Major release & coding upgrade!

Release 1.3.0 (Cadman Plaza)

This week has seen a major code overhaul and modifications roll-out not seen since the initial launch! Encore (the underlying system powering Kablam) has matured into a stable, highly powerful system and we are now able to focus on flexing its muscle and start rapidly rolling out new features to you all!

Major updates -

  • [DEV] Twitch Integration is now here
    we are aware this was a feature promised from launch however there were a number of obstacles and complexities involved with integrating Kablam into a third party streaming site.
    - Users can now 'pair' a channel to their profile. Kablam will do some back and forth with Twitch to check the channel exists and if so, if its currently streaming or not.   Kablam will continue to monitor paired channel activity and will automatically re-broadcast the stream onto the users public profile.
    - Users with paired Twitch channels can view basic stats from within their new /me area.
    - Using the new 'User Nav', users logged into the site can enter a new area of the users profile to access Twitch instant messaging services during a live stream.
    - Twitch integration on the users public profile automatically hides when the channel is not broadcasting, however a link to the channel will persist.

  • [DEV] XBox Live Integration is now here
    This feature is in experimental mode but considered stable. Users can pair their XBox live gamertags to Kablam, to proudly display them on their public profile. Again, Kablam will quietly talk to Microsoft's servers to double check gamertag validity. Future versions of this feature will enable users to import his/her avatar, recently played games, XBox Live gamerscore and more.

  • [DEV] The User '/me' portal has been completely redesigned
    To make way for a number of new features, we have de-cluttered, refreshed the look and feel and spread the /me area out over a number of pages. The /me 'landing' page is also now the users 'News feed' agregating news from other users they are following*

  • [DEV] Release of /me 'news feed'
    As mentioned above, an aggregate, time based feed is now available to all registered users of the platform.

  • [DEV] Rebuild of Notifications engine.
    We admit it, the initial release of 'Notifications' was broken. We've addressed this moving the bulk of the notifications system over to a new /me/notifications dedicated page, and have added a Notification drop-down next to the search button in the top menu, that lists the latest 5 alerts. In addition...
    - The Notification server is now polled every few minutes to update the system cache (so the alerts periodically update)
    - Previously viewed alerts are correctly marked as 'read' and will no longer ping on login.
    - An option to mark all as read has been added to the main notification page and drop down.
    - An option to delete non-system alerts has been added.

  • [DEV/UI] Skins are here!
    Users logged in can now skin the look and theme of the website. Choose your alegiance - Hero (the default skin) or Villain, a new - high contrast, moody skin! The skins are multi-platform, device and browser compliant however you may have issues changing the skin from a mobile device.

  • [DEV] Profiles now have multiple pages.
    Throughout this week you'll be able to see articles written, who follows and who a user is following from their profile page or via the following URL's:
    /<handle>/articles | /<handle>/followers | /<handle>/following - future upgrades will extend these url's to the user URL service.
  • [DEV] Follow/ Follower counts now accurately update on user profiles in real time.
    Easy update, but there were some considerations on how this is achieved to ensure the backend databases aren't overloaded.
  • [DEV] List articles by Author,
    You can now view the articles written by a user by clicking the 'Count' (or number) within that users profile page.
  • [UI] Profile page 'Articles' option now clickable. going through to a new page listing documents by that author.

Minor updates -

  • [UI] 'Favorites' section updated with user nav bar for easy access to/from the new '/me' area
  • [UI] 'Favorites' section now displays logged in user coverphoto rather than generic 'favorites' photo*
  • [UI] Icons have been added to all sections of /me and some areas of the public user profile to enhance the look and feel of the site, and make areas easier to navigate 'at a glance',
  • [UI] 'Tools & Support' section added to de-clutter 'About' section of top navigation bar, and to pave the way for a new help center.
  • [DEV] Minor tweaks, enhancements and optimizations for the search engine,
  • [DEV] Minor tweaks added to the backend databases to support new list of features and services,
  • [DEV] Minor tweaks added to Kablam security & session systems to account for new features and services,
  • [UI] Kablam 'white' logo released for 'Villain' theme*.
  • [UI] Updates to user navigation bar, providing access to new areas of /me.
  • [UI] CSS updates and Bootstrap, jQuery/various other plugins updated to latest versions.


Thats alot of updates for 1 week!

Due to the way the infrastructure works, some features (especially those with a *) may not be immediately available to all users, but rest assured they will ripple accross the infrastructure before the weekend (as cache systems update as well as code bases/libraries for various servers).

Hopefully the commitment displayed within this latest update reflects the hard work we put into the ecosystem, and in our part to thank our small but loyal users who continue to make Kablam great!

Published February 12, 2016
Filed under kablam
6 minutes to read (estimated)
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