[ANN] Samizdat 0.6.0 is released


Dmitry Borodaenko

What is Samizdat?

Samizdat is a generic RDF-based engine for building collaboration and
open publishing web sites. Samizdat provides users with means to
cooperate and coordinate on all kinds of activities, including media
activism, resource sharing, education and research, advocacy, and so on.
Samizdat intends to promote values of freedom, openness, equality, and

What's new in Samizdat 0.6.0?

The version increase attributes to the gradual changes in 0.5.x series
and incorporates almost two years worth of real-world deployment. Now
that Samizdat has finally become a mature open publishing system, the
road is cleared for more intrusive changes and major new features, such
as free exchange and calendaring.

In the way of major features, this version introduces ubiquitous message
translations and RSS syndication. Many old tools are now more flexible
and easier to use: focus management interface is simplified, the front
page now packs more information in better layout and allows to include
static headers and footers.

There are even more changes under the hood: multi-layer caching, gzip
and ETag support, support for audio and video uploads, BitTorrent links,
HTML and CSS filtering, flexible access control, new moderation
features, new UI translations and themes, code reorganization,
simplified installation, and more.

Changes in more detail:

- message translations: message replies that are related to
focus:Translation are now treated as translations and are displayed in
place of original message wherever appropriate; Accept-Language
browser setting is now fully respected

- syndication: it is now possible to syndicate Samizdat front page (both
features and recent updates), focus pages, and Squish RDF queries
using RSS 1.0

- focus management interface: select focus from a pull-down menu
directly on the vote or new message page (you can also enter focus id
if it's not in the list), preliminary setting of current focus is no
longer necessary

- new front page layout: top focuses are now listed in the left column,
central column lists feature articles (messages most recently related
to focuses, with rating above configurable threshold); old-style main
focuses list is now displayed on a separate page

- static header and footer: new fields in config.yaml can be used to
display, or include from file, arbitrary header and footer for the
site front page; bandwidth-constrained users can disable static
content in their member settings

- audio and video uploads, BitTorrent links: Ogg, MP3, MPEG, AVI, WMV,
and BitTorrent are added to the list of supported file formats

- HTML filtering: all HTML issued by Samizdat is now filtered through
Samizdat::Sanitize and HTMLTidy to protect from XSS (cross-site
scripting) attacks

- multi-layer caching: front page, messages, page fragments, and query
results are cached in memory, filtered HTML rendition of text messages
is also cached in the database; to (re)generate database cache, run:

SAMIZDAT_SITE=samizdat SAMIZDAT_URI=/samizdat/ \
ruby -r samizdat/engine -e 'Message.regenerate_all_html'

- gzip and ETag support: transferred page size is severely reduced for
browsers supporting gzip encoding and/or ETag content negotiation flag
(contributed by Hleb Valoshka)

- access control: new access control facility is configurable from
per-site yaml config file and distinguishes between two actions (post,
vote) and three roles (moderator, member, guest); guest users can now
be allowed to publish messages without registration

- moderation: moderation log can now be viewed online, moderators can
hide and unhide messages (members can opt to view hidden messages) and
reparent comments under a different message

- new translations: site interface is translated to Esperanto by Antono
Vasiljev, to Ukrainian by Indymedia Ukraine, to Polish and French by

- new CSS themes: Savannah, mimicking the style of savannah.gnu.org
where Samizdat project is hosted, and snow-white Sky contributed by
Indymedia Ukraine

- code reorganization: the code is reorganized to support running
multiple sites from single Samizdat engine installation; Storage,
Cache, and Sanitize libraries are untied from Samizdat engine core

- easier installation: Samizdat can now be installed from a Debian
package; new site can be set up in several minutes with help of new
database generation script and ready to use example of Apache
configuration file; experimental support for SQLite3 will one day make
Samizdat installation even simpler

- more: improved security, numerous usability tweaks, bugfixes,
documentation updates.

Where to get it?

Project page: http://samizdat.nongnu.org/
Download: http://savannah.nongnu.org/download/samizdat/samizdat-0.6.0.tar.gz
Debian packages: http://ftp.debian.org/debian/pool/main/s/samizdat/


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