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Blogbuilder 3.25

We've just released a new version of Warwick Blogs (the last one was nearly 2 years ago!) with a number of improvements and bug fixes:

  • We've improved the RSS and Atom feeds from your blogs, and also added JSON support (add ?json=json to the URL, and you can add callback and assign parameters to do JSONP). For example: http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/news/?json=json
  • We've significantly improved our support for newer web browsers (IE9, Chrome, Firefox 4) and you should find fewer problems using these browsers with Warwick Blogs
  • We've added OAuth support to Warwick Blogs with the following details:
  • Request token: https://websignon.warwick.ac.uk/oauth/requestToken?scope=urn%3Ablogs.warwick.ac.uk%3Ablogbuilder%3Aservice
  • Authorisation: https://websignon.warwick.ac.uk/oauth/authorise
  • Access token: https://websignon.warwick.ac.uk/oauth/accessToken
  • You'll need a consumer key and secret to use OAuth to Warwick Blogs in your own application, you can contact the IT Services Helpdesk (helpdesk@warwick.ac.uk) to request this
  • We've modified the Atom API to allow setting of arbitrary permissions by adding the special elements <blogbuilder:read-permission> and <blogbuilder:comment-permission> - these can be set to webgroups, names of groups on the blog in question, or to the special strings Anyone, Staff, Students or Alumni.
  • We've increased the text limit for the biography and contact details sections of the profile page significantly (32,000 characters)
  • We've added more "Back to Blog Manager" and "Back to my blog" links to the Admin section to make it easier to navigate
  • We've fixed issues with uploading files with spaces in and inserting media into the editor

As always, if you have any problems you can comment below or email the IT Services helpdesk at helpdesk@warwick.ac.uk


Bugfix release

We've just redeployed a new version of Warwick Blogs with a few bug fixes and changes.

  • Anonymous users can no longer post web links in their comments, which should hopefully reduce the level of spam we have been receiving from paid-for spam companies
  • The Admin Entries page is now paginated, and should load a lot faster
  • Creative Commons copyright items are fixed
  • Departmental groups are fixed
  • WGA members should now be able to register for new blogs

There are a few other fixes as well, and some general tidying up. If you find any problems, or have any comments, feel free to reply here or email elab at elab@warwick.ac.uk


New release

A new version of Blogbuilder was released this morning, with the following changes:

Improved WYSIWYG Editor

TinyMCE 3.0

Version 3 of the "TinyMCE" WYSIWYG editor has been rolled out onto the system. This has a new design and should have an improved editing experience.

This also includes fixes for previously known bugs with the Blockquote and Spellcheker features - these should work as designed now.

PNG Resizing

The long-standing known bug where PNG images were not resized properly and either did not display at all or displayed with an ugly red overlay has been fixed.

Comments and suggestions can be made in response to this entry, by email to blogs@warwick.ac.uk or on the Blogs feedback forum


AV Recording

A new version of Blogbuilder has been released today. This includes a number of corrective fixes (in particular, to adding and removing users to groups on your blog). This release also includes a new feature, allowing users to record audio and video into their blog entries. This is inserted in the same way as other videos into blog entries.

For more information, please see the FAQ Can I record a video or audio file in my blog entry?


New release

We've released a new version of BlogBuilder today with a few new features.

New Aggregation Views 

Recent Entries (final design)Firstly (and most visibly to most users), we've created a new design for our aggregation pages, as we thought the old design was now getting more than a little dated. Hopefully, this should make entries easier to read. We've also added some new ways to see different kinds of entries:

  • Entries by students
  • Entries by staff members
  • Entries by alumni
  • Entries in "personal" blogs
  • Entries in "academic" blogs

For the moment we are adding blogs to the list of "personal" or "academic" blogs as we go along - if you think that your blog fits this category, please email blogs@warwick.ac.uk.

Comment Moderation

You can now choose to moderate comments on your blog entries, if you wish, from the Settings screen in the "Admin" section of your blog. Moderating comments means that they won't actually appear on your blog until you've approved them.  You can choose to moderate the comments of all users, or just users who are not logged in.

More information can be found here.

Skipping over entries

On the "Recent entries" page, there's now a little box at the top of each entry showing the date and time of the entry.  These boxes have an extra, very handy function; if you don't think you'll want to read a particular entry, clicking on its date/time box will skip you straight to the next entry, and leave your mouse cursor perfectly positioned to do the same thing again should that be what you want.  This makes skipping through "All recent entries" looking for things which might interest you much easier.

As always, we welcome any comments or suggestions about these new features; please feel free to comment on this entry. 


BlogBuilder Update

We have released a new version of BlogBuilder today on blogs.warwick.ac.uk. This new version is mainly a bug fix release, tidying up some loose threads that have been hanging over the past few months. However, there are a few improvements that users may notice:

  • We have upgraded our image editing software to the latest version. This should offer increased quality and usability when using this feature. Read more about image editing
  • The code that runs at the backend of lookups for music, books, DVDs and games has also been upgraded, so writing reviews should be improved. FAQ
  • When writing a comment, clicking the preview button will show the correct number of your comment, and will also show you all previous comments - so you can refer back and quote previous comments, and also see if there have been new comments since you started writing FAQ
  • We have also upgraded a lot of core libraries included in Blogbuilder, which should hopefully improve performance for users

Comments, bugs and suggestions can be posted on this entry or the blogs forum

Update 9th Nov: These features have been postponed until further notice

Update 2 15th Nov: These features have been re-deployed with problems with blog forms and comments hopefully resolved


BlogBuilder Update

Follow-up to New Features from Blogbuilder news

Hot on the heels of our previous release, we've released another new version of BlogBuilder this morning with some improvements and new features:

File Uploads 

BlogBuilder now allows you to upload any file to your blog and link to it from your entries. This means you can, for example, upload your CV, or a Word Document for a group, or even an MP3 of you and your band playing directly into your blog entries.

The easiest way to do this is when you are creating an entry; in the Textile2 editor click the image next to "To insert a file" - Insert a file (Textile), or from the WYSIWYG editor click the File Picker button - File Picker (TinyMCE)and follow the instructions to either pick a file already uploaded to your blog or to upload one directly into the entry. You can also upload files from the Admin screen for your blog if you go to the Manage Your Files Admin files and click "Upload a file" at the top.

For the moment, we're allowing 10MB of upload space per blog to use as you wish (under the Terms and Conditions of Warwick Blogs). Should you require more than this, email us with a request and we can increase your quota.

Improvements to WYSIWYG Editor

There've been a couple of improvements to the WYSIWYG editor:

  • The style of the editor should now more closely match what your blog looks like (apart from the colours)
  • We've added buttons for Blockquote, Indent and Outdent to the toolbar that were missing before
  • It's now possible to easily create an image as a thumbnail to a larger image from the image picker
  • You can now switch between the Textile and WYSIWYG editors directly from the "Create entry" screen. Please note, you will lose any content changes since the last edit
  • The Preview button should now work correctly
As always, any comments or suggestions can be made below

New Features

There has been a major new release of BlogBuilder this morning with a few new important features that users may be interested in.

Rich Text Editing


Users of SiteBuilder2 may be familiar with the JScript editor that is used to edit SiteBuilder pages, called TinyMCE. This editor has now been implemented into Warwick Blogs to allow users to create entries in a much more user friendly way than the current Textile2 editor.

As this is a new feature and has been generally untested, this is turned off by default. To turn it on, click "Admin" in the top right hand corner of your blog's homepage, then click "Settings", and finally change the setting of "Default editor for creating new entries" to WYSIWYG Editor. All new entries that you create will then use the new editor (entries created in the WYSIWYG Editor can only be edited in the WYSIWYG editor, and the same goes for the Textile2 editor).

Editing with TinyMCE

Notable advantages of using the WYSIWYG Editor:

  • You can use keyboard shortcuts and formatting buttons similar to most word processors
  • There is a spell-check button that allows you to check the spelling on your entry
  • There are easy buttons to allow you to embed images (both in your gallery or from your hard drive) and videos
Google Analytics

One of our most requested features is to provide statistics for users' blogs - how many people are reading the blog, where are they coming from, which entries are most popular. Rather than create a fully featured stats package from scratch, we decided to make it easy to use Google Analytics to monitor your blog.

For information on how to use this, please refer to this FAQ.

Other updates

There have been a number of other minor bug fixes and improvements, including:

  • The photo editor has been upgraded to the latest version, with improved red-eye reduction and other improvements to features
  • Bugs related to posting trackbacks have been resolved
  • The "Create entry" page should now load faster than before (we realise it took a very long time sometimes)
As always, any comments, bug reports or notes can be posted on this blog entry or on the Blogs Forum.

New release

A new release of BlogBuilder today has added a few new features and fixed some bugs that may be of interest to users:

  • We have tweaked the CSS in blogs slightly and as part of this have added two new styles to pick from, Simplicity and Floral, with a variety of colours. You can use these on your blog by going to “Admin” and then to “Appearance”
  • It is now much easier to use the Textile function to do tables, as we have provided some global CSS classes to style them with:

outline:

table(outline).
|_. Header1|_. Header2|_. Header3|
|Cell1|Cell2|Cell3|
|Cell4|Cell5|Cell6|
Header1 Header2 Header3
Cell1 Cell2 Cell3
Cell4 Cell5 Cell6

border:

table(border).
|_. Header1|_. Header2|_. Header3|
|Cell1|Cell2|Cell3|
|Cell4|Cell5|Cell6|
Header1 Header2 Header3
Cell1 Cell2 Cell3
Cell4 Cell5 Cell6

divider:

table(divider).
|_. Header1|_. Header2|_. Header3|
|Cell1|Cell2|Cell3|
|Cell4|Cell5|Cell6|
Header1 Header2 Header3
Cell1 Cell2 Cell3
Cell4 Cell5 Cell6

You can also combine these classes by putting a space in between the class names:

table(outline divider).
|_. Header1|_. Header2|_. Header3|
|Cell1|Cell2|Cell3|
|Cell4|Cell5|Cell6|
Header1 Header2 Header3
Cell1 Cell2 Cell3
Cell4 Cell5 Cell6
  • You can now choose how many entries to display on your blog’s home page by going to “Admin” then “Settings”
  • We now allow per-blog and global aggregation by author with the user’s usercode, for example http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/news/author/cuscav

For the more technical amongst you, we also now support Microsummaries, allowing users to get live titles in bookmarks in certain browsers.


Slow posting of entries

Many users may have noticed over the past week or so that the posting of entries has occasionally (with no real correlation to time of day or what is being posted) been extremely slow, and this has led to a few cases where people have accidentally posted two of the same entry by clicking the “Publish Now” button twice.

We have made improvements to two areas which we believe may have been contributing to the problem, and have released these changes this morning onto BlogBuilder.

If you experience any issues with publishing an entry, for example where the entry takes more than 15 or 20 seconds to publish, then it would be extremely helpful if you could email us at blogs@warwick.ac.uk with the time of day, the content of your entry and all the settings on the “Create entry” screen (Who can see the entry, who can comment on the entry, whether the entry is show in collections, whether the entry has “Show trackbacks” and “Send Technorati ping?” checked).


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