We have moved ahead with our agenda in several areas for September.
Members can enjoy changes in the following areas:
Post Messages Using Windows Live ID, Facebook, Yahoo!, and AOL
As we proposed today, members can use the Facebook Graph API (and therefore the OpenGraph API) to post messages to threads using Windows Live ID, Yahoo!, AOL, and Facebook. The feature set for these posts will never be as robust as making a full-featured forum post, but allow our audience to use recently popularized APIs to still make comments and use the website. This feature still remains classified as "in testing" and as such could be removed if we feel it does not work well enough or creates a significant problem for us. However, it is clear that the system is working well now and fully functional, after some extensive testing.
This type of comment system has been seen more prominently used on news sites, but will be active as a hand-in-hand feature with our primary comment system. Unfortunately, it may not be possible to search on these comments with our internal search engine and we would consider the content of these messages to be the responsibility of the content publisher.
vBulletin (Core Forum Software) Development Upgrades
Several days ago, we upgraded the forums with vBulletin 4.1.7 Beta, which is not available to general license holders or the public. While still in development, this bug fix release has already improved code problems, potential security vulnerabilities, and adds over 300 code improvements and bug fixes. We will be unable to post the full details of this upgrade until the final version is released. Astute observers of the situation will note that we were previously using vBulletin 4.1.5. 4.1.6 will include additional improvements for mobile users. Using this mode of development, we have already been able to report some cosmetic and asthetic issues that we expect to be patched in a final release. We will continue to vigilantly look for issues that may impact usability of the website.
We continue to look forward to new ideas and programming improvements that extend the website's outreach to a wider audience. In doing so, we hope this will allow a more robust experience when using the website.
Issues with search engine updates were corrected over the weekend.
Thanks for reading about these updates, and expect for even greater features coming soon. Many of these features may involve under-the-hood changes, but when we do have the opportunity, we will include features that enhance the overall functionality of the site in a way that is widely seen by members.
We are continuing to look at ways to improve coordination between Windows8Forums.com and Windows7Forums.com. We believe the pieces necessary to complete this puzzle will continue to come together as more information regarding Windows 8 becomes widely accessible and available.
Other areas that are being focused on are download accessibility, and providing an area that would help members find quick solutions to common problems: Missing drivers, freeware software, and issues related to Windows 7 installation reliability. How these changes will be implemented and to what extent we can provide this content is still being discussed.