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TWiki.org Announces TWiki-5.1 General Availability

2011-08-29 - 04:57:14 by PeterThoeny in Deployment
New TWiki-5.1 release for enterprise collaboration with primary focus on usability for non-technical users.

TWiki's user base consists of millions of users on 50,000 installations in over 130 countries, backed by an open source community of hundreds of contributors and 50,000 twiki.org users.

On behalf of the TWiki.org community I would like to announce the general availability of TWiki-5.1 Community Release. The primary focus of this release is usability enhancements, such as point and click user data management, more visual user profile pages with picture selector, and a backup feature that helps upgrade TWiki sites. The new release also strengthens TWiki as an application platform to more easily build custom wiki applications. As previous releases, the new release is rock solid and can be downloaded from http://twiki.org/.

TWiki.org Community

TWiki.org is an open source community consisting of hundreds of contributors and 50,000 users. The TWiki.org open source development model invites the download and inspection by developers, users and partners, producing a higher quality product than possible in proprietary development environments. TWiki.org operates by a clear set of community governance structure similar to Ubuntu and other leading open source projects. Since I found the project in 1998, TWiki.org has been supported by an extensive team of open source software developers around the world. Today, TWiki Community Edition is used by millions of users and is installed in tens of thousands of companies, including more than half of the Fortune 500. TWiki is a mission-critical system at major corporations such as Cisco Systems, Google, IBM, Lufthansa, Morgan Stanley, Motorola, Nokia, Oracle, TI and UBS.

The community has been working hard over the last 14 month to produce a collaboration platform that is now much more appealing to non-technical users. I am very grateful to all community members who contribute ideas, specs, code, testing and documentation to the open source TWiki project. Over the last two year we morphed the community to be more end-user focused. I invite you to get involved with the community!

TWiki Use at CERN

Besides companies, TWiki is also used by many universities and research organizations around the world. TWiki contributor Peter Jones is a system administrator at CERN: "The TWiki service quickly became popular at CERN following its introduction in 2003. TWiki has proven to be a simple and easy to use platform to create and develop collaborative documents, and today it is a key web collaboration tool for the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) experiments and many other user groups at CERN that consist of 1000s of users. At CERN TWiki is now more popular than ever with new users registering every day, and we are looking forward to deploying the new version that brings many usability enhancements. I am especially excited about the new user management feature that will reduce our workload."

TWiki-5.1 Community Release Feature Highlights

  • Usability Enhancements
    • More visual user profile pages with in-place editing of form fields and picture selector
    • In-place editing of TWiki group settings using PreferencesPlugin
    • Point and click bookmarks for better usability
    • Improved statistics showing overall site usage over time, such as total number of webs, topics, users, etc
    • API and GUI for point and click user data management
    • Support disabled users in password manager

  • TWiki Application Platform Enhancements
    • New macro language with parameterized variables
    • Ability to auto-create page on view if it does not exist
    • Relative heading levels for INCLUDE
    • Relative heading levels for SEARCH

  • Security Enhancements
    • Set a flag to force password change on next login
    • S/Mime support for notification e-mails

More Visual User Profile Pages

Previous user profile pages had a bare bone look and the form fields were more tailored for public TWiki sites. TWiki-5.1 brings a more visual and more modern page layout with profile picture selector, as well as default form fields tailored for the workplace.

Screenshot: User profile page in edit mode


Screenshot: Change profile picture


Point and Click Bookmarks

A new bookmark feature has been introduced that replaces the personal left-bar links. Bookmarking a page is now a simple point and click operation: In the Account pulldown menu, select "Bookmark this page...". Existing bookmarks can be managed with an edit table, accessible via the "----- Bookmarks -----" pulldown menu of the Account pulldown.

Screenshot: Page bookmark page


Improved Statistics Showing Overall Site Usage

TWiki used to generate just web statistics in each web. TWiki-5.1 now generates also overall site usage statistics shown in the Main.SiteStatistics page.

For each month, the following items are recorded using system data and TWiki log data across all webs: Total number of webs, number of webs viewed, number of webs updated, total number of topics, number of topics viewed, number of topics updated, number of attachments, number of topic views, number of topic updates, number of files uploads, data size, pub size, disk use, number of users, number of groups, number of plugins installed compared to number of plugins available, and 10 top contributors. Nice graphs are shown in case the ChartPlugin is installed.

Screenshot: Graphs showing site statistics


API and GUI for Point and Click User Data Management

TWiki-5.1 introduces a new API and GUI to manage user data. It enhances the user mapping and password managers TWiki already has with point and click user management.

Password managers can declare their own data (fields with name, value, type and an optional note) so that TWiki's user manager can show queries and forms to display and manipulate user data in a transparent way. It is a data driven design that can be extended easily.

Screenshot: Edit user data screen


New Plugin to Easily Backup, Restore and Upgrade TWiki

TWiki has now a solution to backup, restore and upgrade TWiki sites. It can be used via browser and on the command line. Backup can be done as a scheduled task to a directory of choice, including a mounted volume on a remote server. The new BackupRestorePlugin is pre-installed in TWiki-5.1; it can be installed in older TWiki releases as low as TWiki-2001-09-01 (Athens Release) to easily create a backup that can be restored on a new TWiki release. This offers an easy upgrade path for TWiki.

Screenshot: Backup console overview page, with backup in progress


Let us know what you think of this new release!


For non-English speakers: We have a press release on the TWiki-5.1 release that is translated into several languages:

-- Peter Thoeny - 2011-08-30

TWiki.org is now updated to TWiki-5.1, e.g. you can evaluate the new release on twiki.org.

-- Peter Thoeny - 2011-09-02

Two weeks passed since the release of TWiki-5.1.0 with 1,537 downloads, and no issues! Well done TWiki team!!

The BackupRestorePlugin has been updated yesterday - upgrading a TWiki site is now a simple point & click operation.

TWiki-5.1.0 is now also available as a VMware virtual appliance for easy deployment on Windows and other platforms VMware supports. DownloadTWikiVM.

-- Peter Thoeny - 2011-09-06


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Topic revision: r2 - 2011-09-07 - PeterThoeny

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