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Roller Strong #1

This blog is called Blogging Roller because that's what it's supposed to be about, but lately there's a shortage of Roller content here and I don't think I'm getting the word out the way I used to. There's a lot of cool stuff coming with Roller 4.0 and other efforts, so I need to fix that. I'm going to start by doing a weekly roundup of Roller news on Fridays, but I'm not going to call it Roller Week.

In Roller Strong I'll cover new Roller developments from the project mailing lists, blogs and other sources. I'll post any Roller related news I came across during the week and maybe even some commentary (if you have Roller news that you'd like to have included please let me know). I'll speak in first person as I won't be speaking on behalf of Sun or Apache or the Roller project. So without further rambling here's the first installment.

The dev list: Roller 4.0 development

The past couple of weeks have been busy on the Roller dev list. We've been working to wrap up the 4.0 release and things are really coming together now. The release will include infrastructure improvements: a new JPA-based back-end, a new Struts2 based front-end, a much improved installation process and we've moved to Java SE 5. There are also some new features including search feeds and feed history from Elias, theme encapsulation from Allen and account activation by email by new contributor Sedat Ciftci. See the 4.0 release proposal for details.

JPA and Struts2 are the biggest changes code-wise and they're mostly done. Allen single-handedly migrated Roller's front-end from Struts1 to Struts2. Along the way he made dramatic improvements in the UI code-base. The code is clean, well organized and easier to work with, but to an end-user the UI will look the same as it did before. I hope we can start to change that in later releases.

The new JPA-based back-end was originally developed by Craig Russell and Mitesh Meswani of Sun. I did some refactoring and merged it into the main Roller code-base (i.e. the trunk) last week and now it's the default back-end. The JPA and Struts2 work is mostly done, but there's plenty of testing/debugging work remaining.

We don't yet have a What's New page or a release date for Roller 4.0. I'll keep you posted on that.

The user list: Roller 3.1 installation issues

I think the recent Apache graduation and 3.1 release has raised interest in Roller. The user list has been busy, with over twice as many posts in May as previous months. Unfortunately, we're hearing that some things are broken in less tested platforms such as JBoss, Websphere and Oracle. And a couple of irritating bugs have popped up. As a result, there is already a proposal for a Roller 3.1.1 release to address the more irritating issues.

Other happenings

Covalent, the company that recently announced full support of Roller is hosting a web seminar on Apache Roller on June 6. Roller committer Matt Raible will be presenting and he's going to cover the Roller project status/roadmap, installation and customization.

I just heard from James Snell who tells me that IBM's internal BlogCentral site has been upgraded to  Lotus Connections,  effectively upgrading 9,000 blogs from the Roller 2.x to the Roller 3.1 code-base. More details and a screenshot are on James' blog.

Waiting in the wings

We've got new releases candidates for Roller 2.3.1 and Roller 3.0.1. These are for testing only, they are not official releases yet. They fix a couple of significant cross-site scripting (XSS) bugs, but they haven't been tested sufficiently. If you have time, we need your help testing them.

Also, there's also a proposal to do a Roller 3.1.1 bug fix release as soon as possible.

Until next time...

That's it for this weeks Roller Strong. Tune in next week for more.


Would be great (from a Struts PoV) to see your S1-->S2 migration experience written up - plus what a great resource for S2 - a fully functional open source app - we should probably highlight/point this out on the Struts website.

Posted by Niall on June 04, 2007 at 09:25 AM EDT #

Hi Niall. In addition to doing all the Struts1->Struts2 migration work, Allen also wrote up a very nice migration guide for Roller developers. - Dave

Posted by Dave Johnson on June 04, 2007 at 01:26 PM EDT #

Excellent - thanks for the link

Posted by Niall on June 04, 2007 at 02:01 PM EDT #

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