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Release Notes for OpenCms 6.0.0

06/29/2005: This is the OpenCms 6.0.0 final release. OpenCms 6.0.0 is a major upgrade, and it vastly expands the features of OpenCms 5.0. OpenCms 6.0.0 has been in public beta testing for more than 6 months now and therefore can be considered very stable.

What's New in Version 6.0?

Working with content has been simplified 

  • The "Direct Edit" feature allows users to open the editor directly from the websites front-end by pushing an "Edit" button that appears on page elements
  • Added an optional WYSIWYG editor implementation of the popular HtmlArea editor, this editor also works with Mozilla (Firefox) browsers 
  • All contents in the VFS can have a "publication date" and an "expiration date" so they can appear / disappear automatically from a website
  • Using the new resource type "XmlContent", building structured content (e.g. news articles, product descriptions etc.) can be done by simply creating an XML schema
  • The OpenCms workplace has been rewritten in JSP, adding new features and much improved usability
  • Build-in support for full text search in HTML, PDF, MS Office and Plaintext documents 
  • OpenCms now comes with a highly configurable template with many advanced functions as additional default module 
  • It's not longer required to "lock" a resource in the Explorer with the context menu manually, this is done automatically if the "autolock" feature is enabled (this is also the default)

Improvements of the file system structure

  • Files in the VFS can now have multiple "siblings", this is comparable to a "hard link" in a Unix file system and prevents broken "VFS links" automatically
  • Properties on files can be "individual" or "shared" among siblings
  • The edited pages are now stored directly in the location where they have been edited, the /system/bodies/ folder is not longer required

Multisite and internationalization support

  • Multiple websites can now be managed in one OpenCms installation
  • Multi-language versions of the same page and improved support for managing multi language websites is integrated
  • Full support for multibyte languages (e.g. UTF-8, which now is the standard encoding)
  • Microsites allow users to build "sites within sites"

Improved security support

  • Resource permissions in the VFS are now managed in access control lists (ACL) instead of Unix - style
  • It is now possible to configure a "secure" (e.g. https-) server for a site. Individual documents can be marked as secure, so that they are transmitted via this secure server
  • A user account is now automatically locked after a configurable number of invalid login attempts

Improvements regarding the usability of OpenCms

  • There is a new and much improved Administration
  • The setup wizard guides you through an uncomplicated installation of the system. Also many "known issues" (e.g. regarding encoding setting and Xerces version) have been fixed
  • The Workplace is now fully usable with Mozilla based browsers (e.g. Firefox)

Changes to the database model

  • Publishing has been rewritten and is now much faster especially with many resources
  • The static export has been fully rewritten, is also features a new "on demand" mode for export of resources 
  • Optimizations of search queries for the full text search engine
  • The database pooling has been replaced with DBCP from Apache Jakarta
  • Heavily modified the database model and completely rewrote the database access class layer
  • The OpenCms VFS has been made much more scalable, bottlenecks like the slow Explorer tree have been removed
  • All known issues with Oracle 9.x that were present in 5.0.x have been solved 
  • Support for the PostgreSQL database contributed by Antonio Core
  • All resources in the OpenCms VFS now have a UUID

A cleaner OpenCms API for programmers

  • Implemented a new, cleaned up XmlPage API that replaces the old XmlTemplate for page data storage
  • The resource type API has been enhanced, so that resource types can be easily added without workarounds
  • Much improved JavaDoc for the whole core API

OpenCms has been made more scalable

  • Implemented a "plugin" mechanism for editors and make editors more configurable, so that other editor implementations (e.g. WYSIWYG Java Applet) can be easily integrated in the workplace
  • The module API has been rewritten from ground up, now providing a clean interface to implement
  • The OpenCms user management has been made independent from the OpenCms VFS, so that other user directories can be "plugged" into the system as a separate module
  • The scheduler API has been much improved, and an easy to use scheduler GUI is provided

Miscellaneous additions and improvements

  • Optimized the use of http headers, including use of "304 - not modified" for resources that have not been modified
  • The XmlPage and XmlContent structure is always validated by a W3C XML Schema, to prevent creation of invalid content
  • Logging now uses log4j from Apache Jakarta
  • The configuration is based on a new XML structure that is read by Apache Digester 

Backward compatibility

We recommend everyone who uses an earlier version of OpenCms to update to the 6.0.0 release. In case you are using one of the previous development versions (OpenCms 6 alpha, beta or release candidates), there have been a lot of issues fixed in the final release. If you still use OpenCms 5.0.x, you should definitely consider an update since the 6.0 version is much more advanced and stable.

OpenCms 6 is largely backward compatible with the 5.x releases. Existing content from 5.x is easily importable, automatically converted to the new XML page format and requires almost no manual modification - at least if you didn't somehow change the structure of the XML control code of the 5.0.x page files.

For the sake of a clean and structured API, we have decided to make improvements on the API level that break existing 5.0 code. This means changes of Java code in templates or custom classes is necessary in order to upgrade from 5.x to 6. Most obvious is the renaming the packages from com.opencms.* to org.opencms.*. Making existing code work is most often just a matter of exchanging these import statements and some minor adjustments. Please refer to the Alkacon Documentation regarding the details of the upgrade process from 5.0.x to 6.0.0.

Compatibility with Java versions, Servlet containers and Databases

OpenCms 6.0.0 requires Java 1.4.x or Java 1.5.x. It won't work with Java 1.3.x. We have tested only with SUNs version of the JDK. However, we have removed the dependencies from all sun.* packages that were present in OpenCms 5.0.x so it should in theory run with all compliant JVMs.

We have tested this release on the Tomcat servlet engine and to some extend on JBoss 4.0. OpenCms 6.0.0 works "out of the box" with Tomcat 4.1.x, Tomcat 5.0.x and Tomcat 5.5.x. No replacing of Xerces is required like in OpenCms 5.0.x. Others have reported deploying 6.0.0 development versions successfully on other servlet containers like BEA Weblogic and SunONE.

On the database side, we have tested with MySQL 4.0.x, MySQL 4.1.x and Oracle 9.x. PostgresSQL support has been contributed as well thanks to Antonio Core. The version 5.0 MS SQL Server and the SAP DB port have not been updated to OpenCms 6.0.0 so far, and we still need volunteers for this task.

In case you run OpenCms 6.0.0 on components different from our default components (SUN JDK 1.4.x. / Tomcat 4.1.x, 5.0.x or 5.5.x / MySQL 4.0.x or 4.1.x / Oracle 9.x), please let us know by posting a message to the OpenCms mailing list. We intend to collect a list of "supported platforms". Also, if you had to patch some lines of code to make OpenCms 6.0.0 run on your platforms, please contribute these so they can be included in the official release.

Regarding version numbers and CVS build tags

In case you want to check out OpenCms from the CVS, please keep the following in mind: The CVS tag numbers for all OpenCms 6 final release are "build_6_0_x", so the 6.0.0 release is tagged "build_6_0_0". OpenCms 6 alpha had CVS build tags 5.5.x, the 6 beta did use 5.7.x, and the 6 RC had5.9.x.

How you can help

Contributions to the OpenCms core development are most welcome. Please contact in case you are interested in supporting the development of OpenCms 6, or give your feedback on the opencms-dev mailing list.

Please use our Bugzilla to report bugs in this release:

Thank you for using OpenCms and have fun with OpenCms 6.0.0 :-)

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