Oxwall Hangout Call in Meetup Aftermath

OK, so the first Oxwall Meetup NYC is now the thing of the past. It was loads of fun, I’m sure, with beer, pizza, guitar music, etc… All enjoyed exclusively by Oxwall Founder Emil sitting alone in a Manhattan pub.

Yeah, I guess the short notice and geographical location did not do Oxwall fans any favors, and sadly no one showed up. But hey, we learned a mighty lesson here, and more thought will go into organizing meetups in the future. That’s right, we are unfazed and are moving on.

To prove our commitment to hearing directly from the community, and also taking cues from the pre-meetup feedback, we are going to setup Google+ Hangouts for admins running Oxwall-powered websites, hosted by Emil and other fine Oxwall people. This way we’ll keep the informal feel we were going after, and eliminate the minor problem of not being physically present in the US.

Watch this space, Oxwall’s Facebook or Twitter for a special announcement regarding the first Hangout. We’ll see you there!

In Focus: Koktui.com

We haven’t focused on a website in a while, so while we wait for the next scheduled update, why not dig in our portfolio for more examples of great creativity and customization skills displayed by Oxwall members.

Meet Koktui, a niche community network for connecting Nagas of the world. And if you don’t know who the Nagas are, maybe you should join the site and get introduced to their amazing culture.

The site itself shows great implementation of web 2.0 aesthetics.  The presentation is crystal clear and easy on the eyes. The front-page design is intuitive, straightforward and very inviting. Everything about the destination gives the immediate sense of calm, professionalism and dedication to bringing members of a specific community together. And that’s all we need to award this social network the In Focus achievement. Great job!


Oxwall Meetup NYC (VENUE UPDATE)

I’ve got something exiting to share with you guys.

In just a couple of weeks we’ll be holding the first official Oxwall Meetup ever!

Oxwall team wants to see the real people behind communities built with our software. We plan to hold regular informal meetups all around the world, talk with Oxwal enthusiasts, show them what we are working on, and allow admins to mingle and get to know each other better.

The first official Oxwall meetup will be held in O’Lunney’s Times Square Pub NYC. 145 West 45th Street, New York, NY 10036, on December 9th, at 7PM. Oxwall founder Emil will be on hand to serve free pizza, share exclusive Oxwall news, answer any questions, and generally hang out (he plays guitar, just ask him).

So, if you want to be a part of our history, go ahead and confirm your attendance. We realize that not everyone will be able to make it to New York this time around, but the meetup will take place anyway, even if just a few of you will show up. C’mon, join on the fun.

Oxwall: It’s Been a Hell of a Year!

Guess what? It’s been a little over a year since Oxwall entered this world to face life as a competitive open source product. During this time the software has really come a long way (more precisely, all the way to 1.2.6), and luckily this force seems to be unstoppable at this point. Let’s look back twelve or so months and tally the sort-of end-of-year results.

We don’t want to be precarious, and so start with a little graphics courtesy of Google Analytics. Look below – we are clearly witnessing an exponential growth: more Oxwall-powered communities are being set up, more plugins developed, more people join on the fun. The graph shows the daily number of admin area accesses on different Oxwall sites.

Oxwall: It's Been a Hell of a Year!
Oxwall websites daily admin access dynamics.

As the Oxwall project matured, a key decision was made by the team last year – a more structured and carefully planned development/release schedule was put in place, resulting in a more predictable update pattern. More flexibility in development was also achieved by the switch from SVN to Mercurial Distributed Version Control System.

At the same time, the fine-tuning of the Auto-update system proved to be a success, and made sure all community members are on the same page come update time. It helped admins to consistently be on the edge by always knowing about the releases of the latest builds, or what needs to be additionally configured.

Due to these shifts in the development/release processes, we’ve been able to greatly speed up the reaction to all reported issues, and reached a new level when it comes to critical bug fixing. More importantly, the Auto–update system reduced the number of different software versions installed, as the latest build is usually employed by almost 80% of all active websites within a week of a release.

Oxwall versions in use.

Oxwall really went global, with several groups across the world setting up Oxwall-dedicated communities, working on local translation, member support, and distribution of the software. To facilitate these efforts we have tweaked our policies and even came up with the Oxwall Club; a membership in which will bring even more benefits to said groups.

Oxwall: It's Been a Hell of a Year!In the meantime, more international exposure was achieved after a page about Oxwall project appeared on the Wikipedia; while a greater market penetration through the inclusion of the software to the Softaculous and Simple Scripts collections brought significant traffic increase.

More recently we’ve added the support of Cloud File Storage for networks’ static content, and also saw the appearance of first paid plugins and themes in the Oxwall Store, which will drive even more creative and progressive energy towards the project. We are looking forward to seeing what you’ll come up with next.

And make no mistake, this is all just the beginning of a very exiting journey. The team behind Oxwall is truly committed to producing the best social builder around, and we do have great plans for the future. Thank you for choosing us.

Oxwall Supports Cloud Storage

Oxwall Supports Cloud StorageI’ve got more great news to report and it’s not even holiday season yet!

Anyway, Oxwall is now supporting Cloud File Storage (also known as CDN). You know what that means – the ability to store unlimited volumes of static content, like user photos, icons, etc.

In general, Cloud Storage is cheaper than regular storage options available from regular hosting providers. It also greatly speeds up page load times, since a part of the static data is loaded from the Cloud. Moreover, the more storage volume you use – the more you save money-wise. Virtually all of the most popular web services are now using Cloud Storage. Of course we didn’t want to lag behind.

Detailed manuals for setting up Oxwall for working with a few popular Cloud Storage providers can be found here. Enjoy!

Oxwall 1.2.6 & Oxwall Store Update

Your eyes don’t deceive you. The second Oxwall release in less than a week is indeed here. We thought that it’s worth pushing it out ahead of schedule. Here’s why.

With this release we open the doors of the Oxwall Store to all paid plugin developers out there. As you might know only free plugins were available for download until recently. Now any developer with a worthy product can set a price on their plugins and sell them at our store. Of course, said plugins (or any other goods in Oxwall Store for that matter) must comply with OSCL – Oxwall Store Commercial Licence.

Note that plugins not developed by Oxwall are sold as is – we are not responsible for any trouble they might cause to your sites, so check all the accompanying documentation very carefully.

To make sure everything is working as it should, please back up your site and then upgrade the software to 1.2.6. Alternatively, just wait for the Auto-update Button, which should appear in the Admin area of your network within 24 hours after the launch of the update.


Oxwall 1.2.5: Feature and Quality Improvements

As promised last week, we have completed Quality Group testing and are ready to bring you Oxwall 1.2.5. A slew of bug fixes and feature improvements are in store.

Now, remember to follow these simple steps to avoid any potential troubles, if you are really impatient and want to update your software manually:

  1. Back up your site
  2. Install the update

Or you can just wait a couple more hours for the Auto Update button (advisable) to appear in the Admin area (it will show up in the span of 24 hours after the launch of the update).

Here is a list of changes:

Newsfeed and Events Improvements

  • Status Update is now integrated into the Newsfeed;
  • Changing Event icon in Newsfeed is now functioning properly;
  • Birthdays can now be configured to show up as Newsfeed items;
  • Changes to Group descriptions and icons are now reflected in the Newsfeed;
  • Notification system for Event commenting added;

User Features Improvements

  • Users without permission to create Groups will no longer see a link allowing them to do so;
  • A bug appearing when reaching photo upload limit is fixed;
  • Search field in Forum now recognizes “/”;
  • ‘Featured’ tab (with user photos and videos) is no longer visible unless there is actual featured content present;
  • Attachment Button functions properly in Internet Explorer now;
  • Right-to-Left text input is now available for WYSIWYG;
  • Option to open a link in a new window is added for WYSIWYG;
  • Option to disable favicon is added;
  • Userlist recognition of ‘&’ symbol is fixed;
  • Language issues fixed in Mailbox and Events;
  • Guest visitors are now asked to Sign-in before viewing Friends Lists;
  • Blog and Links widgets will not be visible on the frontpage until an appropriate item is added;
  • ‘More’ button is functioning properly now on the Blog and Links pages;

Admin Features Improvements

  • Software installation is now possible with an empty password field, if applicable;
  • ‘Page’ GET parameter is fixed in the Forum;
  • Flagged pictures are now reachable even without included description;
  • Mass Mails can now be sent only to active users with confirmed emails;
  • Maximum photo file size in Mailbox can now include decimals;

Oxwall Policy Changes and Oxwall Club

Oxwall Policy Changes and Oxwall ClubDear community members, we would like to draw your attention to several changes and additions to our policies. For your convenience all of them can now be found in the ‘Oxwall Policies and Licenses‘ section of the main Oxwall website.

Oxwall Domain Policy

This new policy is introduced due to trademark issues and to avoid possible confusion among regional and vertical Oxwall websites dedicated to the software itself (translation, distribution, etc.). In short, we ask webmasters not to use ‘Oxwall’ in top-level domain names. Click here for more details.

Oxwall Attribution Policy

The attribution topic frequently comes up in the comments, when webmasters of Oxwall-powered networks ask us whether they can remove the ‘Powered by Oxwall’ logo at the bottom of the page. The thing is – Oxwall is Open Source, and in return we only ask the community to keep the attribution. Click here for more details.

Other important documents in the ‘Oxwall Policies and Licenses‘ section include Oxwall License, Oxwall Store Terms of UseOxwall Store Commercial License, and Oxwall Software Terms of Use.

Oxwall Club

Now we are getting to the fun part. Oxwall Foundation is proud to launch an exclusive Oxwall Club. It will unite officially recognized international communities devoted to local promotion of our software, as well as helping Oxwall-powered networks in their native languages. So now you know that anyone with a CLUB badge in the forum is actually a representative of a regional or vertical community. Click here to learn about the benefits of Oxwall Club membership and other details.



Upcoming Oxwall Release

Dear Oxwall users,

As some of you have noted in the comments section, it is indeed time for another software update. The entire next week is scheduled for the quality testing of feature improvements and bug fixes we have found since the last release.

As usual, have some patience and keep an eye on our blog, for a special notice about the launch of the update. Everything should be ready in about a week and a half.

This time the new release will not bring any major changes, but rather will feature a load of requested and necessary fixes for Newsfeed, Events, Groups, Forums, Mailing Lists, etc. We want to polish up the software in its current form before taking another major step by introducing new features and functions. The full list of Oxwall 1.2.5 improvements will be released along with the update.

Oxwall Available through Simple Scripts

Oxwall on Simple ScriptsWonderful news everyone! Oxwall Software is now available through Simple Scripts.

Simple Scripts is a hosted service, which allows instant one-click installation of over 70 top web applications. We are now in the great company of WordPress, Joomla, Roundcube, Drupal, and many others.

In a nutshell, Simple Scripts works though a choice number of popular control panels (including cPanel), and takes care of any issues with support, maintenance, updates, etc. The current version available is our latest release Oxwal 1.2.4.

In addition to Simple Scripts, Oxwall is also available through Softaculous, a similar web service that allows instant software installation. We believe this brings our free and open source platform even closer to the community.