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Issue 017 - Mar 6, 2003


  1. Reminder... support extended to 7 days a week.
  2. Why doesn't interactivetools.com ever announce dates?
  3. htmlArea now supports Mozilla.
  4. New software updates.
  5. News from the Forum.

Reminder... support extended to 7 days a week.

Last month I mentioned that we've extended our support hours to include weekends. After the newsletter went out the door, Rob and Ben prepared themselves for a busy weekend of ringing phones and overheated email. But that tsunami never hit; like maybe a couple of calls each day, and a handful of emails.

Maybe you weren't working on the weekends, but I find that hard to believe. ;-)

Just in case you didn't want to bother us, let me reiterate in no uncertain terms: we want to help you out, and provide the best support you've ever had. Insanely good support. The kind of support that makes you rave to your co-workers in disbelief; like you've walked into some kind of fantastic support Twilight Zone. "I sent in an email, and they quickly provided a useful and effective answer that solved my problem!"

We know, you've had your dreams crushed by terrible customer support in the past, by banks, schools, government agencies, stores, online shopping, and even - gasp - other software companies, but now it's time to come out of your shell, fire up the old email program, and take advantage of our support.

And now you can do this...

... seven days a week.

So, if you need help in any way, we're here for you. We want to help. We've hired people who's only job is to help you. Email us, use LiveChat, post on our Forum, or give us a call. It's no trouble.


Why doesn't interactivetools.com ever announce dates?

One common question we see on our discussion forum is: when are you guys going to release feature X for your software? Is it going to be days, weeks, months, or even years? Just so you know, it's our company policy to never announce release dates, so our answer will always be "no comment".

I wanted to give you a little background on our "no date announcement" policy. I know it's a little different from other software companies so I thought you should understand why we do this.

We've learned through experience that developing software is a complex business and there are a range of issues that can come up which could delay the release of a product. Most software arrives late... if ever, and that's why the whole industry has such a bad reputation.

When you develop software, you've got three factors: quality, schedule, and features. You want to maximize the features, and ensure high quality at the minimum possible schedule. We're happy to announce the features, because we want to hear your feedback.

Once we announce a date, though, the pressure's on to release for that date... no matter what. Obviously, you can always be late, but then, what's the point of announcing a date if you don't intend to hit it? And if you don't hit that date, people are very disappointed.

If features are locked down, and by announcing a date you lock that down too, the only thing left to give is quality. And we refuse to sacrifice quality.

We want to announce release dates for upcoming products. But until we reach a point that we're never wrong about dates while delivering the right features with high quality, we'll continue to keep release dates a secret.

I'm proud to say that so far, we've never been late on a date we've announced - of course, that's because we've never announced a date. ;-)


htmlArea now supports Mozilla.

Thousands of you have already downloaded htmlArea, our free WYSIWYG textarea replacement, and used it to add extra functionality to your web-based software.

The biggest request we've had is to extend the functionality so that it works on Mozilla browsers. Thanks to new functionality added with the latest version of Mozilla, htmlArea can now work in both browsers.

We've released an alpha version of htmlArea 3.0, so if you're running Mozilla 1.3b or higher on any operating system, why don't you give it a try?

If you find any bugs, please visit the htmlArea 3.0 section of our forum and post your feedback.

If you want to download a copy of htmlArea 3.0 and try it out in your own software, you can visit this page and download the attached zipfile. It's still an alpha release, though, so please don't use it in a production environment until we've had a chance to squash all the bugs.


New software updates.

We've release a couple of really important feature upgrades this month. Here are the highlights:

      • image and file uploading for Page Publisher
      • WYSIWYG editor and customizable interface templates added to DocBuilder
      • increased search engine functionality for Article Manager

As always, updates are totally free, so go ahead and download the latest upgrades at your leisure.

DOCBUILDER - version 1.10 (February 12, 2003)

      • added WYSIWYG editor
      • made interface templates available for editing
      • added SSI filtering in Setup Options
      • added logoff URL option.
      • added auto focus to username in login template
      • removed license agreement from Setup Options
      • remove branding from interface source

PAGE PUBLISHER - version 1.22 (February 18, 2003)

      • added image and file uploading functionality
      • fixed WYSIWYG JavaScript error which sometimes added extra
        tags

ARTICLE MANAGER - version 1.27 (February 27, 2003)

    • resolved a WYSIWYG editor issue where content entered in non-IE 5.5+ browsers with auto-format checked would display in IE 5.5+ WYSIWYG as a single line.
    • resolved an incompatibility issue with some servers running Perl 5.004
    • XSS filter now permit relative URLs
    • resolved issue where extra
      tags were being added to WYSIWYG textareas
    • resolved issue where writers received missing template cell message on login
    • search.cgi can search the specified fields listed in the "fields" query parameter
    • the category list in category editor is displayed properly after a sort or re-order
    • default image caption font reduced for webfeeds
    • invalid article dates (eg Feb 31) now replaced by last day of month
    • spare field content is now HTML encoded
    • pulldown art fields now support HTML
    • $cat_image$ will now display in dynamic (search.cgi) content
    • spare fields now support image placeholders in search.cgi
    • category index now republished for all categories (hidden or not)
    • modified Arctic Template set to display correct headlines on the Advanced Search page
    • templatecell for img_caption and img_nocaption added to all 3 template sets
    • added XSS filtering - configurable through xssfilter.ini
    • auto format checkbox now displays in browsers other than IE 5.5+ when WYSIWYG editor chosen for summary, content or spare textarea art_fields.
    • WYSIWYG editor upgraded to version 2.03
    • archive list will now display 11+ archives when you have over 10 archives
    • art_field checkbox type will now display if incorrect dropdown syntax is entered
    • added umask setting option to the config.ini file

News from the Forum.

General: interactivetools.com flash logo
A big thanks to Olli who created a flash version of the interactivetools.com logo and added it to his website. Drop him an email and he'll give you a copy in .swf format.

Template Designs and Designers: Template competition
As a way of creating more templates for our various software, we were thinking of holding a competition and hand out prizes for cool designs. Good idea? Bad idea? Give us your feedback.

Article Manager: Password Protected Areas
Want to make sure that only registered users are looking at your content? Lionel offers a solution for the technically adept which uses PHP to authenticate users on a page by page basis.

Article Manager: Generating a Site Map
A few clever Article Manager users have collaborated on a way to generate a site map that links all the categories in your site.

Realty Manager: Progress update on new RM
MikeF wanted to know where we were at with Realty Manager/Auto Manager. Part way down the page I explained the new functionality we're hoping to bundle into our next release: image thumbnailing, hidden listings, htmlArea and more. No comment on the date, though. ;-)

htmlArea 3.0: Language files
Within a few hours of our release of htmlArea 3.0, the community began translating the software into other languages. At the time of writing, we already have German, Danish, Chinese (traditional/simplified), Swedish, Vietnamese, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, French and Polish.


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