October 31, 2004

Midgard 1.6.0 "Swedengard" released

Piotr Pokora writes "This release changes the state of Midgard with major improvements and flexible features. For example, the Midgard database and web sitesetup has been redesigned with the new datagard command-line tool. Also, Midgard now bundles the MidCOM component framework and Aegir administration tool to provide a powerful out-of-the-box Content Management Systemexperience.

Major features in Midgard 1.6 include:

  • MultiLang support
  • Unicode support by default
  • PAM authentication support
  • Apache2 module
  • PHP4 module ready to use with Apache1 and Apache2
  • New midgard-data including MidCOM 1.4.0

The MultiLang feature makes Midgard more flexible as it separates metadata from the current language of objects. It is easy to use with the new midgard-data package which allows server administrator to create or update databases to MultiLang very easily.

While Midgard has supported international character sets through the UTF-8 encoding since the Midgard 1.2.5 series, Midgard 1.6 is the first release where Unicode ships as the default encoding. This means that new Midgard installations can manage content in character sets like Russian, Japanese and Maori with zero effort.

PAM, or Pluggable Authentication Modules is a technology used on several Unix platforms like Linux and Solaris to enables systems to authenticate using some central authentication provider. PAM support in Midgard means that Midgard sites and applications can now authenticate with external systems like LDAP or Active Directory instead of using the local password storage.

PHP4 module may be configured with the old Apache 1.3.x or new Apache 2. Both modules have caching facilities which increase performance and reduce request time. These modules have also abilities to emulate the old mod_midgard Apache module which is now deprecated.

The revised Midgard-data package provides an out-of-the-box setup
complete with Aegir and Spider administration tools and the MidCOM component framework. Aegir is a comprehensive and powerful administration tool targeted at Midgardpower users. Spider provides similar administrative features in accessible way, allowing disabled users and simpler web browsers to manage websites. In addition to the Midgard applications, midgard-data also ships several command-line utilities including the yamp packaging scripts useful to Midgard application developers and the datagard Midgard database and virtual host setup tool.

MidCOM 1.4.0 is a full component framework which enables site builders to construct their web sites from ready-made and configurable site features, or components. All MidCOM components provide uniformal and localized ways for configuration and content management. The configuration system allows site developers to fully control the way the components behave, including their output templates and content structure and form field definitions.

For end-users the MidCOM system provides an intuitive "Edit this page"
interface for editing site content. Over 20 components shipping with MidCOM include a news listing system, event calendars, product order and shipping management system, phone book and a wiki online notebook.
Changes from 1.6.0rc2 release:

Midgard-php4

  • Regex types are fixed for systems where PHP is compiled with system regex
  • New $_MIDGARD superglobal providing an array with Midgard environment settings

Midgard-data

  • Several compatibility fixes to the datagard database setup tool
  • Latest MidCOM 1.4.0 package and components

Planned for next releases

  • Scheduled release - February 2005
  • Automated testing of release packages
  • MgdSchema - XML defined objects for PHP using the GObjects system
  • Apache1 module will enter deprecation cycle
  • Site Creation Wizard for the MidCOM Component Framework

Getting Midgard 1.6.0
Download page for latest release:
http://www.midgard-project.org/download/ 1.6.0.html">http://www.midgard-project.org/downloa d/1.6.0.htmlhttp://www.midgard-project.org/downloa d/1.6.0.html">

Getting started with Midgard:
http://www.midgard-project.org/documenta tion/getting-started/">http://www.midgard-project. org/documentation/getting-started/http://www.midga rd-project.org/documentation/getting-started/">

Bugs reporting:
http://midgard.tigris.org/issues/reports.cgi
Users and developers supportMailing list user@midgard-project.org

Piotr Pokora, Midgard release manager

Henri Bergius, Midgard spokesman"

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