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Latest News

Latest News

Pro_News BETA


We are now in a short beta cycle for next version of Pro_News.

Hopefully this version will be available to all soon.

Features include the rolling in of the fixes detailed in the 2.1.x Support Forum. Nothing too serious, but better rolled in than everyone having to edit them in.

In addition I have included code to try and prevent this apparently new tactic of at least google's and yahoo's bots to climb back up the module path, particularly if you employ LEO. They drop off the last directory entry from the path, and see what happens. In there are a few cases where this results in an SQL error. No harm is done, but an unnecessary email gets sent to the site Admin. So I've added in code to prevent this, sending the bot to a blank screen or back to the the /Pro_News/ link.

New features are as follows:

- Email a Friend
- Printer Friendly format
- A self-link variable to the full article template
- Scheduled Activate & Deactivate for Admin > Submit Articles.

The Email a friend and Printer Friendly format work essentially the same way as they do in the standard Dragonfly News. These options can be enabled or disabled in Admin > Config individually. There are also part of the template, and are added to all supplied templates. This will mean that you can disable for certain templates if you wish, by simply removing them from the respective template html file.

The self-link is simply a link back to the full article itself. The primary purpose of this is to allow the easy addition of the popular social networking sites e.g. DiggIt! I do not intend to support the use of these social networking site links, simply because I do not use them myself. But I will include a sample code snippet to add to any template in the Pro_News Community forum once the next release is published. This sample code currently attempts to support blinklist, del.icio.us, digg, facebook, furl, google, ma.gnolia, reddit, simpy, spurl, stumble, technorati, yahoo and wink. It's doubtful that anyone would wish to support all, but it is easy to prune down to just those you want.

The long sought after scheduled post feature for articles has been added! I finally figured out a way to do this without impacting the db access for each and every article (due to date checks on the off-chance article was a forward scheduled one). But having devised a new way to handle this, I discovered that I could also handle deactivation of an article for very, very little additional overhead. The dates are entered from the Admin > Submit Article screen in a similar way to that used in Dragonfly Admin Submit News, but in this case there are no extra boxes to check. The entries are preset to the current date and time (rounded down to the prior minute), and if either date (activate or deactivate) are set into the future the article will be scheduled appropriately. The times are maintained through subsequent edits, copies and Category moves until the timers expire, and are deleted if the article is deleted. The Admin can set a user-submitted article to future activation/deactivation by simply editing the article prior to (or after) approval. The timers are checked whenever a user exercises a display of some or all Headlines or Articles. The activation/deactivation process uses the existing Activate feature. To-be-scheduled articles, and deactivated ones, will have their Activate button set to OFF. The Administrator > Pro_News > Articles display is updated to indicate scheduled articles with small + and - icons for to-be-activated and to-be-deactivated articles respectively. Hovering your mouse cursor over these icons will display the effective date in a tooltip. All times are in the timezone employed by your server..

And I can't close without mentioning a previously unknown - at least to me - feature of Pro_News, which I recently documented in the forums. The Admin > Config let's you select a List By: Article, Article within Category with Section or Article with Section display. However this only directly applies when Pro_News is set as the Dragonfly Home module. However there is code in Pro_News to handle the dual use of Home display as Headlines or Article display. I recently realised that we can use this to "trick" Pro_News into a Article display mode even if it is not the Home module. Instead of calling Pro_News with http://layingback.net/index.php?name=Pro_News, we call it with http://layingback.net/Pro_News/mode=home.html (LEO enabled) or http://layingback.net/index.php?name=Pro_News&mode=home (use the latter for updating any menu entries and they will still work if you later disable LEO.)

Hopefully many of you Pro_News users will find this latest version useful. If so, and you appreciate my work, please feel free to stop by the Donations page here to show your appreciation. TIA!
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