2013/07/26 12:46:51
APGvNext Sam

What's coming to APG vNext (4.4) - part 1

In addition to Google Authorship Integration, version 4.4 has many more exciting new features:
  1. Dynamic Top Navigation Menu
  2. A New Forum Theme: Progressive
  3. Landing Pages / Announcement Improvements (part 2)
  4. Community Home Page Switch (part 2)
  5. 3rd Party Membership Integration via Web Service API (part 3)
  6. Other Notable Improvements (part 3)


Dynamic Top Navigation Menu

As much as I like to customize the Top Nav menu in code, you can't beat a menu editor that lets you create menu list on the fly. If you look at the top nav bar now, you'll see a menu item named "Home", which is added by using the new menu editor in the AdminCP.
 

The icons you see in menu are provided by FontAwesome v3.2.1, which is also integrated in the software.

Menu Editor in the AdminCP:

This new editor allows you to create root menu items, add sub menu (multiple levels), and drag' n drop to re-order:
 
( you can easily re-order the menu with drag n drop)
 
 
It'll become very easy to add links to important threads, pages on your site, or anything that you want your members to have easy access to. Also, the menu editor produces static HTML on the page, which can be indexed by Google.
 
So, no more code modifications for menu customization from now on, which also makes upgrades easier to perform.

A New Forum Theme (Progressive)

There will be a new theme bundled in 4.4 named Progressive. It'll be the default theme I use on my site from now on. Of course, the Elegant theme which is bundled since the beginning will stay in the software.
 
The Progressive theme incorporates 3 Google Web Fonts using the Web Font Loader (non-blocking):
  1. Merienda One
  2. Open Sans
  3. Roboto Slab
 
One other improvement you'll find in the theme system is it'll be easier to customize the header.
 
In versions up to 4.3, I use a background image on the body element as the header background.
 
This makes it a little difficult to customize because you can't use HTML & CSS directly to change the height of the header. You need an image editor for that. Especially if you have a logo that is much larger or smaller than our ASPPlayground logo.
 
( header container can be styled with CSS directly)
 
 
In 4.4, I added an absolutely positioned div box to the top that serves as the header background container
 
What this allows you to do is you can easily change the height of the header using CSS to fit your logo (or any other HTML elements you may have), and use CSS to add shadow or gradient effects without using an image editor.

What's Next

I'll be showing you more 4.4 features next week (part 2).
Edit: Part 2 is ready. Check it out.
 
The landing page improvements I'll cover next week make creating & optimizing a stand alone page (landing pages) much easier. You can see an example here. Here is another example without the standard forum header.
 
You'll also see how you can switch among 3 different display styles for your community home page. You'll be able to do so without touching the code, too.

vNext: Online Demo | Latest version: 5.5
Consultation / Custom Programming
2 comments Leave a comment
GREater
I just purchased the forum and wanted to say hi. Very impressed and looking forward to getting it installed.
have a great weekend!
2013/08/03 12:02:10
APGvNext Sam
Thanks for your purchase Greg, welcome on board!
2013/08/03 15:30:37

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