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Several updates, AMP add-on preview and more ...


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I am happy to announce there are several updates available now via the remote updated in the JReviews admin. The JReviews update has a lot of code changes and may break your overrides if you've modified core PHP files, so please update your dev site first and read the changelog and check the list of modified files within each changelog.


Updates are available for JReviews, GeoMaps, UserProfiles and ListingResources Add-ons. These are mostly incremental updates, with bug fixes and to ensure compatibility with the latest JReviews version.


In JReviews there are quite a few bug fixes and improvements in functionality, especially for advanced filtering:

  • When using the live search feature with Advanced Filtering, if no results are found, instead of loading an empty results page, the user will be alerted via a dialog. N
  • When changing categories or listing types in advanced filtering, any pre-selected filters that are also available in the selected category will remain selected instead of being reset as was the case before. This improved functionality can also be disabled through a new setting in the module/widget.
  • Through a global configuration/search setting, it's now possible to search for keywords in custom fields when performing an adv. search/filtering.
  • There's a new setting in Configuration/Notifications to automatically disable email notifications for all admin-related actions on the site submitting/editing listings, reviews, etc.

Updates are avaible only via JReviews admin at this time and new downloadable packages will be available in the next few days.


AMP Add-on preview


Several users had requested some sort of AMP functionality for JReviews so I did some research and decided to offer support for existing solutions in Joomla and WordPress. Those solutions already work today, but render extremely simplified and boring pages for your JReviews listings. With the new Add-on you'll be able to display rich-looking pages with all the information you expect to see on a JReviews detail page. What better way to describe it than showing you. A preliminary version of the add-on is already installed on our demo site and you can see it in action in the pages below:

Do keep in mind that AMP pages don't allow running custom Javascript code so they are nice for reading but limited in functionality. To be able to submit reviews, add to favorites, etc. Users will need to go to the original page. It is possible to include Ads and I have added several module/widget positions to do this. Everything will be explained in the add-on manual when it's released.


For Joomla, there are two paid, commercial solutions available, and we've added support for both. These are wbAmp and jAmp. For WordPress we added support for Automatic's AMP plugin, developed by the company behind WordPress.


What's coming next?


I am sure you are wondering and I can only give you a shorter-term view of what I expect to work on next. For some time I've been working on a separate branch of JReviews that would provide a better integration with the JReviews API once the mobile app was released. In order to unify efforts, I'd rather not continue working on two separate versions of JReviews, so I will try to merge both versions and release the new one as soon as possible. Even without the API and Mobile App this new version has important benefits. It introduces a brand new event/listener system which allows for much cleaner code and also makes it easier for developers to add new functionality. A new Queue Add-on, which will be available for free, will allow you to decide which events go into the queue to be processed asynchronously and which ones are processed right away. The benefit of queueing events comes in terms of performance and stability:

  1. The main action does not need to wait for other actions to complete
  2. Errors caused by executing code from a specific event will not interfere with the user's experience.
  3. It is possible to queue events within the JReviews API so that they can be processed within JReviews. So as we continue to add event-based features in JReviews, the API automatically gets new features as long as you are using the new queueing system. 

So I know all of this may be too confusing, but let me provide a specific example. When someone submits a review on your site now, several things could happen after the person clicks the submit button:

  • Multiple emails can go out, to the user, admin, listing owner
  • Activity can be posted to a 3rd party solution (EasySocial, JomSocial)
  • The review can be posted to Twitter

All of these cause a delay in submitting the review and a failure in any of them can also break the submission. With the new functionality in place. The submission will be faster and the form will not break if one of these post-submit action fails. 


There are two ways to process the queued events. One is by setting up a cronjob to run frequently, like every minute, and the other one is to setup supervisor on the server to process queued jobs as they arrive. No point in getting into more detail on that until this new version of JReviews is actually released.


Finally, the Mobile App effort lives on, but I need to evaluate the current state of the App very carefully in order to document everything so that an external firm can complete the job. I can't provide any more information at this time but will do my best to keep you updated as things progress.


Feel free to reply below with any questions or comments.



Edited by Alejandro
Added link to the AMP Add-on product page
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