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Michael

I'll be upgrading my apps to use improvements found in php 7. the current versions of my apps will remain php 5.6 compatible. I will tag each app with PHP7 when i release them if they will only function on php7+.

Michael

I thought would be a good time to bring everyone up to speed about the end of life of CJM (CJ Menu) and its Replacement MGM (Menu Groups Manager). in a lot of ways CJM and MGM will be identical, but there are some key differences and changes. the biggest change is in there code design, as some of you know CJM was my first app made with the new IPS 4 framework.  There was simply a lot that wasn't known about the framework and over the last 3 years i have become very familiar with the framework. So my goal with MGM was to redo CJM with what i've learned over the last few years. There are also problems with CJM, and those issue become more apparent to me when 4.1 and then 4.2 was released, its code base was rigid, didn't allow for easy modification. I basically wrote CJM in the fashion of a 3.x app, but in the 4.x's framework. Below i will list things that have been removed, features added and things that have changed from CJM to MGM:
Removed:
Featured and Popular : this feature was never fully realized and the fault lies with me. it never worked correctly and no one has ever really reported issues with it, so i took that to mean it wasn't a "popular feature" and have removed it from MGM.
Parent Duplication: this was a way around the problem with have menu set to click and having the parent menu have a URL. in MGM this has been done a different way (as the opening for click menus is a separated from the clickable part of the menu). so now when on click, the parent menu wont duplicate itself.
Predefined Groups: MGM doesn't come with any groups predefined, and the styling differences between the locations will be kept to a min. there will be 5 locations you can choose, there is a 6th choice but it has no location on the front end. its just for when you want to make a hook/widget out of the group. 
Stems/Indication Arrow group settings: stems were a pain to add in and i didn't like the end result all that much cause they didn't function properly with all the show/hide effects, so i've just decided to remove them. same with indication arrow settings, this will be handled in the theme settings. you can select one or not and if one isn't selected the indication arrow wont display. 
Group select on menu creation: you must be in the group you want to add a menu item too, or it will add it to the group you are in. i changed this as this required a bit of JS voodoo and hackery into how the forms work. so anything that required a bunch of voodoo to work, i removed and this was one thing that required it.
App Sync: this was a feature that was removed in CJM awhile back, that was added in promenu, but it wont be making a come back for MGM. so if you were wondering if it was coming back, nope. one of the points of this overhaul was to get rid of problematic features, freeing me to focus on the other features and some of the automation in CJM was causing issues.
Changes:
attributes box: there will now be a class, style and attributes box on menu creation on the style tab. i changed this cause like the item before this required some php voodoo to work properly, so it was just easier to separate them out into their own inputs. and should help with understanding with using them too.
app title as menu title: if you select application as your type, you can now choose to use the app title (whatever is set by the frontnavigation extension) or you can override that and create a new menu title from MGM.
Application Type: this has changed a bit. when i first wrote CJM they only had a very simple menu system in 4.0 that i built from, so i didn't put a lot of thought into it. this changed with the new menu manager in 4.1 and added to mine, but it wasn't enough and there were things that never fully worked with CJM, this has been corrected. instead of selecting an app then a front navigation/sub item/etc, you select the navigation extension itself from a list, and then if there are any configuration options, they will appear and can be configured and MGM will use them.  The application list has also changed, that it shows the extension directly, and it will only show them after being created if they are intended to be used multiple times. Example: you select a forum, save it, and create a new menu, forum will no loner be an option (as in the frontnavigation extension it only meant to be used once), but this happens at a group level. so you can create another forum menu item on another group. 
Enable/Disable Groups/Menus: you can now disable/enable groups and items, instead of manipulating their permissions.
Group Permissions: groups now have a permissions matrix for them, so you can set on a group level which groups can see a menu.
Publishing/Refresh All Caches: CJM would after any changes to a group or a menu item recache everything automatically for you. this was an issue for some people who were building new menus or had a lot of menus/edits going on. so in MGM you have to publish the group before it shows up or the changes appear on the front end. there will be 2 ways to do this, you can do it just for that group or recache everything. a Publish button will appear for the group when a unpublished change has occurred (also the group will have a visual indicator in the menu in the acp if it has unpublished changes). 
Traditional Menus: like CJM, MGM's menu's will be "mega", but some do not like mega menus. so i introduced "traditional" menus in CJM. however this was on the entire group. with MGM this feature has been moved to the parent Menu items for bars group type. so you can have one menu that way you can have a mix of mega/traditional menus on the same group.
New Features:
about the only thing really "new" would be the locations, and that is just a tweak of what was already there. you can assign multiple groups per location now, and what order they appear in, but other than that, MGM and CJM function more or less in the same way. most of the changes have happened at a code level. I'm also doing my best to keep styling to a min. for MGM, that way it can be easily styled for themes. most of the styling that i have already done, is just for stuff that makes it look presentable on the default skin, but its pretty bland compared to even the min. style approach i took with CJM, even to the point i would say "ugly". 
the other big change, would be the replacing of the default IPS menu. MGM has a setting to attempt the remove of the Default IPS Menu, but it doesn't do it by default now, there will also be no guarantee that it can, this really depends on the theme as some themes have been known to really alter this area, so my hooks might not have any effect and with like CJM, this will not be considered a support issue and will be treated as its own service if you want me to work on it. 
So hopefully MGM will be a good for the legacy that started out as promenu all those years ago. 

Michael

I've spent the last few weeks thinking long and hard about this, CJ Menu needs a rewrite. it was my first 4 app coming from IPS 3.x. as it was a "learning curve" app, there were a lot of things i was unfamiliar with and was making "work arounds", that could be done differently in the framework or better. as i was looking at the codebase (face palming a lot) i decided that it would be better to start from scratch and create a new app. So Menu Groups Manager was born out of this decision.
Menu Groups Manager will have a lot of the same features that CJ Menu has (plus new features), it wont be feature parity with it, as some features in cj menu weren't given a lot of thought, i just added them cause i thought they were "cool" or "interesting". so with MGM, the plan is to figure out what features are good, which ones are bad and go from there. It will also address issues that were introduced with me tacking on features over the years with it.
I will make a more indepth what is being kept/removed and the new features when i begin to finalize them. I am always opened to suggestions, and this would be the perfect time to ask for them :).
Also a side note, anyone who has purchased CJ Menu, will have an opportunity to get Menu Groups Manager for free for a limited time after Menu Groups Manager is released.
 

Michael

Update

By Michael, in General,

As some of you have noticed, i seemed to have either abandoned my apps or just disappeared. fear not, i am still actively developing and around. the reason for radio silence, life. as some of you know i do have a job outside of my development, we took on a new contract there from several local business and were upgrading their systems, so i was quite busy (as i usually work from home, but this last several weeks, i was out in the field).
the other even that happened, like most, i have a laptop and a desktop and i also have roommates. I usually use my laptop thru out the day to do things with and at night, its the domain of my sisters children (for school) and/or my sister (for her work) and i use my desktop. however at the beginning of the year, i purchased a new motherboard and cpu (any one curious it was a ryzen 6 1600) and a new monitor (a samsung 4k tv). well after a few days, my gpu died (gtx 970) and i was forced to go back to my intel cpu/mobo to use it's onboard gpu (as ryzen doesn't have one) and i was limited to 30hz on my new monitor (and it was causing me headaches) so i was unable to work, till late in the evening (around 9pm) but i that was nearing my bedtime (as i was getting up around 4am for my other job).
so these two events left me with very limited time to keep up with everything, but i am back now. I am also looking to hire a friend of mine who is familiar with my apps, to help me out in times like this, but i will need to bring him up to speed as things like the babble chat service can be daunting to some one who is unfamiliar with how it operates.
Over the next few weeks i will be addressing the outstanding issues and reports i have. monday i will be releasing a updated versions of downloads plus to address a few issues that have cropped up in it and to introduce a few new features that have been requested.
 

Michael

Babble 2.6.1 Self Hosted

By Michael, in General,

There will not be a 2.6.1 version of the babble self hosted,  as a vast majority of the changes were for the chat service. There will be a 2.6.2 released in a few days to address a few other issues for self hosted (that were in the self hosted specific bits of the code). 

Michael

Babble 2.5.0

By Michael, in General,

Babble 2.5.0 will be released the next few days. This release is mainly for Commands. A lot of the planned features for commands for 3.0.0 have been backported to 2.5.0, to help fix several issues. mainly cause of confusion when it came to permissions or "quirks" in the previous system that would allow some of the "moderator" commands to be used by everyone or groups that weren't a moderator.
Features/Improvements:
Custom Commands/included commands and aliases have all been merged. Permissions are now handled per Command (including any added commands). Custom Commands of the basic type found in previous versions can be created, along with more advanced form ones, like the included commands. there will be new guides to explain how to do either. Custom Commands:
you will still be able to add your own custom commands. there will be 2 types you have a choice from. Basic, basic works identically to the way the custom commands from previous versions, and advanced. Advanced are php based ones, designed to do more advanced things, all of the included commands are of this type. I will make guides for both of these types, to better explain how they are to be used, and what options are available to you.
Aliases:
Aliases still exist in this version, but they are now included with the commands. Instaed of one HUGE list of available commands, with their stacks all visible. The Aliases have their own tab within the command.
Help:
Help has its own tab now inside the command, and will be using translatable, so you can customize the commands help per language you have installed.
This is a much needed improvement for babble, hopefully it is a welcomed change . let me know what you think or if you have any questions.
 

Michael

I've been working to get 2.4.0 stable and released sometime this week. it will have the following changes:
clubs - babble will be able to be used in clubs. improved online list (hopefully i have solved the ghosting problem, from my testing it seems to be resolved. remember if the user is logged in anonymously they will not show in the online list, this is to remain consistent with way IPS works, so keep this in mind if you experience it after this update.) removed the sources/Node folder. babble.js and package.json will be available to you in the ACP under node settings. this was done to reduce the overall size of babble's tar file for various reasons. as some sites owners are not willing or unable to increase the upload size limits. and it can be a hassle to have to upload via ftp and then run the upgrade process manually.  removed the emoji one library, this was an a frivolous addition to babble early on. i will make the images available so existing messages can still use them. i might make it an "addon" later on for babble, but we will see. it is also a very "large" library, and my goal with this version is to reduce the install tar of babble. i've also been working on resolving currently any open bug reports with this release. will no longer support nginx or apache proxies, they were a very messy work around for ssl, but since babble now supports SSL, these are no longer required, and they lead to much confusion to people trying to set it up. removed the SSL tab in configuration. this again lead to much confusion when people were trying to configure SSL.  if it is not obvious, version 2.4 will only be IPS 4.2+ compatible, as the addition of clubs has broken backwards compatibility. this version also heavily modifies the babble.js and the node modules installed.  there will be a new install guide to go along with this release. so once you upgrade the app, the babble front end will more than likely stop working. if you have any questions or comments, leave them below.  

Michael

CJ Menu 5

By Michael, in General,

as some of you might know, cj menu was my first app for IPS 4.0, and it was also a "testing" ground for various ideas, some better than the others. to put it simply i made a lot of bad mistakes with cj menu. things i didn't quite understand at the time due to lack of documentation and/or experimenting with the framework in different ways. cj menu does work and remained relatively solid for long periods, but its "code" base i would've said when i came out with it would've allowed flexibility to add new things in easily, i now say is a beast with two left feet and a gaping maw that constantly runs into walls. so i would like to know everyone's thought one CJ Menu 4, what you liked about it, what you hated about it, and what you would like to see in 5. 
It would be invaluable to get your feedback on things, so i have an idea where to take it. cause CJ Menu in general was well "CJ's Menu" not a true "Menu Manager" i had envisioned it be. as for the version bump, i will not be "re-releasing" it, it will replace CJ Menu 4, so there wont be any messy "re-buys" to it. this is something i owe the people who have bought it and been supportive of it for a long while, so it wouldn't be right of me to recharge cause i messed up a few years ago when designing it. so please leave your comments down below  

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