Version 0.8.4 of the WebIssues Server and version 0.9.4 of the WebIssues Client were released today. The main feature introduced in this dual release is sending e-mail notifications when new issues are created in selected folders and when selected issues are modified. Users can individually configure notifications using the new user preferences feature. Both the server and the client are fully backward compatible with previous versions, but to use the new features of the server you also need the new client.
Version 0.8.4 of the server has two mailing engines allowing to send e-mail notifications from both the local host and an external SMTP server. E-mails are created using a simple template engine; two templates for plain-text and HTML e-mails are available; they can also be used to create custom templates. This release also adds support for the Firebird database. In addition it fixes adding large comments and includes a few optimizations, mainly related to handling large comments and attachments.
Version 0.9.4 of the client adds the possibility to mark watched issues as read or unread and extends program settings with switching the language and limiting size of comments. It also adds command line options for overriding default file locations. This release also features the Portable WebIssues Client which can be carried on a portable device (USB flash drive, iPod, portable hard drive, CD, etc.) and used on any Windows computer. Settings and cache data can be stored on the portable device as well. Finally, the Windows executable is now linked statically to allow installing by non-administrator users and packed with UPX to reduce the size of the package.
Release candidates of both the server version 0.8.4 and client version 0.9.4 were released today. The new version of the server contains some optimizations which significantly improve handling large comments and attachments, and solves a problem with parsing large commands (for example when adding a very long comment). The new version of the client adds the possibility to mark watched issues as read or unread and extends program settings with switching the language of user interface and limiting the size of comments.
In addition, this release features the first version of the WebIssues Portable Client - the desktop client packaged as a portable application which can be carried on a portable device (USB flash drive, iPod, portable hard drive, CD, etc.) and used on any Windows computer. Settings and cache data can be stored on the portable device as well. The Portable Client can be used either stand-alone or together with the PortableApps.com Platform.
The final releases should be available in a few weeks, as soon as the documentation and translations are updated. Then I'm going to start working on the single window interface for WebIssues Client.
Second beta releases of both the server and the client are available. In the WebIssues Server, the SMTP mailing engine was added which allows sending e-mail notifications using an external SMTP server (for example gmail). Another important improvement is support for the Firebird database (thanks to Alex Bekhtin for sharing his code); it should probably work with InterBase too, although only Firebird 2.1 was tested. Please test those new engines if you can and report any problems.
In the WebIssues Client, support for e-mail notifications was extended with the possibility to enable automatic notifications for modified issues in selected folders. In addition, command line options for overriding default file and directory locations were implemented, allowing to create a USB-portable version of the application (which will be available soon). Finally, handling SSL certificates was improved and a few bugs were fixed.
It was confirmed yesterday that the WebIssues Client is among the winners of the Qt Centre Programming Contest 2008 - the second edition of a contest for open source projects based on the Qt framework. It was given recognition by the jury for being "nice looking, complete and documented".
I'd like to thank the organizers for their effort in bringing the contest to an end despite the difficulties, and obviously the jury members and sponsors. I hope the contest will continue and will become a yearly tradition; the open source community definitely needs such events. Finally I congratulate all other contestants for their great projects; it was a pleasure to compete in such a good company.
I guess this is a good moment to reveal some of my plans regarding WebIssues. Now it's in the middle of the fourth stage of development, besides the e-mail notifications which are work in progress I'm planning to redesign the UI of the WebIssues Client into a single-window model and also create a portable version which could be run from a USB stick. Then I'm planning to start working on web and mobile interfaces which will provide access to the WebIssues server from virtually every location and which will be another great milestone for the project. Everyone who wishes to participate and contribute to WebIssues is more than welcome in order to make it the most powerful open collaboration database.
I'm proud to announce that the first beta releases of both new server and new client are available. This is the first release that introduces new server-side functionality for a very long time, and the first one which includes both new server and client versions.
The focus of this release is e-mail notifications which are sent when new issues are created in selected folders and when selected issues are modified. Users can individually configure notifications using the new user preferences feature. Both the server and the client are fully backward compatible with previous versions, but to use the new features of the server you also need the new client.
In order to enable e-mail notifications on the server, a cron job (or scheduled task on Windows) must be created which periodically executes the cron.php script. In addition, an SMTP server must be available on the server which can be used by the built-in PHP mail function. In the next release, another mailing engine able to connect to an external SMTP will be added. E-mails are created using a simple template engine; two templates for plain-text and HTML e-mails are available; they can also be used to create custom templates.
When notifications are configured on the server, each users can enter an e-mail address and enable notifications in the user preferences (administrators can also modify preferences of all users). Then notifications for individual folders and issues can be enabled or disabled (indicated by a gray square with white 'N' letter).