Blog

Product news and other information from the developers of Portfolio.
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  • Rewritten create_response() feature and various other improvements

    Posted by: Robin Smidsrød 27. Jun 2017 15:30

    Today's update (e736cb2) brings with it the following changes:

    New features

    • The create_response() template function has been more or less completely rewritten. It is now rendered on the page instead of opening a new window/tab. It allows inline editing of a response object. This should improve useability for students quite a lot.
    • It is now possible to see how much blob storage space a user has consumed.

    Enhancements

    • Added font-size option to the simple TinyMCE editor.
    • Improved message when object is saved and sent to supervisor.
    • When rendering origin object while editing a response object, the response is no longer shown in the dropdown, avoiding double display of the same content.
    • Inconsistent styles for info/warning/error messages has been cleaned up.
    • Test suite has been improved quite a lot. It can now be run in continuous integration services.

    Bugfixes

    • The human_size() template function now works with the value 0.
    • Fixed issue with inconsistent padding/margin around some TinyMCE toolbar elements.

    Feature removals / deprecations

    • Several JavaScript functions which are no longer in use have been removed:
      • PORTFOLIO.helpSuccessHandler
      • PORTFOLIO.helpFailureHandler
      • PORTFOLIO.getAjaxObject
      • PORTFOLIO.PopDocAjax
      • PORTFOLIO.contentSuccessHandler
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  • Unexpected downtime because of hardware issue

    Posted by: Robin Smidsrød 08. Jun 2017 08:24

    On the 8th of June 2017 between 8:25 and 8:55 CET our services where unexpectedly down because of a hardware issue with our load-balancer.

    The issue has been corrected and services are back up. We're sorry for the inconvenience.

    You must be logged in to read or post comments
  • Improved performance, WAV to MP3 transcoding and lots of other improvements

    Posted by: Robin Smidsrød 23. May 2017 16:57

    Today's update (4bbbf6f) brings with it the following changes:

    Performance improvements

    • Rewritten most of the database functions related to filesystem tree traversal. Should almost double performance in a lot of situations, allowing for most page loads to be faster. Several redundant functions were removed or inlined to make everything faster.
    • Container sort key is now consistently stored in the database, allowing for some performance improvements.
    • The permission-checking database functions were also rewritten, giving almost a 10 times performance improvement in most situations.
    • When navigating to the root level in the file manager, it was not uncommon to get a timeout. This should now be fixed. Now the root level takes about 10-20 seconds to render. Not optimal, but within the timeout threshold. It is no longer possible to list the root level with all user's home containers.

    New features

    • Wave audio files which are recorded or uploaded are now automatically converted to MP3 to save backend storage space. Because of the smaller size they should also download faster to clients.
    • Automatic playback of next audio object when one has finished playback is now possible by customizing page templates.
    • Video playback now logs playback duration to Google Analytics, allowing for calculation of royalty payments on video files as well as audio files.

    Enhancements

    • The validation logic in the file manager was rewritten as part of the tree-traversal performance improvement. It should now be more consistent and faster. There is one behavior difference to the old implementation. The containers and objects are returned from the validator in no specific order, so adding them to a course would not yield a traversal-specific order. It is therefore recommended to only use it to add aux. objects using this method.
    • The element_favicon template is now overridable.
    • A new favorite/bookmark icon was added. Now Portfolio has a slightly better design profile. Bookmark icons should now be available in larger sizes.
    • When you're editing an object it is now possible to see which courses it is part of, regardless of course permissions.
    • Improve HTML markup error message to take into account if you're using WYSIWYG editor or not.
    • The json, xml and view request handlers are now documented.

    Bugfixes

    • Avoid using NPAPI plugins to render video in browsers where these are no longer allowed. Affecting Microsoft Edge, Firefox v52 and above and Chrome v45 and above.
    • All timestamps should now be stored with time zone information, hopefully fixing most timestamp offset issues.
    • Audio file autoplay is always disabled on mobile devices because most mobile devices don't allow it without clicking first.
    • The get_containers() method on course instances was renamed to get_container_ids().
    • Only complete user-interface languages are now used to autoselect a language based on browser preference.
    • Fixed missing translations in TinyMCE if using Portuguese language.

    Feature removals / deprecations

    • Removed several database functions, tables and views which are no longer in use.
    • Removed a duplicate database index, slightly improving performance.
    You must be logged in to read or post comments
  • More powerful database server and some bugfixes

    Posted by: Robin Smidsrød 21. Mar 2017 16:26

    This update (11ee2cf) brings with it the following changes:

    Security issues

    • Ensure variables used in the list_log request handler are properly validated before use, avoiding a potential SQL injection security issue.

    Performance improvements

    • The database server hardware was upgraded to handle more load, decreasing overall page load latency.

    New features

    • When editing objects, you're now able to see which course the object is used in. Only users with editor access to the course can see this information.

    Bugfixes

    • Fixed a database error when no valid users where specified in the user_activity request handler.
    • Large videos would sometimes not load because the timeout on the data request handler was set a bit low. Bumped the timeout to 30 seconds to mitigate the issue.
    • A textarea line-wrapping issue was fixed in the CSV editor view in the manage_course request handler.

    Feature removals / deprecations

    • The last parts of the video transcoding feature was removed.
    You must be logged in to read or post comments
  • Migration to cloud environment, removal of cookie warning and chat feature

    Posted by: Robin Smidsrød 21. Feb 2017 15:41

    Today's update (88c928d) brings with it the following changes:

    Performance improvements

    • The entire system has been moved to a cloud-based environment, allowing us to better meet future performance requirements. This is the first step to being able to utilize horizontal scaling more extensively.

    Enhancements

    • The cookie warning at the top of the page has been removed. A link somewhere on the page to our cookie policy is enough according to regulations.
    • Anonymous sessions from our server monitoring software should no longer show up in the online list.

    Bugfixes

    • File uploading has been improved to be even more robust.

    Feature removals / deprecations

    • The real-time chat feature has been removed, as it was not used by anyone.
    • The object attribute client_mimetype has been removed. It is not used by any code.
    You must be logged in to read or post comments
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