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Too much change.

Started by on Dec 14, 2014 – Contents updated: Oct 16, 2015

Dec 14, 2014 18:21    

I feel that b2 have been replacing things (backoffice menu especially and core functions) too often and constantly. You wouldn't be effected highly if you regularly upgrade and stay up to date but if you have been away like me for a while, when you come back you notice that a lot has changed.

Mainly place of things like "plugins" , "skins" etc. One release they are under Blog > Skin, the next they are under Structure > etc. the other release they are under System > etc. Also core functions shouldnt be completely replaced IMO, like the one used to retrieve attachments etc.

I mean they may be for the better and change is usually good but please be a little more cautious in the future moving menu items and stuff in the future.

Dec 20, 2014 14:36

Hi @tilqicom,

Most of the changes applied between major releases are meant to get a menu more semantically accurate, thinking on name & place each option as any regular user should expect to find them, especially the novices.

I agree it's important to be cautious on changing things and think on people that is already used to a particular arrange, but it's equally important to improve and be coherent in order to make it easier to everybody. So, each change has a reason to be there. For example, changing "Blog settings" (v4.x) to "Blogs" (v5.0.x) and then to "Structure" (v5.1.x & v5.2.x), is just looking for a smooth movement on the way as b2evo is presented to the public, from a Blog platform to a platform able to manage several kind of contents. So, the final objective would be to transform the Blog concept into a Collections concept.

Also core functions shouldnt be completely replaced IMO, like the one used to retrieve attachments etc.

I can't find that feature (I meet b2evo on v5.x), if you give me more details about it, maybe I could trail it and figure out what happend.

Thanks.

Dec 20, 2014 17:05

Not just Blog Settings, many menu items like Plugins or sub menu items keep rotating. I hope they stay wherever they are now in future releases because it's confusing even for a regular user like me.

The function i mentioned was get_images or get_attachment_list or something, cant remember for sure. The function in 4.x had nothing to do with the one in 5.x . Speaking of which; it's really hard to work with images in b2evo. Because;

a.) There is no "featured image" concept.
b.) Coudlnt find an easy way to get images for a particular post. the get_images() function outputs rather than retrieve the images.
c.) Couldnt find a way to dynamically create or get images in particular sizes.

let me know if you have solutions for b and c.

Apr 07, 2015 00:22

What would a "featured image concept" look like?

Apr 07, 2015 13:10

By "Featured image" do you mean that you would want to somehow "tag" an image as featured. So that you could find or display featured images or do you wish to find all images from all featured posts which are positioned in "teaser"? Or do you wish to display a specific image being featured (featured post) in a different way?

One of the reasons why I used B2e over Wordpress is because I believed B2e offered better functionality and showed unlimited potential, where as what intrigued me about Wordpress was that it looked nice. Now, especially with V6, I believe that B2e offers more than any competitor, if it still has such a thing.

I.T.O menu items, I happen to think what @mgsolipa was saying makes perfect sense and agrees. I found the changes made to the back-office navigation are way more sensible and find things more easily. The changes does take a bit of exploring, but is well worth it. Just my opinion.

Apr 07, 2015 16:21

@achillis wrote earlier:

Now, especially with V6, I believe that B2e offers more than any competitor, if it still has such a thing.

Thanks! Please let your Twitter followers know! :) (we love tweets we can quote on our next home page ;)

Apr 07, 2015 20:55

Btw, stay tight, I will be coming with new and solid plugins -maybe themes. For the past few months I have been digging deeper and deeper into php and OOP.
I am almost done with my plugin and theme frameworks. But I have to complete the WP stuff before I get to b2. The good thing is the functions and classes are almost interchangable.
I was always afraid of developing plugins, because you know, they actually "did" things, rather than displaying things, like a theme does. I was afraid because I didnt have enough knowledge and was worried I could screw up someones stuff. But now I'm more confident than ever, I can even find the b2 class & functions and make use of them, despite the lack of manual :P
Turns out developing plugins are actually easier than making a theme once you get the hang of it. The only hassle is doing the routine, laying the groundwork and building the forms and stuff. But like I said, I think I got it figured out this time. Hope to catch you all soon.

Apr 08, 2015 22:03

@tilqicom I will recommend you check B2e v6 I.T.O. Plugin development. It has some new capabilities that advances Plugin capabilities by leaps and bounds! See _test.plugin.php

Below is a bit of code I grabbed, see if you can spot the exciting bits! From what I have seen, all B2e users should upgrade to v6 once it is available, because this version is truly powerful.

PHP

'blog' => array(
                'label' => 'A blog',
                'type' => 'select_blog',  // TODO: does not scale with 500 blogs
                'allow_none' => true,
            ),
            'blogs' => array(
                'label' => 'A set of blogs',
                'type' => 'select_blog',    // TODO: BROKEN + does not scale with 500 blogs
                'multiple' => true,
                'allow_none' => true,
            ),
            'single_user' => array(
                'label' => 'A single user',
                'type' => 'select_user',
                'users_limit' => 5,
                'allow_none' => true,
                'default_value' => 0,
                'note' => 'Allows chosing none or one user'
            ),
            'sets' => array(
                'label' => 'Multiple users',
                'type' => 'select_user',
                'users_limit' => 10,
                'min_count' => 0,
                'max_count' => 3,
                'multiple' => 'true',
                'allow_none' => true,
                'note' => 'Allows none or one or more than one user (up to three in this example)',
                'entries' => array(
                    'user' => array(
                        'label' => 'A user',
                        'type' => 'select_user',        // TODO: does not scale with 500 users
                        'allow_none' => true,
                    ),
                ),
            ),

Apr 09, 2015 12:22

I am looking more of backwards compatibility rather than the convenience of future. I'd like my plugins - themes to work at least in 3.3 if not 2.4 + . But I'll definitely check whats new when I have time, thanks.

@achillis wrote earlier:

@tilqicom I will recommend you check B2e v6 I.T.O. Plugin development. It has some new capabilities that advances Plugin capabilities by leaps and bounds! See _test.plugin.php

Below is a bit of code I grabbed, see if you can spot the exciting bits! From what I have seen, all B2e users should upgrade to v6 once it is available, because this version is truly powerful.

'blog' => array(
'label' => 'A blog',
'type' => 'select_blog', // TODO: does not scale with 500 blogs
'allow_none' => true,
),
'blogs' => array(
'label' => 'A set of blogs',
'type' => 'select_blog', // TODO: BROKEN + does not scale with 500 blogs
'multiple' => true,
'allow_none' => true,
),
'single_user' => array(
'label' => 'A single user',
'type' => 'select_user',
'users_limit' => 5,
'allow_none' => true,
'default_value' => 0,
'note' => 'Allows chosing none or one user'
),
'sets' => array(
'label' => 'Multiple users',
'type' => 'select_user',
'users_limit' => 10,
'min_count' => 0,
'max_count' => 3,
'multiple' => 'true',
'allow_none' => true,
'note' => 'Allows none or one or more than one user (up to three in this example)',
'entries' => array(
'user' => array(
'label' => 'A user',
'type' => 'select_user', // TODO: does not scale with 500 users
'allow_none' => true,
),
),
),

Apr 09, 2015 16:48

@tilqicom http://demo.b2evolution.net -> you will need only 30 seconds in the front office and 30 seconds in the backoffice to agree almost everyone will most probably want to upgrade.

What people want is that their plugins work on the newer versions (which is not always the case) so they can upgrade, not that they work on the older ones so hey can downgrade. Also, I believe it makes more sense to help them move forward rather than give them plugins to comfort them in an outdated version.

Apr 09, 2015 17:10

Yeah almost noone does downgrades. Yet not a lot of people upgrade either. I dont know if you have any usage stats, but I assume 40% of the b2 community still runs older versions than 5-6.x. Maybe we got rid of the 2.4.7 vegas days, but I guess we still have a good deal of 3x and 4x users.

Apr 10, 2015 01:26

Every time I ask someone why they don't upgrade it's because they have plugins that don't work with the new version (or they're afraid it's the case). My opinion is that the best answer is to provide the plugins they need all tested on the new version.

Note: there's also the people who just don't care. Their system works and they won't touch it until they absolutely need to. I don't think they're going to install many new plugins either.

No matter what it's not secure to run old versions.

Anyways...

You also pointed at the manual. I think it has improved a lot (I'm not saying it's wonderful either). We're finally getting to the point where we can tackle the deeper stuff:
http://b2evolution.net/man/advanced-customization/themes-templates-skins/skin-development-primer

(But we had to prioritize a lot of basic doc that the non-devs / non-geeks / non-hackers need...)

Apr 10, 2015 01:54

Speaking of upgrading... I don't wish to step on toes here @fplanque but you guys have done such an amazing job with V6 but the B2e logo seems to have traveled from version 1... The way it renders discouraged me from displaying it on my (now very clean) site... and I so wanted to display it on my site... to show support. So I finally decided to create my own with css3 and fonts. Now B2e Logo is responsive too 8)

take a look:

http://www.midnightstudios.co.za/

Apr 10, 2015 02:03

@achillis I'm not sure what I'm supposed to see. When I use the Safari Inspector I don't see much...

Apr 10, 2015 02:27

Do you see the logo on the bottom left?

Apr 10, 2015 02:39

Why am I missing "disable comments for this post v6.1.2 "

Code

admin.php?ctrl=items&action=edit&p=#&blog=#

Apr 10, 2015 02:52

No I see it at the bottom right ;) But what is responsive about it?

Apr 10, 2015 03:02

Ah... after cache clear it's at the bottom left ;)

Apr 10, 2015 07:04

Yes. sorry I moved it to the left... lol. the logo is a font so it id always displayed crisp clear no matter the size... (;

Apr 10, 2015 15:48

@fplanque wrote earlier:

Their system works and they won't touch it until they absolutely need to. I don't think they're going to install many new plugins either.

Sounds a lot like me :) if it ain't broke, dont fix it (thats why I hate google changing stuff all the time like a lot of mail goes unnoticed with new stupid auto-labeled tabs, and that new google contacts etc.) New !== better.

But, yeah I just saw that tutorial via twitter earlier today, that V6 admin is looking great though.

As for theme / plugins in the works; what I do is
1- find a median (4.x) and make it work.
2- Test it in one up and below 3.x and 5.x
3- Include conditional file & functions to make it work in all of them.
If it works in earlier versions, it'll probably work in future versions, but its not the case the other way around.

The main problem I always had was customizing admin forms - heck I wasnt even able to do simple stuff like adding an id or class for a <fieldset>. I've looked into it really, but to no success. The way form class works is not really flexible.
So I am building my own classes for creating sanitizing and validating forms. Once it's done, rest is easy. I'll be able to put together plugins and themes in no time.

Apr 10, 2015 15:51

I agree the b2 logo looks outdated at best. It looks straight out of 2004ish web2.0 days.
I even made new logo proposal back in the day : http://forums.b2evolution.net/topic-25179 ( Even that is 2.5 years old ! damn time flies by so quickly )
Those might be far from ideal, but as far as I am concerned, b2 does need a logo rework.

@achillis wrote earlier:

Speaking of upgrading... I don't wish to step on toes here @fplanque but you guys have done such an amazing job with V6 but the B2e logo seems to have traveled from version 1... The way it renders discouraged me from displaying it on my (now very clean) site... and I so wanted to display it on my site... to show support. So I finally decided to create my own with css3 and fonts. Now B2e Logo is responsive too 8)

take a look:

http://www.midnightstudios.co.za/

Apr 10, 2015 20:43

Hi guys, my two cents.

Let's talk about logos stuck in the past and with almost no changes since their very beginning: hello Google!! I rest my case... just kidding :D.

Maybe I would suggest things pretty similar to what @tilqicom mentioned on his post wrote a couple of years ago: 1) I preffer plain colors, so for me, gradients are out of the table.2) I actually like the speech bubbles, but I prefer some blank space between them in order to do not depend to the line color to distinguish each one of them, which lead us back to plain colors. 3) Regarding the font type, maybe a little renovation would be ok, but my TOC explode with the height of the letter and the space between them. Maybe it's an optical illusion, but it appears to me that the gap between "l" and "u" (and maybe "0" and "n") is larger than the rest, and, in the other hand, between "t" and "i" is the shortest.

Maybe the main focus right now is on functionality improvements, but this huge change process could be a good moment to introduce a renovated logo.

Apr 11, 2015 16:13

Re: Logo: OMG Manuel you are so right about letter spacings. I didn't look at the logo in detail for years. Now you pointed that I find it unbearable!

I agree gradients need to go.

I have seen no better concept that the 3 bubbles. (Which need to have a white space though so they work on monochrome)

Jacques: now I get it :) yes using a font is smart, but while we're talking about pixel perfection I think your font glyph doesn't have proper hints for rendering pixel perfect at small sizes (this part takes 20 times as much time as vectorizing and converting to font).

Anyways, we'll need a vector version first and we won't try to make it too small.

We will update that logo but I don't want to trade one set of imperfections for another, so we'll need a seasoned vector artist for that job :)

Re @tilqicom : you regularly complain about things like "no concept of featured image" and "form class not cool" . If you could just spend 3 minutes instead to precisely describe what you need, we would actually implement it. But of course that would be in the new version. So if you just want to complain that old versions aren't modern enough (ok 'flexible enough' to be fair), there's not much we can do to help :p

Apr 12, 2015 10:13

First off, it's not "complaining", its feedback :) You should know better since you are far more experienced than I am. I am not telling you that you are doing something wrong, I am just pointing out the hardships that I come across.

As far as admin -setting- forms goes; the layout is the problem. You cant display/style the options the way you want. Like I said you cant even set an id or class for the fieldset, you have no option groups etc. As of 5.2 it still literally says <fieldset id="fieldset_wrapper_$id$"> in the fieldset id for example.
And I thought I could create my own option groups etc. But I couldnt find a hook to modify option array or the form before it gets displayed. All I could find was a AfterFormDisplay or something, which I need the opposie; sth. like BeforeFormDisplay. I asked for this years ago, months ago but never got a solution to it. The only thing that came close was ''layout' => 'begin_fieldset', which is not of much help.

Anyway, I got it sorted out now. It's not a problem for me anymore. It was just a suggestion for the future.

@fplanque wrote earlier:

Re @tilqicom : you regularly complain about things like "no concept of featured image" and "form class not cool" . If you could just spend 3 minutes instead to precisely describe what you need, we would actually implement it. But of course that would be in the new version. So if you just want to complain that old versions aren't modern enough (ok 'flexible enough' to be fair), there's not much we can do to help :p


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