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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.

New WordPress plugin: Add User Autocomplete

Add User Autocomplete
Add User Autocomplete

Site admins on a WordPress Network can add existing network members to their site on the Dashboard > Users > Add New panel. But the interface requires that one know either the email address or the username of the user in question. My new plugin, Add User Autocomplete, makes the Add Existing User workflow a bit easier, by adding autocomplete/autosuggest to the Email Address/Username field. Just start typing, and the plugin will return matching users; arrow down or click on the intended user to add her to the Add User list.

A few additional bonuses provided by the plugin, aside from autocomplete:

  • In addition to return email address and username matches, the plugin also checks against the display_name and user_url fields. So if my username is ‘admin’, and my email address is ‘bgorges@boonebgorges.com’, but my display name around the site is ‘Boone Gorges’, you’ll be able to find me by searching on ‘Boone’.
  • You can add many users to a blog at once. Search for one user, select and hit Return, and then search for another.
  • Prettier success messages. When you submit the Add New User page, your success message will give you a list of the users invited, instead of a generic “Invitations have been sent” type message.

Add User Autocomplete requires WP 3.1 and JavaScript. The plugin was developed for the CUNY Academic Commons. Check out the plugin at wordpress.org or follow its development at Github.

New BuddyPress plugin: BP Group Management

BuddyPress has great group administrator functions – the ability to invite members to groups, to promote them to different statuses, the ability to ban certain member, and so on. But unless the sitewide administrator is also the administrator of the group, the site admin does not have the same abilities. On some sites – like here on the Academic Commons, where it’s frequently desirable to add members manually to groups – this limitation for sitewide admins can be somewhat restricting.

This plugin, BP Group Management, creates a new administration panel to the Dashboard, accessible only by the sitewide administrator, which does the following:

  • provides a sortable list of all groups (public, private, and hidden) with their created-on dates and ID numbers
  • allows admins to delete groups easily
  • allows admins to view lists of current members, and to promote/demote/ban them
  • allows admins to add any member of the site directly to the group, skipping the need for invitations

Download the plugin here.

The version of the plugin in the repository only works for versions of BuddyPress 1.2 and greater. For a mostly functional version of the plugin that works with BP 1.1.3 (no guarantees on any other versions, but it should work down to BP 1.1 at least), click here.

New BuddyPress plugin: Enhanced BuddyPress Widgets

BuddyPress comes with several WordPress widgets, among which are the Groups and Members widgets that you see on the CUNY Academic Commons home page. This plugin makes those widgets a little more customizable, allowing users to specify which of the three tabs (Newest, Active, or Popular) they’d like to be each widget’s default view.

enhanced-bp-widget

If you’ve got a blog on the CUNY Academic Commons, you can start using this feature right away. Just look in Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets. Be sure to select the Groups/Members widgets whose descriptions say “Enhanced”.

You can download the plugin for use on your own installation of WPMU/BP here: enhanced-buddypress-widgets. It’s also available from the WordPress plugin database: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/enhanced-buddypress-widgets/.