Expected improvements coming in ocPortal 4.3

With a release candidate out for ocPortal 4.3, you can expect a number of improvements in the upcoming official release of ocPortal. This version is a feature release that introduces a number of bug fixes since the last release as well as performance improvements and new features.

The new features expected to be included in ocPortal 4.3:

  • The "What's new" newsletter feature now allows you to easily re-order categories, change what categories are used, is better presented, and allows you to choose the reference date
  • Added link to ocPortal's bookmarks feature on the screen-actions block (commented out by default though)
  • Added Guest forum searching to OCF

Some of the usability improvements coming with this version of ocPortal include:

  • "Interest levels" are not shown within the administrative side of the newsletter system unless there is some variation of interest levels within the set of subscribers
  • Some improvements made to the bookmarks interface– better URL detection, auto-closing of popup
  • Fatal errors now have a much higher chance of resulting in a clean ocPortal error message, including with failed upgrades
  • Linked to Launchpad from the installer, so people can review translation progress whilst installing
  • Added form validation for forms on blocks and some miscellaneous screens
  • Improvements for developers, better AJAX API, cleaned up Javascript a bit, better integration API, better debug mode (the Code Book has been improved a lot recently also)

Finally, some of the expected performance improvements that may interest our readers include:

  • CSS and Javascript files are now automatically compressed.
  • A very cool feature: You can now set an option from config_editor.php to make bots receive cached versions of pages, so that bot activity is less likely to slow down your site
  • A new "self-learning" technology has been developed to reduce the number of language strings that need to be loaded for individual pages. ocPortal will automatically learn which pages use which strings, so it only needs to load those ones "next time around" (the technology is adaptive, so if the pool of strings is insufficient, it loads more, but learns)
  • Memory usage has been improved a bit
  • The number of queries used has been improved a bit in certain areas
  • Support for persistent caching on APC