Release notes: Citizen Space v7.6

Citizen Space version 7.6 will be rolled out to your site during your standard upgrade window in the week beginning 31st January 2022.

So what's new in v7.6?

The work we do on Citizen Space takes a number of forms. We might be building a whole product from scratch - like Citizen Space Geospatial, or adding brand new features - like the recent Saved Pages update. Other improvements may be to do with strengthening security in the platform, or making performance gains to save admin users and site visitors time. A recent release brought up to a 30% improvement in the headroom available for receiving simultaneous response submissions.

Alongside this, is the work to continually update the underlying frameworks that support the product you see and use in real life. Doing this maintenance work, and doing it regularly, means that we can keep on bringing those visible innovations. This update is a bit more of your maintenance-style update, because for the past few months we’ve been doing a big project of work in the underbelly of Citizen Space. This is part of a larger focus on transforming the way user access and permissions work in the platform so that, in time, we can give you more control and flexibility over how you group users and what they can see and do.

There’s been a fair bit to unpick which will release us to do that more exciting stuff. This update is mostly about unknotting those threads behind the scenes, but there are a few visible things in this release, too. And here they are:

  • More clarity - it will now explicitly say on a user’s profile if their account is active or suspended

    No longer will you have to work out the status of a user by seeing if the ‘reinstate’ button is visible or not. It’ll say their account status right on the page.

  • Fewer clicks - the permission level of each user will now be visible in the table of users

    We’ve added the permission level of each user to the table on the ‘Users’ page, so you can quickly and easily see their permission status without having to go into their profile to check. Fewer clicks for the win.

  • Easier naming - on the 'add new user' form, there will no longer be fields for first name and last name, just one single 'name' field

    This makes it easier for you to add new users as there’ll be fewer fields to complete, and it now respects different naming conventions. Many places and people do not use the first name-last name convention, so this no longer forces you to shoehorn a name into those rigid categories.

  • More secure - an update to how passwords are hashed

    This is a security improvement and relates to protections around user passwords. This was always done securely using SHA-2 (a known and approved algorithmic standard for password protection), now it's using the even beefier PBKDF2 algorithm with a SHA256 hash.

  • To note - a change to the URLs of user profiles

    This is not so much an improvement as a point of note - it’s unlikely anyone will have bookmarked the URL of a user profile, but in case you have, we wanted to let you know that these URLs will be changing as part of this release.