Geodesic Solutions Company Blog

Update on recent development and future plans (7.4 info inside!)

Hey everyone!

It's been a little while since we've released an official update on the status of things around here, and we wanted to catch everybody up on what's been going on lately.

As some have already heard: after about 8 years with Geodesic Solutions, our former Lead Developer, Jonathan Foote (jonyo), has moved on to a position with another company. We definitely appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to go through that transition. Among the things affected by Jonathan's leaving, I (Matt Nelson) have stepped into the Lead Developer role, and some of our initial timeline predictions have been extended (more on that in a moment) due to the reduced development staff. Those of you who frequent the User Forums may note a decrease in developer presence there, as we're focusing more on active development and improving the software itself. We do read most forum posts, and may chime in from time to time, but the User Forums are predominately that: a place for GeoCore users to interact with each other. As always, if you do encounter an issue that requires the attention of our staff, it's best to send a Support Ticket or come by our LiveChat system if you've got an active Chat Support package.

Failing any unforeseen circumstances, the current goal is to release GeoCore v7.4.0 early next week, most likely Tuesday July 7. Feature-wise, 7.4.0 will be very similar to the currently-available 7.4beta3, with fixes for a few additional bugs that have come up in the testing process. Compared to the current stable release, 7.3.6, version 7.4.0 will contain over 40 new features and about 30 bug fixes. The feature highlights are (in no particular order):

N.B.: Where the term "listing" is used below, it generically represents either a Classified or Auction listing, or possibly another listing type to be added later (but more on that a little further down...)

  • User Importer (similar to the current Bulk Uploader, but for creating user accounts instead of listings)
  • Multi-part Bulk Uploads (ability to bulk upload a file of, say, 500 listings and have them be added to the site in groups of 50 at a time, spread out over several hours or days)
  • Charge Per Word is now a built-in feature (we've had this available by special request for some time, but we're making it available to everyone with the core software now)
  • Improved the admin's Search Users tool
  • Module Pagination (this is one of my favorite new features -- allows any "browsing" module [e.g. "hottest listings" or "newest listings"] to load / browse through additional listings via ajax)
  • Two new payment gateways: (in addition to the old gateway), and iDEAL payments via the gateway
  • User Rating System (allows users to rate each other on a 1-5 star scale; NOT attached to specific listings, like auction feedback is)
  • Improvements to the Categories area of the admin (among other things, it now uses the tree system from Geographic Setup and Multi-Level Fields, which will make administrating large numbers of categories MUCH simpler)
  • Removed Prototype.js (yay!)
  • Template sets can now load their own custom Smarty plugins
  • Not directly part of 7.4, but along with the previous two points, we're creating a completely new, full (bootstrap!) template set. Specifics on when and how that will be made available are pending.
  • Buyer-selected Cost Options (to be used in conjunction with the recent buy-now-quantity feature to offer one listing with various modulations, such as various sizes or colors of t-shirts)

Once 7.4 is available, our development focus will turn to the next Major Feature Release of GeoCore: version 8.0, codename GeoPlatform.

UPDATE on version 8 (November 6, 2014): While everything mentioned below is still on the drawing board, we've recently had some rather interesting opportunities present themselves. I can't talk about them quite yet, but there's some really nifty stuff in the pipeline, and it's had an effect on initial development time projections. Keep an eye on the blog and the forums for more information as it becomes available!

8.0 will involve some substantial backend rewrites that are necessary to open the way (provide a "Platform" ;) ) for adding entirely new listing types. The first of these new listing types, which will be made available as part of the 8.0 release, will be the oft-requested Directory Listings. Other features slated to be released in support of that include: infinitely-timed listings, auto-renewable/subscription listings, and Listing Extras with their own durations divorced from the duration of their parent listings (for instance, with all of these together, you could create a Classified that runs indefinitely for $x/month, and allow its owner to purchase a Featured Listing slot for $y for a week at a time). Minor feature releases in the v8 line will likely include additional listing types, to be defined in more depth as their time draws nearer.

Our current projections place the release of v8.0 around the middle of September of this year. This mark is subject to change as development progresses, but it is our current goal, and we're going to do everything we can to hit it. There are no current time projections for the arrival of v8.0. More information may be made available as the release draws closer. We also have some really cool stuff on the drawing board for v8.1 and beyond; it's still in the early planning stages and there's not much I can reveal quite yet, but if all goes well we may have some goodies available sometime around Christmas that will really blow your socks off!

So all said, I know communication has been a little sparse the past couple of weeks, but I'm very thankful for your patience and support. Hopefully, the above should bring everybody up to speed and whet your appetites for what's around the corner!