Andrew Boon
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We are putting together the final release configuration now. In last couple of weeks we've been focusing on fixing, cleaning, streamlining and making existing features work well. Still some work to do, but the package is shaping up now. You'll be hearing from us a lot more often now.

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The RC7 and the RC8 followup updates bring a wide range of improvements, new modules and core enhancements. We expect this to be the last "combo" update, as we switch to more frequent iterations. 

While most of the changes are self explanatory, there are some goodies that need clarification. Please, review the list of changes carefully and read the commentary. This update is by far the most important and significant UNA release we ever had.

Below is the list of all changes. I'll comment on some of them...

 

New modules

Yes, it's happening! We now have an UNA module that assists with migrating your Dolphin data to UNA. It took a while as we needed to have a full set of matching content modules in UNA to "accept" Dolphin data, but here we are - you can migrate your Dolphin site to UNA now. Note, that this app covers default Dolphin modules only. 3rd party extensions and modified modules will not work with this script. Should you require assistance with migrating your site, or if you have customised modules that don't match the accepted data structure, please contact us at support@una.io - we offer an assisted migration service. 

Spaces is the kind of module that may become the most used and most powerful "context-type" module in UNA. Apps like Groups, Events, Profiles work as "containers" for content-type items like Posts, Discussions, Files, etc. - we call such container apps "contexts". Correct arrangement and taxonomy of context-type modules is the most important architecture goal any community operator should be working towards, and the Spaces app is the first one to support "sub-spaces", or in other words, contexts that reference other contexts as parents. So, you can operate a platform for "Communities" that can be split into "Sub-communities", and if you think about potential applications, the power of Spaces can not be overestimated. We will talk more about this in a separate post, with some examples and a video. 

A simple Glossary module allows you to add a library of "terms", which can be browsed by alphabetical order. A Glossary terms can be a mix of text and media. 

Froala editor (instead of TinyMCE) is known for excellent mobile-friendly UI, seamless copy-paste images, in-line image editing, and built-in media uploader supporting remote storage. Also we obtained an OEM license for Froala editor, so you don't need to pay extra to Froala.

 

System Enhancements

2factor authentication using Twilio is now supported in UNA. You can also use phone confirmation to activate profiles, so if before user became active after email confirmation, now you can choose to activate account when phone, or email, or both are confirmed.

Perhaps the biggest overhaul in this version is due to this Uber-important feature. It is now possible to post various content items (like Posts, Discussions, etc) to Groups/Events/Spaces/Profiles. The list of available options is formed from the Groups/Events/Spaces/Profiles that the user has joined or is following. Context can be chosen in Privacy field, since posted content inherits context privacy.

  • Score functionality - 1211

It is now possible to not just 'like' something, but also upvote and downvote. Reddit-style up and down arrows. 

  • Compatibility with PHP 7.2 - 1259
  • JS/CSS/Translations pre-loader - 1249
  • Make search form section selection more compact - 1244
  • Report comment functionality - 1237
  • Push notifications support for UNA GoNative app - 1236
  • Studio Polyglot: search in current language
  • Make forms to be able to load on demand if needed - 1230
  • Ability to clear cache after module installation - 1207
  • Delete confirmation for styles mix deletion in Studio - 1198
  • Images were added into RSS feeds where possible - 1192
  • Separate CSS classes for mentions and tags in content - 1177
  • Delete backup files from cache_public folder - 1166
  • System Emoji library - 1154
  • Don't call service calls for disabled modules - 1153
  • Page builder in Studio: full editor mode for HTML blocks - 1152
  • Page builder in Studio: more consistent behaviour for page block layout - 1133
  • Different approach for Embedly integration - 1135
  • Template meta tag for theme color - 1122
  • Ability to change editor style for particular comment object in comments - 1119
  • Ability to override TinyMCE configurations - 1115
  • Menus: add "hidden on: desktop, tablet, mobile" setting for menu items - 1114
  • Border was removed from membership badge - 1110
  • Code insert plugin for TinyMCE - 1107
  • Universal function to process HTML after adding to the DOM - 1105
  • At.js integration - 1101
  • Timing profiling function - 1099
  • Display some message when javascript is disabled in browser - 1090
  • Save referrer and IP upon user join - 1083
  • Add option to assume external links in TinyMCE - 1088

Modules enhancements

  • Timeline: "Hot" sorting algorithm - 1226

The Timeline needs 2 main views - one working as a personalised feed and the other one working a smart discovery feed. So, we start with the new HOT algorithm - initially based on likes/votings. As we see it working in production mode more we plan to add more variables, like activity (latest replies), author reputation, likes, reposts, scores, etc. 

  • Timeline: edit post - 1127
  • Timeline: promoted posts - 1118

Another important improvement. Admins can now mark posts as "promoted", which will push these posts to everyones's Feeds regardless of whether the users are following the post author. 

  • Timeline: view item improvements - 1194 1113
  • Timeline: videos autoplay - 1188
  • Timeline: report button was moved into "More" menu - 1188
  • Timeline: notification about new update in timeline on the current page - 1184
  • Timeline: in timeline post make photo to be a link - 1174
  • Timeline: delayed posting for updates - 1164

Delayed posting is handy for admins or for users in blog-like communities, allowing for scheduling the publishing date.  Same feature is available for Posts as well. 

  • Timeline: new settings, no privacy field on another user profile - 1155
  • Timeline: automatically detect link and attach it to the post - 1137

Known as "auto-unfurl" this feature will detect the link on post-to-timeline form as you type and will automatically attach the embed card to the post. 

  • General modules: parameter was added to disable error messages in different forms - 1239
  • Profile bases modules: static link to own profile - 1275
  • Profile bases modules: filter by different profiles types in following block - 1256
  • Profile bases modules: service method to get profile cover - 1253
  • Profile bases modules: minor config classes reorganisation - 1245
  • Profile bases modules: filter profiles by membership levels on manage profiles page - 1218
  • Profile bases modules: ability to search for online users and users with photos - 1190
  • Profile bases modules: display avatar change image in a Timeline - 1172
  • Profile/group based modules: recommended entries block - 1109 1220
  • Text based modules: make first uploaded image to be selected as cover - 1224
  • Intercom: additional settings - 1228 1167
  • Intercom: don't display intercom on messenger page - 1169
  • Intercom: Russian translation - 1168
  • Invitations: module improvements - 1093
  • Accounts: ability to filter operators - 1219
  • Notifications: distinguish read and unread notifications - 1131
  • Notifications: popup for notifications - 1128
  • Videos: ability to upload custom poster for video - 1176
  • Photos: multiple photos upload - 1108
  • Posts: delayed posting - 1164
  • Discussions: full editor mode for comments - 1152
  • Polls: use full editor in poll creation form - 1151

 

Release Notes and Downloads

The latest UNA platform version is available at https://una.io/page/view-product?id=86

Update patches, source code and updates for RC7 and RC8 are available at our GitHub repo:

https://github.com/unaio/una/releases/tag/9.0.0-RC7

https://github.com/unaio/una/releases/tag/9.0.0-RC8

If your UNA settings have automatic updates enabled your site will update automatically to v9.0.0rc8. 

 

What's Next

We were waiting for this update to make some planned changes. Over the next couple of weeks UNA.io will lose all the modules we don't need here and will be reconfigured to work as a support site for UNA - not as a demo site anymore. At the same time we will have ONLINE.me configured as a sample site using most of the UNA modules and working as a live community. Another change will happen in our pricing schedule. You can preview the new plans here - https://una.io/page/dstart. The next version update will be mostly about performance and general UX/design polishing, so feel free to share any ideas or suggestions.

Thank you! 

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Reposted Mark Purser's post.

I’m a massive fan of blog sites. I have been since forever. Having written and developed a bunch of them and actively engaged with many hundreds more, I’d like to think that I know a thing or two about what makes a blog tick.

So what makes a Blog tick?

COMMUNITY makes a blog tick.

Always has, always will.

What’s a writer without an audience? A common group with shared interests and ideals? As a writer, or group of writers looking to cultivate connection, community is everything

If you examine most popular Blog sites these day, the best part is the comments, the feedback from the community and the interactions between those community members. It is often a vibrant, unchecked space, where elves and trolls wrangle attitude and ideas with gusto and hilarity.

Unfortunately in most blog sites, the potential for these interactions is limited, mainly due to the constraints of the platform (usually Wordpress).

Once someone has gone to the trouble of signing up to your blog to make a comment, why not engage with them fully? Give them a real identity and find ways for them to interact with your content and each other that continues to develop engagement and value. All the power of social media,on your blog.

Where the opportunity lies is for Blogging platforms to evolve into social communities. Harnessing the power of the Blog to engage and educate an audience around a shared passion or values and the magic of a social community to explore the full potential of an engaged aspirational, learning community.

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We are planning a new UNA app, called Music. General setup is to be similar to what Soundcloud does, but we'd love to hear more ideas and feedback on what would you like to see in the UNA app?

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We're about to release an update with a few new modules, optimisations, UX improvements and a UI components. Can't wait. 

Building the new "Community" page. :)

128 Middle Pocket Road, Middle Pocket, NSW, Australia
27 Mar 18
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UNA platform matures and we get more people interested in launching their own UNA-powered custom community sites. In the last few months, particularly, UNA Team is in a situation that we need to narrow the scope of potential clients and also lay out guidelines for what kind of projects we are eager to work with and what kind of projects we would rather not touch. 

It is important to understand that UNA is primarily a public-service product, making positive impact a top priority. Revenue generation is important, but not critical for UNA platform success, so we are fortunate to be able to say "no" to projects that don't align with our mission. 

 

Prohibited Usage

Websites using UNA platform for the activities outlined below will be pro-actively disconnected from version updates and any support services. Below activities are considered prohibited usage and will result in immediate account suspension or cancellation without a refund and the possibility that UNA Inc will impose fees; and/or pursue civil remedies without providing advance notice.

  • Spam and Unsolicited Bulk Email: UNA Inc has a zero tolerance policy on spam. 
  • Access to Other Computers or Networks without Authorisation: Any act which interferes with the services of another user or network. Any act relating to the circumvention of security measures.
  • Activities Viewed as Illegal or Harmful: Fraudulent or otherwise illegal activities, including engaging in phishing or otherwise obtaining financial or other personal information in a misleading manner or for fraudulent or misleading purposes; promoting and supporting abusive, violent, harassing, malicious or harmful content
  • Any activity or content that is harmful to minors in any way
  • Communities promoting hateful or discriminatory activity based on race, color, sex, religion, nationality, ethnic or national origin, marital status, disability, sexual orientation or age.

 

Unsupported Usage

Below activities are not considered prohibited usage, but may be offered limited technical support. Automatic updates for such websites can still be accessed. Direct technical support and general community support may be limited to questions not including direct links, media or content references posted publicly at UNA.IO or via UNA Inc. direct email support. In most cases UNA technical specialists reserve the right to refuse visiting or otherwise interacting with the websites involved in such activities. 

  • Pornography and Adult-content: Depictions or images of sexual acts or implied sexual activity; graphic photos or videos. This does NOT automatically include networks for heterosexual, gay, lesbian or transgender individuals; breast feeding networks or educational networks promoting safe sex, assuming that pornography and graphic media is not present.
  • Potentially Illegal Group Activity: Networks promoting illegal or harmful gatherings; denial-of-service attacks; service disruption activities; radical political or religious actions.

 

Endorsed Usage

We strongly believe that building generic social networks (a.k.a. "Facebook Clones") using UNA platform is not beneficial for end-users. Network operators are encouraged to focus on building niche communities focused on beneficial causes. Uniting people around interests, goals or activity that is inspiring, positive and helpful invariably leads to overall project success. Below activities will be supported with priority.

  • Educational and inspirational content generation and sharing
  • NGOs, NPOs and other groups contributing towards common welfare.
  • Philanthropic, humanitarian, charitable networks.
  • Open-source and Free software initiatives. 

 


 

This is still a draft, which will be updated before official publication. Comments and suggestions are most welcome. 

 

 

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The new updates - RC5 and the RC6 follow-up - have been released last week, brining a number of fixes, general improvements and two new modules - Photos and Term of the Day

Perhaps the biggest system improvement is the support of @mentions. Now, in various text fields across UNA modules you can mention users by typing the "@" sign and choosing the user from the dropdown list. in the output it will link to the user automatically. Like so - Andrew Boon

Mentions can be tricky to get right, as they really depend on the site approach to profiles naming, relationship between users and notification settings. So, we invite you to try @mentions and share your feedback and ideas on how we can improve this new feature.

 

UNA 9RC5/RC6

New modules

System Enhancements

  • Ability to mention person or organization with '@' symbol - 1048 670
  • All DB fields and tables was converted to utf8mb4 - 1054
  • Showcase block in all content modules - 1057
  • Textarea fields was switched to TinyMCE - 1055
  • Push notifications queue - 1053
  • Mail messages queue - 1022
  • Ability to specify different form display for add/edit/view content forms in service call - 1070
  • Allow to set free & unlimited membership by level_id GET param during profile creation - 1066
  • Service blocks with predefined search term - 1036
  • Injections and Template keys reorganization - 1015
  • Forms: ability to use multiple submit buttons - 1033
  • Menus: notification counters now works in toolbar menu - 1061
  • Grids: custom options for 'filter', 'order_field', 'order_dir' in sys_objects_grid table - 1060
  • Studio Market Apps: confirmation when click 'delete' button - 1064

Modules enhancements

  • Timeline: preview for images and videos - 1000
  • Market: publish/unpublish feature - 1077
  • Invitations: request invitation form was updated - 1080
  • Events: 'Country' and 'Country, City' items in snippet menu - 1058
  • Payment: allow user to cancel his Stripe subscription - 1052

36+ bugfixes

NOTES:

  • Requirements were changed, minimal MySQL version is now 5.5.3

 

DOWNLOAD:

https://una.io/page/download-product?id=86

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS and UPDATE PATCHES:

https://github.com/unaio/una/releases/tag/9.0.0-RC5

https://github.com/unaio/una/releases/tag/9.0.0-RC6

 

#update #photos #termoftheday #patches #mentions

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Looks like UNA Inc can be @@mentioned now. :)

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Facebook reports that people spent 50 million hours less on Facebook! That's 5707 years. Note, that Facebook has super-smart tools that take care of making this metric go up no matter what, and it still went down. I truly hope that this is the beginning of the social web liberation era.
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UNA platform and the team had a fantastic year in 2017. We opened UNA for public access; released 5 core updates; reached over 1400 accounts at UNA.IO; hired 3 new team members; released new apps like JOT Messenger, Videos, Google Tag Manager, "Decorous" template, ElasticSearch module, "Dolphin Connect" module, Shopify integration module and Snipcart integration module. 

Moreover, we have been engaged to help with a number of truly exciting projects that use UNA to build communities, professional networks and educational hubs. Some of these ideas are absolutely mind-blowing and we are really happy to see how UNA gradually becomes a platform of choice for those "clever" startups that are building truly unique experiences, while taking advantage of an easy-to-manage framework. 

The year 2017 was pretty much about putting UNA on rails, though the interest from webmasters already nearly overfilled our team capacity for support and development services. What a year!

Looking at you, 2018!

A few things will definitely happen this year. 

  • UNA 9 final will be released. From then on, there will be two separate update streams - PRO and DEV. Only production updates will be pushed automatically to UNA-powered sites and development updates will need to be used separately. PRO updates will only be released after extensive DEV-level testing. 
  • JOT Messenger will add video calls, talks branching and an embed-based service for quick integration into non-UNA websites (Dolphin, Wordpress, etc). 
  • Videos app will add live video streaming. It's a hot trend, but not a trivial development feat. We are exploring various options, and plan to update the Videos app to allow live streaming with simultaneous comments and post-stream recording.
  • The @tags everywhere. The "mention" tags is a widely anticipated feature, which we intentionally delayed until there is a clear vision and technical solution to make them as a system-wide feature. 
  • Notifications will further improve to offer an effective configuration system for Email, Push and On-site notifications for various actions. There is a lot of control available already, but we aim to make them more streamlined and fine-tuned. 
  • Performance and SEO will be improved dramatically, as we get to see more real-life projects and gain more knowledge in optimising for large-scale usage, as well as for search engines.  
  • Native mobile apps, based on GoNative and Cordova-like wrappers will be brought out as service offerings and as technical descriptions for DIY implementations. We are already doing this for Enterprise-plan clients directly.
  • Crypto-based features for reputation scoring, spam/scam protection, payment processing and purpose-specific tokens will come to light. At this staged we are looking to offer integration of the upcoming Requitix system and later potentially our own distributed ledger framework for custom tokens integrated with UNA. 
  • Documentation and Tutorials will finally get a green light. We had to hold off with them during the pre-release updates, mostly due to the changes that keep happening in the core platform. As it settles we can publish more supporting materials and API docs. 
  • Marketplace will become a whole lot more active, as we are opening it for new submissions. We plan to introduce new purchasing methods and bundling options, as well as more detailed instructions for 3rd party developers. 

Those are just the main points of focus. There will be hundreds of new features, updates, fixes and improvements. Our team is now bigger, stronger and ready for the major take-off in 2018!

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