Forum OpenACS Development: OpenACS 5.8.1 beta available

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Posted by Gustaf Neumann on
Beta Release of OpenACS 5.8.1:

Dear OpenACS Community,

this is the announcement of the availability of the 
OpenACS 5.8.1 Beta release. This release finishes much of 
the cleanup work stated in 5.8.0, but contains in contrary 
to earlier releases as well the application packages.

Since the release of OpenACS 5.8.0, we had the following changes

    2303 files changed, 52692 insertions(+), 45839 deletions(-)

in 5329 commits from 5 authors. These are significantly more 
changes as the difference between OpenACS 5.7.0 and 5.8.0.

Here is a short summary of the changes in this release:

  - The forthcoming release will contain the 78 packages of the 
    oacs-5-8 branch. These packages contain the OpenACS core packages,
    major application packages (e.g. most the ones used on OpenACS.org),
    and DotLRN (see detailed list of packages in the attachment).

  - All packages have the following properties:

     * SQL:
        + All packages are PostgreSQL 9.1+ compatible 
          (tested with PostgreSQL 9.3)
        + All SQL files with stored procedures use the
          recommended $$ quoting
        + All SQL-functions have regular function arguments
          instead of the old-style aliases
        + The function_args() (query-able meta-data) are
          completed and fixed
        + Incompatible functions (e.g. for sequences) are
          replaced.

     * Tcl:
        + All packages were brought up Tcl 8.5, including
          the actual Tcl idioms where appropriate (e.g.
          using the safer expand operator, range indices,
          dict, lassign, etc.)
        + The code was updated to prefer byte-compiled functions
          instead of legacy functions from ancient Tcl versions
        + The code works with NaviServer and AOLserver

     * API:
        + All packages are free from calls to deprecated code
          (157 functions are marked as deprecated and will be
          moved into an "outdated" package in the 5.9 or 6.0 release)
        + General overhaul of package management
        + Install-from-local and install-from-repository can be used
          to install the provided packages based on a acs-core
          installation. This means that also DotLRN can be
          installed from repository or from
          local into an existing OpenACS instance.
        + Install-from-repository offers filtering functions, allows
          to install optionally from head-channel (for packages
          not in the base channel of the installed instance).
          Install-from-repository works more like an app-store,
          showing as well vendor information
        + Packages can be equipped with configuration files
          (e.g. changing parameters for style packages)
        + Package developers can upload .apm packages via workflow
          for review by core members and for inclusion to the
          repository. The option is integrated with package
          management, the link is offered for local packages.
          We hope to attract additional vendors (universities,
          companies) to make their packages available on this path.
        + New management-functions for package instances
          (list, create, delete package instances)
        + Substantially improved API browser:
           o Show just relevant parts of .xql files for a function
           o Provide syntax-highlighting for www scripts as well
           o Handle more special cases like e.g. util_memoize
           o Provide links to Tcl functions depending on the installed
             Tcl version
           o Provide links to NaviServer or OpenACS functions depending
             on installed version
           o Syntax highlighter uses CSS rather than hard-coded markup
           o Significant performance improvement for large
             installations

This is just a quick wrap-up of the functions, probably many important
changes are not summarized so far (especially the functional changes
in the application packages). The full list of changes is 
included in the raw ChangeLog [1].

OpenACS.org runs these package at the newest level (but not all
packages of the list are installed on OpenACS.org).

The list of application packages contains as well the 
DotLRN packages. For DotLRN this means essentially:
  - This release provides an upgrade path from outdated PostgreSQL versions
  - Use of packaged PostgreSQL distributions without
    fiddling with PostgreSQL configuration options
  - Easier installation and maintenance
  - Larger choice of package combinations

The version number of DotLRN changed to 2.8.1
(in accordance to 5.8.1 of OpenACS). 

For packaging of the beta release, we have produced just
a tar file containing the acs-core files (see [2]). Based on
acs-core packages, one can install/upgrade all application packages
via install-from-repository. If you think one needs as well
a full tar release, please let us know quickly.

If possible, test the release and report errors.

To all developers: please stop to commit on the oacs-5-8
branch, this should receive only bug-fixes until the release,
which should be really soon (e.g. next week). After the release, 
all changes from oacs-5-8 will be merged into the HEAD branch, 
which is the place for further development.

-gustaf neumann

[1] http://openacs.org/changelogs/ChangeLog-5.8.1
[2] http://openacs.org/projects/openacs/download/

Package list of OpenACS 5.8.1:

acs-admin
acs-api-browser
acs-authentication
acs-automated-testing
acs-bootstrap-installer
acs-content-repository
acs-core-docs
acs-datetime
acs-developer-support
acs-events
acs-kernel
acs-lang
acs-mail-lite
acs-messaging
acs-outdated
acs-reference
acs-service-contract
acs-subsite
acs-tcl
acs-templating
acs-translations
ajaxhelper
assessment
assessment-portlet
attachments
bm-portlet
bulk-mail
calendar
calendar-portlet
categories
dotlrn
dotlrn-assessment
dotlrn-bm
dotlrn-calendar
dotlrn-dotlrn
dotlrn-evaluation
dotlrn-faq
dotlrn-forums
dotlrn-fs
dotlrn-homework
dotlrn-news
dotlrn-portlet
dotlrn-static
dotlrn-xowiki
evaluation
evaluation-portlet
faq
faq-portlet
file-storage
forums
forums-portlet
fs-portlet
general-comments
intermedia-driver
new-portal
news
news-portlet
notifications
oacs-dav
openacs-default-theme
profile-provider
ref-countries
ref-language
ref-timezones
rss-support
search
static-portlet
survey
theme-zen
tsearch2-driver
user-profile
versions.tcl
views
xotcl-core
xotcl-request-monitor
xowf
xowiki
xowiki-portlet
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Posted by Benjamin Brink on
Excellent!

Any chance 5.8.1 beta and release changes will be pushed to github/openacs?

Oh, looks like it is. Very nice.