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Comprehensive Security Review on Lifetype 1.2

We are in the process of doing a comprehensive review and rework of our input validation framework for the upcoming 1.2.9 release. We advise you to not update directly from the 1.2 branch in our SVN repository as we may leave it in an unstable state for a couple of days. Please wait until we release 1.2.9 before you update again from the 1.2 branch.

If you don't know about Subversion (SVN) and usually upgrade your installation from released packages, you don't have to worry. We will announce the next realease as usual.

Thank you for your understanding and have fun!

Roadmap

Some of you have been wondering where Lifetype is headed, when the next version will be released or what we've got in the pipeline... so here you go. 

Lifetype 1.2.x 

The 1.2.x branch of Lifetype will go on as expected, there will be as many maintenance releases as needed as long as there are bugs to fix. If there is any interesting minor feature that can be implemented, it will be considered but otherwise there will be no major changes. 

Lifetype 2.0

The next major release will be Lifetype 2.0. We had some plans to develop a small 1.3 release and then tackle most of the changes below in 2.0, but those plans have been scrapped and instead we'll go for a bigger 2.0 release. The major version bump is justified by two important changes that will happen with Lifetype 2.0:

  • UTF-8
  • PHP 5

First of all, we're moving Lifetype to work internally in UTF-8.While some of the current translations are already using UTF-8 and the core is able to work fine with it, we're going to have a close look at it and make sure that it all works as expected. Also most of the western languages (English, French, Spanish, etc) are still using ISO-8859-1 as the character encoding and while this means that the ugprade process from the previous version will be a bit more challenging than usual, it also means one single encoding will be able to support all current and future translations.

With full support for PHP 5, Lifetype is finally entering the 21st century as far as programming languages are concerned. While old code will not be rewritten unless strictly necessary, developers are now free to utilize any of the new language features provided by PHP 5. The minimum required version for which we are developing is PHP 5.1, as that is considered by the development team the first truly usable version of PHP 5.

The two features outlined above have little or no effect on end users, so this is what we have planned for them in Lifetype 2.0:

  • Integrated friends list and private messaging.
  • Integration with Google Maps.
  • Ajaxification and clean-up of the user interface.

The integrated friends list will allow users to keep a list of their "friends" within a Lifetype community, much like LiveJournal does. Additionally, users will be able to exchange private messages with each other, and we're hoping that these features will increase the interactions between users and help grow the feeling of community.

Also, thanks to the integration with Google Maps users will be able to tag their posts, blogs and files with geographical information (known as geotagging) All you need to do is get a Google Maps API key and Lifetype will take care of the rest.

Last but not least, we're also working on creating a more dynamic and friendly user interface. For the first part we're using Javascript and the Ajax approach, and we've already got some things working, like dynamic paging of data without reloading the page, dynamic validation of forms, etc. For the second part (i.e. a more friendly interface) we're trying to reduce the number of options, buttons, links and gadgets in general used in the user interface to make it feel less daunting and more appealing to new users. Sometimes in our quest to provide the biggest amount of features we forget about usability and user friendliness and no we're trying to make up for that.

Now about the estimated release date... We usually don't commit to any release date(s) and we're not going to do it this time either. Our estimations are that Lifetype 2.0 should be in a usable state at some point in late 2007 and ready for mass consumption in early 2008. [Update 03/2008: this date has not been accurate for quite a while, but I hadn't realized we had published a date.  2.0 is currently in alpha stage, and I don't think anyone is using it for their own blog.  I think historically the final release has been about 6 months after the developers start using it for their own blog] We've made good progress lately in the development area and things are already looking pretty good, but there's still a lot to do and we're in no hurry anyway: Lifetype 1.2.x is now rock solid, offers a pretty good amount of functionality and we're committed to provide as many maintenance releases of the 1.2.x branch as needed.

In the meantime if you'd like to help us develop Lifetype 2.0, we've created a Lifetype 2.0 TODO list in the wiki including most of the open items so far. Have a look at it and if you think you can help us, let us know. Otherwise in case you're just interested to see how things are coming along, the code in trunk in our Subversion repository is perfectly usable at the moment and things like the friends list, the Google Maps integration and about 50% of the interface has already been ajaxified.

After Lifetype 2.0

It's still early to say what will happen after Lifetype 2.0 and to provide a list of potential features would be foolish. We have a bunch of things in our roadmap that would be good to have but that have not been assigned to any release, so some or all of those could potentially end up being implemented in Lifetype 2.1.

We'd also like to hear feedback from our users because after all we're doing this for you guys, so please make sure that you use any of the suitable channels to send us your feedback! 

Hotfixes for LifeType 1.2.2

Unfortunately, LifeType 1.2.2 was released with two minor but very annoying issues. Since LifeType 1.2.3 will still take a while, we have released two hotfixes that should help remedy these issues for the time being. (More)

LifeType 1.2 released!

The latest major release of LifeType, the leading open-source multi-user blogging platform, has just been released. (More)

New API documentation online

We updated the API documentation for LifeType and plan to release updates to this very handy source of code documentation on a regular basis for future releases. We even provide archived API documentation for older stable releases.

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Help us shape LifeType 1.2!

Although you may have not even upgraded to LifeType 1.1, the development team is already busy thinking and planning LifeType 1.2. (More)

Beta testing pLog 1.0.1

The first maintenance release of pLog 1.0 is ready to be tested. pLog 1.0.1 fixes most of the issues that have been found in pLog 1.0 and also adds a few small new features. Even though 1.0.1 is looking much better than 1.0 and there should not be any major issues with it, we will still hold a beta testing round for about 2-3 weeks.

The current 1.0.1 development version is available from svn from the http://devel.plogworld.net/svn/plog/plog/branches/plog-1.0.1 folder (please see our instructions on how to access the pLog subversion repository) and packages are available in tar.gz or tar.bz2 format. Previous packages can be downloaded from the snapshots folder if interested.

Following the trend of pLog maintenance releases, there is no need to run the wizard.php script in order to upgrade your current installation from pLog 1.0 to pLog 1.0.1. Just download the package, unpack the files and upload them to your web server making sure that you are overwriting all of the old files. As soon as the process is complete, you will be running a pLog 1.0.1 installation.

In case you find any bugs or need to report something, please use the project's bug tracking system

For those interested in the issues that have already been addressed in this version, please read on.

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pLog 1.0 status update

The pLog project is proud to announce that the final release date for pLog 1.0 will be April 1st (no, it's not a joke!) unless major problems appear during these last few days before the release. The beta testing rounds have been a great success and we think that the code is ready for prime time. From here we would like to thank all those of you who have helped so far.

Code in our subversion repository is in state "frozen" meaning that nothing else will be changed before the final release (save one or two small fixes, if needed) This means that the beta packages that will be generated until the release date can be considered "release candidates" and we have even removed all debug and logging stuff from the code. In the meantime, if you find any more bugs please do not hesitate to report them via our bug-tracking interface at bugs.plogworld.net.

For those of you who want to help the project but do not know how, you can help us by promoting pLog in your company, community or just with your friends. We have created the pLog 1.0 Communications Kit, which is a package that includes all you need to promote pLog: logos, badges, and several documents and slidesets in PDF format with more information about pLog (and a formal press release too) If you don't want to download the whole package, you can also download only the logos and banners. If interested in creating alternative logos in other languages or with new slogans, we have also made available the original PSD files (to be used with Photoshop or GIMP) Finally, the rest of templates can be found in the plog/misc/comms-kit folder in our subversion repository (there you will find the PPT, DOC and Office files used to create the documents)

We are also aiming to translate the comms kit to as many languages as possible so if you want to help, let us know!

A call to translators

PLog 1.0 is nearing its final release and it is about time to start working on new translations. So far, the only complete ones are English (en_UK), Chinese (both zh_TW and zh_CN) and Norwegian (no_NO). The French (fr_FR) translation is in test status although it is already included in the nightly snapshots. The Spanish (es_ES), Russian (ru_RU) and Catalan (ca_ES) locales are currently under work but they are not yet available.

The development team would like to see as many translations as possible in the final release so you've got still time! We are planning to have a final release around the beginning of April so that still gives us about 3 weeks left. Please see this post or this other post for more information on how to get your hands on the latest development version... Would you like to help us to pLog make one of the best blogging tools out there? What are you waiting for!? :)

Beta status update

After about 3 weeks of beta testing, things are going even better than we expected. We started the beta testing round with a few outstanding issues to solve and some others appeared during the testing process but thanks to the hard work of the core team and some outstanding collaborators, things are proceeding very well.

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