Friday, 15 January 2010

New Feature: Yearly Seed Planning Schedules

The major new feature in today’s release is the Seed Planning Schedule that you’ll now find appearing on your Seed Stash pages – this feature should hopefully make planning when to plant and when to harvest a whole lot easier!

I’ve been working on updating my list today – so take a look at my Seed Stash for a bit of an example of how it works:

Nic’s Seed Stash page

Nic’s Broad Bean ‘Bunyards Exhibition’

How does it work?
Over on your Stash List, you’ll now see a little row of grey boxes under each of your stash items – this is your individual schedule that you can edit to list the sowing, transplanting and harvest / blooming months. To edit, go to your Stash Edit page and scroll down a bit until you see the Planting Schedule section. Check the boxes of the months for each one, then Save your Stash Item and it should magically appear on your schedule bar.

This is a Supporter feature (non Supporters will be able to see the schedule bars to get a feel for how they work but don’t have the ability to edit). Supporters keep Folia going by helping to pay for our server hosting costs: for more information about Supporter Features take a wander over to your Upgrade Account page.

Handy dandy links

  • If you need some help with getting started with this feature: Help!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Happy new year - and a engine upgrade for folia!

Hi all – a very happy new year to everyone, here’s hoping that this gardening year is even bigger and better than the last!

Nath and I have been busy working on a major behind the scenes update to the underlying technology running the site, which we finally released today. This means you should experience a speedier, more efficient site from now on, and it also means that we have a much more powerful set of tools to develop future functionality.

This being quite a massive change, the biggest part of this job involved a lot of testing and retesting. We think we’ve covered hopefully everything on the site, but it would be great if everyone could keep their eyes peeled for anything that looks or acts a bit strange and let us know in the Bugs & Issues group. We’re on bug fixing duty for the rest of the week, so hopefully with everyone’s help we’ll get any bumpiness ironed out pretty promptly.

For anyone interested in the techie explanation: We’ve updated to Rails version 2.3.5 (we were previously on 2.1.1, which was as old as the hills in tech years!) and upgraded a whole heap of gems that are in common use on folia. The biggest driver for this change was that we needed the oAuth integration mechanisms so that we could start work on developing login and other functionality using FB and other oAuth providers like gmail, yahoo! and twitter. It also paves the way for bigger plans such as mobile versions of the site.

We’ve also got a couple of new features that we managed to include in this major release that we’ll be announcing soon (or as usual, someone will find it and announce for us in the meantime!)