Even best things must come to an end, and that’s just what happened to Typo 5.2 Helmut Newton for Rails 2.2 development cycle which has been released today, Sunday January the 28th, 2009, 4 months after Typo 5.1.3, the last of the Cartier Bresson series. EugÃ¨ne Atget, Don Mc Cullin, Henri Cartier Bresson, and now Helmut Newton, maybe those names don’t sound familiar to you. They are just legends of the photography, from the 19th century to today, and tomorrow.
Many things have passed since last summer, which are worth being told. First, Cyril Mougel, another frenchie, has joined the crew, and done a real hard and good work on Typo port to Rails 2.2, making this release possible. Having someone working hard on your project is incredibly motivating at a point you can’t imagine.
Second, we’ve moved our sources from subversion to Github. That may seem meaningless to you, but I consider it as the most important step we’ve done since I took over the project. It gave us more visibility than I was ever able to have in 2 years, showing people we were still alive, working, and doing good job. Which led the the third point.
Third, we had numerous people submitting patches. We had more contributors on this version than I had in 2 years of releases. I really want to thank them all, because, by adding some improvement here and there, by fixing bugs, they made this version exist. That’s just great, you’re just great.
Fourth, we’ve moved our bug tracker to Lighthouse. Redmine is too damn buggy and was permanently using 100% of my 2.4GHZ CPU and 2GB of RAM. Maybe moving to something owned by Mephisto’s creator sounds ironic to you. There is more in terms of irony. One of the guis who made this release possible, being our biggest contributor, is also the one who helped Mephisto to come back alive.
Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think?. I finally made my mind on using lighthouse because it’s a very good product, and that’s the most important.
It’s now time to talk about the release, isn’t it ?
Typo 5.2 is more than a simple port from Rails 2.0.2 to Rails 2.2, it’s a major, deep, rewrite of the application. Sometimes in a software life, you have to stop the run of feature addition, seat down, and watch the path done so far. Typo has known lots of Rails version, including a number of major versions, 1.0, 1.2, 2.0, and now 2.2, lots of additions, improvements, to a point where it became bloated, coming with some pieces worth figuring on Coding Horror. We’ve ditched lot of code, sometimes slaughtering Typo with an axe before rebuilding things, aiming at stability and performance. We’ve also removed some useless features, and managed to divide Typo’s memory footprint by 4 on some really huge blogs. Some of them, like the preview, are useful and are already on our TODO list for the next release.
We’ve also fixed a huge, very huge amount of bugs, too many to be told here, actually, from functionnal aberrations to security breaches. See the CHANGLOG for more information.
What about the features ?
There are hopefully some new features.
We’ve rebuilt the admin, almost from scratch, focusing on both efficiency and usability.
The new editor is easier to use, and is designed to display every needed information on the first part of your screen. Simple editor comes with easy to use XHTML quicktags toolbar, allowing most widely used tags as well as Typo macros. We plan to improve it in the futur.
Some global configuration items have been moved on a user basis, like the editor choice. This is the first step to more personnalization. The first one to move was editor.
Search engine optimization everywhere on your blog. You can now define keywords and description for your whole blog, as well as for categories. Specially crafted titles and description are also avaliable for your posts, making them easy to index by search engines. Last but not least, in order to avoid content theft, you can add some content at the bottom of your RSS telling where the article comes from, with proper credits and link.
- A new theme catalogue, plugged to John Wang’s one, which is soon going to be our Typogarden. You can now browse and download up to date themes from your Typo install, instead of browsing the web here and there, looking for outdated templates. All templates at Typogarden have been updated to work with 5.2. That’s cool.
The long waited delete all spam button, so cool when you have thousands of them coming each day.
Excerpts, that allow you to display on your index something completely different as on your article, which won’t appear on your RSS feed.
Our live search, which was so hype 2 years ago, showed itself to be horrible to use and inefficient. It’s now avaliable as a plugin and has been replaced with a more traditionnal and clearer search engine.
And many more.
You can now download Typo 5.2 on Rubyforge, or just install the Gem the old way. Documentation on how to install from sources or with Typo installer are up to date at Github.
Once again, thank you to every contributor who made it possible.
Hope you’ll enjoy.