DPCalendar 7

A goal of a new major version is to be prepared for the future. We worked hard on DPCalendar in the last months to achieve that by using technologies and methods which can serve us best in the next years. The architecture should be as much performant, accessible and secure as possible while still offering the flexibility you expect from our flagship product. To ensure that we touched over 1000 files, replaced over 50'000 lines of code and added another 20'000 new lines. We have now a clear, front end framework agnostic, HTML markup which follows the BEM methodology to make CSS styling a breeze. Actually Joomla 4 will use the same approach too (you see the link?).

Before we dive into the amazing new features of v7, we would like to shoot out a big THANK YOU to Joomla51. They helped us massively on the front end part while still doing heavy work on the back end template for Joomla 4. Without their input, DPCalendar would not be where it is now.

So what's new in the biggest release in DPCalendar history?

DPCalendar GDPR

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) law is enacting on 25. May 2018 and forces web site owners to protect the privacy of their visitors in a restrictive way. These affects also the Joomla CMS and it's extensions. Luckily some of the Joomla core developers teamed up to create a privacy extension, which will be released with Joomla 3.9. More information can be found in the following links:

Additionally the Joomla extensions directory contains some helpful extensions to handle cookies and more. But GDPR has also effect for extension developers, especially when they have user related workflows like DPCalendar does with it's event and booking system.

Jandbeyond 2018

We've also attended this years J and Beyond, a Joomla developer conference. It was nice to see all of your Joomla friends again and to meet new ones. We got a little surprise. Allon Moritz won the J.O.S.C.A.R this year for his Joomla Github contribution. The whole Digital Peak team feels very honored.

Facebook analytica leak

[UPDATE 14. August 2018: The DPCalendar FB plugin is working again since version 7.0.4 as we upgraded to the new platform API 3.1. There is still an issue with pages where you are not an admin or developer of. But it looks like a problem on the FB platform as mentioned in this ticket.]

Since the Cambridge Analytica leak, the Facebook developer team takes some measures that this can't happen again. One of the tasks is to review their app platform. A consequence is that apps do stop working and API access is not possible anymore. The DPCalendar plugin relies on the API as it is the official way to access the event data from your Facebook pages. Here is a link to the restrictions they do put in place.

As Facebook is also putting some restrictions for events fetching, it can happen that your DPCalendar plugin is not pulling the events anymore into Joomla. This happened to one of your app too while another one is still working. The problem is that we can't do anything on that part as the API is fully managed by Facebook. We can just wait till an official statement comes out what the proper steps would be to make your Facebook app and the API work again. When you log in on https://developers.facebook.com, you will see an announcement that they are not reviewing any app at the moment. But for the events API your app must be reviewed as stated here when you want to go public with it. At the moment we are not sure if the apps will still work in development mode as they did before the leak. You can find here more information about the different steps in the life cycle of a Facebook app.

What you can do in the meantime, except to wait? You can create new events in DPCalendar itself or move to another system like iCloud or Google calendar.

Here is a list of links which do provide more information regarding the progress of the platform review:

We are aware that this is a frustrating situation and are monitoring the progress of the platform review very closely. As soon as something changes we will update this article and push status updates on our official twitter account. Thanks for understanding.

Sincerely, Allon and the Digital Peak team

DPCalendar 6.2

Right before the end of year, we have a great present for you. DPCalendar 6.2 has arrived which comes with a lot of new features and better performance. The biggest new feature is the resource view for locations which allows all subscribers to show a horizontal resource view in the location details and list. Read on for detailed explanation of all the main features.

Resource view

Many DPCalendar users do use it as a resource management tool or as event calendar. A missing peace in their workflow was to have . It is now possible to define multiple rooms per location and assign events to these rooms, before you could only assign an event to a location. On the location detail page a new resource view is displayed which gives a detailed overview about the rooms and which events do happen in these rooms.

The events are loaded trough ajax to not block the page load and are rendered by a similar script as the main calendar view. The new view comes with four different pages:

  • Day page
    The day page shows the full day with hourly slots.
  • Week page
    The week page shows the full week, where every day is shown as 24 (hours) slots.
  • Month page
    The month page shows all days of the month, where each slot represents a day.
  • Year page
    The year page shows all days of the year, where each slot represents a day, similar to the month view.

Of course you can control in the settings which view should be shown initially.

resource view

Faster page load

As fast pages are nowadays critical for the sccess of a web page, we made our hands dirty for you to improve the performance of DPCalendar. A lot of old JQuery based scripts got replaced by smaller plain vanilla libraries. This has the advantage that thy require less bandwidth, are faster executed and do not have any external dependency. For example we were completely rewriting the counter plugin and do have now a 600 Bytes script loaded with a tiny date library instead of a full blown jQuery related timepicker.

All the scripts are minified and loaded in defer mode, means they do not block the page rendering and are fetched during the rendering process of the browser and executed at the end. More stuff is done then in parallel.

We do not combine the scripts as HTTP/2 is supported by every major web server and it is faster to have many small scripts instead of a big one.

waterfall

Overhaul of the list and map views

The list and map views got some tiny markup changes. But the biggest diffference are the new filter options. Beside the search feild, you can now define the date range and a location and radius to search events within. If the site visitor wants to search for events near him, then there is a new button which determines the current location and searches for close events.

map search bar

Small improvements and bug fixes

Beside the great new features, we fixed some bugs and added many little goodies to DPCalendar to make your life as administrator easier and to offer your visitors a neat event experience. The following list represents the full changelog of the new 6.2 version:

  • [#4791]   ICAL Link - Goolge Calendar
  • [#4939]   Access to calendars through a OAuth token
  • [#5193]   New event with a new venue in one step
  • [#5227]   Resources view based on locations
  • [#5284]   More search options in the list and map view
  • [#5297]   Tags filter in modules
  • [#5309]   Multiple rooms per location
  • [#5384]   Customise event form view
  • [#5409]   Resource views for locations
  • [#5414]   Lighweight Datepicker
  • [#5432]   Manual payment plugin send information mail
  • [#5281]   Obfuscate passwords of external calendar systems
  • [#5326]   Upcoming and counter modules show/hide
  • [#5367]   Show image in SQL plugin
  • [#5372]   DPCalendar Map search consider live location lookup
  • [#5373]   SQL import events should use plain id for urls
  • [#5427]   Configurable resource default view
  • [#5442]   Lightweight tooltip library
  • [#5443]   Make counter native JS
  • [#5447]   Load JS files in defer mode to improve performance
  • [#5448]   Update iframeresizer lib and move to vanilla js
  • [#5466]   Move loader to it's own layout
  • [#5469]   Allow to disable the filters in the map module
  • [#5332]   Quickadd floats off the screen
  • [#5404]   Mini module clears system messages
  • [#5410]   Change event time in front end update missing
  • [#5449]   System messages are not shown full width on back end
  • [#5458]   Incorrect Ticket Limit For Users
  • [#5464]   Mini and main calendar not showing the list

How to upgrade?

We tested this version extensively, so you can be safe when upgrading. Just install the whole package from our download site or trough the Joomla update manager, DPCalendar will take care about the rest. We touched a lot of layout files because this new features had a big impact on them, so please double check your layout overrides!!

BUT we recommend always to make a backup first and do the upgrade on a test clone of your production site to have no unexpected downtime. Also clearing the Joomla cache is a good advice when upgrading extensions in general, not just when upgrading the Joomla CMS.

Kind regards

Allon Moritz aka laoneo
Founder of Digital Peak

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