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Created by Dave Bauer, last modified by Gustaf Neumann 24 Jul 2014, at 11:00 AM

Release Status

See openacs-release-status

Development is taking place on oacs-5-8.

OpenACS Version 5.8 Agenda

  • PostgreSQL 9.2+:
    • Get rid of nonstandard backslash escapes in function definitions
    • Change quote syntax in sql files (single quotes around the functions) to recommended PostgreSQL quoting using (recommended since pg8.0, jan 2005). li>Drop aliases in favor of named function arguments (recommended since pg8.0)
    • Fix wrong function_args, add missing function_args, align default semantics with the defaults in pg (providing "null" as default means the argument is optional)
    • Make OpenACS loadable without any tweaks in the pg config files
  • Use recursive queries for e.g. permission lookup to avoid performance problems in pg 8.4 and newer)
  • ADP: Use byte-compiled function wherever possible in compiled adp-code, support "@var;literal@" when neither quotes nor localization is needed
  • Improve support of NaviServer
  • Switch to Tcl 8.5 (TIP #143)
  • Improve scalability: Reduce mutex-stress on util-memoize cache and for cache maintenance in general
  • Code cleanup (get rid of calls to deprecated code, complain about usage of deprecated code, use tcl 8.5 idioms, ...)

OpenACS Version 5.7 Agenda

  • Support for object management in core 
  • Postgresql 9.0
  • TinyMCE update (fix for random JS injection issue, affecting Safari)
  • Fix for "remember me" issue
  • WCAG2-AA

OpenACS Version 5.6 Agenda

  • global parameters
  • package "embeds" 
  • fix search by package_id
  • core works on Postgresql 8.4

OpenACS Version 5.5 Agenda

  • DONE: Postgresql 8.3 support: especially regarding tsearch2
  • DONE: acs-authentication:
    • fix upgrade, add conditional logic into site wide tcl library so that you can login to perform the rest of the upgrade
  • DONE: tinymce:
    • upgrade to 3.1.1 + language packs
    • HTML Strict cleanup
    • create appropriate parameters for its config in acs-templating
  • acs-mail-lite:
    • DONE: cleanup duplicated procs (bounce)
    • review the parsing of bouncing messages (case user_id 0)
    • DONE: rollout support
  • Documentation improvements as discussed at the Guatemala conference:
    • Make current openacs.org/test-doc source for static files included in the release and provide ease means to achieve this for the release manager
      • DONE (CVS HEAD): Provide in XoWiki an alternative table of contents by nested UL/LI (without JavaScript) for static output
      • DONE (CVS HEAD): Provide in XoWiki a prototype page similar to "book" without edit-buttons etc., using the new table of contents
    • Update openacs.org/test-doc where necessary (incomplete list):
      • DONE: Fix the page ordering for the higher chapters (the original document  had no 3rd. level numbering)
      • update pages in /test-doc which are more recent in openacs/xowiki
      • bump version numbers of OpenACS, where appropriate (some places talk about openacs-5-0, others about openacs-5-1, oacs-5-2-3rc1 or 5-3) 
      • some version numbers of the required components are quite a mess. e.g. some parts say that Postgres 7.3 is required,  some examples talks about postgres 7.4.7 and 8.2.4 in the same listing.
      • also the dotlrn version numbers are old dotrln-2.0
      • Tcl version numbers should be 8.4.19
      • The install section for XOTcl is missing in II.3.4
      • remove ChangeLog from documentation
      • find some other prominent place for the ChangeLog
      • Fix indenting in examples  (e.g. in Rocael's robust web    development framework)
      • overthink Win2000 guidelines.  There are the native compiled packages from Maurizio, including everything from postgres, xotcl ....
    • It is desired to find a single person responsible for overworking the documentation, however, funding is unclear.

OpenACS Version 5.4 Agenda

  • DONE: HTML Strict (openacs core)
  • DONE: finish template::head (daveb)
  • DONE: test acs-mail-lite (complex send)
  • DONE: test notifications (complex send)
  • DONE: new XinHA release, get rid of RTE & HTMLarea, test on Safari
  • DONE: Form builder: add the ID attribute  to the form tag
  • DONE: acs-lang - keepLocalTranslationP to be removed
  • DONE search and intermedia-driver: move intermedia specific stuff to its package
  • DONE: acs-mail-lite - patch for mime::qp_encode bug


  • Split Xinha and TinyMCE into seperate packages see: http://openacs.org/forums/message-view?message_id=2750958
  • Usability ("my account" page)
  • XHTML ?
  • Testing and documentation for recording automated tests using the firefox plugin and the upload feature for it new in automated testing. Probably needs some polishing and should be talked to with Quest who are getting into this.
  • Parameter Scope Patch http://openacs.org/bugtracker/openacs/patch?patch%5fnumber=845 
  • Remove obsolete master template stuff (default and site master template in openacs-4/www, acs-subsite's group-master, and related CSS and images).  Probably in the version which follows 5.5 (probably 5.6).  Also remove the compat master stuff at the same time.

Things to merge into this page

Old 5.0 Roadmap  discussion 

Roadmap discussion 1 

 [Ideas for Boston 2006 Future of OpenACS discussion]

My previous attempt at collaborative roadmap 

A .LRN Roadmap 

Another .LRN Roadmap discussion 

What's on this page?

This page should include work that is planned on and has someone comitted to working on it.

OpenACS Release Status

Created by Dave Bauer, last modified by Gustaf Neumann 23 Jul 2014, at 03:31 PM

Current Stable Release

5.8.0 Released 2013-08-30 

Download OpenACS 5.8.0 

Previous Releases

5.7.0 Released 2013-07-17 

Download OpenACS 5.7.0 

5.6.0 Released 2010-09-22 

Download OpenACS 5.6.0 

5.5.0 Released 2009-06-22 

Download OpenACS 5.5.0 

5.4.3 Released  2008-11-26 (No more releases on the 5.4 branch)

Download OpenACS 5.4.3 

5.4.2 Released  2008-06-08

Download OpenACS 5.4.2 

5.4.1 Released  2008-04-07

Download OpenACS 5.4.1 

5.4.0 Released  2008-02-07

Download OpenACS 5.4.0 

5.3.2 Released  2007-07-18 (No more releases on the 5.3 branch)

Download OpenACS 5.3.2 

Next Bugfix Release 


Next Major Release


TODO list for next release


Created by Emmanuelle Raffenne, last modified by Guest 28 Jun 2014, at 02:37 PM



Created by gustaf neumann, last modified by Gustaf Neumann 28 Jun 2014, at 10:16 AM

Welcome to the OpenACS Wiki!

This is the OpenACS Wiki system, built with the xowiki package. This wiki contains user documentation, how-tos, and tips and tricks related to OpenACS. It also serves as a collaboration area for OpenACS contributors.

Quick Links:

OpenACS Handbook: openacs-handbook
OpenACS Packages
: packages

Recent Wiki Page Edits:

OpenACS Projects

OpenACS TODO List (5 days ago)
OpenACS Release Status (5 days ago)
.LRN (9 months ago)

Non-Core Packages

News (1 month ago)
Layout Manager (10 months ago)
SOAP db (10 months ago)


Wiki (1 month ago)

Subsystems Documentation

Testing Pages

Coding Standards

General Rules (6 months ago)


Try Openacs (6 months ago)

Core Documenation

Installing OpenACS (8 months ago)


.LRN (9 months ago)

Package Documentation

Available OpenACS Packages (9 months ago)
Aliases at CVS (9 months ago)

Documentation Non-Core Packages

Deprecated / Unmaintained Packages

ACS Mail (10 months ago)


Messages Applet (10 months ago)
Theme Zen (10 months ago)

OpenACS compatibility matrix

Created by Joel Aufrecht, last modified by Michael Aram 16 Jun 2014, at 02:44 PM

OpenACS requires, at a minimum, an operating system, database, and webserver to work. Many additional programs, such as a build environment, Mail Transport Agent, and source control system, are also needed for a fully effective installation.

Table 2.2. Version Compatibility Matrix

OpenACS Version 3.2.5 4.5 4.6 4.6.1 4.6.2 4.6.3 5.0 5.1 5.2 (core)
5.3 (core)
5.4 (core)
5.5 (core)
5.6 (core)
5.7 (core)
5.8 (core)
AOLserver 3 Yes No
3.3+ad13 Maybe Yes No
3.3oacs1 Maybe Yes No
3.4.4 No
3.4.4oacs1 Maybe Yes No
3.5.5 Maybe Yes No
4.0 Maybe Yes
4.5 No Yes
Naviserver 4.99.4 No Maybe Yes
Tcl 8.4 Yes No
8.5.4 - Maybe Yes
PostgreSQL 7.0 Yes No
7.2 Maybe Yes No
7.3.2 - 7.3.x No Yes No
7.4 No Yes No
8.0 No Maybe Yes Maybe
8.1 No Yes Maybe
8.2 No tar: no, CVS: Yes Yes Maybe
8.3 No Yes Maybe
8.4 No Yes
9.0 - 9.3 No Yes
Oracle 8.1.6 Maybe Yes Maybe
8.1.7 Maybe Yes Maybe
9i No Yes Maybe
10g No Yes Maybe
11g No Maybe

The value in the cells correspond to the last version of that release, and not necessarily to all minor releases. Empty cells denote an unknown status.


Created by OpenACS community, last modified by Maurizio Martignano 11 Jun 2014, at 01:32 AM

OpenACS and .LRN can be installed as native Win64 applications for Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 using the Windows-OpenACS distribution.

The current release is Windows-OpenACS version 2.2 (released June 2014).

For more details, http://www.spazioit.com/pages_en/sol_inf_en/windows-openacs_en/ .

Install OpenACS with NaviServer from Scratch

Created by Gustaf Neumann, last modified by Gustaf Neumann 28 May 2014, at 08:52 PM

This page describes how to install OpenACS with NaviServer on Unix-like systems (e.g. Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, OmniOS) by compiling all but PostgreSQL from scratch, guided by script that collects the components from various sources, compiles it, etc.

The installation is done in two steps:

  • install-ns.sh : Install NaviServer and its components for a PostgreSQL installation from scratch by obtaining the relevant sources and compiling it. The script assumes PostgreSQL to be installed (or obtainable via package managers), but installs all other components by obtaining it from the source repositories and compiling it from scratch (e.g. Tcl, tcllib, tDOM, libthread, nsf/XOTcl 2).

  • install-oacs.sh : Install OpenACS from CVS/git. This script configures a (pre-installed) PostgreSQL installation for
    OpenACS, adds hstore, installs OpenACS core, basic OpenACS packages, xowiki, xowf and optionally dotlrn from CVS/git and generates a config file and startup files (for Ubuntu and Fedora Core). The script assumes a pre-existing NaviServer installation, installed e.g. via install-ns.sh

If you open the links above, use save-as in the browser to save the files. Alternatively, download the files as .zip file or clone the repository via GitHub . The scripts work under a typical Linux installation (e.g. Ubuntu, Fedora Core) as well as on Mac OS X or on OmniOS. The scripts are tested with PostgreSQL 9.1, 9.2 and 9.3 on Ubuntu 12.04, 13.04 and Fedora Core 18.

On a a fresh Ubuntu installation, you should be able to download the two scripts from this page and install OpenACS with NaviServer in the following steps:

   sudo bash
   apt-get install postgresql

   bash install-ns.sh
   bash install-ns.sh build

   bash install-oacs.sh
   bash install-oacs.sh build

After running both scripts in the default configuration you will see e.g. on Ubuntu 13.04

Congratulations, you have installed OpenACS with NaviServer on your machine.
You might start the server manually with

    sudo /usr/local/ns/bin/nsd -t /usr/local/ns/config-oacs-HEAD.tcl -u nsadmin -g nsadmin

or you can manage your installation with upstart (Ubuntu/Debian). In this case, 
you might use the following commands

    status oacs-HEAD
    start oacs-HEAD
    stop oacs-HEAD

To use OpenACS, point your browser to http://localhost:8000/
The configuration file is /usr/local/ns/config-oacs-HEAD.tcl 
and might be tailored to your needs. The access.log and error.log of 
this instance are in /var/www/oacs-HEAD/log

On Fedora, the startup commands for systemd are

    systemctl status oacs-HEAD
    systemctl start oacs-HEAD
    systemctl stop oacs-HEAD

GETable resources, that should be POSTable resources

Created by Michael Aram, last modified by Gustaf Neumann 04 Feb 2014, at 11:35 AM

TODO: These OpenACS-URLs are available via GET requests, but as the associated actions are either not safe or not idempotent (or both), they should be made available only via POST instead...

This is more of a problem nowadays as it was earlier, as current browsers (like Chrome or Safari) tend to fetch resources even before the user hits enter in the address bar (i.e. one cannot easily prevent that an unwanted action is taken while entering a similar URL).

In particular the actual (Jan 2014) versions of Safari on Mac OS X 10.9.1 automatically pre-fetches URLs for an url path, when sub-pages were visited in the past, and a user clicks in the url bar (as soon as it shows possible completions). One can e.g. shut down "automatically" the OpenACS server by on /acs-admin/, since Safari might "prefetch" /acs-admin/server-restart.

This page is only a TODO list, that should become a bug report later...

  • /acs-admin/users/become
  • /acs-admin/server-restart

General Rules

Created by Rocael Hernández Rizzardini, last modified by Gustaf Neumann 18 Jan 2014, at 04:40 PM

  • Use 4 space indentation 
  • Your lines must not exceed the 80 characters limit (never use a single line that has more than 80 chars)

This general rules are applicable to TCL & SQL. If you are using EMacs you usually are on the safe side with regards to TCL, as the tcl-mode indents just as we want it. ADP pages are formated correctly if you change into html-mode.

There is an OpenACS mode for emacs which has features to help meet formatting standards.

One can add the following stanza to the end of a .tcl file, when using emacs, to avoid, that spaces are changed again into tabs.

# Local variables:
#    mode: tcl
#    tcl-indent-level: 4
#    indent-tabs-mode: nil
# End:

Security Considerations

Allowing user input to include images, see patch in this discussion thread: http://openacs.org/forums/message-view?message_id=182057

Try Openacs

Created by OpenACS community, last modified by Gustaf Neumann 09 Jan 2014, at 12:59 PM

To try OpenACS, you might lease a hosted system with OpenACS installed on it: For many Linux platforms (e.g. Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora), one can use the generic installer that compiles all base components (using Naviserver) and creates users/groups as needed; which works with Postgres 9.2+

You might want to install OpenACS with one of these automated installers:

Generic installation scripts

The following script installs aolserver and the contained modules from sources. It assumes, that postgres is already installed:

  1. Install AOLserver: http://openacs.org/storage/view/aolserver/install.tgz 
  2. Install OpenACS: en:openacs-subsystem-install

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