What’s new in LiveWhale 2.0.0

LiveWhale 2.0.0 includes new features for editors—event reminders and follow-up emails, a revamped group switcher, a new default image gallery—as well as new widget types and API improvements for developers.

LiveWhale 2.0.0 demonstration and Q&A
Wednesday, June 29, 1pm PT / 3pm CT / 4pm ET
[Join via Zoom] (Recording will be shared on the Developers Forum)

More Frequent Releases

As many of you know, our development work on the LiveWhale platform is continuous and iterative—but, our old way of announcing a new release every year or so wasn’t reflecting that. Starting now, we’re moving to a new system of semantic version numbering, and will be bundling up features and bug-fixes every few weeks and making them available on your dev server for testing.

Automatic Upgrades

If you’re using LiveWhale CMS, we expect you’ll want to continue testing and upgrading manually with each new release. However, for most LiveWhale Calendar sites, we’re going to suggest enabling automatic upgrades on your production calendar when you move to 2.0.0.

New Features for Content Editors

Easier Group Switching

New Group Switcher interface

After a number of years, LiveWhale 2.0.0 has reimagined group switching, leaving behind the default browser drop-down in favor of a filterable list that is more modern and accessible.

You can scroll and click a group using the mouse like before, but you can also simply click and start typing to filter. Press Enter to switch to the highlighted group, or use the arrow keys and Enter to select a different group.

Also, your three most recent groups will appear in a special section at the top of the list.

You can also configure Top Groups that will always appear at the beginning of the group list.

Finally, new Keyboard Shortcuts make switching groups and other toolbar tasks faster than ever: no matter where you are on the page, Ctrl+G opens the group switcher so you can start typing and go.

Event Reminders and Follow-up Emails

Event confirmation, reminder, and follow-up emails

When creating event RSVPs, you can now configure optional event reminder emails (24 hours before the event) and event follow-up emails (24 hours after).

These messages are fully WYSIWYG customizable and can link to pre-event resources, post-event surveys, or just be a simple “Thanks for attending.”

All registration emails also now include a preview link so you can see exactly what your registrants will receive for each message type.

Easier Sharing and Curation

Share to Group dropdown If you’re managing a Newsroom or Homepage group, LiveWhale 2.0.0 makes it easier to gather great events and stories from other groups to share into yours. The “Shared Events”/”Shared News” toolbar link has been restored, and there’s also a new “Share to Group” option in the “With checked items…” dropdown.

Front-end Improvements

New Default Gallery

You can attach one or more images to an event, news story, or profile, and we’ve revamped how this appears on the front end in LiveWhale 2.0.0.

First off, if you only apply a single image, then no slideshow code loads whatsoever, and you get a straightforward picture tag in HTML.

When you add multiple images, the new theme-able default gallery adds an icon indicating a gallery is present, and you can click to open a fullscreen lightbox-style gallery (example at right).

Responsive Images

Images in LiveWhale are now responsive, so mobile and tablet users will experience faster load times by not always loading the large desktop versions of each site image. This is enabled by default in 2.0.0, but you can also configure the breakpoints to match your theme.

LiveWhale Calendar

New Embedding Options

LiveWhale 2.0.0 retires the embeddable “CORS calendar” and replaces it with an easy-to-use iframe calendar, if you have places outside of your main calendar site where it would be useful to embed an interactive or month view calendar. This ?iframe=1 view has its own simplified template that you can customize to make sure your embedded calendars look just right.

LiveWhale CMS

Content Layouts

Content Layout UI Sometimes you want to allow editors to insert design elements onto a page without either coding them into the page template or making them each as separate widgets. Content Layouts allow you to define editable layouts that can be placed on any page.

Once inserted, page editors can edit the text, images, and links inside of a content layout. They can also add, remove, and rearrange repeatable blocks within a layout, like this simple two-column example (above right).

QuickAccess and Groups Widgets

Two new widget types are available in LiveWhale 2.0.0: a QuickAccess widget that lets you display top links from your QuickAccess manager on your site’s search results page, and a Groups widget that displays a list of all of your groups.

Sync Profile Data via CSV

You’ve long been able to keep selected Profile fields in sync with an external LDAP or MySQL database. Now, we’ve added CSV to the mix: if you’re in a position where connecting to an external database is hard, but uploading a CSV exported from your HR software is easy, you can now set up a Profile Data Source to reference a CSV by filepath. Editors can still manage their own profiles but any fields that you associate with the CSV will be locked and kept in sync.

Blurb Images

Blurbs can now have images! You can still use profiles as you need for custom data types within LiveWhale CMS, but for simple items containing just a title, body, image, and perhaps some custom fields, Blurbs now have you covered.

API Improvements for Developers

JSON API v2

There’s a new API in town… We’ll continue supporting the original /live/json API for some time, but this revamp of our JSON API provides results that are more optimized, consistent, and robust. And they load a heck of a lot faster! Learn more about JSON API v2 and how to migrate your /live/json integrations.

New CSV Endpoint

You can now easily export any LiveWhale data type as CSV by using the new /live/csv API endpoint.

Show Hidden Content when Developing

By request, LiveWhale 2.0.0 introduces two methods for logged-in users to access Hidden content to front-end page URLs or API requests simply by adding ?include_hidden=1 to the URL.

How to Upgrade

If your dev server has “SELF_UPDATE” set to true in /livewhale/core/config.php, you will have LiveWhale 2.0.0 on your dev server beginning Sunday, June 26, 2022. Learn more about upgrading, or about enabling automatic upgrades. As always, feel free to reach out to support@livewhale.com with any questions about the upgrade process.