A more consistent user interface has been designed, relying on the Material UI framework. This improvement provides a smoother user experience. Themes have been added, allowing users to select the color environments they prefer.
The frontend has been upgraded. It now uses the most recent version of React, version 18. Several changes have been made to the library of plug-ins used.
A bug affecting the notification system has been resolved. Meaningful messages are now displayed instead of white boxes.
The topic pages are now located at a URL showing a "slug" instead of the numerical identifier. A slug is the lower-case representation of the topic name, with dashes replacing spaces. Accented characters are replaced by the non-accented corresponding character, and non-latin alphabets are replaced by an approximate transliteration of the name into ASCII (using the algorithm provided by python-slugify).
This change makes it easier to retrieve a URL for a given topic, as the URL contains a form that is easier to memorize than the number.
If a topic page corresponds to a scope, a role in a relationship, a language, or a kind of name, a new option appears in the topbar, enabling access to the list of topics sharing this characteristics. Previously, these lists were only available from the Discover menu.
The Select topic option enables the selection of scopes, roles, languages, and kinds.
Internal upgrades have been made to keep up with the most recent technologies:
- The front-end application has been upgraded to the most recent version, React 17.
- The back-end application has been upgraded to the most recent version, Django 3.2.8
Various improvements have been made to improve the stability of the user experience.
- Creating relations is now easier: Clicking on the button was the only option. Now the Tab key enables
- Two features that were not working as expected after upgrades have been temporarily removed:
- The tabular presentation of data was not working as planned.
- The display of reverse relationships on the Relation List.
The note panel was configured to close automatically and save the notes while moving the cursor away from the panel. While this was convenient in a number of cases, it was considered by users to be getting in their way, as they were looking for other information while writing notes.
The panel now remains open for editing until the SAVE button is pressed.
It is possible to use the TAB key to access the SAVE button.
- Press TAB once to reach the SAVE button when the note is created for the first time.
- Press TAB twice to reach the SAVE button when editing an existing note.
The reason for this difference is that a new field for setting the language of a note appears once a note has been created and appears below the note before the SAVE button.
The ability to create relationships to the current topic by creating a note and underlining the text serving to indicate new topics has been improved.
Now the newly created topics and relationships appear immediately after closing the note. Before, it was necessary to refresh the page on the browser to display the relationships.
Two new global configuration options are available. They are aimed at advanced users and are set at the system level for each application. Let us know if you need the default values to be changed.
- NAME_CASE_MATTERS , when set to ON, allows to distinguish between topic names containing the same characters but with variant cases. For example, "us" and "US" are considered two different topics. As this usage is not likely to be used frequently, the default configuration is set to OFF. However, it is possible to enter a case variation as a synonym of a topic name.
- FORCE_NEW_TOPIC_ON_CASE_VARIANT is a more specialized feature in the same vein. This feature specifically allows topics to be created with variant cases.
- The case variation doesn't apply for topics used for scopes, relation and occurrence roles, languages and kinds.
What is it?
A relation is itself a topic. For example, when two persons get married, their marriage is a distinct topic.
The topics representing the relations have their own topic page. The new feature enables to navigate from a relation topic to its components, as well as to the topic representing the role declared in the relation.
Another associated new feature is the fact that the name panel is not enabled any more for relation topics. The rationale is that the the names for the relations between topics is created automatically from its components. If any of the components change, the name changes accordingly. The information created on the relation topic persists.
Why we did it
The "relation as topic" feature is used by our customers to share review comments on the relations to indicate that those relations need to be double-checked. It became increasingly important to be able to navigate back to the components of the relations.
When will it appear
We are deploying the new version on the servers containing Networker applications. We are planning to update all applications by July 8, 2021.
It's becoming easier to export data out of the Networker.
We are now providing blazing fast exports to spreadsheets (CSV), as well as HTML, XML and JSON. We went from incredibly long times for exporting to a few seconds, by modifying the underlying process of exporting, directly from the internal database.
This change now positions the Networker into a chain of software components. You can now use it to populate a content management system, a publishing system, which can be repopulated as soon as the content is modified.
Listening to our customers requests, we have decided to use our time available during lock-down to create more features that are useful in many cases.
Share as you go
It is now possible to share the content of the Networker knowledge base by providing access to a web site that is using a user interface resembling the Networker interface, but which is read-only.
By default, the access to this web site is restricted to a group of people who share a common login (user name, password).
We can also lift the password-access restriction, to let you publish on the Web the work as it evolves.
Any change you make in the regular, editable version of the Networker is immediately reflected in the read/only version.
This interface has been designed to look as close as possible to the Networker version.
We will be providing customization on demand, to make this version consistent with the graphic design requirements of your organization.
Find your path
It is hard to find one's way into a graph, where every node can be connected to any number of others.
Taxonomies are easier to navigate. You can only go up and down. We have added a "breadcrumbs" feature to our taxonomy module, which is used in the "up" and "down" panel. It is now possible to visualize not only the term which is immediately up in the hierarchy, but all the ones that are higher, until the root.
This is similar to navigating a family tree, going up the chain of ancestors until the first one known.
More international features
We have added the ability to create multiple text fields on each page, with the ability to declare a language for every field.
In addition to the previous feature of settings languages on names, multilingual features also now encompass descriptions.
Custom exports will allow us to create specific versions of the knowledge base in different languages.
Export to Spreadsheet
We have added a default export to CSV (Comma Separated Value) format, which is a table format accepted by all spreadsheet software.
We expect our customers to request custom export to fit their specific needs.
Use this link to navigate the version produced with the Networker.
An instance of the Networker containing that data was made available to the attendees, for editing, during the conference.
If you are interested to see the editable Networker application used to produce the read-only version, send us a mail at [email protected]