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[IPS] 4.0 - IP.Downloads Version Control


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One of IPS Community Suite 4's main goals was to overhaul the user interface. We wanted to go further than just a few cosmetic changes to the theme, we wanted to examine each part of the user interface and see what could be improved. The community suite has a lot of functionality and there's a lot of tools that we all use regularly so we felt that any improvements on these common areas would be very welcomed.

I'd like to focus on such a change in IP.Downloads.

IP.Downloads has always had version control. Essentially, this allows you to upload new versions and keep a historical record of the older versions. You can read change logs and even download older versions where allowed.

Let's take a look at how IP.Board 3 does it currently:

Although there's nothing particularly wrong with this form, we can see that it mixes up the ability to upload a new version with the general file settings such as title and description. The end result is a bit confusing and a little intimidating the first few times you use it. The section to add your change log is a little lost in the file information block.

Now lets take a look at how IPS Community Suite 4 handles this:

The first step is to enable download revisions for this category inside the Admin CP.

Now that this has been enabled, lets navigate to the "File Actions" menu to upload a new version.

This loads the "Upload a new version form". As you can see, it's very clean, very easy to follow and isn't cluttered with settings and text fields that you aren't interested in editing.

Once you've uploaded your new version, you can see what's new on the file listing page.

You can even view previous change logs and the download link without leaving the page.

Conclusion

As this blog entry shows, IPS Community Suite 4 is really focused on making real improvements to everyday interfaces. We believe that these changes are very important to modernise the suite and to make it as easy to use as possible.

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