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[IPS] 4.0 - Embeddable content


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IP.Board 3.x supports "My Media", which enables you to share other content from within the community by using the "My Media" button on the editor. This results in:

index.php?app=downloads&module=display&s
IPS GDK for IP.Board 3.2 & 3.3 1.1
Last Updated Mar 28 2013 09:41 AM

While this works, it has a few shortcomings:

  • The styling of the block isn't really designed for each type of content it might show
  • Users have to click the My Media button, then browse for the item, when they probably already know the URL they want to link to
  • Not all content types are supported; e.g. you can't use My Media to link to a topic.
  • For developers, implementing support for My Media in other applications was a process involving extension files and multiple methods

We wanted to make sharing existing content much easier in IPS4, both for users and developers. "Embeddable content" is our solution.

How to use it

To embed content from elsewhere in the community, here's a step by step guide:

  • Paste a link to it

That's it! When you paste a link to almost any kind of content, whether it's a forum topic, calendar event, gallery album or more, IPS4 will automatically embed a small preview of the content, designed specifically for that content. In order to not disrupt an existing paragraph of text however, the embedded block won't be used if the link is surrounded by text. Embedded content only shows if the link is pasted on its own line, giving users more control over their post.

Here's what a post looks like with a few embedded types shown:

Embedded content can be used anywhere as you'd expect, including posts and comments, but also status updates, IP.Content articles, and so on.

For developers

Supporting embedded content in your apps is very easy; your content model simply has to implement IPSContentEmbeddable:

class _Topic extends IPSContentItem implements ... IPSContentEmbeddable
Your controller then simply looks for an embed request and returns HTML - that's it. Our default blocks also have their own template and CSS file, so theme designers can change the styling on a per-theme basis.

Conclusion

Our hope is that this easier method of embedding content encourages more cross-posting and highlighting of good content in IPS4. The process is almost wholly automatic, meaning users don't have to think in order to share great content with others.

As always, screenshots are from pre-release software and are subject to change before release.

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