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Draft release notes for 0.6.0

From: Dmitry Borodaenko
Subject: Draft release notes for 0.6.0
Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2006 12:48:47 +0000

2006-10-31: Samizdat 0.6.0 is released.

   The version increase attributes to the gradual changes in 0.5.x
   series and incorporates almost two years worth of real-world
   experience. Now that Samizdat has finally become a mature open
   publishing system, the road is cleared for more intrusive changes
   and major new features, such as free exchange and calendaring.

   In the way of major features, this version introduces ubiquitous
   message translations and RSS syndication. Many old tools are now
   more flexible and easier to use: focus management interface is
   simplified, the front page now packs more information in better
   layout and allows to include static headers and footers.

   There are even more changes under the hood: multi-layer caching,
   gzip and ETag support, support for audio and video uploads,
   BitTorrent links, HTML and CSS filtering, flexible access control,
   new moderation features, new UI translations and themes, code
   reorganization, simplified installation, and more.

   Changes in more detail:

   - message translations: message replies that are related to
     focus:Translation are now treated as translations and are
     displayed in place of original message wherever appropriate;
     Accept-Language browser setting is now fully respected

   - syndication: it is now possible to syndicate Samizdat front page
     (both features and recent updates), focus pages, and Squish RDF
     queries using RSS 1.0

   - focus management interface: select focus from a pull-down menu
     directly on the vote or new message page (you can also enter focus
     id if it's not in the list), preliminary setting of current focus
     is no longer necessary

   - new front page layout: top focuses are now listed in the left
     column, central column lists feature articles (messages most
     recently related to focuses, with rating above configurable
     threshold); old-style main focuses list is now displayed on a
     separate page

   - static header and footer: new fields in config.yaml can be used to
     display, or include from file, arbitrary header and footer for the
     site front page; bandwidth-constrained users can disable static
     content in their member settings

   - audio and video uploads, BitTorrent links: Ogg, MP3, MPEG, AVI,
     WMV, and BitTorrent are added to the list of supported file

   - HTML filtering: all HTML issued by Samizdat is now filtered
     through Samizdat::Sanitize and HTMLTidy to protect from XSS
     (cross-site scripting) attacks

   - multi-layer caching: front page, messages, page fragments, and
     query results are cached in memory, filtered HTML rendition of
     text messages is also cached in the database; to (re)generate
     database cache, run:

       SAMIZDAT_SITE=samizdat SAMIZDAT_URI=/samizdat/ \
        ruby -r samizdat/engine -e 'Message.regenerate_all_html'

   - gzip and ETag support: transferred page size is severely reduced
     for browsers supporting gzip encoding and/or ETag content
     negotiation flag (contributed by Hleb Valoshka)

   - access control: new access control facility is configurable from
     per-site yaml config file and distinguishes between two actions
     (post, vote) and three roles (moderator, member, guest); guest
     users can now be allowed to publish messages without registration

   - moderation: moderation log can now be viewed online, moderators
     can hide and unhide messages (members can opt to view hidden
     messages) and reparent comments under a different message

   - new translations: site interface is translated to Esperanto by
     Antono Vasiljev, to Ukrainian by Leftist, to Polish and French by

   - new CSS themes: Savannah, mimicking the style of
     where Samizdat project is hosted, and snow-white Sky contributed
     by Indymedia Ukraine

   - code reorganization: the code is reorganized to support running
     multiple sites from single Samizdat engine installation; Storage,
     Cache, and Sanitize libraries are untied from Samizdat engine core

   - easier installation: Samizdat can now be installed from a Debian
     package; new site can be set up in several minutes with help of
     new database generation script and ready to use example of Apache
     configuration file; experimental support for SQLite3 will one day
     make Samizdat installation even simpler

   - more: improved security, numerous usability tweaks, bugfixes,
     documentation updates.

Dmitry Borodaenko

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