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Roller Strong #9

My blogging has really dropped off in September. I'm working on too many things at once and things that I can't blog about yet, but that doesn't mean I'm neglecting Roller. In fact, the opposite is true and I've got a big new edition of Roller Strong to prove it. So let's get started.

Lonely Planet blogs

First up is some good news on the Powered by Roller front. Popular travel guide publisher Lonely Planet launched its blog site http://www.lonelyplanet.com/blogs last week and it's powered by Roller. You can see from the site that they've done a lot of work on creating a nice theme and are making good use of categories and tags. Thanks to Lonely Planet's Leon Messerschmidt who has been helping out on the Roller mailing lists and contributing the the Roller Wiki.

Apache Roller 4.0 RC2

road roller flying a 4.0 flag I finished a big round of bug fixes and AtomPub updates last week and over the weekend I wrapped up my own site changes and tests. Today I made the Apache Roller 4.0 RC2 files available for testing. Thanks to bug reporters and patch submitters who helped out in particular Jian Liu, Boris Milikik and Jens Dorr. You can get the files via the links below if you'd like to help out with testing:

UPDATE: RC3 is now available here: http://people.apache.org/~snoopdave/apache-roller-4.0-rc3/

Themes and plugins have also been updated, including the slick new set from rollerthemes.com, but I haven't had a chance to upload the new theme packages to the Roller Support project. By the way, I just updated the theme on the Project Roller blog/planet to use the new rollerthemes.com Integral theme.

Life after 4.0...

Despite all of the 4.0 work, we've been making progress on Roller 4.1. So far, my work on 4.1 has focused on extensibility and APIs. I have implemented almost all of the Externalize User Management proposal, which will make it possible for sites to plugin their own user/permissions management systems (i.e. and not use Roller's internal 'rolleruser' and 'userrole' tables).

I also added a Tag Data API, which is a Servlet that returns tag statistics data in Atom Categories format and will be useful for folks who want to create a combined tag cloud for multiple Roller servers or any servers that support the API. This week I'll be adding OpenSearch API support to complement Roller's existing search feeds. I also intend to propose adding support for comments to Roller's AtomPub implementation

Download and page stats for Roller

Download and page view stats for Apache Roller are now available, thanks to Vadim Gritsenko's software. Vadim has added Roller to the chart generator and I've added a page to the Roller Wiki to display those charts. You can see from the summary chart that Roller gets between 1000 and 2000 downloads on an average day.

Easy installer bundle from Bitami

Bitnami has put together an easy installer bundle for Roller, it includes everything you need to get rolling including Tomcat, MySQL and Roller 3.1. Bundles are available for Windows and Linux.

Powered by Roller

We haven't been doing a great job of tracking the sites that are powered by Roller, so I started tracking them in my del.icio.us account with the tag poweredbyroller. I did some searching last weekend and came up with about 20 interesting looking Roller sites. Here are some of the designs that caught my eye.

Digital Media Online: Blog Zone


Hanzhou Online


blogs @ near infinity


Dream Town Real Estate


I'm always on the lookout for new Roller sites, so please let me know if you've got one that's not on my Powered by Roller list. That's it for another edition of Roller Strong. See you next time.



I would really like to see page stats charts like those, into Roller interface.

I read on somewhere ( here?) that there's a way to make templates in others languages... Will 4.0 be available to choose languages to make templates? System.out.print("\t<ul>\n\t\t<li>"+ entry[x] + "</li>\n\t</ul>"); :P

I like how was before rollerweblogger.org, but now it looks simplest. Perhaps you should get rid from the gradients, use plain colors or replace them for lines ...with darkest font.

Posted by raúl on September 18, 2007 at 08:37 PM EDT #

Hi Raúl,

I'd like to see better built-in stats in Roller too, but then again Google Analytics works pretty well.

Regarding other languages, Roller 4.0 does allow you to plugin "renderers" and thus to add new languages, not just Velocity, but the only renderers we have now are experimental. Hopefully, I can find some time to bundle up my JRuby, JavaScript and Groovy renderers and make them available somewhere.

I like the new rollerweblogger.org design too (thanks go to rollerthemes.com). I like the gradients, but I agree, the font should be a little darker.

- Dave

Posted by Dave Johnson on September 19, 2007 at 12:15 PM EDT #

Roller 4 has really caught the attention of our ILT department as a potential Blog solution for our College. But ... Is there a clear set of instructions on how to enable LDAP Authentication and 'on the fly' user creation for Roller?

Posted by Richard Hobday on September 25, 2007 at 01:37 PM EDT #

Hi Dave, Are there any scalability metrics for roller? I've been looking around for some details on performance details on web without any luck. Do you guys have any internal metrics? Is it possible to use hadoop with roller? Do you know anyone who used it? Thanks, Sanjay

Posted by Sanjay on October 02, 2007 at 05:16 PM EDT #

Hi Sanjay,

Unfortunately I don't have any scalability metrics for Roller that I can share and I don't know if it's possible to use Hadoop with Roller. I supposed you could plug it in as a cache provider, as we can do with memcached.

- Dave

Posted by Dave Johnson on October 04, 2007 at 11:32 AM EDT #

Hi, When there will be finall release of roller 4.0 and will all 4.x verions be comptabile ?

Posted by Mateusz on November 10, 2007 at 10:23 AM EST #

We're using Roller as well and it does quite a good job for our site. It is located at GoHealthInsurance.com and has done a great job for us so far!

Posted by Brandon Cruz on January 04, 2008 at 08:06 PM EST #

Hi Dave, We are using Roller and its a very really a good product. We are waiting for Roller 4.1 release eagerly. Do you have the rough timelines for the same. Regards, Manish

Posted by Manish on February 20, 2008 at 02:01 AM EST #

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