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.
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:
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