Oxwall Store: important improvements

Hello there Oxwallers,

Our community grows. It’s exciting to see this growth since it assures that our work is important, and warrants that Oxwall is here to stay. With user growth some aspects of the community work also need to evolve, and today it’s the Oxwall Store that is affected.

We just released some small and big improvements that I want to introduce. They are based on developers’, designers’ and users’ feedback, and also on our own careful examination of the usage patterns. Let’s look in detail:

My purchases:

  • Item list is now divided into Plugins and Themes;
  • Search by item name (new);
  • Add review for purchased items right there (new).

My items:

  • Item list is now divided into Plugins and Themes;
  • Search by license key and buyer’s username.

Item listing improvements:

  • Oxwall Store now supports version compatibility between items and the platform. From now on every item should state platform versions that it supports, and users will see it;
  • Mandatory “Terms of Use” field for items (new);
  • Optional “ReadMe” field for items (new).

Suspended items:

  • Suspended items are now shown to license holders in “My Items”;
  • “Item suspended” page is shown to all but license holders;
  • Suspended items can’t be deleted by owners but will be deleted in 4 months unless activated by Store moderators.


  • Now authors can not only modify but also delete their reviews.

Apart from these changes there are many tiny things changed to help developers better manage their items.

Policy updates

Last but not least, we have updated Oxwall Store Terms of Use, and added Store Item Policy and Item Review Policy. Everybody is encouraged to actually read this document, it’s written by humans for humans in the most comprehensive way possible.

Enjoy the updated Oxwall Store and leave your feedback! We are always listening. Also, there’s a special Store-related forum, so developers can find additional technical info and questions.

Dev Diary, February 21, 2014

Ah, the last breathes of winter… It’s getting warmer, so the life’s good, and that’s exactly the attitude that boosts our strive to get a few more ideas through to the next release. One such idea is the improvement of the Photos plugin – a real essential toy in the arsenal of any serious social site. Our goal here is to fix all the obvious bugs and add some exciting options to make users happier.

As you know, at present the plugin operates by means of either basic uploader, or through flash upload. And frankly, both are dated. The flash one cannot be customized in css/html, and requires an additional plugin in the browser. Sometimes this leads to unnecessary confusion, and that’s what we want to eliminate.

The solution – a photo uploader that uses native browser capabilities and doesn’t require additional browser extensions. Also, it’s easily customizable in css/html, maintains drag’n’drop interface, and allows quick editing at the very first step (rotate, hashtags, album name, etc.)



One of the things we learned with the old system is that most users find comments under pictures inconvenient. When the page is scrolled down for more comments, the picture itself gets out of sight, and is basically “lost.”

An easy solution to prevent this is to move comments and description to the right side of the picture. That’s the trend across the industry anyway, and seems to be the right approach for us. Still, we are leaving the old system as an available option as well, so you can choose what’s working better for you.



We’ve also decided to play with the visual presentation of the photo list, which was kind of boring (being strictly square and all). The addition of a Pinterest-like mode should spice things up a bit, don’t you think?



There are no search options for photos in Oxwall right now, which isn’t handy, since users resort to tags when they are looking for something. We’ll change that by making it possible to search by descriptions, usernames and hash tags.


So that’s the gist of things to come. But there’s even more interface stuff that we are tinkering with right now. Liking and varying privacy settings for different photo albums are on the plate too, and will be ready to be served with Oxwall 1.6.1, or soon thereafter.

Keep reading our Dev Diary guys, and learn what else keeps us busy.

Paid items in the Oxwall Store: price vs quality

We have a forum user who touched the topic that we are very sensitive about, so in the process of writing the reply I understood we should make our position clear to everyone.

Here’s the original topic: http://www.oxwall.org/forum/topic/6787

Here’s my reply:


You are right. Oxwall needs more free plugins and themes. The long-term project success is based on building enough of a product of superior quality that will enable users run their projects on Oxwall.

The project needs exactly this type of developers and designers — those working for the idea of giving away people excellent software and seeing what happens. That’s how an open source project works before gaining critical mass. Only then people will use software for viable community projects and more people will learn about Oxwall and the demand in software will increase.


All of this is only possible if the resulting product quality is good. Meanwhile, the best developers and designers know the price of their time and only spend it accordingly.

We think the best scenario for Oxwall is to have A LOT of free items and some excellent paid items. So, solving the problem here is not to make bad plugins cheaper but to develop very good plugins and charge what’s reasonable. As for bad plugins, we are on a mission to not let them in and to push them out. If you buy an unsatisftory plugin on the Oxwall Store, give it low rating. Enough low rates will remove the item from the listings.

Too bad, not many of current developers understand that there’s no point in creating a heap of cheap items. Impulse purchases do not create trust and long-term value. Developers and designers should create less items and focus on their quality. It’s just a better business model.

In the end of the day, if there’s excellent free software with necessary third party items of high quality, the end user will not care that much about their price. If price is their only factor of choice, they are not really Oxwall’s target audience. I’ve never seen viable online community projects from people who value the price of software plugins more than their time and their users’ experience. Open source is not about the $0 price tag. It’s about accessibility, options, and trust.

Our position regarding the third party items in the Oxwall Store:

  • We will encourage more free items;
  • No matter free or paid, they will have to be of good quality;
  • We choose “less but better” strategy for the Oxwall Store;
  • We do not plan to drive the item prices down. Open market will decide.

Increasingly, it will be possible to find more plugins outside the Oxwall Store. This is fine, it’s open source after all. It’s just that we plan to maintain the high standard on the official resource for the mainstream users.


Oxwall Store Digest:
Top of the Line

Dear friends,

With great pleasure we want to present a new section of this blog. After seeing the steadily climbing popularity of the Oxwall Store, as well as general improvement in quality of the items that end up there, we decided to shine some light on the best plugins and themes on display. And today we have not one, but two of them!

Mochi Games for Oxwall

Oxwall Store Digest: Top of the Line

Games are often one of the most thought-after features in social networking and Mochimedia.com presents a wide variety of options in this area. Mochi Games for Oxwall plugin integrates Mochimedia services into any Oxwall website almost entirely hassle-free.

Oxwall Store Digest: Top of the Line

You’ve got everything from Action to Strategy to Racing, to even Classic Nintendo Spoofs, all as part of a huge collection that can make any casual gamer happy.

Among other things, the plugin eliminates all steps requiring the insertion of custom Javascript codes, and allows most games to set up Leaderbords integrated into Oxwall Newsfeed, to keep members posted of new highscores. On top of that, Mochi Games for Oxwall works perfectly with User Credits plugin, allowing admins to charge or award members with credits for using games on the site.

Mochi Games for Oxwall is sold for a one-time fee of $20, and its creator promises frequent updates and support.

Download Plugin.

Try Demo.


Another top-rated plugin that is quickly gaining popularity is Questions, which allows users to submit polls for others to answer, Facebook-style.

Oxwall Store Digest: Top of the Line

Incredibly easy to setup and manage, Questions are very useful for adding interactivity to any site, and getting the community even more involved in joint activities.

Oxwall Store Digest: Top of the Line

Needless to say, after publishing the created poll will appear in the Newsfeed, and depending on chosen options, members can select a ready answer or add one of their own.

The plugin is absolutely free and has already seen over 1000 downloads since appearing in the Store.

Download Plugin.

Try Demo.

Oxwall: The Progress

Oxwall: The ProgressLadies and gentlemen,

Today we would like to share some great news with you. Oxwall Foundation has reached several important milestones, which prove that we are moving in the right direction, steadily giving the community tools necessary for our common success.

First of all, Oxwall Software now boasts over 71000 source lines of code. Compare that with 64000 of the very first Oxwall iteration released in August 2010. Not bad, considering that this metric is a very important indicator of a project’s size, and shows the effort the development team puts behind it.

Now, that was the platform itself. Even more impressive is the rapid increase in the number of source lines of code for plugins developed by the Oxwall Foundation. Altogether they now take over 64000 LOC (30% growth from the times of Oxwall 1.0.1), which is really impressive, when you take into account the time-frame and the relatively small team size.

All of that, coupled with the success of the recently released Oxwall 1.3 helped to boost the platform downloads from the 250 per day average in 2011, all the way up to 350 at the start of 2012.

Finally, Oxwall Store also witnesses some stable evolution since its full-scale launch a mere year ago. By now, the gradually growing number of published items have passed 100, adding even more to the progress of the entire project.

With our joint efforts and great input from the international Oxwall community, these achievements have been reached in just under two years. This is the programming productivity and expansion rates we are quite content with, although we’ll be obviously looking to build on this success even further in the near future.


An unfortunate slip made its way into the above text. Of course we meant the DAILY download average (not monthly) in the fourth paragraph. So, the daily platform download average in 2011 was 250, boosted up to 350 since the release of Oxwall 1.3.



Oxwall 1.1 + new plugins

Boy look what we’ve got here! Oxwall 1.1 + plugin updates + new plugins + new themes — it’s like Christmas came early!

What’s new:

– Jquery 1.5
– Cron run check and notification
– Authorization mechanism enhancements (affects all plugins!)
– Avatar display change, requires new decorator use (affects all plugins!)
– User console refactored for adding elements by plugins
– Language handling refactored to enable plugins to add global language keys
– User and config tables cache enabled for better performance
– Platform version in admin dashboard
– URL highlighting for all user content for easy clicking (finally!)
– SEO-oriented meta page information in all plugins to allow better and deeper indexing of your site by search engines. If you have incoming links to your site that should do great job for its promotion.
– Avatar labels for particular user roles. You can have specific user roles like “admin”, “staff”, or even “pro” or “gold”, so users can show them off on avatars. Configure user roles and color-code avatar labels on your community!
– Display type disabled for index page comment wall
– Comment form now has posting user’s avatar
– User list selection for plugins’ needs optimized
– Suspended users can now edit their profiles
– Multiple ‘untranslatable’ spots eliminated
– Custom pages access issues solved

… and more small enhancements including killing pet peeves constantly reported on support boards. Too much to list here so we let you discover and enjoy those one by one. 🙂


Virtual gifts:

– User can send each other public and private virtual gifts with optional personal messages in them.
– Gifts can be customized and divided into categories.

User credits:
– User credits can be purchased through payment gateways (such as PayPal), earned by activity on site, and spent on things like virtual gifts.
– Complete customization;


Club‘ and ‘Rainy‘ themes. Enjoy.


– ‘View more’ without page refresh
– Feed context highlight: groups, profiles
– Unlike;
– Comments and Likes expand/collapse
– Optional status update on Index page
– Profile comment wall support

– Voting interface enhancement

– On-site event invitation notifications
– Past events list
– An event is now still ongoing until the end time
– Chronology problems in event widgets corrected
– Event authorship problem substitution when edited by moderator is solved
– Event icon is now optional
– Inactive ‘invite’ button problem solved


– Multiple friend requests problem solved
– Suspended users no longer show up in friends lists


‘Last Activity’ and ‘Status Updates’ plugins are now discontinued and no longer will be updated. They are replaced by Newsfeed.


Those impatient can download the new release, new plugins, new themes, and updates manually for now. Tomorrow we are unleashing auto-update upon you so you will be able to update right from the admin panel.

PLEASE UPDATE PLATFORM CORE FIRST. Only after that you can update everything else and install new plugins. PLEASE UPDATE THEMES MANUALLY AS WELL – they contain important additions and corrections.

Thanks for creating with us!