Ladies & Gentlemen,
The wait is over!
EdB has commanded an immediate release. Here it is!
Feel free to download it now and give it a test drive. A lot has changed!!!
In case you've not been following along lately, here are a few posts detailing some of the new features:
- New admin interface
- Enhanced configuration options
- Skins 2.0
- User permissions 2.0
- And there's more... much more! Look at the changelog in the download!
This version is functional enough for us to run it on production on at least a dozen sites. However it has not been extensively tested in all different scenarios. You may run into obscure bugs and you're kindly invited to report them.
You should also be advised that the skinning API in this release is not final. That is the main reason why we call it an ALPHA release. So if you really don't like updating skins, you might want to wait a little. But if you like being on the edge, you definitely wanna check this out! (skin upgrade details here).
Other than that, let us know what you think!
At this stage we cannot add new features before issuing a stable release. We can however polish what we have in order to make it as user/blogger friendly as possible. Your feedback is welcome.
PS: Translators may wish to start localizing...
b2evolution 2.0 comes with a brand new backoffice design a.k.a admin skin, named "Chicago":
Though not completely polished yet, we hope it reflects how much effort we're putting into the new b2evolution 2.0.
Of course, if you're nostalgic (or if your IE chokes on CSS), you can still use the legacy or the evo admin skins.
By the way, you can now switch admin skins easily from the "evobar" at the top of the screen. In case you wonder: yes that bar is also displayed on top of the public blog page... if you're logged in!
Other than that, you can see on the screenshot that the backoffice now comes with a "dashboard" which gives you fast and easy access to the items you need the most like the comments awaiting moderation (with one click buttons) as well as your recent draft posts (am I the only one repeatedly forgetting to publish my drafts? )
b2evolution 2.0.0-alpha will be out in a few days now.
Ok, version 1.10 has been out for 3 months now and it's been super stable for 2 months.
Now, I can't stress this enough: if you haven't done so yet, for your own good, please upgrade any prior version to version 1.10 now!
If you're running 1.8 or 1.9, it is very easy too!
1) Download the latest stable 1.10
2) Optionally save your current /conf/_basic_config.php file if you don't want to reconfig later.
3) Upload all the new files over the old ones
4) Optionally, upload your previous /conf/_basic_config.php file back
5) Go to /install and run the installer which will take care of upgrading/fixing a few details in the database.
Your 1.8 and 1.9 skins will work on 1.10.
Again, please trust me: you want to do that upgrade and you want to do it now. Not tomorrow and certainly not next week.
Note for those who are waiting for 2.0: we will indeed release a 2.0-alpha as soon as I find a desk to work on (I'm in the US until the end of the month with a super heavy schedule... and unfortunate shady hotels in between ).
But this will be an alpha. It will be months before 2.0 gets as stable as 1.10. Plus the upgrade to 1.10 is super easy while the upgrade to 2.0 will not be so easy.
Did I mention that now is better than tomorrow? Seriously.
I am in Chicago this week, attending HostingCon 2007.
I'm not really attending the sessions actually. I'm mainly here to talk with the hosting companies about how we can better run b2evo on their shared hosting plans. Because that's actually how most b2evo users run it! (Ok, I'm also here to visit Chicago, which btw is pretty impressive... in many ways... but you'll have to check out my personal blogs for that kind of stuff )
One issue, of course, is to make installation as seamless as possible. Most of our hosting partners already offer easy installation method through cPanel + Fantastico Deluxe. However, in many cases there is room for improvement and we'll work on that. More on this later...
The other big thing, of course, is PHP 5!
You may have heard about the PHP group abandoning support for PHP4 at the end of the year. (Was bound to happen...)
You may have heard about the gophp5.org initiative. (Feels like a guerilla operation to me...)
And you may have read about some popular software strongly sticking to PHP4. (Huh!? What about supporting NCSA Mosaic?)
I'm sort of in the middle...
On the one hand, I reckon that the PHP 5 features would make the development of b2evolution easier and that it would even improve performance in some situations.
On the other hand, I also reckon that PHP 5 is not enabled by default on mosts hosts and that trying to use it involves more setup work on the user's shoulders.
And finally, I'm pretty disappointed with the PHP group who created the PHP4 vs PHP5 incompatibility problem in the first place. I still strongly believe there would have been an easy solution to the upgrade path.
(At this point I have to plead guilty for introducing my own lousy upgrade issues on some previous versions of b2evolution. However, I pledge to make upgrades easier after 2.0.)
Anyway, the PHP5 situation being what it is, my belief is that we can work it out with the hosting companies!
Having talked this through with a couple of them it turns out that:
- They all support PHP5, but in different ways. BlueHost has it enabled by default (nice!). Most of the others support it optionally. Sometimes you have to request it from tech support, but most of the time you can enable it through .htaccess or your own php.ini ... that is, if you're geeky enough for that kind of stuff! Anyway, the bottom line is: there is no standard way to enable PHP5 from one host to another.
- Mosts hosts actually did not realize that it is an issue to the development of software apps... since we somehow managed to still make it run on PHP4 so far.
- Many hosts actually did not realize that the lack of a standard mechanism to switch to PHP5 is a problem for seamless install.
- Many hosts actually did not realize that all PHP applications today, including b2evolution of course, do already work on PHP5 as well as PHP4.
After discussing this thoroughly with several hosts, I do believe there will be an acceptable consensus: most hosting companies seem to be willing to start to roll out PHP5 by default for all new accounts, a couple of months from now. (The current customers would still need to ask their tech support to be upgraded).
So I do have hopes that PHP5 will actually make it mainstream this year at all major hosts (and that the smaller ones will automatically follow). If it doesn't... We could still join the gophp5 "guerrilla" thing. However, I'd really like not to force PHP5 on the users as long as it requires an extra step in the install process.
Regarding b2evolution 2.0: we're still compatible with PHP4 of course. I personally run half of my servers on PHP4 and the other half on PHP5, just to make sure it works on both
Now, being in the US with the tiny laptop makes it much harder for me to actually wrap up that 2.0 release... but I haven't given up yet! Stay tuned
b2evo 2.0 is coming with enhanced configuration options, among which:
- Several options can now be set on a per Blog basis in the backoffice:
- Default ordering of posts: by date, by title, by priority...
- Number of posts (or days) per page to display
- Number of posts for RSS/Atom feeds
- Content of feeds (excerpts, full posts...)
- Archive mode (monthly, weekly, daily...)
- Permalink and other link formats
- Allowing users to subscribe to email notifications
- Special behavior of blog #1 has been removed. Any blog can now aggregate any other combination of blogs. Look into Advanced Settings for the aggregating blog.
- Default chmod settings for dirs/files are now editable in the backoffice.
- Workflow properties are now hidden by default and an be enabled on a per blog basis.
- User feature settings can be reset to defaults, including PluginUserSettings.
- "Multiple sessions per user" setting. This will ensure logout from public computers if unchecked.
We hope to have something out this month.