Logo Well my friends, it took a bit longer than expected to get Subtext 1.9 out the door, but we did it.  When we released Subtext 1.5 back in June I said,

The next version of Subtext is code named Daedelus. It will simply be a straight upgrade to ASP.NET 2.0. We hope for a quick turnaround as we don’t plan to add a lot of features in this iteration. We just want to get up and running in ASP.NET 2.0.

Well that was then and this is now and I was wrong about the quick turnaround.

We realized that a straight port to ASP.NET 2.0 wasn’t much fun if we couldn’t take advantage of some of the new goodies that ASP.NET 2.0 has.  So we spent a significant amount of time cleaning up code and refactoring some functionality to take advantage of what ASP.NET 2.0 offers.  A lot of the changes are under the hood, but there are still a few surface level treats for everybody.

Before you upgrade to 1.9, please check out my notes on upgrading.

So what is new in Subtext 1.9 besides that it is now an ASP.NET 2.0 application?

Under The Hood

Let’s not kid ourselves. 99.999% (Five nines baby!) of my readers are geeks and we want to pop open the hood and take a look around.

  1. Subtext Providers have been refactored to use the Microsoft base Provider class, System.Configuration.Provider.ProviderBase.
  2. Used Generics where appropriate.  As you know, there is a lot of temptation when given a new hammer to start looking at everything as a nail.  We tried to avoid that temptation and make judicious use of Generics.  I think we did a bang up job.  Most of our collection classes are now generic collections and there’s that CollectionBook class I wrote about recently.
  3. Improved our Continuous Integration and build process using CruiseControl.NET.  We now have a nice dashboard that provides a lot of visibility into our development progress.
  4. Improved our unit test code coverage to 36.4% and counting. (When I started it was pretty much 0)
  5. Subtext now runs under Medium Trust without problems except for the Trackback/Pingback issue.
  6. Converted the Subtext.Web project into a Web Application Project.
  7. Added a _System folder to the Skins directory. This contains some CSS files that any skin may reference which provide some common CSS layout and styles.  For example, by referencing commonstyle.css, you can use the pullout css class to pullout some text.  Custom skins can reference these files and override specific settings, putting the Cascading back in CSS.

Try out the new “pullout” or “pullout.alt” CSS classes.

New Features

Some new features we added.

  1. Sometimes removing code is as much a feature as adding code.  As I announced earlier, we removed some old skins and added some snazzy new ones.  We also implemented a way for custom skin definitions to not get overwritten when upgrading code.
  2. Improvements to the packaged skins.  We added the Previous/Next control to nearly every skin as well as Gravatar support among other minor improvements.
  3. Comment Moderation!  This high demand feature was fast-tracked when my company was hired to implement it for a client who wished to start a blog. The client agreed to contribute the source back to the project!
  4. Not exactly a new feature, but we changed the default Html Editor to use the FCKEditor.
  5. Implemented RSD (Really Simple Discovery) and the MetaWeblog API’s newMediaObject method so that Subtext works quite well with Windows Live Writer.

Bug Fixes

There are probably too many to list, but I’ll point out a few that people may have noticed.

  1. [1524172] The Username is being saved as the title.
  2. [1524371] Non-English comments do not appear correctly in mail message.
  3. [1521317] Installation check code fails in locked down scenarios.
  4. [1519764] Skin selection not retained.

Important Note

Subtext ships with ReverseDOS spam blocker enabled out of the box. Please check the ReverseDOS.config file to make sure that it is not filtering any terms that would be relevant to comments in your blog. You can also disable ReverseDOS by removing any reference to it from Web.config should you so desire.

Plans For The Future

We are now gearing up for Subtext 2.0 “Poseidon”, our next major release, which will feature a plugin framework.  Our hope is to foster a community of plugin contributions.  Other features in the works include a Membership provider which will allow multiple authors for a single blog and a new skinning framework. I will update the Roadmap soon to reflect our current plans for 2.0.

Also, with the recent deluge in comment spam, I am considering having an interim release (1.9.1) that would include Akismet as well as semi-moderation (1.9 does include full moderation now). Ideally we would save these features until we have a plugin framework, as they seem like great candidates for plugins. However the communal benefit of blocking spam may be too great to wait.

Many thanks to the growing numbers of Subtext contributors who helped shape and test this release.  All your efforts, whether it is coding, submitting patches, testing, reporting bugs, requesting features, or just giving us a piece of your mind are appreciated!

And before I forget, as I tend to do, the link to the latest release is here.