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Knowing Tech in South Dakota

Yesterday, I spent my time at the Techknowlogy Summit in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We don't get too many technology or geek conventions in the state of South Dakota, so I didn't want this one go to by without a mention here at CMS Report.

Keynote Speaker

The Techknowlogy Summit is a trade show with presentations by both national and regional leaders in technology. The keynote speaker for the show was Kodak Company's Bill Lloyd, CTO, discussing his company's transformation for meeting the demands of the digital age. It was an interesting discussion on the challenges a century old company faces when needing to shift their primary products (film) over to new digital products. Kodak's current modernization efforts began around 2001 and is expected to be near completion in 2007. It was an interesting story, a story that looks likely to have a happy ending for the company and its investors.

Breakout Sessions

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Moodle 1.7 is released

Moodle 1.7 has been released. Moodle is a course management system (also called a learning management system) and used by educators to build online learning communities.

The five most significant features added to Moodle according to the release notes are:

  • Roles - Moodle has a complete new architecture for assigning people permissions. Permissions based on fine-grained capabilities allow all kinds of roles to be created and assigned in all contexts around Moodle. This creates a great deal more flexibility in the permissions that you can grant to people.
  • XML database schema - In addition to MySQL and PostGreSQL, Moodle also supports Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle.
  • New administrative interface - A new admin interface with accessible design and cool features to make access to settings fast and easy.
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Tikiwiki 1.9.6 released

A new version of Tikiwiki has been released, Tikiwiki version 1.9.6. This version of Tikiwiki fixes the usual list of bugs and security vulnerabilities that come with the usual point releases. However, 1.9.6 also comes with some new features and enhancements including:

  • Search: Batch batch_refresh_indexes_tikisearch.php
  • Wiki poll: Highlight in wiki rating box the user rating
  • Tracker: can choose export field type: visible/searchable/all
  • added a notification when attachement is added to a watched wiki page
  • various updates on Catalan language
  • install process can be localized to other languages

Those interested in Tikiwiki will want to check out the original wiki page that not only includes a list of the above features, but also a list of bug fixes and security enhancements. Tikiwiki 1.9.6 is available for download at SourceForge.net.

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Top three blogs on Drupal 5.0

If you have not heard, Drupal 5.0 went into beta last week. I had intended to write a little bit about the new features users can expect with this new version of the content management system. However, I've been so busy with a couple IT projects as well as some family events that I have not had time to even touch Drupal 5 beta 1.

Luckily, there are smarter and more dedicated people out there already posting about anything I could say about Drupal 5. The following are links to what I consider as the top three blog posts on Drupal 5.0:

Each of the posts I have listed are well worth the time spent reading if you wish to know more about the upcoming Drupal 5.

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PHP 5.2.0 is available

The start of November is big news for users and developers of PHP applications with the release of PHP 5.2 on the 2nd of the month. According to the release announcement, this "release is a major improvement in the 5.X series, which includes a large number of new features, bug fixes and security enhancements".

Significant features of PHP 5.2 include:

  • New memory manager for the Zend Engine with improved performance and a more accurate memory usage tracking.
  • Input filtering extension was added and enabled by default.
  • JSON extension was added and enabled by default.
  • ZIP extension for creating and editing zip files was introduced.
  • Hooks for tracking file upload progress were introduced.
  • Introduced E_RECOVERABLE_ERROR error mode.
  • Introduced DateTime and DateTimeZone objects with methods to manipulate date/time information.
  • Upgraded bundled SQLite, PCRE libraries.
  • Upgraded OpenSSL, MySQL and PostgreSQL client libraries for Windows installations.
  • Many performance improvements.
  • Over 200 bug fixes.

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No claim to JPEG

Website owners rejoice! Forgent Networks has dropped their claim on owning the patent rights for JPEG. While this hasn't been a huge concern for most Web designers it's still one less worrisome thought to worry about! Groklaw was the first site that I came across this story:

Here you go, straight from the Public Patent Foundation's press release: Forgent Networks has stopped asserting its patent against JPEG, has dropped all its pending cases that were asserting the patent, and says that it won't file any other infringement claims based on the patent. Read more...

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Akismet: New Movable Type Plugin

Akismet announced that a new version of the Movable Type plugin (Version 1.03) has been made available. Akismet is a service for blog applications and other content management systems that filter out comment spam and trackback spam. The new Movable Type plugin for Akismet was necessary because many users were having problems with the previous plugin breaking after users upgraded to Movable Type 3.31.

A download link to the new plugin can be found on the original announcement posted at Akismet.

Bryan Ruby's picture

Gallery 1.6 just around the corner

Gallery Logo

The folks at Gallery, an online photo album organizer, are working hard developing the newest version of Gallery in the 1.x line...Gallery 1.6. Gallery 1.6 is currently at Alpha 2 which means that the software is intended for testing purposes and not for use on production servers. If your confused with what I just said then I recommend you wait installing Gallery 1.6 until it has been fully released.

The two primary goals for this new version of Gallery were HTML 4.01 compliance and easier visual customization. Because so many of the code changes were centered around the visualization, it is unlikely that your previous 1.x themes and styles for Gallery are fully compatible with Gallery 1.6. For a highlight of changes and new features as well as download links in Gallery, check out the official announcement located on the application's home site.

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Infoworld: PHP event - Open source accommodation stressed

InfoWorld has a very good article centering around this week's Zend/PHP Conference & Expo. In their article, "PHP event: Open source accommodation stressed" a few good opening lines to use as a teaser for the article:

Rather than fighting the open source wave, commercial IT vendors do what they must: try to ride that wave...

..."It seems to us from where we sit that there's really no choice," said Tim Bray, a Web-oriented generalist at Sun and a co-inventor of XML. "A substantial portion of the market has made it clear with their wallets that they want to deploy and run open source software."

"We can't go back. It's too late," Bray said.

Complete Story

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A PHP alternative to the Radiant CMS?

I always find these type of stories ironic. Last week, I had someone make a comment to an old article I wrote on the Radiant CMS. For those liking Radiant, the commenter remarked "give cakePHP a trial run if you want a cms similar to this but in PHP". One of the reasons I chosen to discuss Radiant was that it was built with Ruby on Rails.

So where is the irony? Follow this, if you can and hopefully I won't confuse you. The article I wrote was titled, "Radiant, A Ruby CMS and PHP alternative". In other words we've gone full circle. CakePHP is being suggested as an alternative PHP content management system for the Ruby-based Radiant CMS which was originally suggested by me as an alternative for those that have tired with PHP Web applications!

Second irony, CakePHP is actually not a CMS but a framework. As Daniel Hofstetter points out below, think of CakePHP is to PHP as Ruby on Rails is to Ruby.

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