work, Work, WORK!

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Everybody works in one way or another, we all have jobs to do, and for the last few days, I’ve been dreading getting out of bed for a few reasons. First of all, because I’ve not been eating properly or getting much sleep at all over the last few weeks which is leaving me a bit short in the old energy department, and secondly, because i know I’m going to have to stare at a screen full of code for hours, and that being the reason for the first.. erm.. reason..

Seriously though, I have just spent around 8 hours finishing off the new Radio Center Sidebar Hook, and why, because it’s a long process meeting standards.

Hooks for example come bundled in 1 xml file, this file has to contain language strings, template bits, settings, PHP code, help files, database queries and so on.

Now the radio sidebar hook only contains 1 template bit, 12 settings, 24 language strings, 1 PHP file and 1 help file and its taken me all this time to complete it.

Saying that, the sidebar module uses the RAJAX module and has some JavaScript coding in it also, so I’ve had to add some stuff to the RAJAX module to auto update certain elements of the sidebar. Still, most people will look at the sidebar and think nothing of it, its small, it doesn’t look too complicated, and in reality, its taken hours and hours to complete.

The fun doesn’t end there though, oh no. I’ve still got loads of other bits to complete, the main board panel hook for starters, its almost done, i just cant decide if i like the look of it or not, mainly because of the padding with the default IPB table class, however i did write a class called “RadPad” specifically for the radio, but i haven’t decided if i want to use it or not yet.

Then there’s the global radio bar hook, which i haven’t even started yet.. HA! fun times!

As far as the actual radio center goes lets see, the History page is completed, done, dusted, the schedule page is done on the public side, but I’m not happy with the way scheduled entries are laid out, so that’s probably going to have an overhaul. DJ List, not started, Downloads, not started, Linking, Not done but that’s an easy one, Stats, done, but not finished.

Mentioning the stats, i forgot to post on my blog about them, so i will write an article shortly about the new stats features.

Despite all the work i have done so far, completion still seems a long way away. I’ve literally been getting up, working on the radio center, going to bed, getting up, working on the radio center, going to bed.

Time off today i think, but saying that, I’m to anxious to get it finished i end up going back to it, telling myself I’ll just do a little edit here an there and before i know it am full on writing modules and crap.

Anyways, enough ranting from me, I’m gonna go eat.

Bouncy Radio Center 9 Sidebar Hook

sidebarhook I’ve been a bit quiet lately and that is because i have been hard at work on the new Bouncy Radio Center. each time i complete a new feature I’m hoping to publish an article about it here at anthonykinson.co.uk.

So, I’m happy to announce that the Sidebar Hook for the new radio center is now completed. (see left image)

I’ve kept it nice and simple and it will have its own settings groups so you can totally customize it to how you want it. Also i have created some brand spanking new icons for it, kept the code really clean and fast.

And with that onto speed, The new radio center actually performs over 500 times faster than the previous version 8.2 which is a combinations of a few things. First of all i have cleaned up necessary coding and optimized functions to dramatically reduce load times, and IPB’s great new forum software.

Despite all the cool new features and sleek JavaScript with the new IP.Board, it performs surprisingly faster than its previous 2.3 version.

Anyways, coming up in my next article i will be going through some of the bigger core functions of the new Radio Center, including the all new History and Schedule pages!

Thanks for reading and i look forward to hearing some feedback!

Anthony

Bouncy Radio Center v8.1 (Progress Report 1)

So, time for an update and time for some new features to the ever popular Bouncy Radio Center v8.

Radio DJ Application

dj application

The new DJ Application page takes away the extra work load involved with getting new DJ’s involved with your radio by allowing members to fill in a form providing information on the radio show they want to broadcast and a link to a demo of there work.

The form is protected from guests meaning only registered members of your forum can apply to be a radio DJ. Admin also have 3 methods to be informed of new applications, any combination of the 3 options may be used. The first option is to create a topic in a specified forum containing the applicants information. The second option is for a PM to be sent to a specified member ID, for example if you have 1 person who deals with radio DJ’s you can have information from the application sent to them in a Personal Message. The third and final option is to have a copy of the application emailed to a specific email address.

The new application page also includes some protection to help prevent any problems or malicious use. First of all if any of the form data is failed to be submitted when the application response page is accessed you will receive an error message. Three rules are used in this function to check form data is submitted before anything else is processed.

dj ap 3 checks

As you can see above, the first "IF" Statement sets a global rule for the function, this basically says that if this page is accessed without the submit button being clicked on the application page then display the error message "no_form"data". This then results in nothing else in the function being processed. If the submit button has been clicked then the function moves on to the next 2 "IF" statements. The first checks to see if the user has submitted information about there show, if not an error is returned stating information was missing. If they have provided show information the next rule is checked, which ensures the applicant submitted a demo URL. If all these rules are correctly applied upon submission the form data is then passed onto the rest of the function which checks which of the 3 Notification methods are selected and then passes on the form data to them functions.

Initially I set up a CAPTCHA on the form, but this was proving to be more work than it was actually worth. Due to the fact only registered members can submit applications it wasn’t really needed as any members abusing the system could be warned / banned / suspended using IP.Boards built in admin system.

New PHP Powered TUNE IN Links

So a big part of the Bouncy Radio Center people were having problems with was the tune in links and the files edits and setup involved with them. Also there was an issue with .htaccess files and some tune in links not launching in the desired player. This proved to be one of the biggest problems people were having and generated a lot of traffic in our support department at Bouncyservers. To achieve this I simply create a new set of cases in the radio switch, and then created functions for tune in link. Functions are short and simple, and also allowed me to remove some of the admin settings reducing clutter, remove some now code from the main radio function file and the global file.

In addition to this, users no longer have to edit any files to get there tune in links working properly, no .htaccess file is needed and no additional MIME types need to be set on the server. This has also opened up new capabilities. For instance I should now be able to get the radio center to monitor and display which members are tuned in. This was before a very difficult process, because it involved grabbing IP addresses from the SHOUTcast server, then comparing them to IP Addresses in the forums online list. This however would not of been 100% accurate as some members could be using the same IP address.

What Next?

Well at the rate I am currently working, we could see a release of Bouncy Radio Center 8.1 tonight, followed shortly by a new icon pack for dark Skins. I’m currently working on a few other features such as the above mentioned online list, having another look at AJAX functionality for the radio panel and display.

I also have some other things planned for the radio center which may not be implemented until a later version. This includes a whole new admin section within the forum, to provide admin’s and DJ’s with complete management over there schedule, DJ’s and so on. I am also looking into creating a whole new schedule system, the current schedule page isn’t to friendly to skins with short fixed widths. The code involved with the schedule is also VERY tedious! as I say these may come in a later release.

You can check out the progress of the radio center’s current development at any time over at the BouncyBootlegs Radio Center.

If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, please feel free to leave a comment in this article and i will be sure to check them out.

Bouncy Radio Center v8.1 will be free to all Bouncy Radio Center 8 license holders with an Active License. This also apply’s for all new icon packs.