changes from the test board to the live board. Now, you can backup your options to an XML format and restore them to any other board. Options that might cause problems if moved (such as the cookie path and domain) are automatically skipped from the backup/restore process.


    Private Message Preview in Notification Emails
    If you have elected to receive emails when receiving a new private message, the email will now contain more than just the name of the user who sent you the message. The title and body of the message will be included. Any BB codes in the message will automatically be converted to an equivalent plaintext version using the new plaintext bbcode parser.

    Example output might look like this:

    Dear Mike,

    You have received a new private message at Test Forums from admin, entitled "Demo Private Message".

    This is the message that was sent:
    ***************
    This is a demo private message with *bold text*.

    ---Quote (Originally by Mike)---
    Quoted text
    ---End Quote---

    1. And an
    2. ordered
    3. list

    ***************

    To read the original version, respond to this message, or delete the message, you must log in here:
    http://www.example.com/forum/private.php

    All the best,
    My Demo Forums
    Message previews in thread subscription emails also include the improved plaintext representation.


    Auto-Resize Oversized Image Attachments
    If a user attaches an image that has dimensions larger than the administrator allows, the image will automatically resized to fit. This is similar to the auto-resizing of avatars that vBulletin 3.5 performed.


    ‘Reason for Editing’ Available on Quick Edit
    You may now include a reason for editing without having to click through to the full editor.




    Unique Unsubscribe Link in Emails
    Thread and forum subscription emails now include a link for unsubscribing that is unique to each user. When using this link, unsubscribing from a thread or forum no longer requires logging in.


    Plugin Manager Sorted by Product
    The plugin manager now defaults to sorting its results by product, rather than by hook location as in vBulletin 3.5. You may re-sort the results by hook location if you would prefer the old view.




    Save Search Preferences with AJAX
    Changing your search preferences on the advanced search page no longer requires a page reload.
    Last edited by Kier; Fri 2nd Jun '06, 7:43am.

  • #2
    Bug Tracking for 3.6 Betas

    As vBulletin.com is the first site to be running 3.6 in a live environment, there are bound to be some bugs.

    If you stumble upon something that doesn't work properly, please let us know. You can make a bug report for 3.6 here.

    When reporting a bug, please explain the problem in as much detail as possible. Include exact error messages if you received them. The more information you provide, the better.

    Thanks in advance for any reports!

    Comment


    • #3
      The burning question... when?

      So, when will you get to download and play with 3.6 Beta 1? That depends a bit on how the new code runs on vBulletin.com.

      But none the less, we're expecting to have a downloadable beta in the next few weeks. Keep checking this forum!

      Comment


      • #4
        There will be more information about vBulletin 3.6 tomorrow. Until then, have fun exploring!

        Comment


        • #5
          You can discuss today's events here.

          Comment


          • #6
            Just to reiterate, this is not a comprehensive list of new features in vBulletin 3.6 - we will be revealing more in the coming days.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thursday June 1st

              Part 2 - Thursday June 1st


              Infraction System
              The infraction system allows you and your moderators to flexibly reprimand problem users. Create as many types of infractions as you want to represent any type of rules violation on your board. Each infraction has a controllable weight (points) and an option to allow it to be applied only as a warning, which alerts the user to their violation but doesn’t give them any points. Additionally, the points given to a user for a violation can be automatically removed after a specified amount of time via the Scheduled Tasks system.

              The points are used to remove permissions from users that reach specific thresholds. To be more flexible, the existing user group permission system is used. You can see in the screenshot that “Registered Users” who have more than 15 points will have permissions from the “Infractions – Moderate All Posts” group applied, and any user with more than 30 points will get permissions from the “Infractions – Banned” group.



              When an administrator or moderator wishes to apply an infraction to a user, he or she clicks the infraction icon on a post, and is presented with a choice of infractions and an option to send a private message to the user with more information. It is not a problem if a user has disabled private messages but that is a feature for another day. If private messages are disabled globally and email is available, an email will be sent to the user instead.



              A user may also be given an infraction from their profile. The profile is also where a user's infraction history can be seen. Active infractions may also be reversed by users with appropriate permissions.



              Infractions are implemented as a user group permission (not a moderator permission) so you can also allow any of your users to give infractions if you desire. A hierarchical system is used such that:
              1. Administrators can not be given infractions
              2. Super Moderators can only be given infractions by Administrators
              3. Moderators can only be given infractions by Administrators and Super Moderators
              A thread can automatically be posted in a specific forum when an infraction is given, allowing discussion of the violation to take place.



              In addition to receiving a PM about an infraction/warning, users are alerted to new infractions in their User control panel.



              Default Thread Sorting Option per Forum
              You may now choose how threads will be sorted on a per forum basis. Options include the field and direction to sort using.





              New Buddy/Ignore List Editor
              The new buddy and ignore list editor allows users to be quickly added and removed from your lists, with AJAX-based assistance for name suggestion along the way. If an error occurs such as a user not being found, you can simply correct the error and continue without reloading the page.





              Rate Threads with AJAX
              Rating a thread can be done without a page reload now. Rate a thread like you normally would, but when you submit the rating, you’ll get a notification that your rating was accepted (or if it wasn’t) and the new thread rating will instantly appear.



              IP Resolution in Who’s Online with AJAX
              Resolving an IP (like 123.123.123.123) to a hostname (like myhostname.vbulletin.com) can take a long time. If you have selected the option to resolve IPs to hostnames on Who’s Online, you’ve probably noticed a delay in the page loading if your board is busy. Now, you can get the speed of only showing IPs with the human readability of hostnames. When any IP address is clicked on Who’s Online, it is resolved to a hostname without a page reload via AJAX.



              Improved Proxy Support in Session Handling
              In previous versions of vBulletin, you needed to keep the same IP address from page-to-page in order to maintain a session. While this is very good for security, it causes significant problems for users behind a proxy, such as AOL users. vBulletin 3.6 provides an option that allows you to control how much of the IP address must match for a previous session to be maintained. This should help eliminate many of the problems users have with staying logged in.



              More AJAX Username Auto-Completion
              Username auto-completion via AJAX is now performed when editing the buddy/ignore lists, searching the member list, and entering a referrer during registration.



              Paid Subscription Permissions
              You may now control what user groups can purchase specific paid subscriptions.



              Show Threads or Posts from Quick Search Popup
              You can now choose to show search results as threads or posts without having to click through to the advanced search page.



              Phrase Types Identified By Field Name Only
              This is something that will no doubt interest those of you who modify vBulletin. The phrasetypeid column in the phrasetype table has been removed. Phrase types are now uniquely identified by the fieldname.



              LastPostID column in User, Thread, and Forum Tables
              The ID of the last post made by a user, in a thread, or in a forum is now stored directly in the appropriate table. Additionally, the tables created for Tachy users (globally ignored users) include these new fields. This acts as an optimization for several functions and eliminates several bugs that were otherwise unfixable.

              Comment


              • #8
                Friday June 2nd

                Part 3 - Friday June 2nd


                Signature Permissions per User Group
                You may now control exactly what users can put in their signatures on a per user group level. Controls include basic character count limits (including or excluding BB code), effective line count limits, and limits on individual BB codes. See the screenshot below for a full list.



                The majority of the permissions are displayed to the users while editing their signatures



                If a user edits their signature and contravenes any of their signature permissions, they will be shown an error describing what they have done wrong.




                Uploadable Signature Image Support
                Additionally, you may allow users to upload a single picture with their signature. If you combine this with limiting access to the [img] tag, you can completely control the dimensions and file size of the images your users place in their signatures.



                Signature pictures are controlled with the [SIGPIC] bbcode allowing them to be placed anywhere within a user's signature.




                Improved Image Verification (Captcha)
                The image verification system can now be customized extensively by the board administrator. Options allow you to control the difficulty of the image by allowing you to select whether each letter can have its own font, font size, slant, and color.

                Additionally, administrators may upload custom backgrounds and TrueType fonts to be used in the images. The background image and font will be chosen randomly for each verification image.





                Users Must Enter Required Profile Fields before Browsing
                In previous versions of vBulletin, if you created a required custom profile field, existing users would not have to fill in a value for the field until they edited their profile. In vBulletin 3.6, they will be forced to enter a value for the field before they can browse the board.





                Find Updated Phrases System
                This system has the same functionality of the Find Updated Templates system, except it finds out-of-date phrases. An out-of-date phrase is any phrase whose master phrase was edited in a more recent vBulletin version than the existing translated phrase. For example, the “notify” phrase was updated in 3.6.0 Beta 1. If you translated this phrase in 3.5.4, it would be considered out of date because the version your translation is based on is no longer current.



                Pop Up List of Attachments in a Thread
                The paperclip icon that denotes whether a thread contains attachments is now clickable. It will pop up a window that shows a list of all the attachments in the specified thread, including file size and number of views.





                Validation of Admin Options
                To prevent user errors, each option in the vBulletin Options ($vbulletin->options) system can now have its own validation code to ensure that valid values are given for each setting. AJAX is employed to check the value given for an option before you even submit the form.

                The validation code for each option can be imported and exported in the settings XML, making it available for hack and plugin writers as well as the core vBulletin systems.





                Product System: Dependencies
                Products may now register dependencies on specific versions of PHP, MySQL, and vBulletin. A product may also require other products to be installed first.





                Product dependencies are checked when enabling or disabling a product to ensure they are not violated.





                Paid Subscription Logging and Stats
                To aid troubleshooting, all paid subscription callbacks are now logged. You can search for details by subscription, processor, currency, and the final result (success, failure, reversal). Transaction IDs used by the processor are also logged and searchable.



                APC Support for the Datastore
                Datastore information can now be stored in shared memory via APC (Alternative PHP Cache) for improved performance.



                Description Field for Scheduled Tasks
                Scheduled tasks may now have a description shown on the newly designed interface for scheduled tasks, which includes an easy way to temporarily disable scheduled tasks without actually removing them from the database.





                More tomorrow, see you then!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Saturday June 3rd

                  Part 4 - Saturday June 3rd


                  RSS Poster Robot
                  vBulletin 3.6 includes a new scheduled task that can check RSS feeds from the internet, read their contents and insert items from them onto your board.



                  The system is fully flexible, allowing the administrator to fine-tune the items that are inserted using keywords and to control the output of the robot using special templates for both the titles and body text of inserted items, which can be inserted either as threads or as announcements.








                  Product System: Latest Version Check and Product URL
                  Products can now be associated with two URLs: the URL to the product’s home page and the URL to a special version check page. If a product URL is entered, the title of the product links to that page in the product manager.

                  The version check URL is slightly more complex. For the version check to function properly, the URL must return text in the form of:
                  Code:
                   <version productid="x">1.2.3</version>
                  With x being the ID of the product and 1.2.3 being the latest version. When a user selects “check version” for the product, the currently installed version is compared against the latest version.


                  Receive Private Messages from Buddies Only
                  You may now select to receive private messages only from users on your buddy list. If a non-buddy tries to send you a message, they will receive an error saying that you do not accept private messages. Administrators and moderators are automatically able to bypass this restriction.




                  “Show Private Forum” Option per Forum
                  While the “Show Private Forums” option has existed for quite some time, it was only controllable at the entire board level. Now, you may specify what information users without permission to view a forum can see about the forum.



                  For example, you likely wouldn’t want your moderator-only forum to be shown to anyone but moderators. However, if you have a specific forum that only users who bought a subscription can access, you may wish to allow normal users to see the forum name and post counts to entice them to buy a subscription.


                  Give Reputation Using AJAX
                  Reputation can now be added to a post without leaving the page. When you click the reputation icon on a post, a box will appear and allow you to choose whether you approve or disapprove of the post and provide a reason.




                  Error Prevention in Upgrades
                  Upgrading should now be less painful. The script will automatically detect if you already have the changes necessary and skip trying to add them again. The vast majority of errors that occur during upgrades should no longer happen.

                  This also helps with long upgrade steps that may timeout on large boards. Should this happen, you can simply refresh the page and the upgrade will continue from the exact place it stopped.




                  Option to Disable Scheduled Tasks
                  Default scheduled tasks can no longer be removed, but they can be individually disabled.




                  Parsed Signature Storage
                  Signatures are now stored in a parsed format. This increases performance when viewing a thread.


                  Phrased Items: Scheduled Tasks, Custom Profile Fields, Subscriptions, Holidays
                  These items are now all phrased so they can be translated into different values per language.


                  And By Popular Demand...
                  We have (just) added the ability to sort a forum by thread creation time by default.




                  That's all for today. We hope you like what we've announced so far and I'll be back tomorrow with another batch of features to show you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sunday June 4th

                    Part 5 - Sunday June 4th


                    Super Moderator Permissions
                    Individual permissions can now be set for each super moderator. If you wish to prevent a super moderator from mass-moving threads, you can. Any permission you could control for a regular moderator can now be controlled for a super moderator.






                    Welcome Private Message at Registration
                    You may now automatically send a private message to a newly registered user. This message will be sent after the user’s account is activated, assuming private messages are enabled.




                    Announcements: WYSIWYG Editor and Front-End EditingAnnouncements can now be posted without going into the administrator or moderator control panel. When a user views a forum where they can post an announcement, an option is added to the forum tools dropdown.



                    From here, they are taken to an editor that functions like a regular post editor, including support for using WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editing. Additional, announcement-specific options are also available on this page.



                    Additionally, announcements can include your signature, which of course can include your signature image!




                    Plugin Execution Order
                    When multiple plugins are attached to the same hook, you may now specify the execution order of the plugins. Lower numbered plugins will execute first. Plugins installed in 3.5 will default to 5, in order to allow newly installed plugins to execute before them if necessary.


                    Greater Valid Username Control
                    You may now require that valid usernames match a specific regular expression. With this method, usernames can be limited in almost any way.

                    Commonly requested limits, such as only allowing alphanumeric characters, are included as examples.


                    Private Messages: Quota Warning
                    Once you have reached 90% of your private message quota, you will receive a warning telling you that you have almost reached your quota.




                    Private Messages: Admin Quota Override
                    Administrators send private messages to users whose inboxes are full.


                    Plain Text Output BBcode Parser
                    It's been mentioned in a previous announcement, but new to vBulletin 3.6 is the plaintext bbcode parser, which deciphers bbcode and outputs it in a format readable in plaintext, such as email.




                    Cache of Syndication Data (external.php)
                    Data outputted by external.php (RSS feeds, for example) will now be cached for a specified amount of time. This defaults to one hour. This significantly improves performance on large boards.


                    Email Logging for Diagnostics
                    A log of all emails sent by vBulletin can be created to aid in troubleshooting mail problems. The subject, message, and all headers will be logged.


                    Increased Performance when Handling Alternate Datastore Failures
                    When using an alternative datastore source (such as eAccelerator), vBulletin 3.6 includes increased performance over 3.5 when errors occur or invalid data. The new code will only cause one query in total to retrieve all necessary data instead of one query per piece of data.


                    Check back on Monday for another dose of new features and improvements.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Monday June 5th

                      Part 6 - Monday June 5th


                      Instant View of Deleted/Ignored Posts via AJAX
                      When viewing a post that is normally hidden, such as a post that was soft-deleted or by a user on your ignore list, you can now quickly view the original post without a page reload. In previous versions, clicking the “View Post” link popped up a window where you could view the post. In 3.6, the post is loaded in place using AJAX.




                      Central Area to View Deleted Posts and Posts Awaiting Moderation
                      Administrators and moderators can now quickly view any posts that have been deleted or are awaiting moderation via a new section in the User Control Panel. In previous versions, this information was impossible to obtain in one area; deleted posts could only be found if you knew the thread you were looking for. This area can serve as a type of “recycling bin”.






                      Additional Product System Components: Admin Help, Scheduled Tasks, FAQ
                      Admin help, scheduled tasks, and FAQ entries can now be associated with specific products, so that they will be automatically exported and imported with your product. This allows the product system to be more encompassing without the developer having to rely on install codes to emulate this behaviour.


                      CCBill Support for Paid Subscriptions
                      Following popular demand, support for CCBill as a payment processor has been integrated into the paid subscriptions system, allowing a greater number of sites to leverage the abilities of vBulletin paid subscriptions.


                      Attachment Permissions per User Group
                      Each user group may now have different permissions for each attachment type. You can completely deny some groups access to specific extensions, or you can allow your administrators to bypass file size or dimension limits.




                      List Posts/Threads Selected for Inline Moderation
                      Inline moderation now has a new option that allows you to view the posts and threads you have currently tagged for inline moderation. From this page, you can then unselect any posts you don’t wish to perform any action on.




                      Full BCC Support in Private Messages
                      A number of you have discovered this by now. Like in an email, BCC (blind carbon-copy) allows you to hide the full list of recipients from each recipient. In previous versions of vBulletin, the “to” field acted like a BCC field. Now, the “to” field acts like the field in an email; each recipient will see all the names in the “to” field.




                      Podcasting Support
                      Podcasting is a means of distributing multimedia content via RSS feeds. vBulletin 3.6 includes support for podcasting attachment files via the built in RSS feed. This system is configurable on the per forum level.




                      Atomic Flood Checking
                      Flood checking for posting and emailing was rewritten to avoid the possibility of a race condition which allowed a small window where the check could be bypassed. The check is now fully atomic to ensure only one post or email per user can get through at a time.


                      Flipped Value of the isbannedgroup Permission
                      The isbannedgroup permission is now known as isnotbannedgroup. This was done to be consistent with the rest of our permissions; a “yes” means more permission than a “no”. This also prevents cases where unexpected behaviour could occur when a user was in multiple groups with one group being considered a banned group.
                      Last edited by Kier; Mon 5th Jun '06, 7:38am.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        PS: More tomorrow

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Tuesday June 6th

                          Part 7 - Tuesday June 6th


                          Image Verification for Guest Posting
                          While guest posting can be very beneficial to getting people to post in a new community, it’s also just asking to be abused by spam bots. To combat this, you may now optionally require that guests use image verification while posting to ensure that they are actually human.




                          Thumbnail Display Options
                          You can now display additional image data around a thumbnail. You may choose to display a border, image dimensions and size, or both. When dimensions are enabled, the type of file (JPG, GIF, PNG, etc) will also be displayed if room permits. This works whether you are using GD or ImageMagick






                          Copy Posts via Inline Moderation
                          Inline moderation provides a new option to copy posts to an additional thread, instead of just moving them to another thread.




                          Announcements Shown when Viewing New Posts
                          In previous versions of vBulletin, announcements were only shown when a user viewed a list of threads in a forum. As some users only viewed new posts by clicking the “New Posts” link (ie, getnew), they never saw the announcements. vBulletin 3.6 displays those announcements at the top of the results.



                          Combined with this, announcements now include real read marking. They will be considered new until you actually read the announcement, instead of being considered old after a certain amount of time.


                          New Built-In Option Types
                          Developers may now create more types of options for their products without having to deal with HTML directly. Radio button and select menu options can be created using a simple pipe-delimited format. Options that require a valid username can also be created with a single line.


                          Resume Paused Attachment Downloads
                          You may now resume broken or paused attachment downloads where the browser supports it through the use of the Range HTTP header.


                          Better Web Server Logging for POST Requests
                          All vBulletin-submitted forms now include the most important data as GET data, so that web server logs are more readable. The data that is sent back via GET includes the action (“do” variable) and a unique identifier (for example, if you are adding a new thread, the forum ID where you are posting).


                          Automatically Remove Thread Redirects
                          You may now optionally have thread redirects messages removed after a specified amount of time.


                          Announcement DataManager
                          Announcements can now be handled through a datamanager to allow developers to quickly create announcements.


                          Persistent Date of Birth Cookie for COPPA
                          The COPPA age check now uses a persistent cookie to cause the first date of birth entered to be saved. This prevents someone from entering their real age, being rejected because they were too young, and going back to change their birth date so they are old enough.


                          Improved Master / Slave Database Support
                          Larger boards will be able to take advantage of the improved master / slave features which identifies those queries which are safe for use on a slave server. This removes potential database errors and errors resulting from any reads that occur prior to propagation.

                          Improved RSS Syndication
                          Several enhancements have been made to RSS syndication.
                          • external.php defaults to serving RSS2
                          • HTML is served by default using the <content:encoded> tag. Using the proper aggregate results in the feed looking the same as it does on the forum, including attachments. This can be disabled with &nohtml=1.
                          • The <description> tag will include the full post content if &fulldesc = 1 is used.
                          • A channel icon has been added
                          • The post username is now listed using <dc:creator> so no more example@example.com linking.
                          • Feed can be shown in newest thread order or laspost order using &lastpost=1. Laspost order will display the newest post of each thread.
                          • An option to increase the amount of returned items is now in the admincp. The feed still defaults to 15 items but can be increased up to your new value using &count=.
                          We look forward to bringing you the first public beta of vBulletin 3.6 very soon.

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