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pLog now reachable through Freshmeat

Hoping to start creating a bigger community around pLog, I posted and announcement at Freshmeat.net. What I didn't know is that all submissions have to be checked and approved before they can make it to the first page... The announcement and also goal of pLog seemed to convince the folks at FM, so we are now featured there. In any case, I hope more people will get to know about pLog from now on, since the 10 most recent applications in FM are also displayed in the front page in Slashdot.

pLog 0.1 RC1 Released!

It took a while but the first release candidate is finally here! If nothing really strange happens, this release will eventually become the 0.1 final release.
All you need to do is grab the files from here, either in tar.gz or in tar.bz2 format, unpack them and run the wizard.php script. The new version comes with redesigned and slicker documentation that will guide you through the process of installing pLog, if any help is required at all. The documentation can also be browsed on-line here.
If you are installing from the latest development release, plog-devel-20030805, the wizard includes also support for upgrading the database structure (which has slightly changed a little) but it will take care of everything so that you don't lose your information. If you are installing from a previous development release, it is strongly recommended that you recreate the whole database since there have been too many changes since then.
Finally, if you are installing from a previous pLog stable release, it is also recommended that you throw it all away since changes are way too extreme to keep things compatible. However, in a few days I will post a simple php script that I myself developed and used to convert my own journal to the latest version.
For your information, this is a brief list with the most important changes since the last stable release:
  • Completely rewritten code base, to make it more modular, following a pseudo-MVC model.
  • Multiple unlimited users per blog and multiple blogs per single installation of pLog.
  • Database storage
  • Smarty based templating layer that completely isolates the presentation of the content from the core classes.
  • Posts now can be classified under categories, and comments can be posted for every post.
  • Visual edition of HTML code, thanks to the HTMLArea component (only available if using Mozilla 1.3b+ or IE 5.5 or higher)
  • Automatic generation or archives and calendar.
  • Completely localizable, including texts, dates, numbers and the administration interface. The default package contains texts in English, Spanish, Catalan, Russian, Chinese (traditional) and Chinese (Taiwan), Italian (partly) and Portuguese (partly) Please contact the team leaving a message in the forums or by joining the mailing list if interested in translating pLog to your own language.
  • Blogging features: Support for XML-RPC Ping notification-style for sites like Weblogs.com or blo.gs. Support for sending and receiving Trackback pings. Generation and aggreagation of RSS feeds.
  • Easily extendable with a plugin system
Please, if you find any bug or problem, do not forget to report it either in the project forums or directly by filling in a bug report using the interface at Sourceforge. You collaboration is as important as the code itself!

Happy blogging! :)

User Documentation

Prior to the release of the final version, I have uploaded a much nicer version of the user documentation which will also be included in the main package. It can be accessed here or via the links on the top of the page. It is pretty much a work in progress (some sections are not 100% finished) but we thought it would be better to upload something than nothing at all.
Please feel free to comment on it and share your thoughts with us, why not, in the forums :)

pLog Forums up and running

Since I think that the forums offered by Sourceforge are ugly and featureless, I have opened our own and nicer forums (they're also accessible by clicking on the "forums" link on the top of the page). It's a simple unmodified installation of phpBB but I think that will do ;) Please feel free to stop by and use them. However, we'll still use Sourceforge interface for bug reports and patches.

Problems with the XMLRPC Ping... Fixed! ;)

Looks like the last pre-release of pLog, plog-devel-20030805, had a problem with the xmlrpc ping interface, used to notifiy sites such as weblogs.com every time there is a new post in your blog. Hopefully, thanks to the report of one of our users, we detected it and now it should be fixed. To make the best of the feature, I am now enabling support for that on this blog :)

Roadmap

Now that the stable version is a frozen state, meaning that no more new features will be added before its release, it is time to start thinking on what will come next. The pLog team has several new features in mind and we would like to know what you -the users- think about them and if they would really be useful to anybody. Please note that the list of features I am going to give now is not sorted in any order (the first one will not be implemented first and the last one won't be implemented the last), but they will be written as they come to my head :)

  • Possibility to easily upload pictures and files, so that we can include them in posts and generate albums. There is already some work on this and this is probably the first feature that will be included in the new release, since I belive it is quite important to be able to add pictures to one's diary. But we will also have the possibility to create our own photo albums and show them to our friends.
  • A cleaner interface to add new themes/template sets and to invite users to join our blog. At the moment there is no other way to do that, other than adding records to the database manually.
  • Search feature.
  • Support for PostgreSQL as the underlying database storage system.
  • Enable or disable comments on a per-post basis, rather than on a global basis like now.
  • Blog-over-email features, so that we don't need a browser to quickly publish our stories.
  • "Hidden" categories. This basically means that not all categories would be shown in the homepage but only the ones we would select. This would be helpful in case we still want to have those categories but we don't want to clutter the web site with too much text. These categories would still be shown on the list of categories and could be still accessed by readers.
  • Generation or RSS-compliant feeds on a per-category basis, not on a general basis.
  • Many more templates included in the default package (or in an additional template package), so that people with zero knowledge of html and templates can find something that they like.
  • XMLRPC Blogger-compatible API
  • More than one category per post.
We'd like to know what you think!! Let us know if you would like to see something included here.

Development status: final version... near!

Development on the stable version has basically stopped and we are now giving the final touches to the user documentation. We're holding off the release until we have the documentation because we believe documentation is as important for a package as the code of the application itself, and we're also trying to make sure that it is as high-quality as pLog itself. My guess is that maybe in one or two weeks everything will be ready. When we make the final release I'll carefully detail the changes since the last plog-devel release, but don't worry, there won't be many.
On a related note, I would like to remind you that you can still help and translate pLog to your language. If no other language is added, pLog will be released translated to Spanish, Catalan, Italian (partly), Portuguese (partly), Russian and Chinese.

Logo!

I've been thinking that we need a little logo, so that we can display it on the bottom/side of the page saying "Powered by pLog". Or something like that? Any volunteer to give us a hand with that? Should be something small, not flashy at all. Any ideas? Thanks!!

It's bug time!

Last release, plog-devel-20030805 was almost rock solid and did all what it had to do pretty well, so it's time to turn it into an stable release. Actually, it's about time :) So please please, if you have found any bugs that you haven't let us know about, what are you waiting for!? ;) Use our project page to post any bugs so that we can fix them... Because we can't fix what we don't know about!
Thanks :)

plog-devel-20030805 released!

As promised, this should be the last beta release. Main improvements are the extraction of all the static strings from the template files, since they have been moved to the locale file. Now that texts have stabilized (specially the ones from the administration interface) it would be nice if there is anybody who would be insterested in translating pLog to as many languages as possible. Feel free to help :) For a more detailed information, please refer to the release notes and Changelog. Other remarkable changes are the addition of the "user" parameter, more intuitive than the "blogId" parameter, and the complete redesign of the administration interface. Oh, and you must recreate the database once more before installing this release!

If there are no outstanding bugs, I would say this is ready for prime time, but let me know if you'd like to include any other translation in the main release.

Happy blogging! :)
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