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What's new in the official add-ons (2.0)

XenForo

Company Info
Staff member
#1
As part of the XenForo 2.0 release, we have updated each of our official add-ons. Primarily, our goal was to update the add-ons to work with the new 2.0 framework and systems. However, each of the add-ons have at least a few new features.

Let's look at each add-on in turn...
 

XenForo

Company Info
Staff member
#2
XenForo Media Gallery 2.0


Full content permission support for categories

Category permissions have been given an overhaul in XFMG 2.0. Instead of configuring each category’s view and add permissions separately, the system uses the full content permission framework (like nodes) so you can revoke or add all media gallery permissions on a per category basis, to groups or individual users, while supporting permission inheritance and tools to analyze effective permissions.

Category drag and drop sorting

As we have done in some other areas of the admin control panel (including nodes and resource categories) you can now sort categories with drag and drop. This of course is fully nestable therefore allowing you to move categories up and down in order or to entirely new parents, etc.

Albums in categories

The most popular suggestion since we launched XFMG is to be able to create albums within categories. Previously there was a clear distinction between personal user albums and categories. We still have personal albums (though they can be globally switched off) and these still have similar privacy options to before, but it is now also possible to create "album categories".

This actually means we now have three distinct category types: "Media items only", "Container only" and "Albums only". The "Container only" type is not actually new, but it is now an explicit category type rather than relying on removing permissions to implicitly make it such, and container categories will display all albums / media items from any child categories. The "Albums only" category type will allow users to create albums in a category. These albums are a little bit more simple in terms of privacy settings; they will inherit the same permissions as the category they are created in. If a user requires private albums or wishes to share their albums with specific users then they should continue to use personal albums for this.

Batch update media / albums

We've added a similar system to "Batch update users" and "Batch update threads" which allows you to search for and perform batch operations on media items or threads. The first beta will only include basic search constraints and actions but additional actions will be added as time goes on.

Audio uploads

As we've already got image uploads, video uploads and the ability to embed media from other sites, the next logical step felt like to add support for uploading audio too, and this was another popular suggestion.

Similar to video uploads, we first check if the uploaded audio file is encoded in a supported format (MP3, naturally) and if it is, it will be uploaded without issue. If the file is not MP3 encoded then the file will either be rejected or, if you have FFmpeg enabled, then it can be transcoded to the correct format. Once uploaded and added to the gallery, we use the existing VideoJS library that we use for videos to play the audio. With FFmpeg enabled, we even attempt to pull out any album artwork embedded in the file to use as a thumbnail.

Option to force transcoding of videos

Keeping with the subject of FFmpeg features, you may have noticed if you allow video uploads that if a video requires transcoding, then often the resulting file is still of a reasonable quality, but with a much smaller file size. However, if a video does not require transcoding (as most don't, as often videos are already encoded with H.264 and AAC/MP3) then it's uploaded without any sort of compression. To handle videos more consistently there is now an option to force all uploaded videos to be transcoded which although takes time does result in smaller file sizes.

Simplified "Add media" UI

Although XFMG has generally received a fairly large makeover overall, the "Add media" UI has been particularly simplified. Rather than before, you will pick your category or album first (similar to the global forum chooser / resource manager category chooser) and then be taken to a button or two which can be used to either upload or embed the media:

Screen Shot 2017-09-04 at 22.50.49.png


There's no longer an array of different tabs to choose if you wish to upload different media types, you just choose the file to upload and as long as it is an allowed type, the type of media being uploaded is inferred from that.

Updated [GALLERY] BB code embed

As well as the BB code now supporting both media items and albums, the design of it has been much simplified:

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 10.08.36.png

An embedded album

1504602660024.png

An embedded audio upload with album art displayed


There are also improvements with how the embedded media is loaded. No longer do we load the items in with an AJAX request after page load but instead we load the data directly in the BB code system, but making use of XF2's new embed metadata system as a cache so that we can store the media and album IDs in the post, then do as few as queries as possible to load all of the data for the page (generally a maximum of an additional 1-2 queries per page).

New media comments support

Another popular suggestion is to better surface media items and albums which contain new comments. To facilitate this we've added read marking data to media/album comments and the "New media comments" page will show the latest media/albums which have new comments.

New image manipulation UI

There isn't any new features here per se - you already could filp, rotate and crop images - but in XFMG 2.0 we've given it a dedicated page and added some new tools so the process is entirely WYSIWYG and you can make multiple changes. The interface looks something like this on an image which has been rotated, flipped and about to be cropped!

1504603492295.png

We've also made sure that all of this can be used on touch devices too!

Image notes

This is a new incarnation of the existing user tagging system from XFMG 1.x. As well as still allowing you to draw a section around an image and "tag" a user in that square on the image, we now have a new option which allows you to write text-based notes on an image. As with the image manipulation features, all of this will work on touch devices too. You simply active the "Add notes" button, draw around a section on the image and you can either "Tag a user" or "Write a note":

1504605888994.png


Once saved, a faint outline will appear on the image and hovering over that will display a tooltip with either the details of the user you have tagged or the note you have written:

1504606055230.png


Widgets

Last, but not least, all of the existing blocks from XFMG 1.x have been converted to widgets which you can place anywhere. These are mostly the same in functionality, but we do have a "Album slider" widget which can display a list of new or random albums.
 

XenForo

Company Info
Staff member
#3
XenForo Resource Manager 2.0


Multiple uploaded file support

A single resource may now contain more than one uploaded file. If a resource contains more than one file, clicking download will bring up an overlay listing the available files:

1504615399436.png


Change resource type

The type of a resource can now be changed without deleting and recreating a resource. This means that a file can be added to a previously fileless resource or a free resource can be changed to an external purchase and vice versa.

If the resource is a type that explicitly supports versioning, old versions of the resource will still be downloadable (when appropriate).

Versioning control per category

Resource versioning can now be enabled or disabled per category. Previously, any resource that contained a file or was externally purchasable exposed versioning explicitly. Disabling versioning means that:
  1. Users will not be prompted to enter a version number.
  2. Historical version access will be disabled.
  3. Updating a resource file or download URL uses a different wording.
Internally, versioning is still enabled, so if versioning is enabled at a later time, access to history and version updating will be enabled.

Category drag and drop sorting

As with several other areas in the control panel (including nodes and media categories), resource categories can now be sorted using a drag and drop system. This allows you to not only reorder categories but to change their parents.

Category permission analyzer

While previous versions of the Resource Manager did support full per-category permissions, you could not do permission analysis on a specific category. This potentially made troubleshooting and confirming permissions difficult. XenForo Resource Manager 2.0 now supports this.

Featured resource carousel

Featured resources will now display above the resource list with a carousel. This allows more featured items to potentially be seen than before without taking up additional vertical space. You can see this in action here.

Efficient watch sending

As popular resources may have a large number of people watching them, previously there are occasionally issues sending these watch notifications. This has now been updated to our new notifier framework, which ensures that many watch notifications can be sent without interfering with the ability to post resource updates.

What's new: watch filtering

Within the new resources page of the what's new system, you can now filter to only displaying resources that you watch (either directly or via the category they are in). This makes it easier to find updates to exactly what you're interested in.

Search: only primary resource by default

Searching resources will no longer search the content of resource updates by default. In many cases, returning results in updates will reduce the relevance and accuracy of the search results. If you are looking for text within a resource update, you can enable searching of these on the advanced search page.

Widgets
Several blocks within the resource manager have been converted to widgets so they can be placed anywhere. This includes the top resources (limited to specific categories if desired), the most recently updated resources (also with a category limit), and the latest resource reviews.
 

XenForo

Company Info
Staff member
#4
XenForo Enhanced Search 2.0


Accent insensitive searching

img-2017-07-07-17-03-19-1.png


Mostly self explanatory but ultimately this could improve search results in locales which make heavy use of accents in their languages. It can introduce some unexpected matching but at least it can now be controlled to fit your site's needs. Prior to XFES 2.0, the searching was accent sensitive meaning (for example) esta and está would be considered different and unlikely to match.

Support HTTPS connections to ES and authentication

img-2017-07-07-17-06-32-1.png


These are new advanced options which will allow your connection to an ES server to be authenticated and/or use a secure connection. This should make it easier to use off-site hosted ES instances or simply increase security within your own server environment.

Recency weighting changes

This previously required the configuration of a custom script within ES, but you now get it automatically without having to configure anything (other than switching it on/off, as desired).

Dedicated configuration page

All of these options are now rolled up into a dedicated page in your admin control panel (Under the Setup navigation entry). There's no longer a two step process of enabling followed by configuration and testing. Before redirecting your searches to ES, the configuration you provide is tested and optimized which should prevent initial errors for your users while setting things up.

Per content type optimization structure

XFES 1.x only includes a fairly generic and global optimization process. To ensure indexes are kept as efficient as they can be, it is now possible for developers to configure each content type with what fields are indexed and the type of data.This is handled via XF\Search\Data::setupMetadataStructure().
 

Rudy

Well-known member
#5
Interesting! I will be trying XFES 2.0 shortly. I do have some further customization questions for ES, but will post them separately.
 

Alfa1

Well-known member
#10
There are a lot of awesome improvements in these releases. I really like that I dont have to port my 'MP3 for XFMG' and 'Remove Versioning' addons to XF2.

Thanks for this big step forward!
 

Sim

Well-known member
#11
New media comments support

Another popular suggestion is to better surface media items and albums which contain new comments. To facilitate this we've added read marking data to media/album comments and the "New media comments" page will show the latest media/albums which have new comments.
This is huge. With well over 300,000 photos in our gallery and nearly more comments on photos than we have posts - this was the most complained about feature missing after we migrated from my customised vB+PhotoPost to XenForo+XFMG.

Thankyou!

Image notes

This is a new incarnation of the existing user tagging system from XFMG 1.x. As well as still allowing you to draw a section around an image and "tag" a user in that square on the image, we now have a new option which allows you to write text-based notes on an image. As with the image manipulation features, all of this will work on touch devices too. You simply active the "Add notes" button, draw around a section on the image and you can either "Tag a user" or "Write a note":
This is really interesting and could be a very useful feature for our galleries - there are always things of interest to highlight in our zoo photos!

I'll start a new thread asking some questions about how this works.

Albums in categories

The most popular suggestion since we launched XFMG is to be able to create albums within categories. Previously there was a clear distinction between personal user albums and categories. We still have personal albums (though they can be globally switched off) and these still have similar privacy options to before, but it is now also possible to create "album categories".

This actually means we now have three distinct category types: "Media items only", "Container only" and "Albums only". The "Container only" type is not actually new, but it is now an explicit category type rather than relying on removing permissions to implicitly make it such, and container categories will display all albums / media items from any child categories. The "Albums only" category type will allow users to create albums in a category. These albums are a little bit more simple in terms of privacy settings; they will inherit the same permissions as the category they are created in. If a user requires private albums or wishes to share their albums with specific users then they should continue to use personal albums for this.
This is very cool and will allow us to experiment a bit with how we arrange things and what we allow our users to do.

It may also solve some of our issues with extremely large categories with thousands of photos (many of them very similar in content as multiple people upload photos of the same subject). It may be easier for us to simply allow users to create their own album within a category.

Our typical use-case is one of our members will visit a zoo, then come home and upload dozens of photos from their trip. If we allow them to create an album for that visit - then it does a better job of grouping the photos together (making them more manageable) - and effectively allows us to show a "point in time snapshot" of the zoo (from one person's perspective) which can then be used more easily to compare changes over time.

I think we're going to have fun with this!