Development Update

I just thought I would post a quick update about what has been going on over the last few months and what new things I've added or fixed.  In a nutshell though, we are pretty damn close to an initial release of Hazaar CMS.  There's only a couple of things left to do and we'll be good to go!

So what's new?

Well basically, lots of new things have been added or fixed to make the current release the closest we've ever been to a stable release!
  • The media manager has been completely overhauled from the initial version.  We are now used some pretty advanced features of Hazaar MVC (our parent project) to handle all the media management.  What this means is that you can host your media just about anywhere.  Hazaar MVC has media backends for the local filesystem, MongoDB's GridFS, Dropbox, Google Drive and WebDAV.  Others can be added relatively easily as long as the service has an open (and free) API.  So why host your media on an external service?  Why not!?  Why not send all your image traffic to another service and take the load off your webserver?
  • We have an installer!  A fresh installation of Hazaar CMS has no configuration files so if that is the case you will automatically redirected to a shiny new installation wizard.  This wizard will ask a bunch of questions and allow you to name your site, set an administrator username and password, set up the database and your initial media source.  Once that is done it will insert into the database everything it needs to get up and running and redirect you to a sample page to shower you with praise and congratulations on your great success.
  • The default theme has had this shit tweaked out of it so it is now really, REALLY slick looking.  I built in theme support for this thing but seriously, the default theme is probably all you will ever need.
  • We have and awesome HTML editor!  This has been in there for a while now, but never quite finished.  Now that i have a few live sites up and running I'm getting requests from people to make changes to pages/articles because the editor doesn't allow certain things.  So, being one who's all for self-service, I finished off the HTML editor.  It's now possible to add style, links and media to any text content with ease.
  • There's also been a bunch of other fixes and enhancements and as it stands right now, there are no known bugs.  Sure, there's a bunch of "placeholders" and things that haven't been done yet, but the placeholders work just fine.

So what's left to do?

  • Part of what is holding us back from a release is our dependence on Hazaar MVC.  While it's a great MVC framework, it's management tools are not quite up to scratch.  This is in fact my fault as I'm also the lead developer of Hazaar MVC.  What this means is that installing Hazaar MVC is a bit of a chore at the moment, then getting the Hazaar CMS "application" to work can be tedious if you don't know what you're doing.  Once the Hazaar MVC tools are up to scratch is when we will do out intial release as we will have a much more simple installation procedure.  
  • There's no plugin interface.  Currently, all of the output and display modules are written as plugins so technically if someone was to write a plugin, then it all that would be required to install it is to dump it into the plugins directory.  However, an interface to streamline this would be nice.  Also maybe a way to easily download plugins from a remote repository and install them in one click would be cool. 
  • Usability tweaks.  While I find it just fine to use, there's a few things that bug me occasionally, and may trip other people up quite badly.  One thing that comes to mind is if you navigate away from a modified page.  there's no warning and you will simply lose your changes. So stuff like that needs to be added and I'm only going to know about those types of things through feedback.  So give me some!
  • User profiles.  Not a major things but the links on an article's owner need to go somewhere.
  • System updater.  We want to have this in there from the start so that it's a snap to update the software to the latest version from a central update repository.
  • A bunch more plugins.  We have all the basic plugins and with the "text" plugin you can pretty much drop in anything you may need and style it yourself to keep you out of trouble.  See the GitLab issues page for a list of modules that I'm planning on adding.
And when will all this stuff be done?  Who knows.  Really the only thing I need to do before I can release it is the MVC tools, so I will probably start working on that soon.

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