October 2008

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Jeremey Ronnel from Elbee just released an autosubscribegroup plugin. This plugin automatically subscribes new users to a group or groups designated by tha administrator.

Installation is simple. FTP the unzipped folder to the mod directory of your Elgg installation, then activate it through Tolls Administration. Next click on more information.

A field appears for entering group ID numbers. You may enter as many as you like separating the numbers with a comma. Here’s where to find a group’s ID. Go to the group page in your site and look at the url in the address bar.

The group ID number appears after the word groups in the url. Type in the desired group numbers and click save. Now all new users will be subscribe automatically to the desired group or groups.

This plugin provides much sought after functionality. Many have asked for the ability to autosubscribe new members to groups of common interest to all members. It also helps give users unfamiliar with Elgg a starting point.

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If you used Subversion to install Elgg using SSH, upgrading to Elgg 1.1 stable is a snap. Simply log in and:

cd yourelggdirectory

svn sw https://code.elgg.org/elgg/releases/core/elgg1.1/ .

Make sure you include the space and period. Press enter, then agree to accept the security certificate typing t for temporarily or p for permanently. The files will scroll quickly as they are transferred from server to server.

When the transfer is done, open your browser and go to yourelggdirectory.upgrade.php

You should get a message saying the database has been upgraded and land on the login page. Log in and check your version. It should say 1.1 Stable.

Always have a backup of both the files and the database in case something goes wrong. I have done this svn upgrade with the original 1.0 release, and the 1.1 RC1 from the trunk. Note that older themes may exhibit minor quirks.

That’s it. It only takes a minute or two.

More information about Elgg and SVN

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Just yesterday, the Elgg developers committed Elgg 1.1 RC1. This morning, Elgg 1.1 became an official release–in record time, I’d say. The release is available zipped up at elgg.org. It can also be obtained from their Subversion Repository:

The following posts describe several of the new features in Elgg 1.1

Kudos to the developers for their release offer more features, greater stability and speed. Now we begin the march to Elgg 1.5 in February!

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Today I noticed a revision to Elgg trunk version.php and found that the Elgg developers have changed the version to 1.1 RC1. A release candidate usually means that new features will not be added and any future updates to 1.1 will be bug fixes. I don’t know if the developers intend to zip up the release candidate so users can get it without using Subversion. I did not see a 1.1 RC1 in the releases directory in their file repository. Team Elgg is appears to be on track for a release next week.

One thing I noticed when I hooked up the latest core and plugins, is that the embed function of the file extension was no longer there. I checked in the repository and indeed embed.php it was gone. I wonder if this means that it will not be part of the 1.1 release. Looking at the roadmap, it is not promised until release 1.5.

Also of note, when I upgraded to today’s trunk, I needed to run upgrade.php indicating more database tweaks.

The release candidate status generally indicates that the code is more thoroughly tested than the usual trunk, but not sufficiently tested to qualify for a release. As usual, be careful. Do not use it with a production site unless you are prepared to restore it with a back up.

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As we approach an Elgg 1.1 release tentatively set for next week, the core developers have been focusing on database performance. Many earlier adopters have complained about Elgg’s performance.

Today alone, Marcus Povey tweeted that he removed over forty database queries and reported that Elgg is noticeably faster since those changes. Marcus also reported some other things that he was working on.

One item is a Garbage Collector.

This garbage collector removes clutter from Elgg’s mySQL database by eliminating data no longer needed in the elggmetastrings table. As you can see from the image above, administrators have the option of collecting “garbage” once per week, month, or year.

Another new administrative feature in this area is the log rotator. Anybody who has perused Elgg logs knows how astonishingly fast Elgg’s log amasses entries. This feature is similar to the garbage collector in that it clears out data at intervals set by the administrator.

Instead of deleting the data, it archives it, leaving you access to the data, but reducing the overhead on the database.

It’s great to hear that the Elgg team has responded to concerns about its performance. I cannot verify the differences these make to Elgg’s performance. I’d love to hear from others who can test these claims.

Again, these changes are available only in the trunk SVN. The trunk is relatively untested and should not be used on a production site unless you are able to restore your site with backups.

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