Highlights of the XWiki 9.x Cycle

Last modified by Ecaterina Moraru (Valica) on 2018/01/05

Jan 05 2018

The biggest highlights of the XWiki 9.x cycle were the support of multiple Flavors and the introduction of the Notifications feature.
We managed to have 1003 issues fixed: 480 bugs, 254 improvements, 53 new features and more!

Top 10 Features

Here are the top 10 features that we wish to mention (arbitrarily hand-picked; it's hard to pick 10 out of 307 improvements and new features):

  1. Flavors
  2. Notifications
  3. CKEditor Integration Improvements
  4. Administration reorganization
  5. Protection against accidental deletion
  6. Restore a batch of deleted pages
  7. Attachments improvements
  8. More Livetables filters
  9. Blame View and Syntax Highlighting
  10. Other usability improvements

Flavors

We switched from the old "XWiki Enterprise" package and we now provide the "XWiki Standard" flavor. When creating a new wiki, Administrators can choose which flavor they want.

In XWiki, a flavor is simply a bundle of extensions that serve a particular usage. We expect in the future that the community members will provide additional flavors built on top of XWiki. Imagine a flavor for application development, one for documentation, one for procedures or even a flavor created especially for your team. Using flavors you can customize your XWiki to the smallest details.

Notifications

Notifications is the biggest new feature for this cycle.

You can subscribe to be notified about events happening in your wiki. You control the level of details you want to receive and what applications and pages are interesting for you. For example you can decide to receive Notifications when Comments are created but only on the Blog page and its children.

Notifications can be received in the UI or by email. The emails are sent periodically and according to you preferences: hourly, daily, weekly or live. A user can now define notification filters that are either inclusive or exclusive, and can even black list some users.

The Watchlist feature has been deprecated by the Notifications functionality.

CKEditor Integration Improvements

In 8.x we added the CKEditor. Since then we improved even more the integration by preventing the editor from generating content that cannot be saved as wiki syntax, adding more styles supported by XWiki, creating dedicated Insert Macro buttons, importing office files directly from the CKEditor, etc. The support for wiki rendering macros has also been improved. Inserting a block-level macro in-line will split the paragraph, avoiding the "macro cannot be used inline" error.

We also upgraded the editor to the 4.7.3 version which brings a couple of improvements and bug fixes.

We finally removed the old WYSIWYG editor based on Google WebToolkit.

Administration reorganization

The Administration has been reorganized. Most of the administration sections from the "Applications" group have been moved to existing or new groups. We applied a consistent style across all the administration sections and we added more hints for the configuration options. The administration menu is now implemented using a collapsible accordion and has a search input at the top that can be used to filter the administration categories and sections. 

Protection against accidental deletion

System and Extension pages are now protected against accidental deletion. When you try to delete such pages, XWiki will now ask you to confirm the operation, and list all concerned pages.

Restore a batch of deleted pages

If you have performed an operation that deletes multiple pages at the same time (like delete with children or delete space), it is now possible to restore all the deleted pages together, to their original state and location. For each deleted page, you can now also choose to see the batch where it was deleted from and if you want to restore just one page or the entire batch.

Attachments improvements

Preview of attachments are displayed in the attachments tab at the bottom of the page.

We improved also the Attachments tab from the Page Index by providing a thumbnail preview for image attachments, allowing filtering by attachment type, file size, date, etc.

Added several improvements also to the Attachments Selector. Added support for attachments bigger than 2GB and many other Filesystem attachment improvements.

More Livetables filters

We added user suggest and date filters for our LiveTables. We also provide a suggest filter for any column that corresponds to a Database List property. Multilists are now filterable.

Blame View and Syntax Highlighting

Working with the syntax has become easier. The Syntax Highlighting Application is now bundled and used in the wiki and object editors.

A new Blame View was also added to the code viewer (More Actions > View Source). In this mode, each line of the page's content is annotated with the last author that modified it and the revision in which this modification was introduced. The blame view also works when viewing the source of a page revision (other than the latest one) so it can be accessed at any point in the history of a page.

Other usability improvements

We are slowly improving usability across the interface. From improving the grouping and naming of our menus, to bundling more useful applications for newcomers, like the Help Center and the Menu Application.

We improved the way we recommend Templates when creating pages. Example: When going to the Blog home page or when on any Blog post, if you try to create a page, you will see that the Blog Post Template will be displayed first in the list and it will be pre-selected. 

The Admin user used to be an Advanced user by default, and this was troubling for users discovering XWiki since they were seeing advanced features from the onset. The Admin user is now a Simple user.

We will continue improving usability across XWiki. If you have suggestions don't hesitate to tell them at forum.xwiki.org.

There are many more changes and improvements, so make sure you read the 9.x Cycle Summary and the individual release notes. You can also compare this summary with what happened in the 8.x Cycle.

Thank you to all contributors and committers who work and improve XWiki each year.

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Created by Ecaterina Moraru (Valica) on 2018/01/05
    

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