Search Engine Updates

Oct 21 2010, 07:31 PM

Some changes to the search engine system were completed. A lot of it was backend, but it has repaired a lot of glaring bugs and issues that were found. There also was a high failure rate of searches not being completed because it's always an intensive process to do so. This update also tries to minimize those.

In short, here are the changes:

  • Users with high postcounts > 2k or so were returning incomplete searches due to a database bug. [Fixed]
  • Boards with high postcounts > 50k or so were ALSO returning incomplete searches due to the same database bug. [Fixed]
  • 'Search This Topic' was clunky. It now searches the topic and takes you to a post layout of what results it found rather than a thread index with magnifying glasses to jump to the post. [style]
  • When a keyword search is conducted, it now declares it on the results page. [style]
  • For keyword searches, you can now easily switch between a display that shows topics or posts using a dropdown menu on the results page.
  • Some of the sorting options weren't working. [Fixed]
  • Sorting is more logical now, before there wasn't a sort by post date. Now you get the latest posts of the bunch by default. This was half due to the database bug as well. [style]
  • Search results are cached better on our server, so when combing through the results you should notice faster speeds. [technical]
  • Full-Text searching was dropped in favor of performance. This means you can now search for things such as 'PHP','IPB','JFB', and phrases containing the word 'the' etc in them. There are still some quirks to work out in terms of speed when it comes to searching large blocks of posts, but it should be better. Fulltext searching is back while I test a few changes. [technical]
  • Search queries have been given a slightly higher 'priority' to increase success rate.
That's about it, let us know if you have any questions or problems.

-Jcink.com staff

New Features Announced

Oct 16 2010, 02:54 AM

A number of features are finally announced as of today for the JFB service. Some of these were completed a few months ago, and many within the last week. Certain features had to be worked on live for both testing and development purposes. This announcement is intended to bring you up to date with anything you may have missed yourself.

Take a look at all of the great improvements that have been added!

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# Image Resize based on Proportion

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This is a great upgrade to what we had before, largely thanks to posiden5665 for coding this one. All I did was integrate it.

It corrects badly resized images, as well as lag issues with posting many images. The resizing is done client-side now. It does the same thing to attachments as well - the old IPB 1.3 code for resizing those has been replaced by this as well.

Settings are in topics posts and polls in Admin CP.

A perfect example of the resizing it does can be seen right here: click

And here's a screenshot of configuration: Screenshot

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# Namechanges via UserCP

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This feature is the answer to having to deal with name changes all the time manually. Instead of getting PMs, members can just use the User CP to put in a request that can be validated with a click of a button.

In short, this feature:

  • Allows members to put in a name change request that staff can approve/deny.

  • Allows staff to manually validate/allow the name change to proceed without them. (default: validation required)

  • Validation of new name requests is done via 'manage validating' of the Admin CP and the 'validating bin' of the Mod CP (if a super moderator).

  • PM notifications are sent to admins about name change requests to deny/allow. This can be disabled via Admin CP. (default: enabled)
Screenshot

Members can change names under My Controls > Personal > Change Username

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# Skin Changer Updates

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  • Skin dropdown in user cp and on index shows hidden skins if you're a board admin.
  • Guests can now see the dropdown so skins dont look awkward (can't use it though)
  • I created a <% SKIN_SELECTOR %> wrapper variable while I was in there. Good for making skins; no longer tied to <% STATS %>
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# Randomize Polls in Portal Option

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You can now, if you use Unreal Portal option, choose to have a random poll display instead of a single one.

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# Better notices for new queued posts / reports

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Instead of having to check whether there's a new post or report to handle, you can just look right next to your Mod CP link. A number that combines queued posts + reports into one, and you can hover over to get stats. Once the tasks are completed by either you or ANY other moderator who has power to do them, it goes away.

This will save time and effort of checking the Mod CP, or reading PM notifications about reports or queued posts.

Screenshot

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# HTML allowed in IBstore Item Descriptions

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HTML is now allowed in IBStore item descriptions. A sample can be seen in our own shop where I've added a bit of bold to the change username item, as well as included a little image of money. You're not going to be able to do advanced things in it, but you can still use all sorts of short tags and CSS.

Side note: while I was in the IBStore admin files, I cleaned up a lot of extremely bad spelling and grammar issues by the original programmer, and fixed a minor submit button bug that was on every page.

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# Staff name colors in the Shoutbox

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They should be back for everyone now, on both D2 and regular style. If you have any staff colors or name effects, they'll appear right away. Additionally, a small bug regarding name changes not showing up on the global shoutboxes once executed was corrected in the process of doing this.

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# Real age variable for profiles

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For users of custom mini profile templates, the <!-- |age| --> variable will now call up a user's current age based on their birthday information if available. No need to add a profile field any longer.

Example here:

http://jcink.com/main/wiki/jfb-skinning-profile-templates

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# Social Bookmarking option for threads

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The ability to activation social networking buttons in topics is available. This will let your users easily share topics to a number of social media sites; thus increasing traffic to your board.

In AdminCP > System Settings > Topics, Posts & Polls > Social Network Integration you can see a list of the most popular social networking sites to activate on your forums. Some are not relevant to every board, and others are more important, so you can pick and choose what you wish.

The buttons will appear in every thread at the bottom of the last post in the corner.

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# Quotes directly in the reply box

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You may have noticed that there is no 'quote box' anymore when quoting a post. This was removed in favor of just placing the quote directly in the post itself. It makes things easier to see and edit when quoting a message.

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# Improved Proxy Blocker/Antispam system

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In an effort to combat spam signups, we've added a few layers of security in recent months. The old settings for proxy blocking have been removed that tended to produce false results, and there are now just two simple settings.

We are now hooked up to the same database that stop forum spam uses; as well as a number of bot and infected proxy tracking systems.

Read more here: http://jcink.com/main/wiki/jfb-security-antispam

You don't need to do anything more than to simply enable it - but it's on for all forums by default.

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# PM search

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Search your PMs body/message area from within any folder. Great if you keep lots of old messages around and can't remember who said what.

Screenshot

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# Arcade Queries

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You can now quickly add games via a method called 'Arcade Queries.' What is an arcade query? It is a single block of text that contains game information that allows you to add games in one click. The games are generally pre-hosted and pre-prepared for you and there is nothing else for you to do.

The wiki has been updated with information about this.

http://jcink.com/main/wiki/jfb-acp-ibproarcade

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We hope you enjoy all of the updates.

Keep an eye out for further changes and new developments in the coming months.

-Jcink.com