Dolphin 7.1 (Osho) In Development!

Andrew Boon posted 23rd of May 2012 in News. 66 comments.

After nine service updates we're happy to announce the first feature update of Dolphin 7. Already a few weeks in development and already looking very very promising, the new Dolphin is coming soon. We're adopting one more real dolphin (named "Osho", via Dolphin Discovery Centre), so the codename for Dolphn 7.1 is "Osho".


Version Numbers Explained


It's easy to get confused with different Dolphin version numbers, so let's try to sort them out...

Dolphin 7 - this is a general name for current version lineup. When we say Dolphin 7 we refer to any/all Dolphin versions numbered in 7.x.x range. 

Dolphin 7.0.9 - this is the current stable version. Dolphin 7.0.9 is the only existing version that we recommend for production sites. It's codename is Hookie (7.0.x).

Dolphin 7.1 - this is what we're working on right now - a feature-update of Dolphin 7. The codename is Osho (7.1.x).

Dolphin 8 - the future generation of Dolphin that is still quite far from release day. Codename for the first iteration (8.0) is Sundance. Dolphin 8 represents a major overhaul of the entire platform structure.


Focus of Osho


As we previously announced, we will be supporting and developing Dolphin 7 lineup along with Dolphin 8. We don't plan to make any massive changes, but a few key improvements will make Dolphin-powered sites much more competitive and modern.  In this update we decided to focus on the following:


1. Design and Layout - The new version introduces a lighter, simpler default template. We're going through all design and layout elements, streamlining and reordering them to give Dolphin a fresh look. Common reaction to default Dolphin installation is that it has an overwhelming amount of elements and various bits of information, which may distract users. In Dolphin 7.1 we're going to turn things around and make user-experience intuitive and effortless. Many ideas and solutions are being taken from Dolphin 8, so in some sense we're "bridging" 7 and 8. The new template will also positively affect site speed and hosting server load.


2. Social Widgets - It is getting increasingly obvious that any community or content site depends more and more on large social networks, as opposed to just Google or paid traffic. Social sharing widgets is the main tool to maximise your website promotion capabilities. We're not fighting Facebook, Google+ or Twitter - instead we're embracing them as a source of traffic. 


3. SEO - Search engine optimisation is a tricky game to play. Recent Google algorithm updates effectively crashed "over-optimized" sites, while boosting sites with good quality content. In Dolphin 7.1 we're working on bringing SEO side of things on par with current requirements and trends.


4. Mobile - Only a few years ago everyone talked about mobile browsing being "the future" of the web. It's no longer a "future" - it a "now". Even the latest Facebook IPO proved that the big shift is underway and it is only a matter of a few years before mobile browsing overtakes desktop browsing completely. So, we have a few important updates for our iOS and Android Apps coming with Dolphin7.1


Time, Scale & Compatibility


Osho is not about major new features, so most of the 3rd party modifications should work with it just fine. Also, it shouldn't take too long for us to prepare the first betas and then release it. There's no exact date, but after about 3 weeks of development we're already seeing some significant progress. So, we hope to be done with it before it starts to get warm here in Sydney. 


Although we're keeping feature and code structure changes to a minimum, the new version will look and feel like a very new piece of software. We can tell this already! Anyway, we will be sharing more specific updates about development progress over the course of coming few weeks, so stay tuned!




The most inquisitive of you could have already noticed Osho in our SVN - as always the development is open and transparent. It's too early to actually download and test Osho though - we're committing lots of changes every day. For now, here's a screenshot of our local test installation just to give an idea of where we are:


Dolphin 7.1 Osho Preview Screenshot




We may have to adjust Dolphin 7 pricing a bit. I will post in more details about this later, but in general, if you're holding off a purchase, now is the time to make up our mind. Due to various reasons it is likely that Dolphin license prices would go up after 7.1 release.


Next Up


Expect frequent updates about Osho development, but don't forget about Sundance. We're lucky to be able to work on both of them right now and they seem to help each other improve. 

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This is a great news! Thank you, Andrew. :o)
Nathan Paton
Guess I'm a revision or two behind... Still not sure about the new logo, but the rest of the look is a nice improvement.

But couldn't v7.0.6 (or whichever release included those two new modules) be considered a feature update, too?
Nathan Paton
I see the promo area is now a HTML block and nothing more. The entire design in that screenshot was done as HTML (i.e., no PHP). There's some options to control the visibilty (none, all pages, homepage) and disable TinyMCE when editing (which is great, because TinyMCE is horrible for editing HTML).
Andrew Boon
Yes, we're taking a different approach with splash screen this time. You can turn it on and off for guests/members and have it on all pages or just the homepage. Also with simple HTML it's somewhat friendlier and more flexible for customisation.
Very nice.
Just a little issue, I've applied all the changeset in a test site but I see the ID of the profile instead of the nickname.
In this screenshot I see the nickname of the profile correctly....any idea?
Nathan Paton
I'm guessing that screenshot above isn't from the repo. Latest revision still has this problem.
Andrew Boon
We're testing and developing - some things are being turned on and off to allow interim testing. I believe the one you could was there for testing independent identifiers (to allow spaces in usernames, full names in profile links, emails for logins, etc.)
It is quite clear that we don't know when we will get hold of Dolphin 8. What i would like to know is whether it will be possible to upgrade from D7 to D8. This makes sense for those who might be seriously developing their D7 sites.

Keep up the good work.
Andrew Boon
Depends on how you define "upgrade". Automated upgrade script from D7 to D8 - not going to happen. Tools for migrating compatible data - sure. Compatibility with current D7 expansions - somewhat. Generally, we recommend working with D7, especially now that 7.1 is in works, and only -consider- D8 when it's out and if it fits your site's objectives.
Thanks Andrew, that sounds good. However, i think people would be happy with full compatibilty with D7. But again the world keeps changing.
This new template looks very nice. Good work...:)
Great news ?
Still no rows ?
There is a mod that you guys could improve only needs a bit of work so all blocks do not revert to columns when one is deleted ..

It it warm yet :O0

happy thoughts
Andrew Boon
As I mentioned, we don't want to make 7.1 a MAJOR update. We will want most (if not all) 3rd party mods to work well with it. Builders/blocks changes would imply serious core changes. We have a new nice "layouts" solution in D8, but D7 will have current system with added benefit of the new splash screen that can now be configured to be visible on all pages.
Looks really nice. Very clean.
This layout is very nice.
I would like to know some information about dolphin 7.1. There will be the "website maintenance" system? The galleries (photo, videos, files, etc.) will be improved ? In particular, will be enhanced photo viewing mode?
I hope to receive good news about that.
Andrew Boon
We are working on improved photo/video viewing experience. More about this soon.

As for maintenance mode - it's a tricky thing, not an easy one... How do you decide what should remain accessible (for testing/development) and what not? The easy (recommended) way is to upload dummy index.html page to your site while working on it.
If you upload an index.html page in your site, users using bookmarks can see pages of the website without viewing the index.html page. For this reason it would be more useful an integrated maintenance system which allow administrators to view the website under maintenance and users to see a warning page wathever page they visit.
you could to something like this:
Looks good. When you say pricing will change, will any currently purchased licenses, still work on 7.1?
I have some that are unused in my account...

Any info you can give on what changes are made to the mobile app?

Thanks :-)
Nathan Paton
Licenses are not version-specific. Your current licenses will cotninue to work will all versions, past, present, and future.

I feel like a broken record...
only asking as mentioned price increase...
Andrew Boon
Details on mobile app will be posted in about a week or so.

Yes, current licenses will work with 7.1, 8 or any other Dolphin version. They're permanent and not tied to specific version.
It really looks good guys...
I appreciate the mentioning of "bridging" 7 and 8....A lot of worry is put to rest here for me.
Keep up the good work guys :D
Very nice! Keep it coming...
Prices going up? Seriously? That's a marketing fail..
If you guys don't see this now, I'm sure you will in a couple of months..

How can you announce a new version AND a price increase at the same time???
(not to mention any increase when prices are already high)
Andrew Boon
The increase isn't likely to be too big, and will be somewhat balanced by falling AUD exchange rate. Same time announcement is just to take care of existing clients who're on the fence, so to speak. Free version will remain as it is, on same terms. Only basic permanent license is likely to be affected.
Ok, sounds fair like that, just one more suggestion while we are at prices.. Why don't you guys lower the ads price (something like half value maybe)? Do you prefer not to sell any of them? And why no external links? I would gladly pay $10 a day if I could add external link.. Redirecting users to a boonex page is not quite profitable for most of us..
Hi Andrew, Im looking forward to this as I have a number of sites just going into build. Is it likely to be weeks or months before its ready?

Can you say anymore about the updates to mobile license?
Thanks - Tim
Andrew Boon
Weeks. Mobile license is likely to stay as it is - part of Prime, same price. Mobile Apps will be updated.
Weeks is good to hear:-).
What difference on mobile apps then? Or is it all to be revealed...!
You would make my day if this included a serious revamp to the forums module!
Nathan Paton
I'm of the opinion that a PunBB/Vanilla integration would be better than an overhaul of Orca.
I'll take it.. as long as it comes out of the box that way and works. 3rd party forum integrations are otherwise ugly from an end user standpoint and not something I want to mess with :)
Nathan Paton
I've seen some good integrations of PunBB and phpBB in my time. smile4sammy isn't an example of a good developer (and neither was his "integrations" actual integrations. More like hacked Joomla bridges). :p
A nice seamless PunBB integration, with appropriate styling, would be great, since my current forum is running PunBB. Less migration issues!
Please please PLEASE put thread pagination in Osho.
Thank you BoonEx :-)
Andrew, did you guys ever get rid of the ugly blue padlocks?
Will there be any changes to orca forums It is the one feature on my site that keeps getting the complaints. 7.1 looks great keep up the good work.
I would LOVE top see a big update to the way Dolphin handles videos. 7.1 would be great.. but I suspect 8 maybe more realistic...

Need to be able to include linking videos (not embedding) that are uploaded to a 2nd server which can then be setup for in video seeking (no rendering time, able to skip ahead). Also videos need to be able to switch from flv to iphone friendly automatically.

This is one major area Dolphin suffers and I think if this was tackled, it would massively change the way see more Dolphin could be used... a WELL worth addition...

Any news on this?!
that pics are from dolphin 8 or dolphin 7.1 ?
what is the title of this note telling us?? ;)
about dophin 7.1
but the pic looks like dolphin 8 :P
Continue the good job boonex :)
yeah, they have done some amazing changes to the template!
Nathan Paton
Trust me, it looks nothing like Dolphin 8. Dolphin 8 is very blue. :p
yes sorry the next time i will focus on colors if it is blue or very blue :PPP
Andrew Boon
One day we'll show you how to make it very grey, very green, or even very red in the blink of an eye.
Glad to hear this is just weeks away. We have soem great ideas for sites and are ready to start rolling them out. Time will tell how good this updae is, bit it looks optomistic. Would have been nice to see a change to chat in this version, but i guess if that is ever going to happen then it may be in 8?

I take it there are no different server requirements? So i can run this on the same server as my 7.09 site?
Andrew Boon
Server requirements shouldn't change.
Couple Avatar is dificult to use, users wont know how to use it

Make a ONE photo couple Avatar for this update please!!!

Andrew Boon
We've tried several different approaches. Vertically split 50/50 produces best results. In most case users don't have to think how it works - they just upload their photos and they work fine. Single photo for a couple, same as single profile for a couple is a diversion to entirely different vision of how couple profile should work, and we've been trough many disputes about this already. Opinions vary. So, in this update, we don't do any structural changes, concentrating on presentation mainly, and see more this is the way couples leek better than they used to, while retaining existing profile structure.
Vertically split 50/50 its a good change i liked

i have an adult site wich as a lot of couples, and i have to edit the couple profiles all the time,
users just dont understand how couples avatar work, that thes main problem, people get confused

ps: testing branches_7.1-16311 i miss quick link in menu to send photos,videos, create groups, create events

keep the good job
I'm all for reducing the number of page elements. It gets ridiculous at times. I just spent an hour modifying CSS for a text area on a popup form used by a 3rd party module. Rather than a simple border around the textarea, there's a half dozen separate classes, small images, and 20 or 30 lines of CSS scattered all over the place. What could you guys possibly have been thinking when you created a textarea border using little images in each corner?

Did you guys use some sort of automated process see more that created all these page elements? I find it hard to believe that any human would do this deliberately.
"What could you guys possibly have been thinking when you created a text area border using little images in each corner?"

Like the comments box i ended up removing all the imgs. and replacing it with colors much better now

I still don't like the new layout for 7.1 !.
As an admin, why can't you make a photo or video featured from the actual photo or videos page?

In admin area, why can't you see which photos or articles are already featured, and which aren't? And Why can't you sort by featured and non?

Why are there no page views for Articles like there are for photos and videos?

The forums have many issues, and is nothing compared to phpBB. The signature feature sucks, you can't sticky an article after its made, or unsticky it once stickied. No polls. see more And the icons are disabled without major code work, see:

The double-carriage issue: and

On the front page, it would be nice if you could easily show vids/pics from one album, or sorted the way you want.

Why is the admin area for writing an article so tiny and not re-sizable?
see moreHi,

Dolphin 7 is not that user friendly when it comes to members. Will Osho have a better option to upgrade membership? If a member change username it as to be manual activated in Admin. Your Orca forum is a nightmare. Dolphin is the best social platform in the market today, this didn't happened by accident, it has taken a lot of work and dedication. However don't forget the market is forever changing and evolving, let's not become dinosaurs and discarded like Kodak.


this is cool, I hope it gets more on the oop design side
this is cool, I hope it gets more on the oop design side
this is cool, I hope it gets more on the oop design side
this is cool, I hope it gets more on the oop design side
this is cool, I hope it gets more on the oop design side
Below is the legacy version of the Boonex site, maintained for Dolphin.Pro 7.x support.
The new Dolphin solution is powered by UNA Community Management System.