What am I working on?

It's time for another update. This time it's all about Community Builder it self. Check out the details below as we got bug fixes, features, and more!

I've started off my workload by fixing several older bugs lingering in CB it self. Most being minor annoyances. This is followed by several quality of life features like improved SEO of userlists and more. Check out what's coming in Community Builder 2.3 below.


Some key new features available right now in the latest build release are the option to display Checkbox, Multi Checkbox, and Radio fields as buttons. For Checkbox fields this means a Yes/No button display like you may already be familiar with in the backend of CB. You can now use this same display output on frontend by simply editing your Checkbox field then under Parameters > Display adjust the "Edit Style" parameter. The same instructions apply for Multi Checkbox and Radio fields.

Another great new feature available now is being able to change Userlist profile links to open in a new window instead of always navigating away from the userlist. Simply edit your userlist and adjust "Profile Link Target" under Parameters > Linking. This gives you more control over how your userlists are utilized.

Additionally in your Userlists when using the Grid mode you can now control the initial size of the grid blocks using the Size parameter of the first column under Columns. So for example if you set the column size to 3 it'll display 4 grid blocks per row. Responsive sizes are automatically calculated for you as well so all you need to do is adjust that single parameter. This utilizes Bootstrap 4 grid sizing, which is limited to a size of 12. How many grid blocks are displayed is based off the size selected out of 12 (e.g. if you want 4 per row you'd select a size of 3 or if you want 3 per row you'd select a size of 4). Note any size over 6 will not be able to display more than 1 block per row, but will still respect the grid size allowing for smaller single column display.


Now lets talk about somethings that are done, but not yet available. Mainly the SEO improvements to Userlists. When a search is made it does so using a POST. This means if you try to share the URL the search criteria is lost. If you try to refresh your browser warns of double form submit. If you navigate away and try to browser back again your browser warns of form submit. These will be issues of the past once these new SEO features are released. When a search is made it will properly form a userlist URL and redirect to it allowing for the URL to be shared and browser back navigation to work. This will also apply to the paging links at the bottom. In addition to this the userlist selector will now properly navigate to their respective userlist URLs instead of just submitting the form. All of this combined means GREATLY improved SEO for userlists.

Another quality of life improvement is a compact mode for the backend admin menus added by CB and its various plugins. Once released and enabled instead of having a new parent menu item for every single plugin they will all be consolidated under Community Builder and to reach a plugins menu items simply click Community Builder and hover Plugin Management, which will have the various plugins menu items under their respective names (e.g. Community Builder > Plugin Management > Activity). This should help reduce the overflow problems of wanting quick access to various backend CB pages.


Phew, now to the finale! Private Message System is undergoing a rewrite. Currently it functions as just an integration with UddeIM and that's it. It is being rewritten to also provide its own built in private messaging. It will still work with UddeIM, but new installs will default to the new internal model. Existing installs can change to the internal model with option to migrate UddeIM messages. What this means is CB it self will have included for free its own private messaging as part of the Private Message System plugin. Many of the features you're accustomed to using in UddeIM will also exist in the internal model (e.g. system messages and global site wide messages). I hope to have more details soon and once UI has progressed enough will create a new blog to give you a glimpse.

Now with that said this won't be replacing the planned Chat/Conversations feature in CB Activity, which will be a much more robust messaging system. The decision to implement the basic private messaging directly into CB it self was made in part due to UddeIMs announcement that it, likely, will not be supporting Joomla 4 and also because it makes sense for CB it self to have some private messaging functionality included in the Private Message System plugin.

krileon's Avatar
krileon replied the topic: #307458 5 years 2 months ago
Just another update. The profile modal usage has now been implemented. You'll be able to check your messages in the same way you check for new CB Activity notifications via a modal window that opens from an icon on your CB Menu bar. Check it out below.

This can also be optionally disabled if you don't want to use it. There will be no further means of outputting this icon however so outputting in a module, etc.. will not be possible unless that module is just outputting the CB Menu tab. Future usages may be added to allow outputting it outside of profile though.
krileon's Avatar
krileon replied the topic: #307392 5 years 2 months ago
Ok, have finally landed on the final design. We're moving to a more modern design with dropdown menus and using "meatball" icons. I've also splint sent and received messages into 2 separate displays using a filter as it was too confusing to determine who the message was really for, which cleans up the display further.

With the design finalized we're more or less on the home stretch with 1-2 views left on frontend and then the backend management of private messages. Once those are done we'll be ready for everyone to dig into the new built in private messaging!
krileon's Avatar
krileon replied the topic: #307340 5 years 2 months ago
Just an update on progress. Things are moving along nicely. Went through a couple UX designs before settling on the following which closely follows messaging applications that people are familiar with.

Still a lot of work to go and this is of course subject to change, but hopefully everyone likes the direction it's going.
krileon's Avatar
krileon replied the topic: #307270 5 years 2 months ago

Just one question : will it be possible to message a user from a guest page like uddeim provides for premium features ? I mean for not registered users to contact registered ones.

Yes, public messaging will be available (default disabled). In addition to system messages and global messages (messages to all) for CB Moderators. Attachments will not be available (maybe possible using CB Auto Actions and CB Gallery; will be exploring this option). There will be no blocking functionality (likely be added as part of CB Privacy). There will be no archiving feature (this isn't email). It will use HTML (with or without WYSIWYG) instead of BBCode with option to parse BBCode (default enabled) and can also support plaintext only. Connections selector dropdown and multi-recipients features also supported.
activha's Avatar
activha replied the topic: #307265 5 years 2 months ago
Very nice job ! Long list :-)
Just one question : will it be possible to message a user from a guest page like uddeim provides for premium features ? I mean for not registered users to contact registered ones.
nant's Avatar
nant replied the topic: #307247 5 years 2 months ago
Nice job Kyle!

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