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Issue 015 - Jan 9, 2003


  1. How our technical support works.
  2. htmlArea 2.0 released with a new license.
  3. More software updates.
  4. What's happening in the Forum.

Happy New Year! I hope you're all recovering nicely from your holidays - I know I've got to book some time in the gym thanks to all the tasty baked goods filling the fridge.

I want to take a moment to thank all our clients and friends for their ongoing support, it really means a lot to us. Based on the emails and forum feedback, you're a loyal bunch who seems to appreciate our emphasis on helpful technical support. Considering the fact that you're buying our software, it's the least we can do. :-)

Fraser Cain
interactivetools.com


How our technical support works.

As you read through our website, forum and reviews, you'll start to see a theme - people think we provide great support for our software. Don't take our word for it, go ahead and read through the comments from other people, or post open questions in our forum and see what people have to say about us. Here's a link to our Forum so you can see for yourself.

What I wanted to do was take a moment to explain our support philosophy and some of our processes, so you can see how we approach it. If you're sitting on the fence about whether to take the plunge and try some of our software, this should help you make your decision.

The first thing to understand is that we have technical support built into our growth plans - we only grow as fast as we can properly support our clients. This means we spend money on support: almost half of the fulltime staff in our company are dedicated to technical support. Furthermore, everyone else in the company is called on from time to time to assist support if there's a lot of volume.

So, with all the people ready to help, we can be very responsive. We make a point of following up on every single email, phone call, LivePerson and forum post that crosses our desk. Our goal is to complete everything the same day, but often we'll have answers back within hours or even minutes that we get a request.

When dealing with individual support issues, we really empathize with your situation. We look to provide the complete solution to solve your problem. That's why you see some really long posts on the Forum as we try to explain how to do something - step by step. The technical support people can draw on the programmers, management, etc., to help get to the bottom of a problem.

Finally, we measure everything. We track the volume of inquires we receive from all sources every month, and use that to judge when we need to bring on new staff.

We care about our reputation, and it depends on how well we deal with each individual support request. We can't let anything slip through the cracks.

So, if you're having any problems with your interactivetools.com software, please visit our support page and let us know how we can help you.

And if you want to comment on our technical support, please send in your feedback.


htmlArea 2.0 released with a new license.

htmlArea is our free WYSIWYG replacement for textarea fields. We use it in our own software, but you're free to incorporate it into any web-based application you're creating. htmlArea 2.x has been in Beta for a couple of months now, but we launched the official version, 2.03 earlier in December.

There are many improvements over version 1.x, including support for style sheets, tables, and a really cool full screen editor, but one of the biggest changes we made was to go with an Open Source "BSD-style license". That little [i] on the title bar is no longer a requirement - although we'd be honoured if you'd credit interactivetools.com. We wanted to make htmlArea available to as many people as possible, so this seemed like a better license to use.

You can see a demo and download a free copy from here.

If you're using htmlArea and you're happy with it, could you take a second and write us a review? We'd love to hear your thoughts.


More software updates.

You can't stop progress! We gave several applications an upgrade in the last month. As always, updates are totally free, so go ahead and download the latest upgrades at your leisure.

Here's what's been updated:

AUTO MANAGER - version 2.28 (December 4, 2002)

      • added $num$ / $listing_num$ placeholder, available on listing detail page
      • added support for a new type of listing/homepage field: checkboxes
      • search can specify the name of a template file from the template/ directory for all functions
      • search can view an individual listing
      • when checking for new listings, search will only look at the created date if check_created field is set
      • search_homepage_url placeholder is automatically set to the search_homepage addon
      • image and no_images templatecells in homepage and listing templates can contain general placeholders
      • Listing Editor's keyword field is cleared when a user logs off

REALTY MANAGER - version 2.28 (December 4, 2002)

      • search can specify the name of a template file from the template/ directory for all functions
      • search can view an individual listing
      • when checking for new listings, search will only look at the created date if check_created field is set
      • search_homepage_url placeholder is automatically set to the search_homepage addon
      • image and no_images templatecells in homepage and listing templates can contain general placeholders
      • Listing Editor's keyword field is cleared when a user logs off

PAGE PUBLISHER - version 1.21 (January 6, 2003)

      • added htmlArea WYSIWYG editor
      • added auto focus to login template
      • allow html markup in Link name and E-mail name fields

NEWS MANAGER - version 1.10 (January 6, 2003)

    • changed the word "upload" to "image" in new/modify article interface
    • added ability to disable meta generator tags in published pages
    • added config.ini setting to show/hide upgrade info
    • added ability to customize interface Footerbar Message
    • added setup option for wysiwyg editor (Dave's htmlArea)
    • added the ability to modify interface templates

What's happening in the Forum.

Screenshots for Article Manager 2.0
It's been a couple of months since I gave you an update on Article Manager 2.0, so I've put a new post into our discussion Forum. This time we've got some actual screenshots, to show you how some of the interface elements are going to work.

Sort syndicated articles alphabetically?
Fred wanted to know a way to organize the articles in the webfeed generator differently from the way they're published on the website. Other Forum readers rushed to his aid. Anyone else have some unique uses for the webfeed generator?

And speaking of the webfeed generator, did you know you can modify the template to look however you like?

Backup
We all make regular backups of our data... right? Just in case you weren't backing up your Article Manager files, here's a thread that explains which files and directories you need to backup, and how.

Realty Manager: Creating a dynamic dropdown menu for search
Want to dynamically generate a list of fields for a search drop down? Here's a clever solution using one of our freescripts called Jumpbox.

htmlArea with image upload and extra functions
One feature that people have been asking for with htmlArea is some way to upload images. redspider contributed an ASP script that let's you upload images using a 3rd party script. Anyone got the solution for PHP or Perl?

htmlArea: preview print cut copy paste formatblock
And here are 5 more buttons to go along with htmlArea.


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