Hello everyone, I have a few free minutes so I’d thought come up for air and clarify everything that’s been happening the past few weeks. Development progress has been huge and I’m very excited about where things are going.
I’ll start first with what Alex has dubbed “The Great Renaming.” This was not change for change’s sake, but rather a step that will cause a little turbulence in the short-term in exchange for stability in the long-term. b2 was a mess in the way things were named and organized. Everything was in the root folder; some names had mixed case, some didn’t; some files ended in .inc instead of .php; all in all, a mess that couldn’t continue. So what we’ve done is rename and reorganize the files according to these guidelines, and a bit of common sense:
- All lowercase filenames.
- Use hyphens as separators.
- Any name in the root directory should start with
- Consolidate directories where possible.
While doing the renaming I also cleaned up significantly how files are included to make it much simpler and faster.
The other great new feature we’ve been working on is the new permalink code. This new feature allows you to use
mod_rewrite to design beautiful permalinks such as the ones on my blog or One Fine Jay. There has been a cleanup of the permalink code in general so you will now see more consistent permalinks in things like comment/trackback notification emails. All of the different places links were generated all now call a set functions that handle everything.
There are also new comment moderation features. When comment moderation is on comments move into a queue rather than being displayed immediately. Comment notification emails also now contain a direct link to delete the comment, or approve it if moderation is turned on. This is going to be expanded even more in the coming weeks.
On the documentation end, there has been some good activity on the new mailing list and progress is being made toward more thorough and helpful documentation.
The RSS 2.0 file has been greatly simplified to be less “funky” and use more of the standard RSS 2.0 elements where possible.
The administration interface has gotten a major makeover. I’ve spent a lot of time making everything more consistent, logical, and user-friendly. The menus have been reorganized to be more descriptive and intuitive. The markup has been cleaned up quite a bit, and many of the areas, particularly the users page and the posting page, the markup has been completely redone. The post page is now separate from the editing of previous posts page, which means it loads much faster. There is also a latest comments display where you can edit or delete the thirty latest comments and navigate them just like you could for posts before. The categories page has been completely redone as well.
Which brings me to the last point, which I almost forgot about. True multiple categories are now supported. This means that any post can have any number of categories, which you select easily using check boxes. This required a lot of changes to different parts of the code, and it’s pretty much finished. The last bit I have to do is create an interface for editing the hierarchy of the categories. (Yes, the categories can be hierarchical if you choose.) This is another feature I’ve been dying for personally. This also means that we can polish up the Movable Type import script so it parses multiple categories transparently, something we couldn’t do before.
I think that’s it but as I’ve been working with this new version every day, a lot of the significant features have become like second nature already, so they don’t stand out to me. So far I have been working just in my spare time, but come Wednesday I’ll be done with finals and will be able to devote a lot more time to finishing up all our outstanding goals for this 1.0 release. Some of the other developers have expressed the same sentiments that at some point during the holidays they’ll be able to kick in some more time as well. Originally this was planned to be a .75 or .80 release, but as the code developed and evolved it became obvious that this version is really something different entirely than everything we’ve done before. We’re aiming for all this to be released by the new year.