What’s new in LiveWhale 2.2.0

This minor release contains new functionality around SMTP email notifications, some new widget formatting options, bug fixes and performance improvements.

New feature: SMTP Error Notifications

We encourage everyone to use an SMTP email connection for sending LiveWhale notifications from a @myschool.edu address. These emails tend to “look more official” to recipients and often have a better chance of getting through your university’s spam filters.

However, sometimes SMTP connections can break—whether due to a wrong password, or a sending rate limit—and LiveWhale 2.2.0 makes it easier to identify when that’s happened.

There’s now a separate error log just for SMTP email errors (which includes the recipient and subject line of the failed notification) and a dashboard alert for admins when you login if any emails have failed to send in the last week.

New widget format options

First up, by request, the {categories} format variable in events widgets now has siblings {categories_campus} and {categories_audience}, for those cases where you want to show a comma-separated list of Campus or Audience event types in your widget results.

This next one’s a bit more esoteric: if you’ve been using <field> variables in your widget format to access XPHP functionality in your widget results, this one’s for you. In LiveWhale 2.2.0 we’ve extended the %%field_ syntax to widget formats, so you can put format variables inside of HTML attributes while using XPHP tools like type or cast.

Before, using a custom variable: <a href=”/foo/{custom_value}”>
After, using that same variable but urlencoded: <a href=”/foo/%%field_custom_value|CAST:urlencoded%%”>

For instance, maybe you’re using a widget to generate a list of links based on title or tag—using CAST:urlencoded will ensure that spaces, slashes, and ampersands in your results don’t cause any unexpected problems. This is probably useful to only the more advanced widget-builders on your teams. Documentation and an example are here.

Behavior adjustments

  • Fixed an issue where some front-end CSS styling for links and pseudo-elements could interfere with the LiveWhale group switcher.
  • During the upgrade process, LiveWhale will now attempt to redirect you to the necessary primary web node.
  • LiveWhale CMS only
    • LiveWhale will now warn you if you try to edit a page with an invalid ID in its source code (for example, an ID with spaces in it) rather than failing silently.
    • Increased the allowable Facebook name length to 255 characters to prevent truncating very long entries in the group editor.


  • Fixed an issue with the new group switcher that could cause certain users to have a blank list of groups.
  • Fixed an issue where users with multiple LiveWhale accounts sharing a single email address could be notified multiple times when sending a bulletin.
  • Fixed an issue where deselecting allow access to other groups in the user editor did not remove groups selected for switch access.
  • Fixed an issue where certain link copies of events in another group’s linked calendar could fail to display in the frontend calendar.
  • LiveWhale CMS only
    • Fixed an issue that could cause 404 pages to be unstyled if they contained only shorthand XPHP includes and no other widgets.
    • Fixed two issues with gallery templates: allowing .xml gallery templates to override the default, and repairing support for image_crop=false (allows for width and height to be used as maximums, rather than always cropping gallery images to those exact dimensions).
    • Fixed an issue where magazine issues were not available at their default LiveURL location.


  • Performance improvements when searching for places to map to an event from the event editor.
  • Removed deprecated code for the CORS embedded calendar.
  • Added the ability for LiveWhale to internally disable the content length header when creating and exporting certain custom iCal feeds.
  • Increased the minimum required PHP version from 5.5 to 5.6 (note, no current LiveWhale 2.0+ sites are using PHP 5+, most are on 7+, which is why we considered this a minor and not a major change).

July 29, 2022

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