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Geeklog 1.6.0

  • Sunday, July 19 2009 @ 12:00 pm EDT
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The Geeklog Team is pleased to announce that Geeklog 1.6.0 is now available for download.

This release incorporates the results of our successful 2008 Google Summer of Code students, namely site migration and improved plugin installation (by Matt West), improved search (by Sami Barakat), and improved comments functionality (by Jared Wenerd). It also includes a new plugin to automatically generate sitemap.xml files (by mystral-kk) and a few other improvements. See below for details.

Here's a quick rundown and some more information regarding the new features:

Site Migration

Ever since we moved the configuration data into the database (dropping the infamous config.php file) back in 1.5.0, moving a Geeklog site to a new server has been a bit of a pain since it required changing paths (and possibly URLs) that were now stored in the database. With Geeklog 1.6.0, workarounds are no longer required: The install script now has a handy "Migrate" option that will let you move your site to another server easily.

Plugin Installation

Installing a plugin still is a bit of a challenge: You have to rename and move 3 directories into their correct places before you can even kick off the actual plugin install process. With Geeklog 1.6.0 this, too, has become easier: You can now simply upload a plugin's .zip or .tar.gz file directly from the Plugins admin panel and Geeklog will do the rest.

Okay, so there are a few caveats here: First of all, to make use of the plugin upload, your webserver needs write access to your webspace. This may not be possible or desired in some setups, in which case you can still use the old method. Also, some plugins will require additional files and directories to be present, which the plugin install code in Geeklog will not know about. Older plugins will still expect you to click on the install link (from the Plugins admin panel) to actually install the plugin, so the install process will only be semi-automatic.

In other words: Older plugins may require an update before their install will be fully automated. Plugin authors, please refer to the Geeklog Wiki for information about the new Plugin Autoinstall.

Search Improvements

Traditionally, Geeklog's search results were separated into sections, depending on where they were coming from. So you got one section for hits in articles, one for comments, one for each plugin. For the average visitor of your site, however, that information wasn't really of any use. They are looking for information on some topic X and don't really care whether the most relevant post about it is an article or a forum post. So Geeklog 1.6.0 now does away with that separation and presents search results in a way that more closely resembles what people are familiar with from the popular search engines.

Again, there's a caveat here: While the new search code does its best to try and guess what the relevant information in a plugin is, plugins will have to be updated to provide optimal results. Sami already posted the required code changes for some popular plugins (and those are in use here on geeklog.net). Plugin authors should consult the Geeklog Wiki to learn how the improved search engine is working and can be supported in plugins.

XMLSitemap Plugin

Geeklog 1.6.0 ships with a new plugin - but you will hardly notice it, since it does all its work automatically in the background. The XMLSitemap Plugin maintains a sitemap.xml file as supported by all major search engines. This allows the search engine's crawlers to easily find all the content on your site.

The XMLSitemap plugin only has an entry in the Configuration admin panel but no further GUI or admin pages.

Other Changes

Other improvements, like Canonical URLs, support for Output Compression, and protection against Clickjacking have already been discussed elsewhere. Geeklog 1.6.0 also ships with FCKeditor For a detailed list of all changes, please see the changelog in the included history file.