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[IPS News] New in 4.1.12: Improvements to Activity Streams and Search

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We are currently beta testing our next release, 4.1.12, which contains hundreds of bug fixes, dozens of improvements, as well as a handful of new features. In this post, I want to cover some improvements we've made to two key areas: activity streams and search.

Activity Streams

The first improvement we made is to change how the expanded/condensed toggles are displayed to improve their clarity. From studying the feedback from administrators and users, we discovered that many people did not realize the view could be changed. To improve this, the toggles now explicitly say 'Condensed' and 'Expanded', making it much clearer how the view can be toggled to your own preference.

All Activity - IPS Community Suite 2016-05-17 kq2d5.png
More clearly marked expand and condense options for Activity Streams

Next, a common point of feedback about Activity Streams is that clicking a result and then hitting the Back button in the browser means you are put back at the first batch of results, losing your place in the stream. In 4.1.12 we improved this so that clicking Back will load the last batch of results you were viewing, enabling you to continue browsing from whence you left off.

Finally, in the Content Types menu we added an Apply button. We discovered that users were not always sure how to save the selection of content types they had made (which automatically happened when that menu was closed). To alleviate this, the new Apply button will save the selection and close the menu, updating the stream results in real-time as expected. You can still simply click out of the menu to apply changes as well.

apply.png
The new Apply button in the Content Types menu

Search

While overall improvements to search (specifically the algorithms to match and return the results) are a matter of ongoing research and refinement which we will improve in the 4.2 series and beyond, 4.1.12 sees one small improvement to the options available to users. While you have always been able to search within a particular forum, category etc. while browsing that area, you were not able to retroactively filter into particular areas after performing a more general search. IPS Community Suite 4.1.12 adds this ability to the interface, allowing you to get more specific results from a particular area of the community.

Version 4.1.12 is currently in beta testing and should be released in the next two weeks.

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