Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Even More In 1.7 Features

If you look at the 1.7 beta, which was released recently, you may want to know where to look for new features. In 1.7 most of the changes, even though technically features, are really enhancements of existing functions, making them work better for site users, site administrators and developers. I posted recently about some of them, but here are some more, some of which may not be immediately obvious. 

Jacob Thrane Lund improved the mass mail function by allowing it to optionally exclude disabled users from mass mailing. This is really useful, and I can easily think of two reasons why it matters. First, none of us want to be accused of spamming people who have left our sites. Second, if you have suspended a user for some reason, you may not want to communicate some kinds of information with them. On the other hand, maybe you do. Either way it is helpful to have the option.

Jonathan Cameron contributed a nice code change that lets the core editor buttons (editor-xtd plugins) have meaningful tooltips. It’s so great to have many eyeballs noticing things like this and having people who discover them follow through with code improvements. 

Rouven We├čling contributed another useful item by adding support for Open Search and another nice thing in bringing in PHP and HTML code highlighting support to the Code Mirror editor. 

Amy Stephen contributed code to bring Viewing Access Level support to the back end component views for the first time, which means that back end users won’t be able to see content items in the back end that they aren’t allowed to see in the front end.

The loadmodule plugin was also changed to add some new features. Now you can add specific module chrome when you load a position (for example and you can load a module by module name and title instead of position (for example {loadmodule mod_login,Login Form,outline}).  This was mine so thanks Mark and Andrew for accepting it and JBS for testing :). Now we will happily not have to use fake positions just to be able to load a single module.

There are a number of new features in 1.7 that are more or less invisble to users who aren’t developers, but that are going to make future releases much better for users. For example in one helpful change for developers, Vladimir Serotyukov contributed work to add more information to debugging outputs. 

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