I’m proud to say that we are having a great start with out 1.0.0 Release Candidate version of Pligg. In 24 hours we had about 1,800 downloads and a lot of great feedback. The most important part is that we are learning about some bugs thanks to users willing to help test the software on various servers and because we now know what bugs need fixed it will be a lot easier for us to provide you with an updated version with fixes in a short amount of time.
So far the overall opinion of 1.0 has been really positive, and I’m glad to hear that everyone loves the new template for both pligg.com and Pligg CMS. It seems that for the most part installs are going smoothly on most servers. Upgrades still need a little more work, but I promise you it will be a more enjoyable upgrade experience by the time we release the final version.
What’s next for Pligg? Well the plan is to release at least 1 more release candidate version prior to a final one. We are developing an improved image/file upload and attachment module that should be available with the 1.0 final product. Once the final version is out we will dedicate ourselves to supporting users as best we can and at the same time we will be building additional modules and templates that will be provided for free on pligg.com. My personal priority is to get out 1 or 2 unique templates as quickly as possible just to offer some variety. We have a couple great module ideas that we are excited to begin working on and in time I will talk some more about one in particular that the developers have been dreaming up for a few months.
Tomorrow I won’t be spending much time by the computer since it’s Super Bowl Sunday, but starting Monday everyone will be back at work and the bug squashing begins.
Release candidate 1 of Pligg 1.0.0 has been released today and it’s going to blow your socks off. Even though this release is technically a test version prior to a final version, it is quite solid and packed full with great new features. As discussed previously, this version of Pligg will have a lot of great new features
, including security fixes and database optimizations. I highly recommend that new Pligg users give the latest version a try and not look back to our previous Beta series. I’m very proud of the work we’ve done to release this version of Pligg and I look forward to some bug squashing so that we can get a final 1.0 version out soon.
We are in need of some courageous testers to play around with our latest SVN demo
on the new testing ground www.pligg.com/demo/
. This demo site is running one of the latest SVN builds of Pligg and we need users to jump on the site and start toying around with it so that we can analyze the database stress. The more people we get on the new demo site over the next 24 hours the better. Please note that the latest version of Pligg is still under development and you may experience some unpolished or even incomplete features that we are currently finishing up.
Sometime in the next 2 days the site database will go down for what I estimate to be about 30 minutes, followed by the forum being down for an additional 30 minutes. We will be performing an upgrade during this time and when doing this we need to temporarily suspend the database.
We have been suggesting to Pligg users that they should use the reCAPTCHA
method for their site’s CAPTCHA for a while now, but until recently it wasn’t possible for us to set reCAPTCHA as the default CAPTCHA due to their use of randomized keys that they assign to domain names. A couple weeks ago reCAPTCHA announced that they would be allowing users to provide “global keys” which allow you to use the same public and private keys on any number of domain names. Now that reCAPTCHA offers this feature we are able to set a default key upon installation so that reCAPTCHA can be used with Pligg without any additional configuration or signups. Starting with Pligg 1.0, Pligg will be using reCAPTCHA as the default CAPTCHA method and site administrators won’t need to do a thing to configure it. You will still have the option to enter your own reCAPTCHA keys through the CAPTCHA module admin page, but it isn’t required anymore.
Hopefully this switch to reCAPTCHA will not only make your site more secure than the other CAPTCHAs, but you will be doing the world a favor because reCAPTCHA actually helps digitize books. You can learn more about how reCAPTCHA works and why it’s such a great cause by reading the What is reCAPTCHA
page from their website.
I think it’s about time that I emerge from the shadows of Pligg development and reveal some details about what’s been going on behind the scenes with Pligg CMS. It has been a few months since our last release, and there’s good reason for our delay because we are attempting to prepare a Pligg 1.0 version that will provide a very different experience from what Pligg CMS users are used to. This post will outline what you can expect in the next version in Pligg. We will go into further specifics and better examples in follow up video posts in the nearby future.
. Most of these will be covered in their own blog posts.
- New Template
- New Admin Panel
- More Spam Prevention Tools
- Advanced Search
- Category Authors
- Admin Help Documents
- Story Comment RSS Feeds
- Fully Anonymous Mode Module
- Votes by IP
Before I start on the new features to Pligg CMS I would like to mention a new feature added to the Pligg Forum. We have added the ability for forum members to mark module and template threads as “Installed” which will keep you up to date with new releases and allow developers to see how many Pliggers are using their contributions. This feature is still in beta, but I encourage users to mark modules and templates as installed if they are using them. It will make tracking updates a lot easier down the road.
The first Pligg CMS 1.0 change that I would like to talk about is the new admin panel for Pligg. It’s a completely new and much more intuitive interface that will give Pligg admins better control over their site. Best of all, the template is completely independent from the Pligg template that your site uses, so if you want to edit your Pligg site templates it won’t interfere with the admin panel in any way. Another benefit of the separated admin panel template is that upgrades won’t always require template upgrades to get the latest admin panel features. The new Pligg admin panel will make it easier to modify users, stories, modules and categories.
Along with the new admin panel design, we have a new default template called “Wistie”. More information will be revealed about Wistie in future posts. Since it’s brand new and is designed to work with all of the new features it deserves more than just a mention on this post. For now you can check out some screenshots of Wistie above in the slideshow or directly below.
Pligg 1.0 will include several new features, but perhaps the most important ones are the several small improvements that will help defend your site against spammers. We’ve been listening to users on the Pligg forum complain about the amount of spam they have to manage on a daily basis. While no spam solution is perfect for content management systems that allow public discussions, we think that we’ve done a pretty good job with Pligg 1.0’s series of spam-stopping features. We did this by thinking more like a forum CMS than a blogging one, since Pligg really functions as a hybrid of the two.
The first feature is a simple user email activation system. When users sign up to your site you can now require that they verify their email address. This is a rather basic form of spam control, but it does work to stop some spam. Most forum CMS software use this method in combination of CAPTCHA as their primary spam defense. Now Pligg does too. If a user has an issue activating his account it’s a simple one-click activation from the admin panel to validate their account for them.
The second spam-stopping feature is the Submit Antispam Addon (http://forums.pligg.com/pligg-modules/13972-submit-antispam-addon-v-0-1-a.html) by AnAlienHolakres3. Alien has designed what is probably the most advanced Pligg module ever to be made, and it is a very interesting method for dealing with spam and users who don’t publish quality stories. The module works by limiting the number of submissions an author can add to a site within a given time frame. The more votes the story author receives in a time frame, the more stories he will be allowed to submit. This is probably one of the harsher methods for dealing with spam, but it doubles as a method for promoting only quality stories to your website.
We are redesigning our homepage and are in need of some great quotes from Pligg users to demonstrate how people are using Pligg and giving us some general praise. If you run a successful Pligg site, or work for a company that uses Pligg in some form, please leave a testimonial comment to this article and leave a valid email address so that we can contact you back and verify that you represent the said domain. Below are some ideas and items of information that we need:
- Please leave an email address related to the site if possible. If you are writing a testimonial for example.com, your email should be firstname.lastname@example.org. If you run Pligg on an internal company intranet you should provide us with a work email address if possible.
- Tell us about HOW you are using Pligg.
- If you are working for a company, tell us about the company.
- WHY you chose to use Pligg. What benefits made you choose Pligg.
- Tell us about your Pligg site’s success. More traffic, better work productivity, additional members joining, national or local news coverage, increased income?
- What benefits have you seen from using Pligg?
We are not seeking sites that have merely installed Pligg and haven’t bothered to customize the template. We will only accept sites who have put a considerable amount of work into their sites and beyond that they should be newsworthy candidates.
We are close to preparing our first release candidate for the next Pligg version and I am spending the day updating the secondary templates so that they will work with the new features added recently. I will also be reorganizing the forums, removing old threads and condensing forums to make it easier for new users to figure out where to post. As a result of me moving some of the threads to alternate forums some of the former links to threads will break, but it’s a small price to pay for a well organized forum.
The code for the next version is nearly complete. The major changes that I had hoped for have been added and we are developing the last few items and expect to have those complete by the end of the week. We will be providing a release candidate version of the next version for beta testers to test and report bugs and fixes. It should take about a week to ten days to finish the bug tests and shortly after that we will be releasing the next version. Midway through the beta testing phase we will be contacting all of the translators who have applied in the last few weeks and they will begin their translation work.
I have to take a moment to thank everyone who has offered to beta test and translate Pligg. The applications were a bit overwhelming and I am really happy to see so much enthusiasm from users trying help Pligg grow.
Yesterday I was notified by a visitor to Pligg.com that a few of the forum features were broken, which have now been fixed. The errors were a result of our update to the latest version of vBulletin and a new plugin that I was attempting to add. The new forum plugin will be covered in a future post and implemented before our next release. I will mention though that it will greatly increase the ability for users to follow their favorite modules and templates and will keep them informed of any updates. It’s something that I’m very excited about, but still needs a few bugs worked out before it is put to use.
October 2, 2008 by Eric Heikkinen | Comments Off
We will be bringing down the Pligg forums for a short time (a few hours) to perform maintenance tasks on the forum and make some upgrades. After this is complete some of the former forum feature may disappear due to incompatibilities with the upgrade. Please contact us or leave a comment if you discover a bug on the forums tomorrow morning EST. I expect there to be a small number of bugs that will pop up, but we should gain some features and performance enhancements from the upgrade. Things should be back to normal by tomorrow morning.