We're getting pretty close to finishing off the bugs we discovered when the Lounge upgraded our underlying software from IP.Board 2.x to 3.0 on Oct. 30. It's been a wild two weeks of rapid development work for us. But we can see light at the end of the tunnel now. Stay tuned, and all of the irritating glitches that haven't already been corrected will get corrected.

The items that we put to bed on Nov. 11 (workday 8 since the upgrade) are:

1. Junk is no longer appended to wopr.com URLs in the Web Site field in Profile. IP.Board requires that the http:// part of a URL must be present in links formed in the post editor, the user control panel, and so forth. This wasn't happening in the Web Site field of user profiles, so we added retroactive enforcement there, too. (Without http:// or some other protocol like ftp://, links won't work.) There may still be places in old posts where a URL is broken, because the requirement for well-formed links wasn't being enforced then. For a discussion of this issue, see Post 767955.

2. "Manage Friends" option now shows up. On the main Lounge menu, click Settings. Then select the Profile tab and click Manage Friends. This option was previously not showing up on this page in the user control panel. You first need to have some friends in order to manage them, of course. To see a discussion of this issue, visit Post 768036.

3. Formatting is better on Rules page. Our "rules and guidelines" page had some out-of-date formatting. Now it's all fixed up.

4. Superfluous header text was removed from various pages. Done.

5. HTML included in posts should be displayed as code, not a broken image. The IP.Board software should be correctly preventing raw HTML from being entered into input boxes. This setting seems to be working. It may be that some older posts didn't enforce this requirement, however. For examples, see Post 767846.

We still have about a dozen known issues, some of which are fixable, whereas others are not in the current generation of IP.Board software. Some of the main ones that are manageable are:

1. Find a workable display format for relative and absolute times. IP.Board only supports three options for the display of the time a forum or thread was most recently updated. We're using absolute times (1 January 2010 3:05 pm) in threads and other appropriate places. In the Lounge Lobby and in the forum views, however, the ability to show how recently something was updated in relative time (1 hour ago, etc.) was one of the benefits of IP.Board 3.0 that Lounge badgeholders asked us to upgrade from 2.x to get. Dan and I recently found two places where we may be able to get more granularity over the way absolute and relative times are displayed. IPB provides no per-user controls, so Loungers could switch from one format to another. It's all or nothing. I'll post a complete explanation of a possible fix in a new Suggestion Box thread next week.

2. Make dates and times in threads more prominent. It's true — these things are too small and hard to read. Shouldn't be hard for us to make 'em more legible, though. See the discussion that started Nov. 13 in Post 767791.

3. Tweak names and positions that are confusing in forum nomenclature. It's been requested that the Microsoft Outlook forum be relocated to the Office Applications category of forums. Also, Loungers have requested other minor edits, such as the Graphics Applications forum being renamed the Graphics/Multimedia forum (to reflect the fact that people commonly save video and audio these days, not just still images). Now that some of the most crucial bugs in IPB 3 have been swatted, we'll go through the forums and update them with fixes such as these.

4. Eliminate conflicts in text that converts to emoticons. See Post 767958 for a list of such conflicts. For example, an emoticon is swapped into a post when someone types B ). (I've added a space so the switcheroo won't happen in this comment!) Obviously, a Lounger might type that string when trying to create some kind of A, B, C list. The suggestion has been made that every text shortcut that transforms into an emoticon should be enclosed in colons, :likethis: for example. That would prevent accidental transformations, and it wouldn't stop people from inserting emoticons the usual way, which is to click the desired icon in the selection box. Another suggestion was to eliminate emoticons entirely, but you'd hear a lot of screaming if that suddenly happened, since many Loungers are addicted to the little critters.

5. Fix the update state of the "new posts" icons in Lounge Lobby. I keep mentioning this in my known issues updates, because there's nothing we can do to fix this until Invision supplies us with its promised .5 patch. Let's hope this is pushed out next week.

To check out issues that were fixed on previous workdays, see:

Day 7: Post 768285
Day 6: Post 768167
Day 5: Post 768160
Day 4: Post 768158
Day 3: Post 767981
Day 2: Post 767935
Day 1: Post 767895

Please don't reply to this post, which is just an announcement. If you see a new issue, start a thread in the Suggestion Box forum. Thanks!