Forum Updates: 2018-09-06
I've got some exciting news in the latest round of updates to the RPLS Today website. First of all, I want to make a point that if you are having trouble with the updated website, as of right now, then you likely need to clear your browser cache. Please note that some browsers, especially Google Chrome, are particularly troublesome when it comes to storing cached files; Chrome doesn't always clear all cached files, even when you specifically tell it to clear everything. If you clear your cache and still have trouble, you may need to clear it a second time. Note also that I have cleared all website caches and clearing your cache on your computer is totally out of my control. I have added some code that attempts to tell your browser to clear things up, but it can only do so much and will depend on your individual browser and security settings.
I apologize in advance if I start sounding like a broken record when I receive bug reports, but browser caches are by far the #1 issue after an update to the website. This isn't just applicable here, it's applicable on any website. So you can save us all a lot of time if you make sure you've done everything on your end before requesting help.
Without further adieu, let's jump right in!
Read / Unread Forums, Topics and Posts
I know, right?! We've updated the entire forum to now remember, on a per-user basis, your read/unread forums, topics and posts. So, as long as you are logged in, the website will know what you've viewed and what you haven't. You'll now see bold titles and colored icons of forums if it has new content since your last visit. Topic titles are also bolded if it contains new posts. This change also allows you to see unread posts by clicking the according link in the forum footer or on Recent Posts page.
This also means that the read/unread status will apply across all of your devices, since the system now relies on you being logged in to store that information. So, for this great feature to work, you must be logged in so that the website knows who you are and thus knows what you've read or haven't read.
Want to mark all posts as read? I know this was a feature that many have been hoping for. You'll now find that feature in the Forum Statistics box. 🙂
Topic tags allow users to filter between forums and display topics with a specific topic tag. When a user creates a topic, they have the ability to add specific tags to quickly explain what a post is about and it also helps users find related topics based on those tags. You can find the Tags field under the editor when creating or editing a topic.
Previous / Next Topic
Just above the Forum Statistics box, you'll now find Previous Topic and Next Topic links on topic pages.
If the topic contains tags from the new Topic Tags feature, they will be displayed here as well.
This is less exciting for the masses, but pretty darn cool for nerds like me. The XML sitemap basically is a special file that feeds forum topic and post information directly to search engines. Without this, search bots eventually seek out this information so that the search engines can index and display the results accordingly. With the XML sitemap in place, it allows content indexing to occur much faster, and the forum will ping the search engines to tell them there's new content (which is a lot, around this forum :-)). This means that people searching Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. for topics related to land surveying will find our content much sooner, thus increasing engagement here in our little forum and helping them find the answers they are seeking.
Other Feature Additions
Muhuhwahahahahahaaaaaaaa! We've added a bunch of other features that benefit only me. Neener neener. LMAO 😀
Various Bug & Security Fixes
There's always bugs to fix and this release follows that standard. We fixed at least 14 bugs, some of which may have been irritating the crap out of you (sorry about that). Additionally, we did find a security issue that was never exploited but is obscure anyway, so we patched that up.
Probably the most notable bug fix from a user perspective has to do with timezone. There was a problem where some users could not change the timezone setting in their profiles -- this has been fixed.
One last note...
If the Forum Statistics box sometimes shows you zeros, never fear. We have identified the problem and hope to have it fixed soon.