GuildPortal Dev Blog

Updates from Aaron Lewis, GuildPortal Code Monkey

Posted 2/2/2010 11:26 AM by Aaron Lewis. 98812 reads. Share:

Prior to today's push, you had two options: 1) go with the stylesheet output that was based upon the settings in the control panel, or 2) supply a complete CSS replacement of your own.

Now, you have a third option; you can specify CSS Additions.  These take the standard output from option 1 above, and add new rules you supply.  They can be entirely new, perhaps for custom elements you use in something like a free-form HTML widget, or they can be used to override only specific elements from the default output.

The interface for working with CSS Additions is in your Control Panel, under Custom HTML and Script.  Click Custom CSS, and then select the "CSS Additions to Standard" tab.  Further information is provided there.

Last week, we ninja-patched in a new feature that can be accessed from the Custom HTML and Custom CSS sections of the Control Panel.  A link is available that lists the current, standard GuildPortal CSS classes.  It provides a pop-up window that you can keep open while you're working with your custom CSS or HTML, and clicking on most of the listed CSS classes provides a brief explanation of what they are used for.  It's there to make custom CSS authoring a little easier.

Some may have noticed that the editor has also had an update.  Many issues with the previous version are ironed out with the new one.

Finally, aside from bug fixes (in response to support tickets) in this update, the Control Panel's left pane is now collapsible -- using the slider bar's arrow -- so that whatever section of the Control Panel you're working in can be expanded further, giving you more room.

Posted 1/27/2010 12:52 PM by Aaron Lewis. 9487 reads. Share:

There's a new Silverlight-based gallery for your guild images available.  You can get to it from any gallery widget on your sites by clicking Open Gallery.  This opens the existing gallery, but in the top, right-hand corner is a new link to open the Silverlight version.  If you don't have the Silverlight plug-in, you'll be prompted to install it.

It's in "beta" for the moment.  One notable feature is missing -- the ability to comment on images.  We wanted to get it out there in order to get some feedback on how people feel about taking a more RIA approach when it comes to future features and enhancements. While RIA (rich internet applications) can be, at the lowest level, simply Ajax-based (as GuildPortal is now), the frontier "Web 3.0" world looks to be populated with technologies like Silverlight and Adobe AIR/Flex.

If this is received well, we can put more emphasis on developing these kinds of richer (even occasionally disconnected!) features for your guild sites, moving from web sites to richer, more fully-featured guild management applications with more responsive and attractive interfaces.  Of course, our stamp on the world of guild hosting has always been customizability, and that would move to the new platform, too!

It's important to emphasize that we've no plans to abandon the web-page side of things.  All of this would be complimentary and fully integrated.  Nor is building bigger and better always the way to go.  For example, we also have plans for a fully-featured mobile client (based on standards, not for any specific device).

So if  you've got a moment, pay a visit to the GuildPortal Admin Community and let us know what you think.

Posted 1/21/2010 3:48 PM by Aaron Lewis. 7196 reads. Share:

Because it was being a pesky, quirky thing, Guild Chat has been completely rewritten.  Aside from everything working the way it should, it has had some niceties added:
  • Notification by "System" when a user enters or leaves the room.
  • Sound Effects (which can be disabled using the checkbox to the lower right) when new chat comes across.
  • No longer brings itself to the front of all other browser windows. We had a long talk with it, gently explaining that it might not be the most important thing you're doing on the web at any given moment.
  • Allows the playing of a (currently) small list of available sound effects using the /sound sound_name_here command. Current list includes things like machine_gun, kiss, phone_ringing, rifle_shot, baby_cry_1, baby_laugh (to cheer up the kid from baby_cry_1), and, of course, flushing_toilet. Some sort of listing system for available commands and sounds will be coming.
Also, the Control Panel has had some issues addressed, informally, with a crowbar to the back of the neck.

Posted 1/13/2010 2:42 PM by Aaron Lewis. 11953 reads. Share:

New domains going live with tonight's code push, along with some tweaking for text alignment bugs introduced in the last patch.

New guilds are now able to select a sub-domain to start with, so that inviting people to your site will no longer require that you rattle off (or remember) a long string of numbers.  In addition, new primary domains are available to all.  We've gathered up quite a few to get started with, so you will have more options when it comes to the full addresses of your site (and maybe get around some of those pesky firewall restrictions "The Man" is imposing on you during your lunch break).

For new guilds, the list of available primary domains is displayed when you create your site.  For existing guilds, you are able to change your existing sub-domains and primary domains through the Control Panel, under Subscription Services.

Posted 1/12/2010 7:33 AM by Aaron Lewis. 5890 reads. Share:

Links now show underlining by default, but it can be disabled in the Control Panel under Style Tools > General Style Settings > Text > Disable Link Underlining.

Tooltips have been removed from certain site elements where they were only serving to clutter, and where the purpose of the item they were "tipping" the function of was obvious.  For example, "Click to visit the Forums page" would previously appear over the tab for "Forums."

Member links -- instead of showing an ever-growing collection of icons before them for interacting with the member -- now simply display a link that opens a profile viewer.  From there, you can visit the member's blog, wall, send a message, and view other details.