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New TWiki-5.0.0 Release, Growing TWiki Community

2010-06-03 - 18:07:25 by PeterThoeny in General
TWiki.org has a new look. We just released TWiki-5.0.0. We enjoy increased contributions in the community. You can join us!

TWiki-5.0 has many enhancements in features, security and usability. We also strengthened TWiki as an application platform. But the main focus was on usability. Historically, TWiki is used mainly in Engineering and IT. We see a big shift towards collaborative platforms at the workplace, and TWiki is often in the middle of it. We fixed many usability issues and made TWiki more approachable to non-technical users. First we have a new TopMenuSkin that adds pulldown menus to access frequent links quickly. It also integrates the "you are here" breadcrumb into the menu structure, which saves precious screen real estate. We upgraded the TinyMCEPlugin to latest TinyMCE 3.2.4.1 for a better WYSIWYG editing experience. We enhanced the file attach feature where you can attach multiple files at once. For public TWiki sites we offer an Open ID 2.0 integration so that people can log into TWiki with their existing Google, Yahoo, AOL, LiveJournal, Blogger and other accounts.

topmenuskin-screenshot

We believe that this is a stable release even though it has a x.0.0 release number. We had three release candidates and tested the new release for a long time. The TWiki community puts priority on maintaining quality, stability & performance over releasing new features too quickly.

Many people worked on the 5.0 release, which is based on the Subversion trunk-branch that was in work for 2 years. I'd like to express my thanks and gratitude to all contributors who helped on brainstorming, spec, implementation, testing, bug fixing, build, documentation, translation, support and advocacy.

We are getting good feedback on the new release. "The new skin with the drop down menu bar, improved use of screen space, and multiple file upload capabilities are fantastic! Thanks for the updates and improvements!" said David J. Pontzer, Sr. Process Engineering Manager at Mars Chocolate.

Paul Reiber, a Linux Administrator at Rackspace Hosting gave his impression: "TWiki has been awesome for years, but the new TWiki 5.0 is quite stellar. TWiki 5.0 now has topic tagging, JQuery, and a twenty-first century look and feel with TopMenuSkin. The TWiki team is clearly focused on business needs, as evidenced by their ERP and RDBMS Enterprise Connectors, Twiki OnDemand Platform, and Intranet, Extranet, and Public Internet models, and LDAP integration."

Peter Jones of CERN, who is also a TWiki contributor sent this feedback: "TWiki continues to be a very popular collaboration tool at CERN. Key features important to the user community are security, navigation and search. Once again a new version of TWiki provides improvements on all of the above which will be appreciated by our ever growing user community."

Peter Jones is right on the mark, we enjoy more contributions. Last month was particularly busy, partly attributed to making TWiki-5.0 a stable product. In May we had 316 Subversion commits, an 8-fold increase to last year's monthly average!

twiki-commits

Although we have a lot of developer activity, we are still quite a small community. We are continually looking to grow our community and invite you to participate. We now have a more predictable governance model based on the successful Ubuntu community, designed to get away from personality driven decision making to a friendly community that has a clear mission and development processes. What that means is that you as a developer get to work with contributors that are really focused on building the best technology without getting distracted by politics.

Are you a developer, tech writer or evangelist with interest in open source? Have you ever participated in an open source community? It's lots of fun to collaborate on a common goal. As a contributor you can actively make a difference and help shape the product. A good way to get engaged is to participate in our biweekly release meetings. The next one is Monday 2010-06-07, Istanbul Release Meeting 2010-06-07. To get started on specific areas please visit:

We'd love to get you involved!

To celebrate the new release we will organize a TWiki user meetup in the Silicon Valley. We invite everybody to participate, also contributors who left the TWiki project. Watch the TWiki.org blog for announcements.

To summarize, here are the TWiki-5.0 release highlights:

  • Security Enhancements:
    • Configure script requires authentication to reduce exposure of internal system settings.
    • The twiki root directory is no longer HTML doc enabled, reducing the odds of exposing data due to webserver misconfiguration.
  • Usability Enhancements:
    • New TopMenuSkin with pulldown menus for better usability and corporate/modern look&feel.
    • Attach multiple files at once, useful when attaching many files.
    • Pre-installed TagMePlugin, useful to tag topics to quickly access content in a large TWiki.
    • Upgraded TinyMCEPlugin to latest TinyMCE 3.2.4.1 for better WYSIWYG editing experience.
    • Open ID 2.0 integration, useful for public TWiki sites (separate download)
  • TWiki Application Platform Enhancements:
    • Pre-installed JQueryPlugin, adding a lightweight cross-browser JavaScript library designed to simplify the client-side scripting of HTML.
    • Improvements to ENCODE, IF, URLPARAM, WEB and WEBLIST variables.
  • Search Enhancements:
    • Query syntax with array size, useful to query TWiki forms and attachments.
    • Query syntax can be used in format parameter of search, giving more control over formatting.
  • Miscellaneous Feature Enhancements*
    • Adding 51 new TWikiDocGraphics icons, and 11 updated icons.
    • The TWiki doc graphics library is now aware of image size and is cached for speed.
  • Plugin Enhancements:
    • SpreadSheetPlugin: Improvements to $TIME() and $NOP() functions.
    • HeadlinesPlugin: New touch parameter in HEADLINES variable to alert users via e-mail notification of news updates
    • API: New TWiki::Func::buildWikiWord function

The TWiki-5.0 Release Notes has the full feature and bug list. We are looking forward getting your feedback on the new release.

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Topic revision: r3 - 2011-05-22 - PeterThoeny
 

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