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InstantForum 2015 Alpha 4 Online

I'm delighted to announce our alpha 4 build is now online and accessible via our demonstration site at http://demos.instantasp.co.uk/InstantForum2015/

Live Demo

This update contains a whole bunch of improvements & additions over the previous alpha. I'll briefly detail the additions and improvements below...

What's New

Homepage - Featured Posts

We've swapped out the popular posts panel on the homepage and replaced this with a Featured Posts panel. This panel will show all posts you've pinned within your community. 

We've also improved the filters available within this panel so you can easily show all featured announcements, featured ideas or featured questions. 

Homepage - Improved Latest Topics 

We've redesigned the latest topics panel shown on the homepage. This now includes additional information related to the post and allows you to further filter latest posts.  There is also a new refresh button allowing you to refresh only the latest posts panel...

 Homepage - Start New Topic

We've added a new Post Topic button to the homepage. This allows you to quickly start a new topic without having to first visit the forum. When you click this button a new dialog will be shown allowing you to select the forum you wish to post to...

 Topic Type Filters

We've added new filters into the existing filters menu based on the new topic types introduced in this release.. This allows you to quickly show all announcements, questions, problems, ideas or general post. 

New Posting Method

The quick post is now the default method to create new topics & post new replies. No need to navigate to a separate Post.aspx page when creating new messages. We've also improved the design of the quick post panel to show your profile photo & user card. 

Responsive Design - Redesigned Navigation

We've improved the navigation presented for smaller screen sizes within our responsive design. We've moved to using an asides control...

Responsive Design - New  Last Post Column 

We've added the last post column and the ability to jump to last post from the forum & topic lists on small devices. 

Most Helpful Members

We've added a new most helpful members panel to members page (this is based on the number of accepted answers and post likes a user has received in the last 90 days by default) 

Improved Quoting

You can now quote multiple message by clicking the "Reply" button when reading a message. The quote will be added to the quick reply editor and will now be formatted to look more like a quote. We've also added options which allow you to now delete quotes or break out of quote...

Disable Friendly Dates

We've added new admin options to toggle if friendly dates (Last Week, Last Month, Yesterday etc) should be shown. We've also added several new date formatting options for those who choose not to use the friendly dates. 

Improved Theme Roller Menu

Improved theme roller menu to use 2 columns - it was very long and as it's a fixed element could run off the screen. 

New Theme Roller Options

We've added new options into theme roller to style the links that appear in the top right of all panel bars used within InstantForum (those links alongside the expand & collapse buttons)

Toggle Sort Options

The various sort options shown at the bottom of topic lists are now hidden by default. A new button is provided to toggle these options.

General Improvements

Improved Paging

We've improved the paging & sorting of topics & all other data throughout InstantForum. List will no longer disappear as you page or sort lists providing a less jarring experience when navigating between pages or sorting lists. 

Improved Menus

We've addressed an issue with the menu control requiring the document load event to fire before the menus are positioned correctly. This ensures now the menus should always appear in the correct position even before the page has fully loaded. 

Other

- Several client side & server side performance & refactoring improvements 
- Improved paging control in responsive design (first & last buttons are now visible)
- Fixed issues with buttons bit showing in responsive design
- Fixed issues with list sort options not defaulting correctly
- Fixed issue with delete forum not deleting forum subscription from user profiles
- Improved sub-forums shown below forums (moved to UL for easier styling)
- Several tweaks to descriptions & working within language pack 

That's It

So far we've had a alpha release every week since the first alpha in  early January. We are now feature complete and will be focused 100% on bug fixes and shipping the first public beta. We will of course continue to keep our blog updated so please check back often  for further news. 

As always if you have any questions, comments or suggestions please never hesitate to post  a comment below or contact us directly. I look forward to posting further news soon.


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