Log of Events (1) 2020

Log of Events Page 1

( 7-10-2020 thru 12-31-2020 )

What has been happening in the build

(7-10-2020) USER ACCOUNTS: I added User Accounts to the build and also have included page security.  I am using a piece of software I have never heard of but after I dug into it I decided to fork it for my use here.  UserSpice* is the name and I will post more on it as the build continues.

* I am having second thoughts about integrating UserSpace into the build. A server error locked me out of the dashboard and I can't have that happening to people when I go live with Spectra CMS.

(7-15-2020) FORUMS (will not come packaged with Spectra): I added a forum (phpBB3) so I will have a place to add screenshots and ultimately participation by anyone who feels the need to get involved.  For now, it's read-only.

(7-18-2020) QUICK LINKS: I added a quick links menu which can be populated in the dashboard.  I also added the option where you will be able to use it or turn it off.  You will be able to include 10 menu items in it. It's on the index page for viewing. With the quick links menu - if someone wants to turn the top drop-down menu off they will still have a way of adding links.

(7-20-2020) IMAGE GALLERY: The image gallery has been coded and I am in the final stages of testing.  By tomorrow I should have it on the site with some wallpapers and other pictures for demo display.

* Update (7-22-2020): The image galley is finished and I have added a link to it on the homepage.  Users will be able to create as many galleries as they want.  I also added the ability to bulk upload images and create new folders in the image directory.  A full gallery can be built within the dashboard.

(7-26-2020) PAGE BUILDER: Today I came closer to completing the Page Builder.  It's not 100% complete but I finished the basics.  I can now create new pages on-the-fly.  I also added the ability to configure the layout of the pages.  See the Page Builder link in the top menu.

(8-1-2020) Page Builder (cont):  I completed both the Page Builder and Page Editors today.  I also added a menu item that will automatically add the new page to it.

(8-1-2020) Forums:  These will be going the way of the dinosaurs. I don't think forums serve any purpose on a website anymore, at least not like they once did.

(8-4-2020) Pages (Finalized):  I consolidated the page builder and editor into one.  Now pages can be edited and new pages created from inside the same place.

(8-14-2020): Finished the testing on all of the features I have added to Spectra so far.  Everything went as I had hoped it would.  I added a Quick Link top menu to the Image Gallery and also incorporated TinyMCE for the gallery Header text.

(8-14-2020): Today I will be working on the Spectra installation tool.  Spectra is still a long way from being released.  But, I have some people who are going to do the Alpha Testing on it when the time comes.  I am excited about getting that started because I know I will be doing a lot of tweaking.  Especially in the area of cosmetics.

(8-14-20): Upcoming -  During the rest of the month, I will be working on the Mega Menu and Video Showcase Gallery.

(8-16-2020): Image Gallery Colorbox -  The image galleries use Colorbox as the popup display tool.  I added more Colorbox styles to the dashboard today.  There are now 16 for the admin to choose from.

(8-17-2020): Tweaking -  I spent today tweaking various pages in the Dashboard. Did some work on the theme editing pages.

(9-10-2020): In General - I have spent the last few days, off and on, tweaking the menu system.  When building pages users will be able to select from categories that they create and choose which menu they want their new page to be assigned to.  Pages will have unlimited categories, as users will be able to create the categories.  I will be adding a Categories Block that users can add to either the Left or Right Sidebar.  Then when visitors want to view a page that is not on the homepage they can click the link and go straight to it.  I will add that as a plugin.

(9-13-2010): Tweaking - Started going through the system and tweaking the settings.

(9-14-2020): FAQ System -  I spent the better part of today coding the FAQ system.  Once I get it populated I will link to it on the homepage.

(9-17-2020): Content Slider - I reworked the Content Slider to allow for unlimited slides with improved database support.

(9-23-2020): PHP 7.4.9 - I am up to PHP version 7.4.9 now in the Spectra CMS build. I was happy to see no errors when I upgraded my local PHP version.

(9-24-2020): Theme System - This morning was spent fine-tuning the theme system.

(9-25-2020): Menu System - Worked on the Menu System today. Site admins will be able to add unlimited links to the menu of their choice.

(9-27-2020): Theme System (full database control) -  I completed work on making the themes fully database controlled.  Now admins will be able to create new themes, edit them, and delete them from the system, all within the Spectra Dashboard.  No files will need to be uploaded to create a new theme. The entire theme creation process will be done in the dashboard using the Theme Builder.

(9-28-2020): Theme System Completed - After a full day of frustration I have finally completed the entire theme system. Theme preview and edits can now be made with a minimal amount of fuss. I also added the ability to change the theme in the dashboard. The new step will be in allowing users/members to set their own theme from inside of the user's account area.

(10-3-2020): Note Taker - I designed a method where the site admin can write notes in the dashboard. I think it is going to be a real handy item for future site owners when they are building the content on their sites. You can add text and images to drag and drop into the editor. It hides off-screen on the right side and shows up when you need it.

(10-7-2020): Tweaking-in-General - I have started tweaking files and settings in the dashboard. When going from a development environment to a production environment things do happen. The biggest headache is that on a local server headers aren't a problem.  But once those files are posted to a web server headers can only be declared (sent) once. So workarounds have to be added.  That is what I have done for the better part of today.

(10-10-2020): Categories Block - Built the Categories Block and added it to the site today.  It can be placed in either the Right or Left Sidebar.

(10-10-2020): Independent Pages - One good feature that Spectra CMS will have is the ability for the user to create independent pages that aren't built using the Page Builder in the dashboard.  I created a blank page for that purpose.  Simply create a page and link to it in the menu system. I scraped this idea but of course, it can still be done by future site owners.  The main reason behind the creation of Spectra is that once it has been installed the user can build 100% of their site from within the dashboard and eliminate the use of FTP.

(10-14-2020): By Invitation Only - I have released the Alpha version to 2 websites.  At this point, Spectra CMS is being released to trusted websites for testing.  Alpha testing has been on-going for a month or so locally but now I'm getting confident enough to release it to active sites for testing. The page security I think is working well and also the User Accounts.  Time will tell how well everything works out but if the security isn't tested then it's not worth the effort of releasing Spectra CMS to the public.

(10-18-2020): Tweaking Plugins - For the last couple of days I have been tweaking the plugins.  The site owner can now decide which sidebar to assign a plugin to.  I also designed a new theme "Black Forest."

(10-24-2020): Theme Transfers - Once a theme is created using the Spectra CMS theme builder someone may want to offer it up for others to use. I spent the greater portion of today designing a method where themes can be saved and offered up for download by the creator.  Theme owners will be able to add their MySQL based themes for download.  I also designed a way to import a theme into the database.  Now when a future user of Spectra CMS sees a theme they like they can download it and go to the dashboard and import it for their use.

(10-27-2020): Content Slider - I have had some requests that the Content Slider is automated with a pause on mouseover.  That sounds good when viewed on a device other than a cell phone.  I will have to look at that before I decide.  But that may be coming in the future.

(10-28-2020):  Calendar Plugin - I added a calendar plugin to the build today. Users will be able to turn it on and assign it to either sidebar.

(10-29-2020): Theme Preview - I placed a theme preview option on the homepage just under the content slider.  It gives visitors a chance to see other themes that will either come packaged with Spectra or some that I design for this site.  In the future, I will be adding theme selection into the User's account.

(10-30-2020): Additional Sidebar Content - Today I added the ability for the site owner to add additional content to the sidebars on individual pages.  Usually, when you browse a website you see the same sidebar content on most all pages.  With Spectra you can build a new page and also build Left and Right sidebars with their own content. Each page can have either Left or Right sidebars or Both and each page can have its own content in these sidebars.  You will also be able to choose if you want to show the sidebar(s) from the Index page.

(11-5-2020): Note Taker - Added better accessibility to the Note Taker feature.

(11-7-2020): Misc Tweaks - I have started going through Spectra and finding small tweaks.  Today I added the ability to add a background image to the header/logo area.  Small stuff that will make Spectra even better. 

(11-8-2020): Help Files and FAQ -  It's time to start working on the help and FAQ files for admins/site owners.

(11-13-2020): Header Animation - I designed a full-screen header introduction plugin that can be used on blogs.  Users can pick the font, background image, and also have a title and sub-title.  Also, users will be able to select which theme to assign it to.  I will be adding the ability to have it show only on the index page or on multiple pages by choice.  Also, I will be adding a choice of animations, more on that later.

(11-13-2020): PHP Version Update - Up to version 7.4.12 with no noticeable errors either visible or in the log.  Looking forward to the version 8 release.

(11-15-2020): Pagination Finished - I wrapped up testing on the pagination feature and added it to the site today.  I want to publically thank Vincy at phppot for her awesome tutorial. You should stop in and see what she has to offer.

(11-18-2020): Tag Cloud - Designed the tag cloud block/plugin and added it to the site.

(11-22-2020): Contact Form -  Designed and added a contact form to the site as a plugin.

(11-25-2020): Pagination Revisited - I sat down today and designed my own version of the pagination feature.  I really liked the one I got from Vincy but it wasn't my own design and kinda defeats the purpose of having Spectra all mine as much as possible in regards to what I can design and what is outside of the scope of my abilities.

(11-27-2020): Number Of Articles To Show -  Can now choose how many articles to show on a page.

(11-28-2020): Article Display Order - Choose to position the articles in either Ascending or Descending order on the index page.

(11-29-2020): Search Engine - Added Google Search to the build.

(12-4-2020): Message Article - Today I added a message block that will stay at the top of the articles. If a site has more than one page of articles it will be displayed at the top of them too but it will not show on pages that the site owner builds. It can be used by the admin to post important messages, announce upcoming events, etc...

(12-7-2020): Exclusive Content Sidebars - These new sidebars can be assigned to new pages. Admin can now add plugins to the sidebars too.

(12-18-2020): Downloads Plugin - I added a file download plugin to the build. Now users will be able to offer up any files they want to share.

(12-19-2020): Article Spotlight - Made a new plugin today and added it to the site. This will let users identify those special articles as being in the spotlight and can be accessed quickly from the sidebar.