Forum OpenACS Q&A: release date?

Request notifications

Posted by Brian Fenton on
Hello all OpenACSers.

We have committed ourselves to using OpenACS 4 on a project we will
commencing design on very soon. Can anybody tell me what is the
status on a release of a stable version? I noted mention of a beta
version in another topic - that would probably be good enough for us
to start with. When is the beta release planned?


2: Response to release date? (response to 1)
Posted by Jun Yamog on
Hi Brian,

I am not really sure when is the date but the news is that beta is very soon.  But I should note though that we have used OpenACS 4 even before its alpa stage.  We have a couple of production sites using just the CVS code.  We also have 1 site that is heavily pounded everyday.  Since you will be just starting you will mostly have little problems even in pre beta stage.

I suggest that you can start developing on it as long as you are confortable using CVS and changing/upgrading the data model.  Get the feel of OpenACS 4, since the documentation is still being done.

3: Response to release date? (response to 1)
Posted by Brian Fenton on
Thanks Jun,

    That's very encouraging to hear. I'm particularly interested in the ticket-tracker and workflow. Do you know what kind of shape that particular code is in?
4: Response to release date? (response to 1)
Posted by Don Baccus on
I'm hoping to roll a beta over the weekend or Monday.  At the moment I'm just awaiting some very minor tweaks to the documentation resulting from our name change to "Open Architecture" - Vinod and Roberto have said they'll be get that done by the weekend.  Neophytos is sorting through submitted patches and applying them when appropriate.

Workflow's in good shape in the sense that it works as well as it did in ACS 4.2 (a bit better, actually, I fixed a few minor problems with custom task panels, etc).  It provides us a very good foundation for the future but we'll want to add to it in the future (Lars's own todo list from when he worked at aD being a good place to start).

I've not played much with ticket tracker.  I think the UI's pretty unfriendly, but that's because it just plugs into the vanilla workflow  task action UI page.  It could probably be made nicer with custom panels.  One of the things on my wish-list for workflow is to make the vanilla workflow task action UI page configurable by the application.

5: Response to release date? (response to 1)
Posted by Brian Fenton on
Thanks Don. That sounds wonderful. I hope to be be able to give something back to the community in relation to the ticket tracker once we've had a look at it.

Have a nice weekend!

6: Response to release date? (response to 1)
Posted by C. R. Oldham on
Don (or anyone),

I have a patch I'm working on that adds the groups::member_p function.  It creates a stored function in the groups package in Oracle and an associated Tcl function.  It works for Oracle but I haven't had time to port this to Pg, so I didn't upload it to SDM.  It's probably a simple port, does anyone have time to attempt?

7: Response to release date? (response to 1)
Posted by Don Baccus on
E-mail me a copy, if it's simple I'll just do it, otherwise I'll find someone else to do it.
8: Response to release date? (response to 1)
Posted by Roberto Mello on
Don, I've just committed the changes to CVS.

I added two entities to the XML sources, one called "version" and another called "majorversion". So with that, I just carefully replaced everywhere we had "4" with "&version;" and voila, we have 4.5 everywhere in the docs (documentation writers, please take notice).

I left some design docs without this modification though, but they'll be updated for release.

I also changed "Open ArsDigita" to "Open Architecture" everywhere, made some updates to the OpenACS FAQ in the docs, and linked the current documentation from which will be the canonical place for all openacs documentation. It has a link to updated OpenACS 3.2.5 and 4.5-beta documentations.

This means that you can look at the latest and greatest Install docs for OpenACS 4.5, written by the always-alert-and-ready-to-work Vinod (thanks Vinod!). I'll put links to documentation of all packages hosted at in that same page soon.

One last thing is that I got rid of the annyoing 1-phrase "Overview" pages at the top of each chapter. Those made no sense to me. If anybody thinks we should keep them, let me know.

I'll work into releasing the documentation into Postcript and PDF formats for release.


9: Response to release date? (response to 1)
Posted by Talli Somekh on
Roberto, the one-phrase overviews are critical!!! I understand that they can be annoying, but I think they are critically important for good documentation. Giving people a quick intro to what a chapter can save a lot time as they search through mounds of info looking for the solution to their problem.

I put in a strong vote to keep the summaries and recquire them for all OACS documentation.


10: Response to release date? (response to 1)
Posted by G. Armour Van Horn on
I just started to look a the new docs and wondered why there is an odd character scattered around. The character I see is a capital A with a little roof ^ on it. For example, right below the logo is a line that spreads left, center, and right with this:

Prev  (long space)    (long space)   Next

I see on later pages the center mystery character is replaced with the chapter title or "Up." I'm browsing with Opera 6.0, Win2K, US English.

11: Response to release date? (response to 1)
Posted by Roberto Mello on
Talli, okay, I guess I see your point. I'll commit a new version with the one-line overviews.

Armour, I noticed those characters in the committed versions as well, but I don't know how they came up to life. I don't see them in my local version. Anyone has got any ideas?

12: Response to release date? (response to 1)
Posted by Torben Brosten on
Perhaps gremlins... Commonly created from using character set specific characters and switching docs between OSes, word processors (and character sets). You'll probably want to search for them using grep, then replace with appropriate html entities or standard cross-platform ASCII characters.

I don't know for sure, because the url seems to be 404'ing right now...

13: Response to release date? (response to 1)
Posted by Roberto Mello on
Torsben, I looked in the output HTML and there does seem to be a "gremlin" there. I'll talk to Vinod when he gets back on #openacs and ask him if it's something on our xsl stylesheet. It sure looks funky.

BTW, the URL is (not /docs/). Thanks.

14: Response to release date? (response to 1)
Posted by Torben Brosten on
Thanks, Roberto, for the url correction etc.

On my browser, the url currently indicates an error due to a missing cascading stylesheet... =(

15: Response to release date? (response to 1)
Posted by Roberto Mello on
Argh, sorry Torsben, I thought I had payed attention to that (I tested with netscape 4 which seems to be the only browser that barfs when it can't find the .css). It's fixed now, it was just the link to the .css that was wrong.

Thanks for the tip.

16: Response to release date? (response to 1)
Posted by Vinod Kurup on
Regarding the funky A's (where's markd2 when you need him) that are showing up in the docs...

I think Torben's right that there is an issue with the character-set encoding. The character that is supposed to be inserted is   (the non breaking space), but apparently this value is equal to the weird A in UTF-8 (?) Unfortunately, character-set stuff is a black art to me, but google was helpful.

This thread refers to a different XSLT processor than we're using, but it suggests that we can get rid of the gremlins by adding a tag to our XSL stylesheet. I can't test this, however, since the gremlins aren't showing up in the HTML that I'm generating locally.

17: Response to release date? (response to 1)
Posted by Don Baccus on
Can you and Roberto coordinate to test this, since he seems really good at making those funky As show up? :)

I've been whacking away at files for beta and it would be nice to get the funky As out of the docs before I roll it up for good, but if you guys are busy it can be a post-beta fix.

18: Response to release date? (response to 1)
Posted by Roberto Mello on

Interesting. When I look at the HTML generated by xsltproc locally, I don't see any gremlins. But after committing to CVS and looking at the HTML files that show up on, then the gremlins show up.

I have no clue as to where to fix that.

19: Response to release date? (response to 1)
Posted by Don Baccus on
CVS is screwing with it?  Oh yuk.  Maybe you could tell CVS that the generated HTML files are binary files, just like we do with .gifs etc?  We're not supposed to write them directly anyway!

Hmmm...actually *I'd* have to do that but if someone wanted to do a local test first I'd appreciate it (as I continue to munge and munge files for this beta, tying up loose ends here and there).