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Since the initial release of Alloy v3.0 I've shipped several incremental updates with improvements, bug fixes, as well as some new features, too. I'd like to take a few minutes to touch on some of those improvements as well as to talk about a new feature that is in the works for Alloy v3.1. Let's start off with some of the new features we've added to Alloy over the past several weeks then we'll jump into what is coming up.

Topper Images in RSS Feeds

At the request of a user I added a feature to the Alloy Control Center stack that allows you to include your blog posts' Topper Images within the RSS feed. Many users, myself included, take a lot of time to create attractive toppers for each post, so why not show those off to our blog's readers in their RSS feeds, too?

Enabling this new feature will insert the Topper Image at the top of the blog post's body content in the RSS feed, making for a nice display within their RSS reader.

This new feature is off by default, so if you're interested in using it, be sure to enable it within the RSS Feed settings in your Alloy Control Center stack.

Utility Menu

We've added the ability to disable the Tutorials button within the popup Utility Menu within the online Editor backend. This button is there to provide you quick access to helpful tutorials for setting up and using Alloy. Once you're confident in your skills using Alloy, or when you're handing off a project to a customer, you might want to disable the Tutorials button -- and now you can. This feature can be turned on / off in the Editor stack's settings in RapidWeaver.

Improved Embedding & Importing

Some users' hosts were being more restrictive than others when it came to embedding and importing Markdown files using Alloy. I've made some adjustments to this process which should allow an even wider variety of hosts to support Alloy's Embeds and Markdown Imports.

More Notes

As always I've outlined all of the changes in Alloy over on the Release Notes page. You can check out each version's additions, improvements, and bug fixes there.

With the updates out of the way, let's take a look at what is in development --

Upcoming: Caching

I've been hard at work on a new feature for Alloy that will make it even quicker at displaying your Blog Posts, even as your blog continues to grow.

I'm working on server-side caching that should drastically increase speed for large blogs as well as decrease number of calls to load Markdown files from the server. After a new post is added, deleted, or modified Alloy will empty its cache. Then the next time the blog page is loaded everything will be newly cached and served from the cache until your next set of changes takes place.

In addition to Blog Posts I'm working on applying a similar server-side caching method to the Droplets as well. Much like the caching for Blog Posts, Droplet caching would drastically reduce the number of calls we need to make to compare all of our Droplets to Droplet Tags on our pages.

I've sent betas out to several people and we've already knocked out a few shop stopper bugs, but we've still got a lot of testing ahead to refine this new feature. I want to also create a new tutorial video that walks users through using and understanding this new caching that Alloy will be capable of. I hope to ship both of these caching additions as early as possible in the New Year.

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