Release 1.30: Hotspot navigation & RSS

Shortly after the last update there is new stuff again. Hotspot hash anchor navigation: Some of it wanted it for a very long time and finally it's possible. Also RSS change feeds have been introduced. One catch though: A downtime as announced yesterday. Due to some database updates Spaaze will be down for about an hour. So don't panic when Spaaze isn't available when reading this, we are in the process of rolling out this update.

1.) Hash anchor hotspot navigation: Might sounds complicated, but really is a very simple and neat feature. It means, that when jumping to a hotspot now, the hotspot name gets added to the URL with a hash. As an example, when I open my board and the URL is something like "spaaze.com/board/ABCD", jumping to a hotspot called Books would change the URL to "spaaze.com/board/ABCD#Books". This makes it possible to: copy or bookmark the link and always end up at the hotspot, and it's possible now to press the browser back button and jump back to the center. So while it sounds like a complicated new technical feature it really should make the use of Spaaze more intuitive.

2.) RSS feeds: Especially with collaboration boards a possibility to get notified about changes would have been nice. This is now possible, with RSS change feeds for every board. Just add it to any RSS feed reader and you should be able to get notified about changes to the board. Why I formulate this so vague? Because I'm not quite sure about the implementation of this feature yet.

Warning: Technical Content. So what's actually the content of the feed? Well, it shows the 20 most recent edited items. The title of each entry is what kind of item has been edited (bookmark, note, ...). The content is depending on the item either nothing (file, picture, html), or some appropriate content (bookmark title, first line of a note, name of the youtube video). The RSS entry links to the current position of the item. There is no indicator of what has been changed (content, position, ...), also deleted items are not represented as changes at all. Also every RSS feed is completely public, secret but public. I was thinking about how RSS readers could authenticate with Spaaze. While you are logged in when using Spaaze in the browser, the feed reader might isn't. Like when using Google Reader, how could Google even authenticate with Spaaze? No chance. Therefore the RSS feeds are public (no login required), but secret (e.g. "spaaze.com/rss/ABCD"), meaning that the ID part of the RSS feed is unique, and different from the actual board ID.

Consider this a first shot. I hope it works out, but I'm open for feedback.

3.) Bugfixes: As mentioned last time, the new index card note style needed some more work. The paper clip was covered by the scroll bar on long notes and it didn't show up at all on the iPad. This is fixed now. Also the whole changed note edit mode, moving and link clicking event mechanics got optimized and should work better now.

4.) Database update: As mentioned on the top this update also changes some stuff to the database layout requiring a longer downtime. Of course there was stuff added for the RSS feature, but that's not the reason for the length of the downtime, it's mostly internal restructuring. I hope this doesn't break anything. The only problem I can think of is that failed file uploads don't repair themselves on the next wall load, but this really is an edge case.