August 1, 2001

PostNuke unleashes the 'mutant' release, v0.6

Author: JT Smith

Harry Zink writes: "The chained beast that has been rattling its cage, yearning to be let out and unleashed upon the Earth, is freed... Indeed, the release of PostNuke v0.61, codenamed 'Mutant' is upon us. You can log on to www.PostNuke.com to find the release announcement, an invitation to mutate.
Here's what's new, as well as some background, and new features of the Mutant.

First of all, this release contains a large number of bug fixes. While we certainly can't say that we have 'fixed all bugs that has been reported' (since a considerable number still mock us from the bug-list on SourceForge), a judicious effort has been undertaken to exterminate as many bugs as we could until release. So, obviously some will be left in there, as well as a couple of new ones - such is the nature of code, don't let it bug 'ya!

The two big features of the Mutant release represent two major changes to the former infrastructure - the addition of Crocket's Multi-Lingual (ML) functions, and Patrick Kellum's Advanced Blocks.

PostNuke/Multi-Lingual (ML) is in an evolution towards a full-fledged multi-lingual system, allowing a weblog to publish articles, surveys, messages, etc... in different languages, to be selectively viewable by visitors in their chosen language. In other words, if you select your language to be English, you will only see menus, messages, articles, etc... in English. If you select it in, say, Français, you will only see the French version of all of the content. To clarify a popular misconception, though - this does not mean that PostNuke/ML automatically translates everything on the fly (à la Babelfish). Of course not - you still need contributors fluent in the various languages to provide the content, but the ML features allow you to organize and present the information in a linguistically organized manner.

Advanced Blocks, while still wet behind the ears, can provide an admin with far more flexibility in creating and organizing blocks than was previously possible. Tightly integrated with the ML features, you can create identical, custom blocks for various languages to provide, for example, a fully multi-lingual Main Menu. Advanced Blocks also supports an API (still being fine-tuned) that allows you to create custom block types, which might hopefully lead to more creative third parties providing new and innovative blocks, to help admins customize and enhance their websites.

Future changes and enhancements planned:

Topik Paks: PostNuke 0.61 ships with a dramatically reduced number of topic icons (just four (4) of them), in order to cut down on the bulk of the package, and to aid users who do not require the bulk of the existing icons (for example, if you don't run a GNU/GPL Computer based site, 90% of those icons are of no use to you). In context with this change, we also propose the creation of Topic Paks, which we encourage third parties to create and provide. In addition to just to topic icons, a Topic Pak should also include a small installation script that will place the icons in the right locations, as well as populate your SQL db with the right captions. We've created an appropriate 'Topic Pak' download section for those who want to start providing them as soon as the Topic Pak API is ready (might be a few days).

Avatar Paks: Same concept as above, except applied to the user avatars. This is currently under consideration.

PostNuke compatible Modules:
While 95% of all standard PHP-Nuke modules will continue to work, some modules start to appear that take advantage or are written to be compatible with PostNuke's css, or other features, such as:

My_eGallery 2.57: (MeG) is the work of MarsisHere (with help from Patrick Kellum), and he's created one of the premier image galleries for *Nuke weblogs. In terms of features, he's packing them on. MeG actually supports additional media beyond just images, so you can also present (and allow your users to upload) Flash, Sound, and movie files. Check it out at http://www.babylone6tem.com in the downloads section.

Babe-a-Day: For all deprived computer computer geeks, uhm, I mean, true appreciators of the female form, this module has somehow found it's way into our CVS tree.

Cyboards Forum: Many of you have been using them, many more should :-) Our current forum software is Cyboards, by Virgil of Gold-Sonata.com. They have been ported to PostNuke by Mark Summerlin of www.Fish-tails.net. The latest version offers several new features, better sorting, better display options, and subscriptions to the forum similar to a mailing list. As soon as that module is cleaned up, it will be available.

Phorum: There are several versions of the Phorum module floating around, and once we pick which one works best, we plan to offer that in the modules download section as well.

There's more, but we have to save some to impress you all for the next release...

Evolve!

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