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Release Notes: New Features and Fixes on EpicSki

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Here are a few of  the changes that have been going on in the background this summer.  Since some of these new features may not be immediately visible, I thought we should put this thread here to summarize the release notes.  This may answer the question, what happens with all those bug reports and site suggestions? 


More good things are coming.


August 11, 2010


t's time for another platform update!  This release is largely a maintenance release, but it does add a couple of really useful new features.  Here is what is in store:

  • User action popup: There is now an arrow next to the username in the postbit of a thread.  Clicking on the arrow or hovering over it will pop up links to view the user's profile, subscribe to the user, send the user a PM, view the user's posts, or ignore the user.  Moderators and administrators will also see buttons to ban the user, view the user's admin profile, or view the moderation queue filtered to show all posts by that user.

User action popup.png

  • Simple BBCode parsing: It is now possible to use simple BBCode in both the WYSIWYG and basic (iPhone) editors.  Code such as [B], [IMG], and [URL] will all be parsed properly when the post is previewed or saved.
  • Large image resizing: Previously, if a user uploaded a large image using the image uploader, the full image with no compression would be embedded in the post.  This caused some threads with many images to be over 60 MB large, which takes a tremendous amount of time to download even on a fast connection.  Now, when an image is embedded in a thread, a resized image will be shown in the thread.  Users may still click on the image to view the full, uncompressed version of the image.
  • Threads started by ...: The user profile page now has a new link called "Threads Started", which shows all threads that the user in question has started.  This is in addition to the already existing "All Posts" link.
  • Enhanced recent reviews module: The recent reviews module on the sidebar now displays 5 reviews, and upon request, can be adjusted to display only featured reviews rather than all reviews.  If you would like the module to only display featured reviews, please let us know and we will make that change for you.
  • Admins now have access to a log of all supporter subscription payments.  You can access this by heading to the admin panel and clicking on "Payment Log".
  • The "Specs" tab on product pages is now called "Details".
  • The times displayed in the site footer are now relative (eg. "5 minutes ago").  Previously, they were always displayed in pacific time.
  • The "Recent Photos" gallery page now respects the "Private" flag on galleries.
  • Tag pages now link to any related tag galleries.
  • Bug fix: Fixed an issue which was causing thread pages to always scroll to the bottom of the page regardless of which link was used to access the page.
  • Bug fix: Fixed an issue which was preventing moderators and admins from seeing the "Edited by" timestamps at the bottom of a post when a user edits his or her post.
  • Bug fix: PMs now disappear when they are deleted rather than giving no indication that an action had happened.
  • Bug fix: Navigation between pages in lists now displays properly.
  • Bug fix: The "Zoom" function on product and other images now functions properly.




  • Attachment support (EpicSki Supporter Only)
    • This release includes the ability for Supporters to embed attachments within any post, review, or Wiki on the site.
    • The file types that we will support in this initial release are: bmp, csv, doc, docx, gif, jpg, otf, pdf, png, ppt, pptx, psd, pub, rtf, ttf, txt, xls, xlsx, xml, and zip.
  • Enhanced gallery page for browsing
  • Enhanced Industry Insiders brand pages
    • This release includes three great updates to the Industry Insider pages.  Insiders now have the ability to feature their reps' image albums right on the brand page.  They can also enable an "Insider Sticky Note" similar to the forum note.  This is a blank slate for Insiders to post their latest news, links to their sales, or even just some basic biographical information.  Insiders can also enable or disable the "Featured Products" module - this module is enabled by default.
  • New icon set for activity feed, generic buttons, etc.
    • A new icon set for the platform is also included in this release, updating the look and feel of the activity feed and other pages with a lighter, cleaner look.
  • iPhone: New lines are now supported in the iPhone text editor when composing a new PM.
  • Search now indexes the URLs used in links within posts in addition to the text of the posts themselves.
  • Fixed several situations where the moderation queue did not log actions properly.
  • Fixed an bug which made it difficult to submit an edited review on a product page.


6/3/2010 (Release 2.11)

  • Various administor and moderator control panel modifications
  • Reply-to for feedback emails is now set to the original sender.
  • Line breaks in text emails (like feedback emails) are now processed properly.
  • The smiley selection box will now expand its size properly in IE7
  • Image counts on product pages and galleries should be counted correctly.  If a count is not correct, you should be able to fix it by moving an image out of then back in to the gallery.
  • "Add Manufacturer" dialog should now close properly upon completion.
  • The Java uploader in the gallery will only be loaded when a user clicks to load it.
  • On forum index pages, the number of people viewing a forum also includes all users viewing a child forum.
  • Line breaks are now processed properly in the text editor when the WYSIWYG editor is not loaded (such as when posting on an iPhone).
  • It is no longer possible to try to enter more characters in a forum description than are allowed.
  • When editing a subscription, the "Site only" preference now shows "Site only (no email)" to describe the function better.
  • Popup PM notifications now properly take you to your PM inbox.
  • The "Lock" icon now shows properly for locked wikis on wiki lists.


5/21/2010 (Release 2.10)


  • Search Engine:  Fixes for search index reliability: We have another array of fixes in this release which will further improve search engine reliability, especially for products.  This should dramatically improve the reliability of the tagging system.
  • "Threads by date" search shortcut: On the search results page, there will be a quick link to repeat the same search using "Threads by date" as the default sort order.  We have also made additional tweaks to make the "Relevance" sort order weigh recency much higher.
  • "No throttle" option added to subscriptions option page: You will now be able to choose to not have your immediate subscriptions paused between visits to the site.  (This was the default behavior prior to the 2.9 release.)
  • Subscriptions UI changes: In 2.9, we added the ability for you to choose different frequencies for your subscriptions on a per-subscription basis.  Now, you will now be able to select the frequency with which you will receive updates for your subscriptions at the time you subscribe rather than having to go back and edit it afterwards.
  • Tweaks for in-thread search results pages with no results: We added in-thread search in 2.9; in 2.10, we added a few tweaks to present a more friendly page if you search within a thread but end up with no results.
  • Image upload fixes: We updated a bunch of the back-end code that powers the image up


5/6/2010 (Release 2.9)


  • The WYSIWYG editor is receiving an upgrade!
    • The new version of the WYSIWYG editor is considerably faster and more responsive.
    • The new version of the WYSIWYG editor should fix a bug which caused the reply box to not appear correctly for some users on Firefox (especially older versions of Firefox).
    • The new version of the WYSIWYG editor will also fix a bug which caused new images inserted to appear at the top of the post in Internet Explorer 8.
  • Search engine improvements.
    • In 2.9, it will be possible to search within the contents of a single thread.  The new search button appears at the top of every thread.
    • To make it easier to search within a single forum (a function already possible using Advanced Search), we are adding a similar search button at the top of every forum as well.
    • We are improving the relevance of search results.  This includes weighing the post date considerably higher, as well as adding increased significance on the number of replies that a given thread has.
    • We are improving the performance of search to ensure that you get your relevant search results as quickly as possible.
    • We are removing all "spoiler" text from search results.
  • Spoilers:  In addition to removing "spoiler" text from search results, we are also removing it from other areas of the platform such as thread previews and the activity feed to ensure that you don't accidentally read about the ending of a movie.
  • Subscription system overhaul which allows you to monitor threads, wikis, products, tags, and users.
    • The new subscription system will allow you to select on a per-subscription basis whether you want to receive email updates immediately, in a daily digest, or in a weekly digest.
      • For the 2.9 release, the "Subscribe" button on these items will automatically subscribe you with the frequency set as default in your preferences.  You can then go to "Edit Subscriptions" to change the frequencies on an individual basis.  In a future release, you will be able to select the frequency at the same time you make the subscription.
    • For immediate email notification subscriptions, users will only receive a maximum of one email per subscription until they visit the site again.
    • The "Edit Subscriptions" link will be moved to the "My Profile" page where it is easier to find.
  • Unread PM Popup: Users will receive a pop-up notification the first time they visit a page on the site if they have unread PMs waiting in their inboxes.
  • Custom user titles, in addition to the badges that already exist, will be available and can be enabled for your site upon request.
  •  "Who's Online" display will be released to show what other users are active on the site.
  • Icons for locked threads, wikis, products, etc. will now display on thread listings and elsewhere within the platform to indicate the locked status of these items.
  • Users will no longer be able to add administrators, moderators, and other privileged users to their ignore lists.
  • The "Bulletin Board" is now known as "Public Messages" to make the purpose a bit more clear.
  • The admin panel is getting a cosmetic revamp to make it easier to find what you need to find (and pave the way for new items).


3/20/2010 (Release 2.8)

  • Creating full lists from one page:
    • Instead of hunting for the add to list button on every individual DVD/Ski Resort page, you’ll be able to easily create your whole Home Theater or Where I Skied in 2010 list in one screen – we’re pumped. List items can still be added from their pages one at a time, but the new interface should be a welcome change.
    • Users now have the ability to comment on individual items in their list to add a personal touch.  Full reviews are an essential place for detailed information and opinions, but the commenting system will allow users to make quick notes about the product and how it relates to their List.  
    • Users now have the ability to associate photos with items in the List, as well as the List in general.  For example, a user could upload an image of their own home theater projector set up to show off in their list or even a photo in the user's favorite ski goggles.
    • Users can create List items with free hand text.  While these items will not be associated with product pages, this will allow users to add information about custom or DIY items to their Lists.
    • Each item in a List will have a personalized information page about it.  On this page, users will also be able to see which other Lists on the site from other users have the same product.
  • Forum filtering based on tags
    • When a user is viewing a sub-forum, they will see a drop down at the top of the forum which will allow them to filter the threads shown below based on the most popular tags in that forum.  For example, if a user is in the forum about Ski Gear and wants to filter to view just the threads related to ski helmets, they'll be able to do that!
  • Link to "Site Home" within the "More Forums" menu
    • In addition to being able to navigate to the current forum, other forums, and the main forum index, users will now be able to click to the site home page easily with the More Forums menu.
  • Ignore functionality
    • This will allow users to ignore others and have their posts automatically collapsed within a thread
  • Performance enhancements
    • We will now be using cached pages to serve a larger percentage of our content to logged out users, rather than making a call to the database for each of these pages.  This will significantly decrease page load time for logged out users and will aid performance for logged in users by decreasing the demand on the database.
    • One side effect is that related content in right hand column will no longer be displayed immediately on newly tagged threads because of this new caching system.  It will now take up to 24 hours for these to appear.
  • Bug: Image linked to another URL attempting to open light box
    • Images with hyperlinks embedded were getting "confused" and both trying to open the link and the light box for the image.  This is fixed in 2.8.
  • Bug: Signature editing causing signature to blank
    • When a signature editor was opened, the existing signature was being removed from the editor.  This is fixed in 2.8.
  • Bug: Deleted threads appearing in search
    • Deleted threads were not being removed from the site index.  This is fixed in 2.8.
  • Bug: Featured Items tool was not accepting updated images
    • When an admin used the Featured Items tool to modify featured threads, the tool would not accept new home page images for featured threads.  This is fixed in 2.8.
  • Bug: FCKeditor sporadically loads incorrectly in Firefox
    • Long term, this a Mozilla Firefox bug but in 2.8, we are layering in additional checks to help decrease this bug.  We will continue to refine as we get user feedback about when it appears.
  • Bug: Image uploading to product pages caused a broken thumbnail to appear
    • Image thumbnails were not appearing properly when new images were uploaded to product pages.  This is fixed in 2.8.


2/8/2010 (Release 2.7)


Primary Focus Of Release

  • Image gallery functionality
  • Your List improvements
  • Invisibility for user presence
  • Soft delete
  • Soft move
  • Performance enhancements


  • Image Gallery Functionality
    • Users now have the ability to create image albums.
    • These albums can be named and have descriptions.  Users can also create private albums which will not be visible to other users.
    • Albums are displayed on the user profile.
    • Users can upload multiple images at a time, edit image names and descriptions, organize images within albums, etc.
  • Your List Improvements
    • Improvements to Your List functionality is designed to make the feature more flexible and user customizable.
    • Users can now create lists to show off products and items they Own, Want or Had.
    • Users can create an unlimited number of lists, title them, and add a description.
    • Products can be added to a variety of lists, sorted by name, quantity, date added, etc.

  • Performance tweaking
    • Backend enhancements have been layered in to improve site performance and decrease page load time.

  • Invisibility for online user presence
    • Users are now able to select their preference for online status. A user can appear as offline (and invisible) at any time, regardless of logged in status.

  • Invisibility for online user presence
    • Users are now able to select their preference for online status. A user can appear as offline (and invisible) at any time, regardless of logged in status.

  • Image downloading from external image URLs
    • The image embed tool has been enhanced to download and serve images added to the site from an external image tool.  Users will now be able to title and add descriptions to these types of images, as well as house them within their image albums.

  • Backend search enhancements
    • Backend enhancements have been layered in to the search tool to improve search results.

  • Bug fix: Product names do not appear on Where To Buy module
    • Previously when affiliate links were displayed from Amazon.com, the Where To Buy module would not indicate which product matched a given price.
    • This issue has been resolved.

  • Bug fix: Subscriptions do not update immediately when Subscriptions Only button is toggled off and on
    • Previously when a user toggled off the Subscriptions Only button on the home page and then on again, the activity feed would not appropriately update immediately.
    • This issue has been resolved.

  • Bug fix: Smilies inserted into a spoiler block show through spoiler
    • Previously when a user inserted a smilie into a spoiler block, the top of the smilie graphic showed through the spoiler.
    • This issue has been resolved.
post #2 of 11

August 24 Release Notes


We've got some exciting things in regards to forum navigation, a new page dedicated to subscriptions only, and a few more tweaks.  

Without further ado, here are your newest release notes:

  • Forum navigation enhancements
    • With this release, you'll see some great changes to forum navigation.  This includes a revamped Forum Nav with a simpler forum jump, links to the dedicated subscriptions page and the All New Posts page, as well as a bigger and better "Start a New Thread" button.
      Picture 2.jpg
    • Towards the bottom of thread and forum index pages, you'll see a new version of a forum crumbtrail popping in.  This includes readily available links to the home page, the forum one level up, the subscriptions page, and the All New Posts page.
      Picture 3.jpg
    • As part of this change, the Advanced Reply button is now labeled "Full Page Editor".
  • Forum post wrapping into the right column
    • That's right, goodbye to the long right column!  With this release, you'll see posts (specifically those which begin after the content in the right column ends) wrap to fill the full width of the screen. 
  • Dedicated Subscriptions page
    • This new page has two tabs - an activity tab and an edit tab.  The Activity tab mirrors the existing activity stream view into a user's subscriptions.  The Editing tab helps bring this powerful functionality into the forefront to help users discover how to make subscriptions work best for them.
    • This page will be linked in the main site header below the private message count as well as in the Forum Nav at the top and bottom of forum and thread pages.
  • Increased recipient number for multi-recipient PMs (admin and moderator only)
    • Admins and moderators will now be able to send a single PM thread to up to 100 users at one time.  Users outside of these groups are limited to 8 recipients.
  • Featured Reviews module will now have priority over Recent Reviews in right hand column
    • Prior to this release, the right hand column displayed Recent Reviews only.  With this release, Featured Reviews now take priority and will display instead of Recent Reviews.  If no reviews are featured, the Recent Reviews module will display.
  • Forum descriptions can now include up to 240 characters
    • Previously, forum descriptions had a maximum of 120 characters.  This has doubled to 240 characters.
  • Bug fix: PM pagination is now fixed - PMs after the most recent 50 were not properly paginating.  This has now been resolved.
  • Bug fix: YouTube videos are now embeddable using the embed code with the video tool - Previously, embedding videos with the embed tool was functional with the YouTube URL but was not parsing correctly with the embed code.  This has now been resolved.
  • Bug fix: User popup menu is now appearing in the right location in iOS - Previously, the user popup menu was popping up in the wrong location on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.  This has now been resolved.
  • Bug fix: Editing a list now shows proper symbols - Previously, certain symbols were appearing as HTML on a list page in edit mode.  This has now been resolved.

Edited by nolo - 8/24/10 at 5:22pm
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Wow, I just noticed your post goes full-width.  Nice!

post #4 of 11

But all I'm seeing is Picture 3.png, presumably I'm supposed to be seeing a picture there.  Maybe you need to post in a .jpg file, not a .png file for me?  Firefox 3.6.8

post #5 of 11

I don't see the images in nolos post either, just question marks where they should appear.  Safari on a Mac.  

post #6 of 11

Okay, I changed the images to jpegs. Can you see them now?

post #7 of 11

Suddenly it has appeared.  I didn't log out or change sessions, either.  Maybe you were uploading the graphic? oooh, wait, you made it a .jpg.  THAT, I can see.

post #8 of 11

Nice look. 


Needs some work. I see a nice bright yellow box with more text if I move my cursor over a thread title or last post, but it only works once. Scrolling over additional titles doesnt give me the highlighted closer view that I saw on the first one, nor can I see that first one expanded again if I go back to it. 


Congrats on the upgrades! Keep up the good work. :)

post #9 of 11

I see the images now too.

post #10 of 11
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

I see the images now too.

The acid is starting to kick in.

post #11 of 11

I noticed this with one of the July releases and didn't see it listed. Does the page wait to load avatars until you scroll to them? I noticed the avatar shows up a split second after you scroll down. If that is the case, would doing this to the compressed pictures help load times get even faster?

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