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InstantForum 2016 Release Notes

Here you can find a complete list of all the new features, fixes & improvements that can be found within our InstantForum 2016 release.

This release significantly improves the tools available to forum moderators with the introduction of a new central user moderation screen. Here moderators can also get a complete insight into the user account before making any moderation decision. Within the new central moderation screen you'll see information for the user account from 3rd party services like StopForumSpam.com as well as access to a complete history of all reported posts for the user and any warnings issued against the user account.

We've also introduced ASP.NET Identity / OWIN authentication support and added support for Windows Azure Blob Storage and Windows Azure CDN for storage & serving of user uploaded files.

Further information on all the additions & improvements within InstantForum 2016 can be found below...

Reported Posts

In previous versions of InstantForum when a user reported a post an email was sent to all moderators for the forum that contained the post. This meant moderators had to rely on email to keep track of reported posts.

With InstantForum 2016 we've added a new dedicated "Reported Posts" page to show all posts that have been reported within your community. The Reported Posts page is accessible to all forum moderators and will show posts that have been reported by other community members within the forums the moderator has been assigned to moderate. This is shown below...

Centralized Moderation Options Dialog

We've centralized all options available to moderators when working with user accounts. Moderators can now see additional information such as StopForumSpam results and user location before making any decision and taking any action against the user account.

From the new moderation options dialog you can also see all reported posts for the user and all warnings issued against the user account by forum moderators. We've also introduced a number of new moderation options with corresponding permissions to help you easily hide all posts from a user or temporary move the user to the banned user group.

The screen grab below shows all reported posts for a user within moderation options dialog...

New User Warning System

From the new central moderation options dialog moderators can also now issue warnings against user accounts.The screen grab below shows adding a user warning as a moderator & optionally sending the warning via email or private message to the user...

Any warnings issued against user account by any forum moderator can be easily seen within the central moderation options dialog. The screen grab below shows all warnings issued by forum moderators for a particular user.

New Manage Moderators View

We've streamlined the Manage Moderators view with the InstantForum Admin CP. If you have lots of forums and moderators you'll hopefully love this change. When you first visit the Manage Moderators page you'll simply see a list of users who have been assigned as moderators against any forums. You can now click the moderators username to expand and collapse a list showing the various forums the user has been assigned to moderate.

Improved Moderator Permissions

We've added additional options to help administrators more precisely control the options available to forum moderators for user management. Administrators can now toggle if moderators Can view user IP information. Can Ban Users, Can Warn Users or Can Delete Users.

New Unread Posts View

This feature has been requested a number of times and it's something we are excited to introduce. We've added a new "Unread" tab to the InstantForum homepage. This allows you to easily access all topics you've not yet read within your community. This works for both authenticated and anonymous users alike.

New "True" Thumbnail Generation

We've added a new permission set option that allows you to set thumbnail dimensions. If you specify these dimensions and uploaded images exceed these dimensions the image will be re-sized to fit the thumbnail dimensions and will be saved as a separate file within the storage medium (local disk / azure blob storage).

The new permission set options are shown below...

This will generate 2 separate images on disk. The smaller thumbnail image which will be used within posts and the original larger image. The new smaller thumbnail image is embedded within posts and links to the larger image using the new light box functionality also introduced in this release.

Image Light Box

We've introduced light-box functionality to offer a better experience when clicking images embedded within posts. All uploaded images that are re-sized either on the server or client to offer a thumbnail version of the image use this new functional8ty to link to the larger image. You can see a post below showing the thumbnail image...

When you click the image to view the larger version you'll now see...

Windows Azure Blob Storage

You can learn more on how to leverage the new Windows Azure Blob Storage support here.

ASP.NET Identity / OWIN Support

You can learn more about how to leverage the new ASP.NET Identity / OWIN support here.

Added "Jump To First Unread Post"

We've added a new link alongside unread topics that allows you to quickly jump to the first unread pst within a topic. We've also added a read indicator when reading a topic to help you easily identify where you left the conversation and which posts have been added since you last viewed the topic. The new jump to first unread post link will appear when you hover over unread topic titles as shown below....

Other Notable Additions & Improvements​

  • Added AES encryption support for user passwords
  • Improved multi-select options on topic and forum subscription pages
  • Streamlined all application settings pages (text has been moved to tool-tips)
  • Improved moderation UI within forums (new check-box & fixed slide out moderation bar)
  • Added new identity provider model to make user store and authentication system extensible
  • Added new file system provider model for file storage to make file storage extensible
  • Added proxy check when obtaining users IP address (should get real client IP even if coming through a proxy)
  • Added ability to visually sort forums within the Admin CP with a move up and move down button
  • Improved error handling around external Facebook JavaScript SDK. If this fails to load it will no longer cause forums not to load.
  • Added new optional Answers, Type Icon & Likes columns into ViewTopics.ascx
  • Fixed Admin CP Expand and Collapse Subscription Plan Panel
  • Added ability to set maximum upload size for profile photos & profile banners within permission sets (previously hard-coded)
  • Added file requirements description to upload profile photo & profile banner pages (informs of maximum file size & minimum image dimensions before upload)
  • Optimized loading of all resource XML files and faster key lookup
  • Fixed bug that could cause a users IP address to be updated to an administrators IP address
  • Fixed bug that would cause HTML to appear within post preview when swapping between Design & HTML in the editor
  • Fixed bug with default time zone not being set to application time zone when creating a use via the Admin CP
  • Fixed bug with members link in explore menu pointing to top members page
  • Fixed issues with duplicate search results when full text search was enabled
  • Improved error handling around StopForumSpam.com call back
  • Added double click event to editor re-size bar allowing you to quickly expand to full height
  • Fixed issue with editor not being able to delete quotes using the inline buttons after performing a spell check
  • Fixed bug that prevented images from being re-sized to the maximum width set within the application settings within the live preview pane.
  • Fixed error that could occur when resetting a users reputation via the Admin CP > Edit Profile page
  • Fixed bug with moderator ban options on user profile pages not redirecting correctly
  • Fixed Interests in profile page not updating after updating interests
  • Fixed issue with posts pending approval within a hidden member group not showing for moderators
  • Fixed issue with users within hidden groups still appearing within the member list
  • Fixed issue with AJAX error handling to ensure an alert box is not shown
  • Fixed issue that prevented queued replies from showing in moderation queue
  • Fixed issue with PayPal.com subscription plans not automatically renewing
  • Fixed return link from PayPal.com subscription purchases
  • Added immediate loading feedback after clicking the submit button from "Post.aspx" and disabled button
  • Fixed a bug with user profile menu closing if you specified upper case protocols in the optional application URL (HTTP:// / HTTPS://)
  • Significant client side load performance increases for model pop-up dialogs that contain iframes (Edit Profile, Edit Photo. Edit Profile Banner etc). Moved to document ready as opposed to window onload to ensure you don't have to wait for all images to load before dialogs are displayed.
  • Fixed issue where replies to queued topics could be seen if the reply was not also queued
  • Fixed issues with interval period drop drop down lists not setting correctly for scheduled tasks
  • Fixed topic type drop down list showing when sending an email to members
  • Improved form validation (now scrolls to first field with errors upon submit)
  • Fixed issue with line breaks within the editor within FireFox 40+
  • Moved twitter oAuth settings from web.config into Admin CP > Registration & Login settings page
  • Fixed: bug with StopForumSpam.com integration that would cause checks to fail in some cases
  • Fixed issue with Manage Scheduled Tasks page throwing an exception (added additional data validation)
  • Moved away from jScrollPane jQuery plug-in to achieve scrolling within menus to a more optimized, standard CSS based approach. The jScrollPanel plug-in didn't work very well within FireFox and IE8.
  • Fixed issue with Default.aspx being appended to URLs if no file name was supplied - caused problems with MVC routing
  • Fixed issue with 2 account control panel pages being accessible to anonymous users
  • Improved error handling around PayPal.com subscription payments
  • Fixed issue that prevented escapee key from closing model dialog within FireFox
  • Several code optimizations & refactorings
  • Upgraded to the latest version of AjaxControlToolKit (15.1)
  • Form validation within the Admin CP should now be consistent (all now use call outs)
  • Small cosmetic refinements (updated icons, streamlined buttons)
  • Lots of text & description updates