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Commons 1.13

I’ve just released version 1.13.0 of the CUNY Academic Commons. Twice a year, the Commons team prepares a “feature release”, which includes major new functionality in addition to routine upgrades and bug fixes. Version 1.13 is the feature release fer Spring 2018.

Below are some development highlights for the release. Read more about the user-facing improvements in the 1.13 post on the News blog.

  • A new system for invitations – The Commons has various entities that one can “belong to” – sites, groups, the Commons itself – and, historically, the process of inviting someone to “join” one of these entities was completely different for each entity type. For the 1.13 release, we reconceptualized the idea of “invitations” on the Commons, with an all-new unified invitation system. Invite friends to join the Commons, to join groups, to join sites, all from a common interface. As the Commons starts to welcome more students taking courses on the platform, we’ve included features that will make it easier for instructors to invite students in bulk to join course groups or sites.
  • HTTPS for all administrative tasks – For a number of years, we’ve forced HTTPS for all *.commons.gc.cuny.edu subdomains, which encompasses the vast majority of sites on the Commons. As part of the 1.13 release, we’ve made a change that forces “mapped domains” – those sites that are part of the Commons, but have a domain that doesn’t end in .commons.gc.cuny.edu – to be managed over HTTPS. This is another step in our ongoing project of making the Commons a platform that is as secure as possible for all members.
  • Reply-by-email for group sites – We’ve long supported reply-by-email for group forums, private messages, and other social content on the Commons. As part of this release, we’ve added reply-by-email functionality for posts and comments on Commons sites that are linked to groups.
  • An improved CSS editor – We’ve overhauled the custom CSS tool under Dashboard > Appearance on Commons sites, for better compatibility with modern CSS and a slicker interface.
  • Accessibility improvements – The Commons team is dedicated to making the site usable for all members, including those who use assistive technologies to engage with the Commons. In 1.13, we’ve made significant improvements to our accessibility standards across the main site, for better compatibility with screen readers and other assistive technologies. Stay tuned for more improvements in our ongoing accessibility improvements.

For complete details on the release, visit the 1.13 milestone.

Commons 1.10.3

I’ve just released version 1.10.3 of the CUNY Academic Commons. This maintenance release features a number of improvements:

  • HTTPS is now enforced across all domains ending in commons.gc.cuny.edu
  • Improved database performance for Commons home page
  • Improved behavior when responding by email to notifications that do not support replies

For complete details, visit the 1.10.3 milestone.

Commons 1.7.2

I’ve just released version 1.7.3 of the CUNY Academic Commons. Highlights of this maintenance release include:

  • Improved redirect behavior for private blogs
  • Fixed some AJAX issues related to HTTPS
  • Fixed broken commenting issue on BuddyPress Docs
  • Reinstated “this is a minor edit” behavior for BuddyPress Docs
  • Fixed JavaScript filtering for front-page Members widget
  • Added Google Analytics plugin for individual Commons sites
  • New plugins: Meta Slider, Media Library Assistant
  • Improved styling for group forum topic listing

For complete details about the release, visit the 1.7.2 milestone.