This was meant to be a 1.5.5 release, but I ended up sending out the 1.5.5 release unofficially to all of my users two Sundays ago and of course they ended up finding a few bugs and areas of improvement (I wasn't able to get all of them in, but the biggies all made it in). But since I had already tagged the 1.5.5 release that means any new additions meant a new version too, so here we go with version 1.5.6!
Quick Release Note: The 1.5.6 version's ZIP file contains a customized router.php file which can be used to overwrite DOCman's default router.php file. My version adds some new capabilities that allows my query reduction improvements to be taken advantage of even when SEF URLs have been enabled (unfortunately I couldn't fix this within the plugin as it's an issue with DOCman itself, hence the customized router.php file).
That's a great question! I guess there are a couple of things, but the main reason was that I went on October 15 to get a LASIK consultation with the wonderful Dr. Angela Nahl of La Jolla, California, to see if I would be a good candidate for laser eye surgery.
You see, I've been wearing glasses since I was eight years old and over the years my eyesight had decreased pretty steadily to the point where I was close to -8.00 diopters (or about 20/1200) and I had just gotten to the point where I really didn't want to wear my glasses anymore and didn't want to bother with contacts either (which i had been wearing on and off over the years).
So I went in and met Dr. Nahl and everything checked out for me as a candidate so I signed the paperwork and then came back the following Friday, October 22, to get my eyes fixed.
Even though I look pretty serious in the picture below, I wanted to share the fact that I'm so into Joomla that I went ahead and wore my recently acquired shirt from the San Jose Joomla!Day to my procedure :-).
(I swear I don't look this serious all of the time!)
So I've been trying to keep my eyes rested the past few weeks (prior to the surgery and then afterwards), but I still wanted to put some work into fixing the issues that have cropped in the last two weeks after I sent out that email about version 1.5.5.
If there is anybody out there that is in a similar situation with their eyes, I would definitely recommend Dr. Nahl (she had the fastest laser after all, haha...about twice as fast according to her as the one at UCSD's Shiley Eye Center) and the procedure in general. I know it's different person-to-person, but for me there was only a mild scratchiness immediately after the procedure which went away after a few hours and unlike some I didn't have watery eyes or anything afterwards. When I went back in this past Tuesday for a follow-up I was able to see all the way to the 20/15 line on Snellen Chart so I felt pretty good about that :-).
Thank you very much for your patience everyone and thank you to everyone that wished me luck on my procedure!
Want to see what other features DOCman List has? Check out the Features page! Want to see the plugin in action? Check out the DOCman List Plugin's Example page on our Demo Site!
This is just a quick update to let anyone out there who is using DOCman List on a site with a few thousand documents that are all going to be displayed on a single page I've got some great updates coming around the corner for you!
One of them is currently already available from the Downloads section: an Updated Joomla! Core SEF System Plugin (you can simply download and install it and it will overwrite the default Joomla! SEF System Plugin).
This plugin was created in order to solve a problem I've detailed here. The problem is a PHP "White Screen of Death" which I originally thought was due to a problem in DOCman List somewhere, but after some debugging I discovered it was due to a call to the preg_replace function failing within the Joomla! SEF System Plugin that was causing the entire page's output to be replaced by an empty string. My updated version I have here on this site fixes that issue by introducing a workaround that checks to see if the regular expressions fails and tries again (and if that doesn't work, it just continues with the existing page output, and prevents the empty string problem from occurring).
The other BIG improvement with the upcoming 1.5.5 version of DOCman List is an entirely reworked data retrieval system that performs "preloading" of the document and category information in order to prevent the need to run many queries.
This evening I emailed the Joomlatools team (the DOCman developers) to see if they can help accommodate me with a small addition to the DOCman Router that would allow me to keep the number of queries down when SEF URLs are turned on (currently the Router causes a query to be executed for every unique document even if DOCman List already loaded the data for the document...effectively negating the improvements).
I'm hoping they'll be receptive of the idea, as it will make things much easier for me, but if not, I'll have to figure out another way to keep things efficient with SEF URLs turned on.
Look for the new DOCman List release on October 17th!
The best part about software development is receiving feedback from your users, and today was no exception when one of our users, marbz, sent me an email telling me there was an issue with the download links being created by DOCman List. I quickly went to our demo site to see if I could verify the problem there, and sure enough I could, so I quickly went to work on figuring a solution.
It looks like the problem was introduced via a "bug fix" for a separate problem in the 1.5.3 release. That problem was related to another issue mentioned by a different user who had disabled all of the buttons within DOCman's Standard Buttons plugin, which DOCman List depended on for retrieving the download link for an item. Since the download is pretty important, I wanted to remove the dependency on the Standard Buttons plugin for the Download link and that addition was made in 1.5.3. However, the way I was adding the link into the data set that turns into the beautiful DOCman List output turned out to be flawed and caused the same link to end up being used for all of the links within a table.
That's all been resolved now though and you'll be able to find the 1.5.4 release available on the site here with that fix added.
Thanks again marbz, and to all of my awesome users!
This was meant to be a 1.5.2 release (but I ended up finding a bug and I remembered another requested feature so I ended up going back and making those additions so I'm skipping the 1.5.2 release).
Want to see what other features DOCman List has? Check out the Features page!