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Author Topic: HCL 3.0.0 Started  (Read 71657 times)
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« on: June 21, 2007, 11:59:25 AM »

Work has started on version 3.0.0 (formerly 2.2.0)  This version is a major change to HCL, with the following expected changes:

  • DB Based Config
  • DB Based Bot
  • IP Hider
  • Module Installer
  • HCL Backup

Note: this feature list is not locked, keep suggesting new features for version 3.

DB  Based Config:
HCL will see the main config mostly (except for database information) move out of the file and into the database.  There are a couple of reasons for this, for one, this will keep the configuration out of the file system (the database config can be read only, and not overwritable by the web server) and it will make setting config options much easier.

DB Based Bot:
Bot killer will fetch bot agents from the Database.  This will allow a reduction in code for handling bots, additionally in the future a bot repository could be built that would keep the bots up to date.

IP Hider:
IP hider works kind of like the current bot killer, it hides specified IPs from the operators.  There are two foreseen reasons for this, 1) operators, this can be automatic, operators IP address' would be blocked so they can surf the site without coming up as a visitor, and 2) Banned IPs, an example is a visitor who abuses the Live Help system.

Module Installer:
The module installer aims to ease the installation of modules.  Currently there are a lot of FTP operations needed to install a module, I'd like to see this go away and a standard package for modules developed so that modules could be installed and removed easily.  Additionally this provides one place for the configuration of modules and enabling them, disabling them.  Modules can even provide a script to resync user/password information.

HCL Backup:
HCL Backup will allow the backup of the HCL scripts (including modules) and database.  This should allow admins the ability to safe guard their HCL setup.  Backup will also permit the restoration of the system, and installer will gain the restore option to restore to a new system.  During restore (within setup) if the system notices bad data, it would prompt the admin about which data to use.  This should ease migration issues as well.

Some of the above may become modules, others are so intertwined with the core they pretty much have to become core functions.

Downside
Now for the down side.  Because of some rather drastic changes to the core to enable some of these functions, a 3.0.0 upgrade will eliminate the ability to go back to prior versions.  I'm considering building a backup into the upgrade portion of the script to allow the admin to download the current pre-3.0.0 setup and DB before the upgrade happens.  This is basically just an image, and you would need something like phpMyAdmin to restore it, however it would allow some safety.

Here are some areas which will need some attention:

  • Themes
  • Graphics
  • Documentation
  • Coding
  • Ideas

Most of this can be accomplished right at this site.  Themes and Graphics are needing particular attention.  The current themes will need some updating, and frankly, we only have 2 themes?  Theme writers, this is your chance to show your stuff.  By making one or two themes, you have a showcase of your work right in the core.  Include your contact information in the file, and you could build yourself a revenue stream building custom templates.  HCL has had 470 downloads from the project page in the past week. 

We can always use good PHP/Java/CSS/MySQL coders.  We gotta keep the engine running, and coders are the mechanics and engineers for the task.

Do you want to contribute but can't program, and your themes look like a 6 year old's?  Consider helping with the Documentation.  How-to articles and even posts here on helpcenterlive.com help the project overall.

Ideas for additional features are always welcome.  While we may decide they don't belong in the core, they can become modules.  Also please comment on features coming or already in HCL.  Without your comments we're flying blind.

Opensource isn't just free software, you can give back by donating your time.  All of the above are donations. 

EDIT: Changed version number in line with our new versioning schema: http://www.helpcenterlive.com/dru/node/12
« Last Edit: June 27, 2007, 06:25:51 AM by mlzhosting » Logged

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DeadBeet
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2007, 09:01:35 AM »

How about a built in Ticket System:)  Comes with it, and in config, you can turn it off:)  Glad to suggest!
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2007, 06:28:00 PM »

Actually, at this point it looks like there might be two different ticket systems offered.  someone has graciously offered to take over eTicket development, and I'm working on hclTicket, So you will be able to install the one that works best for what you need.
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2007, 06:32:19 AM »

Multichat sessions will be good
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2007, 07:01:29 AM »

Actually, 2.x can do multiple chats (I've lost count of how many times I've had 5 or 6 chats going at once...)  However HCL places each in it's own window.  It's more of a load on the client machine (which is to say, not a lot unless your on dial-up), but consumes much less resources on the server (it's refreshing each window separately, with small tight scripts).  This tends to spread the load out better.  Part of the planning for hclApp is to have everything in one window with tabs, however each session will refresh independently from the others, to again keep the server loads as low as possible.
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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2007, 02:24:33 AM »

I find that it would have that to have a queue for the attendance, equal of the Kayako?
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« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2007, 04:08:20 AM »

In the live app, that is pretty fundamental.  I've been playing with some ideas on the web side, but let's face it, browser based will always be slower and less feature rich then a client app.  Too many browsers that seem to march to their own drum.
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Vicky
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2007, 01:19:05 PM »

Do you have an approximate release date for this?
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2007, 01:37:22 PM »

It's safe to say sometime between November this year and November of 2010.  Seriously, I'm shooting for around the first of the year for having a public beta ready.  However, development never seems to go the direction I wish, and it could be earlier (don't bet much on it) or later (quite possible).

The problem is, every fix to 2.1.x has to be looked at in 3.0.0, since there is some code reused, however that's getting easier every week, since I get ticked off at some older piece of code which 1) doesn't do what it's supposed to, 2) got broken because of something added, or 3) degrades speed or stability of the system.  When this happens I have to decide if it's worth fixing or just rewriting.  To add to this, I'm also taking care of 2.1.x (2.1.4 will be out this morning sometime, after it gets at least one install to try and make sure it doesn't have any issues), working on hclTicket (really just eTicket, but there are a LOT of integration issues here).

Currently I'm the only active developer, as the rest of the team appears to either be very busy, or have been abducted by aliens and thus are not able to contribute at this time. 

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ChrisR
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« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2007, 02:35:44 AM »

are you working on the code in a svn o we can get snaps of it or are you doing this on computer?
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« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2007, 05:55:27 AM »

It is in SVN, however it's currently closed for public use at least until some underlying framework is done.  Once we have the framework finished up, I intend to allow people to check out the code, even download it, with the understanding that it WILL break, it may not be able to be upgraded to future versions, etc. Smiley
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ChrisR
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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2007, 08:33:06 AM »

Yes cool can not wait for then.

Quote
t is in SVN, however it's currently closed for public use at least until some underlying framework is done.  Once we have the framework finished up, I intend to allow people to check out the code, even download it, with the understanding that it WILL break, it may not be able to be upgraded to future versions, etc.
Well yes that for pub-dev versions are for just testing and see what it look like and what not :p
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Jordan
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« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2007, 09:44:00 AM »

Could we have a system similar to Kayako where there are two different admin panels, one for administration and one for staff where all the tickets and stuff like that are managed?
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ChrisR
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2007, 12:14:57 PM »

Yes that would be very cool well if you need some help on this just give me a PM as i know HTML, CSS and a bit of php.
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« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2007, 05:46:38 PM »

I've been giving that a bit of thought lately.  With the mass of new features, I think it's important to separate not into two admin panels, but three.  Operators functions, Manager Functions (or super-operators, or supervisors, or .... ), and admin functions.  Really, admin should only be about setting up the system, not managing transcripts, operators, etc.  That's a management function.  I'd also like to introduce a security "level" system where functions have a definable security level, this would get rid of some hacks (the operator delete for instance) as well as make things a little tighter. 

This type of thing is part of what's holding certain areas up in 3.0.0 right now.  We need to get a better view of the destination of 3.0.0 so we can build a realistic roadmap.

BTW, if you visit our Eventum tracking system, anyone can submit bug reports and feature requests to the system for the devels to work on.
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