This Week in devot:ee #20 - May 31, 2012

May 31, 2012
by Ryan Masuga

This week we cleaned up the “unsupported” support forums, released Devot:ee Monitor 1.1.0, and tweaked our Upload API.

Recently Rolled Out

"Unsupported" Support Forum Cleanup

We've completely changed our support forums based on feedback from developers and the persistence of spammers. Previously, we had two kinds of support forum: "unsupported" (aka "community support"), which means that the developer was not offering official support through devot:ee, but that the community could post there, and "Supported", which are forums that a developer is using to actively monitor and support their product. We found that this caused nothing but confusion. Spammers loved the largely empty unsupported forums, as did users who didn't understand that the developer wasn't looking at the forum, and consequently wasn't going to help them with their issues. So, effective yesterday, we deleted every unsupported forum that had no posts, and converted every other unsupported forum that did have posts into an archived "read-only" forum.

A Little More Detail

We were automatically creating an unsupported support forum for each add-on when and add-on was approved and set to show on the site. The developer could then go in and enable "official" support, which would set them as a moderator of the forum, and change the shield icon from yellow to green. We've disabled the automatic forum creation when we approve add-ons, and have turned that over to the devs. Now when a developer enables support for an add-on from their member area, the forum is created at that point (or, if it already exists, it's converted from the read-only state back into an active forum), and the developer is set as the moderator. Similarly, when a dev disables support for an add-on, it will delete the forum if there were no posts, or convert it to read-only if any posts existed. No support topics are being deleted as part of this change, but it should cut down on spam in the support forums.

If you are a developer and offer official support for your commercial add-ons elasewhere, we'd like to remind you that you can enter a URL to your official support channel (whether it's Get Satisfaction, a forum, Tender, Github, etc) per add-on. Just edit your add-on and look for the "Official Support URL" field. Filling out that field will put a prominent link at the top right of your add-on's page. As an example, see Pixel & Tonic's Playa entry, which displays a link at the upper right that leads directly to the Playa area in their Get Satisfaction account.

If you have any questions about this, we encourage you to contact us.

Devot:ee Monitor 1.1.0 Released

We released an update to the free Devot:ee Monitor (devot:ee entry | GitHub). From the changelog:

  • Better status reporting for add-ons that have old or non-existent version info.
  • "API could not be reached" bug should now be fixed. Issue #13
  • Updated name of add-on to match the listing on devot:ee.
  • Fixed incorrect module name bug. Issue #18
  • Turn release notes into a UL for better styling
  • Update CSS (fixes tab height issue)

We have more updates in the pipeline. It's definitely a work in progress!

Upload API Change: No File Needed

This update applies to developers not selling their commercial add-ons via devot:ee, and should help improve the Devot:ee Monitor accessory for everyone. We made a small update to our Upload API that allows a developer to update their commercial item info on devot:ee without having to supply a file for upload. This means that if you're a developer who does not sell your add-ons through devot:ee but who wants to make sure your add-on version number and release notes are up-to-date in the Devot:ee Monitor, you can use the Upload API to keep this info updated. This came about in a discussion with Solspace, whose add-ons weren't being accurately represented in the monitor.

Advertising Available

It's a paradox: devot:ee has the furthest reach and most daily visitors we've ever had, and we also have the most available advertising space we've had in a long, long time. If you have a product, service, or add-on that you think would be of interest to legions of ExpressionEngine users, contact Ryan about available advertising space today.

This Week in Add-ons

  • Content Elements ($, for EE2) by KREA (Peter Felix)
    Content Elements is a fieldtype for ExpressionEngine that will give your clients and editors a freedom to create content structure directly on the publish page.
  • Cookie Consent Module (for EE2) by EllisLab
    The Cookie Consent Module prevents ExpressionEngine cookies from being set unless the user has explicitly granted permission as indicated by the presence of a ‘cookies_allowed’ cookie.
  • QueryDesk (for EE2) by Isaac Raway (Airways)
    QueryDesk is an integration plugin that presents a set of consistent and simple plugin tags for querying and displaying data from various help desk packages.
  • Exchange ($, for EE2) by websecret
    This plugin allows you to easily convert currency at the rate of Eurobank

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