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Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 11:27 AM EDT

glFusion v1.6.0 Has Arrived!


I am very pleased to announce the release of glFusion v1.6.0. This release contains several significant enhancements and represents many hours of collaboration with the glFusion community. Your feedback, testing help, and general support has made this one of the most enjoyable releases I've worked on in a while. I'm excited to provide some new capabilities and look forward to hearing how folks get creative and implement new features on their website.

Let's review some of the major changes. 

PHP Support

glFusion fully supports PHP v7. All development has been done on systems running PHP v7, as well as, significant testing on PHP v7 test systems. As of now, we still support older releases of PHP, back to v5.3.3. This is the last release of glFusion that will support older, non-supported versions of PHP. Going forward, we plan to only support versions of PHP that are in active support. Below you can see the current state of PHP support:

Courtesy of php.net

As you can see from the graphic above, PHP v5.3 and v5.4 have been out of development for some time, PHP v5.5 security fix support is coming to an end soon. PHP v5.6+ will have support through 2018. Going forward, it is our plan to support only actively supported versions of PHP, which would be PHP v5.6 and above at this time.

Social Integration

socialshare.jpgglFusion v1.6.0 support some new social sharing and integration features. We now have an integrated social sharing feature that works with articles, Media Gallery, and Links. You can select which of the pre-defined services you wish to allow folks to share your content with. In a future release, we plan to add the ability for you to define additional services.

We have also implemented social follow services. You can define which social sites your website is a member, so social follow me icons can be shown. Your users can also enter their social memberships in the My Account section and have follow me buttons appear in their user profile.

We look forward to your feedback as we continue to improve the social integration in future releases.

Smarter Menus

We received a lot of feedback on the glFusion v1.5.x series that folks needed and wanted multi-level menus. When we implemented the UIKIT menus, they only supported one tier. We have now implemented SmartMenus, an excellent jQuery JavaScript library to provide a much more flexible menu system. You can have as many tiers of menus as you need. We've added a new section to the wiki that details how to properly style the new navigation menus - check out Styling the Nav bar and navigation menus.

Infinite Scroll

infinite_scroll.pngAutomatically load more stories when viewing a topic when the user hits the bottom of the page. The current implementation will load more stories each time the user reaches the end of the page. After the 4th automatic load, the user will then be presented with a Load More Stories button. This will allow uses to navigate to the footer of your site. You can disable infinite scroll if you wish, the configuration setting is available in the Online Configuration screen, under the stories section.

3rd Party Comment Integration

glFusion supports using 3rd party comment engines, specifically Disqus and Facebook comments. You have the ability to completely replace the internal comment engine with one of the external systems. This is a full integration, meaning comment counts, etc. are fully integrated into the content items. Using a 3rd party comment engine can bring additional exposure to your site and opportunities for you to reach a wider audience of users. Both Disqus and Facebook Comment provide some exceptional moderation and comment management tools as well.

 

 

But wait, there is more!

The items above highlight some of the major changes with this release. There is so much more we're bringing with this release. Below is a quick summary of some of the other new features included in glFusion v1.6.0.

Better Login Redirection

Since glFusion provides a login button in the header menu, a user can be anywhere on your site when they choose to login. glFusion will now remember where they were (what page they were viewing) and return them to that page after successfully logging into the system.

Database Administration Features

glFusion has always allowed you to backup your database, now with glFusion v1.6.0 you can perform some routine database administration tasks, including backups, optimizing the tables and converting your system to use InnoDB tables, which on larger more active sites can provide a performance boost.

Improved Slider / Rotator

With glFusion v1.6.0, we have migrated the slider capability to the Nivo-Slider jQuery Addon. Nivo-slider has been around for a while and is one of the most popular implementations around. Nivo-slider provides lots of flexibility, along with a very small footprint, and fully support responsive layouts used by glFusion.

We have implemented this new slider widget to be backwards compatible. For more details on implementing the slider widget, please see the Slider Documentation.

More Flexible Widgets

Widgets provide a very quick and simple way to build some cool visual tools for your site. New in glFusion v1.6.0 is the ability for you to specify a custom template to use when building the widget. This gives you the ability to make simple modifications to the bundled template to change a feature of the slider or other widgets.

Story System Improvements

When editing a story, you now have a set of 'quick buttons' available that are always visible. These buttons provide quick access to the Save, Preview, Delete, and Cancel tasks.

We've also added a new administrative feature where you can now globally (or by topic), set specific attributes on stories. For example, you can enable or disable comments on all stories or all stories in a topic.

Stories can now have an attached story image. The story image adds a lot of new capabilities. For example, when sharing a story via social media, this image will be used by the social media site. You can have the story image display on the index page, but not when viewing the full story. Or you can have the image display as part of the story. The story image is really beneficial when using the new headlines (see below) auto tag.

Stories can also have a sub-title. Sub titles can provide some additional capabilities when using the headlines auto tag, such as displaying on the story image, etc.

When viewing stories, if the author has provided information in their About Me section of their profile, a new About Author box will show at the end of the article. If the author has also provided their social follow me information, their follow me icons will be included.

Installation & Upgrade Features

We have completely restyled the installation and upgrade wizards to adopt the new glFusion standard. We've also improved the error reporting, in the event there is a problem during installation or upgrade, we now report much more useful information to help with diagnosing and solving the issue. The Upgrade Wizard will now remove any obsolete files from your webspace, this housekeeping keeps things tidy as well as much more secure as you won't have old, unsupported PHP code laying around.

Interactive Voting with Poll's auto tag

Now, when a poll is embedded in a story or static page using the poll_vote auto tag, the user can vote 'interactively' so they never have to leave the story.

Static Page Preview

We have implemented the ability to preview pages in the Static Page editor. This works exactly like the story preview feature.

Enhanced Video Playback Capabilities in Media Gallery

Implemented Media Element video playback. HTML5 audio and video players in pure HTML and CSS with custom Flash and Silverlight players that mimic the HTML5 MediaElement API for older browsers. Fully responsive and provides a rich video playback capability across a wide range of devices and browsers.

Summary

I said earlier, I am really excited about this release and the features it brings. I look forward to feedback, negative or positive, on ways we can continue to bring useful tools to our users. I've also enjoyed the collaboration on the glFusion Gitter Channel - I really do recommend you stop by and say hi and let us know your thoughts on features and improvements. This is an excellent way to get involved and influence glFusion's direction. Andrew and Michael have been most helpful on the channel, providing excellent ideas, testing,and just a general sounding board for ideas and thoughts. Let us know how we're doing and your thoughts as we continue to evolve glFusion.

Thanks!

Mark on behalf of the glFusion community


by LeeGoldsmith

I love making web sites and glFusion is the best tool out there to do this. I am hopeful that I can make many other web sites for other people.
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