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Theory (10)

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Perl, PostgreSQL hacker; US politics junkie; Webapp developer; Portvangelist; profane iconoclast.


Journal of Theory (10)

Friday March 19, 2004
01:38 AM

Bricolage-Devel 1.7.4

[ #17961 ]

I'm thrilled to announce the release of Bricolage-Devel 1.7.4 "Sacramento", the first release candidate for Bricolage 1.8.0. This version of the open-source content management system addresses all of the bugs discovered since the release of the fourth development release, 1.7.4, and adds several new features and numerous improvements. The most significant changes since 1.7.3 include:

  • New Features
    • A "Bulk Publish" link in ADMIN->PUBLISHING that lets members of the Global Admins group publish story and media documents by category. [Scott]
    • Added notes() method to Bric::Util::Burner, along with the accompanying clear_notes(). The notes() method provides a place to store burn data data, giving template developers a way to share data among multiple burns over the course of publishing a single story in a single category to a single output channel. Any data stored here persists for the duration of a call to burn_one(). [David]
    • Added new contributed scripts for Bricolage button generation. These scripts use the Gimp to generate localized buttons for the Bricolage UI based on the contents of an input file. See contrib/button_gen/README for details. [Florian Rossol]
    • Added support for icons for all media documents when the USE_THUMBNAILS bricolage.conf directive is enabled. These rely on the presence of PNG icon files for each MIME type in comp/media/mime. Only one such icons is distributed with Bricolage, comp/media/mime/none.png (borrowed from the KDE project under a free license), which is the default icon when the MIME type of a media file is unknown or when no icon file exists for the MIME type of the media file. Administrators are free to add their own icons, and the copy_gnome_icons script in contrib makes it easy to use GNOME icons. [David]
    • Added bric_template_diff and bric_template_patch scripts in contrib/bric_template_diff. These scripts can be used to sync templates between two Bricolage servers. [Sam]
    • added bric_media_load to contrib/. This script copies media into Bricolage while accounting for the new to update existing media. [Sam]
    • Added HTMLArea support. This adds a new type of field to be added to elements and contributor types, "WYSIWYG". Such fields are then displayed in the UI using HTMLArea, a WYSIWYG HTML editor. This can be useful in particular for simple fields that often need emphasis added or links. It is not currently available in Bulk Edit or Super Bulk edit. See Bric::Admin for installation and configuration details. [Eric Sellers]
  • Improvements
    • The list of categories for which permissions can be granted to user groups to access the documents and templates in the category now displays the categories for each site separately, so that categories with same URIs (such as for the root category in each site) can be easily told apart. Reported by Ho Yin Au. [David]
    • The list of workflows for which permissions can be granted in the permissions page now includes the parenthesized name of the site each workflow is associated with. [David]
    • Modified the indexes on the workflow__id and desk__id columns of the story, media, and formatting (template) tables to be more efficient, being indexed only when their IDs are greater than 0 (that is, when a story, media document, or template is actually on a desk and in a workflow). [David]
    • Added a method is_fixed to story and media objects, to determine whether a business asset has a fixed URL (for example, a Cover page). Refer to Bric::Biz::Asset::Business. [Scott]
    • Added the ENABLE_OC_ASSET_ASSOCIATION bricolage.conf directive to remove the ability to associate output channels from the story and media profiles. [Scott]
    • The element admin profile now automatically adds the currently selected site context to new elements, thus generally saving a step when creating new elements. [João Pedro]
    • Added an interface to 'Clone' for stories so that you can change the category, slug, and cover date, because otherwise an identical story is created, which would cause errors for some stories. Clones are no longer allowed to have URIs that are identical to the stories they were cloned from. [Scott & David]
    • Added the ability to Delete from desks (same as My Workspace). Note however, that you can't delete from a publish desk. [Scott]
    • Completely documented the document element classes: Bric::Biz::Asset::Business::Parts::Tile, Bric::Biz::Asset::Business::Parts::Tile::Data, and Bric::Biz::Asset::Business::Parts::Tile::Container. This should make it a bit easier on templators learning their way around the Bricolage API. [David]
    • Refactored quite a bit of the code in the element classes. Renamed the methods with "tile" in their names to use "element" instead (but kept the old ones around as aliases, since they're used throughout the UI). Added a few methods to make the interface more complete. [David]
    • Modified the get_containers() method of Bric::Biz::Asset::Business::Parts::Tile::Container to take an optional list of key name arguments, and to return only the container subelements with those key names. This is most useful in templates, where it's fairly common to get a list of container subelements of only one or two particular types out all at once. It neatly replaces code such as this:

      for ( my $x = 1; my $quote = $element->get_container('quote', $x); $x++ ) {

      With this:

      for my $quote ($element->get_containers('quote')) {

      And is more efficient, too. [David]

    • Modified the get_elements() method of Bric::Biz::Asset::Business::Parts::Tile::Container to take an optional list of key name arguments, and to return only the subelements with those key names. [David]
    • Added the get_data_elements() method to Bric::Biz::Asset::Business::Parts::Tile::Container. This method functions exactly like get_containers() except that it returns data element objects that are subelements of the container element. It also takes an optional list of key name arguments, and, if passed, will return only the subelements with those key names. [David]
    • The ANY() subroutine will now throw an exception if no arguments are passed to it. Suggested by Dave Rolsky. [David]
    • Added the unexpired parameter to the list() method of the story and media classes. It selects for stories without an expire date, or with an expire date set in the future. [David]
    • The "User Override" admin tool is now available to all users. But a user can only override another user if she has EDIT permission to that other user. This makes it easier for user administrators to masquerade as other users without having to change passwords. [David]
    • Eliminated another SQL performance bottleneck with simple searches of media assets. [João Pedro]
    • Images with no dimension greater than the THUMBNAIL_SIZE bricolage.conf directive are no longer expanded to have one side at least THUMBNAIL_SIZE pixels, but are left alone. [David]
    • Thumbnails are now displayed when searching media to related to an element. [David]
    • Thumbnails are now displayed in related media subelements. [David]
    • Added preview_another() method to Bric::Util::Burner. This method is designed to be the complement of publish_another(), to be used in templates during previews to burn and distribute related documents so that they'll be readily available on the preview server within the context of previewing another document. [Serge Sozonoff]
    • Added the subelement_key_name parameter to the list() method of the story and media classes. This parameter allows searches on the key name for a container element that's a subelement of a story or media document. [David]
    • Added support for all of the parameters to the list_ids() method of the Story, Media, and Template classes to the list_ids() method of the corresponding SOAP classes. This allows for much more robust searches via the SOAP interface. [David & Scott]
    • Eliminated login_avail() PostgreSQL function, replacing it with a partial constraint. This not only makes things simpler code-wise, but it also eliminates backup and restore problems where the usr table is missing. The downside is that it requires PostgreSQL 7.2 instead of our traditional minimum requirement of 7.1. So any PostgreSQL 7.1 users will need to upgrade before upgrading to this version of Bricolage. Suggested by Josh Berkus. [David]
  • Bug Fixes
    • make clone will now properly clone a database on a different database server, provided the host name (and port, if necessary) have been provided. Thanks to Ho Yin Au for the spot! [David]
    • Admin tool lists that include the number "9" in the corner of a table of items is now properly orange instead of green. Reported by Ho Yin Au. [David]
    • Bricolage works with Perl 5.6.x again, although it's pretty strongly deprecated. Perl 5.8.0 or later is required for character set conversion and if any content uses characters outside of US ASCII. Thanks to John Greene for the spot! [David]
    • Image files uploaded in formats not recognized by Image::Info no longer trigger an error. Reported by Alexander Ling. [David]
    • Changing the cover date of a media document once again correctly updates the primary URI of the media document. Reported by Serge Sozonoff. [David]
    • Fixed API that was causing no elements to be returned on "Add sub-elements" page, when "Filter by site context" was turned on. [João Pedro]
    • When the SOAP server serializes and deserializes element templates, it now correctly identifies the element by its key name, rather than its name. Thanks to João Pedro for the spot! [David]
    • The template profile's "cheat sheet" of the subelements of an element now correctly display subelement key names instead of munging element names, as was required before version 1.7.0. [João Pedro]
    • Bric::SOAP::Category->list_ids now converts site names to site IDs. [João Pedro]
    • Bric::Util::Burner->preview once again defaults to previewing in an asset's primary output channel instead of using the element's primary output channel. [João Pedro]
    • Added first_publish_date attribute to the SOAP input and output for stories and media. [David]
    • The category SOAP class now correctly calls lookup() with the site ID to prevent multiple categories with the same names but in different sites from being looked up. [João Pedro]
    • User overrideable preferences are now properly checked for permissions to allow users with READ permission to a user to see the permissions. [David]
    • Users can now edit their own user-overrideable preferences. [David]
    • Group management now works more correctly in user profiles where users have on READ access to the user object. [David]
    • Removed queries added in 1.7.2 that were running at Bricolage startup time. They could cause DBI to cache a database handle and return it after Apache forks, leading to strange errors such as "message type 0x49 arrived from server while idle", and occaisionally a frozen server. [David]

For a complete list of the changes, see the changes file.


Bricolage is a full-featured, enterprise-class content management and publishing system. It offers a browser-based interface for ease-of use, a full-fledged templating system with complete HTML::Mason, HTML::Template, and Template Toolkit support for flexibility, and many other features. It operates in an Apache/mod_perl environment, and uses the PostgreSQL RDBMS for its repository. A comprehensive, actively-developed open source CMS, Bricolage has been hailed as "Most Impressive" in 2002 by eWeek.

Learn more about Bricolage and download it from the Bricolage home page.



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