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 1.2.5: 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.

The New Release Schedule System

As promised in the comments section, I bring you some wonderful news. To benefit both end-users and our development team, we are switching to a new Release Scheduling System. Allow me to demonstrate it with a few helpful pictures first.

Up until recently our releases were a combination of scheduled fresh features with all the bug fixes picked up along the way. This system looks nice on paper, but in reality it often led to unexpected delays.

Imagine that we have set out to introduce a New Cool Tool for network Admins. In the past our development team would start working on it, all the while fixing up all the reported issues. But then, instead of releasing quick patches in demand, we had to wait until said New Cool Tool is absolutely ready and can be bundled together with the fixes. Sometimes it would take weeks or even months to be sure the New Cool Tool is actually cool enough for prime-time. Needless to say, the extended waiting period can be grueling, thus we decided to change the situation dramatically.

As mentioned in one of the prior posts, the switch to Mercurial DVCS gives us more flexibility. Namely we now have two development branches in place – Dev and Stable. Dev is reserved for big features, like the aforementioned New Cool Tool, while Stable will cover all the bug fixes and minor improvements.

Let me explain how the new system will work. The end-users will no longer have to wait for the new release in the dark. They will know for sure that the new release will be here every month, bringing along all the Stable fixes that are ready by the deadline. In the meantime the Oxwall team will be busy with two weeks of active development work, and a week of testing and compiling documentation. If, during this time, the New Cool Tool will appear to be ready in Dev, it will also end up in the release, along with the fixes.

Here at Oxwall we believe the new system will further improve the software development dynamics, and reinforce our commitment to producing the best professional user-oriented social network builder out there.

More Languages in Oxwall Forum

As all of us witness the growing popularity of our favorite social networking software, the Foundation team can’t help but notice the emergence of Oxwall-centric communities in languages other than old boring English.

To make our international friends feel more at home, and give them a place to communicate naturally, we have set up several neighborhoods in our forums.

Please welcome the soon to be busy Spanish, German, Russian and Farsi HQs!

We hope this will expand the possibilities for community interactions and greatly improve the experience for non-English speakers.

Sneak Peek at Upcoming Oxwall Features

The last day of spring brings us two polarizing news items. The bad news is that there is no new Oprah this Thursday. Or ever. She’s done. The good news is that we are not done. On the contrary, we are just starting. And to prove that, I’ll give you a sneak peek at the next week’s release of a batch of new features. Are you exited? I know I am!

First things first – you will finally see the much anticipated customization in the User Privacy area. Now website visitors will have more flexibility tweaking their multi-level access options for different content.

Another step towards the frequently requested Facebook familiarity is the retooled Rich Text Formatter. Users will surely appreciate the additional freedom they will have with the feature.

A sweet new instrument we are happy to present to you is the Advanced Photo Uploader. Once again, it simplifies the process of dealing with photographs on your site, and also adds several key extra formatting functions.

Finally, we know that spam is no longer a delicacy (can you believe it was considered as such once), so we forked out some defenses to deal with the matter. Our new feature – Mailbot Spam Control, helps along in eliminating the mass emailing by those pesky bots.

Seeing as how our users in the comments section ask for more steady updates, I hope this news will brighten their day even further. Sometime next week we’ll talk in more detail about each new feature, so stay tuned. But why we bundle these four together and not spread them evenly across the release schedule, you ask? Well, we are working hard on developing and introducing new functionality, so the upcoming modification is just a tip of the iceberg. Yes, I said it, more exciting stuff is on the way. Happy summer, everyone!