After an easy upgrade process, Elgg.net is back online. We’ve recoded the way the front page works on the backend – which won’t make much difference to you, but makes maintaining the site much easier for us.
So what can you expect from this upgrade?
The first thing you’ll probably notice is the new toolbar, which remains constant across everybody’s themes. We’ve received a lot of comments over the years that the old-style tabs were confusing; the toolbar replaces these. It’s yours: clicking the buttons at the top of the screen will always bring you back to your pages. You can trust links below there to belong to whoever owns the page you’re currently looking at.
We’ve expanded our codebase to allow for all kinds of different file folders. Currently we’ve enabled the default (the one you’ve always used) and a photo gallery. You can create new photo gallery folders in the usual way, or convert your existing folders into photo galleries – just select ‘photo gallery’ under ‘folder type’ when creating or editing. We think this is a much better way to showcase photographs, diagrams or other images you might have lying around. Of course, this being Elgg, you can also upload any other type of files to your photogallery; they’ll be displayed underneath. (See my photo galleries for examples.) There will also be more folders added over time – podcast jukebox, anyone?
If you enjoy writing your own themes, you’ll be pleased to see that the template structure has been dramatically simplified. Documentation will be released shortly on our forthcoming support site, which will be out soon. We’ll also be quietly releasing a number of themes over time – and would love to see some that you’ve designed. If you’ve made a great theme that you’d like other people to be able to use, let us know!
Because we’ve changed the template system, we’ve disabled your current ones. We’re aware this is a drag, and have left them online (albeit in a renamed form) so you can adapt them if you like, or retrieve any links etc you may have hardcoded into your sidebar. You shouldn’t switch back to them; they probably won’t work at all, and will definitely look very odd indeed. This was a hard decision to make, but it needed to be done, and we decided we’d rather do this now than later down the line.
There are plenty of other changes under the hood that make things more efficient, with more to come. We hope you enjoy them; as always, let us know if you have any feedback or potential improvements. Cheers!