LnBlog 0.7.0 Released

Well, I've found all the bugs I'm going to find and added all the features I feel like for now, so it's time for a release. You can now get LnBlog 0.7.0, dubbed "No Need for Speed" (because this is the longest release cycle yet, if I'm not mistaken), from the download page or just grab the archive. Please note that this is a major upgrade, so if you're a current user of LnBlog, please read below for upgrade instructions.

Upgrade Instructions

There are lots of changes to this version, so upgrading is not quite as easy as it normally is. Sorry about that, but the changes had to be made, and it's better to do them sooner than later. This section is only applies to people who are already using LnBlog 0.6.x, so if you are a new user, you can just skip down to the new feature list.

The first thing you'll have to do after uploading the new version and copying over the contents of your userdata folder is to go to the admin page and register your existing blogs. Just type the path in the text box and hit the register button, just like how upgrades used to work.

Second, after you've registered all your blogs, you'll be able to select each of them in the drop-down menu for upgrades. You must upgrade each blog you have. Several of the pages previously used for working with articles have been removed (they were merged with the ones for entries), so if you don't upgrade a blog, the artilces for it simply will not work.

Third, if you've defined a custom sitemap, you will notice that your sitemap shows the links you defined plus a link to each blog you registered. To fix this, from the admin page click the "configure site-wide plugins" link and from there, click the "sitemap" link. Uncheck the "Automatically list all blogs in sitemap" box to go back to just your custom sitemap.

Lastly, consider if you want to make another user an administrator. It is now possible to have more than one administrator account. There is not yet a graphical interface for this, but you can add administrators by editing the new userdata/groups.ini by hand. Just add the username to the "Members" line in the "[administrators]" section. This line is a comma-separated list of usernames, with no spaces between them.

One last thing to note. If you look at your blog settings and check the "edit blog paths" link, you'll notice that the box for the blog root URL is gone. Yeah, I know I just added it last release, but the truth is that it was an ill-conceived hack and it caused more problems than it solved. Currently, all URL computation is done using the host and domain from which the page was requested and by getting the path relative to the document root. In other words, the blog URL is no longer hard-coded anywhere. If somebody needs the ability to set a particular blog URL, we can aded that later in a way that actually works.

New Features

This release includes massive code cleanup and a number of new features. A number of files have been removed and a whole lot of unused or ill-conceived functions and methods have been removed. The security system has been revamped and lots of logic has been moved from the back-end (where it was getting in the way of things like API support) to the front end.

As far as new, user-noticable features go, here's the list.

  • Blog tracking. The system now tracks what blogs you create and keeps a list of them in your LnBlog/userdata/system.ini file. This list is used by the admin page and is also used by the sitemap plugin to build a default sitemap.
  • Partial support for group-based security. Basically, it is now possible to have more than one administrator. More fine-grained group security, and a graphical interface for it, will appear in future releases. The group list and membership data is kept in the new LnBlog/userdata/group.ini file.
  • Another path for plugins and themes. You can now create LnBlog/userdata/themes and LnBlog/userdata/plugins directories for your non-standard themes and plugins. This is just to make upgrades slightly easier if you install non-standard plugins or themes.
  • Support for the Blogger 1.0 API. Check the documentation for details on using and configuring Blogger API support with LnBlog. The XML-RPC support for this feature is provided by an included copy of XML-RPC for PHP 1.2.1.
  • Support for post editor plugins. Basically, you can now use selected JavaScript rich text editors to compose your posts. You can currently download plugins for TinyMCE and FCKEditor from the new plugins page. Note that no such editor is included in the default installation, because the editors take up as much disk space as LnBlog itself.

As usual, if you have any problems or find any bugs, please report them to me by e-mail or by leaving a comment. I have set up a SourceForge project for LnBlog and plan to add things like support forums and mailing lists before too long. I will post an announcement here when that happens.

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Comments #

    Back after first tests...

    Hello, Peter.

    I'm afraid to say I haven't got good news: I tried to install LnBlog on my new server space - but I think it warps up because of the virtual server configuration (it's a shared server) - I couldn't get it configured; paths get always reset to bogus values. I haven't tried using URLs instead of local paths - would that be an option?

    M.

    • Comment posted on Thursday 14 Dec 2006 at 5:33pm
    • By MoonMind

    LnBlog virtual server config

    M,

    I am using LnBlog in virtual servers (Apache, Debian stable) and UK2.net (don't know what they use but it is a shared server) with no problems. Can you give an example of the bogus paths you get? When do the paths reset - how far into setting up LnBlog do you get?

    Neal.

    • Comment posted on Thursday 14 Dec 2006 at 5:33pm
    • By Neal Harrington

    Still no luck?

    Boy, I guess the gods of PHP don't like you.

    First, are you trying to move old data to the new server, or are you starting fresh? If you're starting with a completely fresh installation of LnBlog 0.7.0, then everything should just work. Shared hosting shouldn't be a problem - I use shared hosting myself, so the software is designed to work with it.

    If you're trying to copy old data to the new server, then you will need to delete the LnBlog/userdata/fsconfig.php file and recreating by going to the admin page. You will also need to delete the pathconfig.php file from each blog directory and run an upgrade on each blog to recreate it.

    As for URLs instead of local paths, there's a small chance it might work if PHP has URL wrappers installed, but I wouldn't count on it. I certainly haven't tested it and didn't write the code with that possibility in mind.

    Either way, some error messages would be helpful. If you know the paths are wrong, it might be helpful if you could say what the path is supposed to be in addition to the path in the error message.

    Sorry for the delay...

    I'll be back with more news soon - there have been problems with paths caused by the server's setup, so it may (again!) have nothing to do with LnBlog after all. But I'm getting a little frustrated - I'd really like to use the software and I see the potential... I'm completely occupied by job related issues for the time being, but I'll give it another shot as soon as the work load lightens...

    • Comment posted on Thursday 14 Dec 2006 at 5:33pm
    • By MoonMind

    No rush

    I wish I could be more helpful here. It's just hard for me to get a handle on exactly what's going wrong.

    LnBlog shouldn't need anything special in terms of server paths. It needs to know the document root of the web server and the FTP root if you're using FTPFS. Those are both set when the file writing is configured and, in most cases, should be correctly auto-detected. The only other paths that should matter in version 0.7.0 or the LnBlog installation path, which is auto-detected when the blog is created and added to the pathconfig.php, and the blog root, which is now auto-detected based on the current directory, and so isn't actually hard-coded anywhere.

    In terms of file security (I'll use UNIX octal permissions, for NativeFS, the LnBlog/userdata directory and each blog directory, including all files and subdirectories, need to be set to 777. For FTPFS, you just need read/write access for whatever user account you're using for FTP.

    If you're having problems with one file writing method, you might test out the other. Just start with a fresh user userdata directory and create the blogs in a fresh directory. Also, note that if you use NativeFS, you'll want the directory you create blogs in to be owned by your user account (e.g. create it by hand through FTP), because otherwise you might have problems deleting them.

    A little hint

    What happened was this: Auto-detection worked (correctly!), but the server handled virtual paths inconsistently - there's (was?) a folder called "virtual" where all our user folders reside in, and this one got picked up by the installer first, but then wasn't saved with the rest of the path, thus, this folder was missing in the path, and try as I might, I couldn't change that in a satisfying manner - probably because the server rejects internal (or at least certain types of) requests for the folder. I hope they have solved that problem by now, so I'll retest soon. Now DNS and everything else runs smoothly - it might work now. But I'll have to wait until I see some spare time again...

    • Comment posted on Thursday 14 Dec 2006 at 5:33pm
    • By MoonMind

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