Some of you may have noticed a bandwidth limit notice on the Commentics website towards the end of last month. This resulted in the website being unavailable for several hours. After analysing the server logs, it became clear that the various zip files on the website were the cause of the issue, in particular the main Commentics zip (which had increased in size since v2.4 with the addition of Securimage). As a result, all zip files (including previous versions of Commentics and all of its add-ons) have been moved to SourceForge where they will remain indefinitely. If you notice any broken links or any other issues to do with the downloading of zip files then please report them to the development team.
I'm pleased to announce that the development of Commentics can now be found on GitHub! This will bring several advantages to the project and its users. For instance:
- You can now follow each change to the code as it's made. This will allow you to see the improvements and fixes in real-time and, where appropriate, provides a way for you to merge these into your own copy before they are officially released!
- You will be able to "fork" the code in order to submit your own changes to the project so that they can be considered for inclusion. This will allow for unlimited involvement as you could submit anything from a single bug fix to a series of new features.
- Git and GitHub will track each change so that it can offer an advanced form of version control. This means that if one of the changes ever needs to be reverted then this can be done with ease. Even multiple branches can be developed for each feature.
- Upgrades will be easier if you have made any custom alterations, as you will be able to see the exact differences to the files that you had altered.
Learning how to use Git and GitHub can be a very steep learning curve, particularly if you're not familiar with version control, so it's expected that to begin with only serious developers will be able to fully participate in this process. However, over time you should find documentation on this website to help try to make it as simple as possible.
At the moment there is no code development to watch, as focus is solely on the commentics.org website (you may have noticed the new mega menu). The code that is there at present is an unmodified v2.3. Once the next version is started on you will be able to make the most of this new milestone in the project.
The commentics.org website is scheduled for maintenance later today, between 10pm and 6am (GMT). Our hosting company will be physically moving the server to another data centre, meaning that the website will be down for several hours. Sites using Commentics should not be affected, with the small exception of the 'Version Check' and 'News' on the dashboard.
Following some recent test results with the 'site search' feature on Commentics.org, I have decided to switch from using the previously built-in Sphider search engine to the current method of searching Google in a new window (tab). The main reason for this change is because the Google results were found to be far more relevant and consequently more helpful than the former solution. In addition to this, Sphider was time-consuming to maintain and indexed only a small percentage of forum threads.
Some new FAQ articles have been added to the knowledgebase part of the website. All three of the FAQs fall under the subject of server issues so a new category was created for this. The first FAQ explains how to add PHP code to HTML files, the second provides instructions for disabling Magic Quotes, and the third shows how to deal with the 'Headers already sent' error message. If you have a suggestion for an FAQ then please leave a comment below.
Due to a few people misusing the Wiki by replacing whole sections of content with irrelevant sentences, (fortunately the pages were reverted successfully), changes have been made to the permission levels of users. As of now guests may only read (and not edit) the Wiki. For those who would like to edit the pages, you will need to create an account and wait to be approved by the administrator. Ideally you will have posted on the forum at some point so it is clear that your intentions are sincere. If your account is not approved within a day or two then please contact the administrator. This is not an ideal solution but it is a necessary one.
The Commentics project as of now has a newly-available blog to follow, powered by the leading software WordPress. This change was made due to the previous blog being only a simple 'HTML' page. Before, it was difficult for users to keep up-to-date with news and to get involved. Now, with the help of categories, RSS, and more, you can track new posts and find existing ones with ease, while also gaining the ability to share your personal feedback and views. With these improvements you can expect more regular posts, especially about in-depth topics which were unlikely to have been discussed before, such as useful tips, development progress, best practices, interviews, featured sites and more. The previous blog is still important because it tells the whole story of the first year of Commentics so it will be kept but no longer updated.