Serendipity Styx Blog

Serendipity Styx 2.9.1 release

N° 2019/4 - The Serendipity Styx 2.9 branch 2.9.1 release.

While heavy development of upcoming Serendipity Styx 3.0 is making huge progress, several issues were found in the 2.9 branch too. This is a point BugFix release.

Having laid in bed with Yoko, this is the Woodstock success Revision. No Chaos - just Peace and Happiness - and the destroying beauty of Jimis SSB - Just Wow! :)

Branching your Autoupdate Notifier for 2.9.x

Since having already noted that upcoming Styx Next is a major upgrade (see 2.9.0 post), which will require a modern PHP 7 version, we have to give some Important Notes about branches and future upgrades.

The current alpha state of the masters branch NEXT Development already requires PHP 7.1.3 as the absolute Minimum. This may even raise up to a required PHP 7.3.x version before (beta) release(s) in the next few months, in 2019/20. If you still are on Debian 9 last stable Stretch for example, you actually have a PHP 7.0.x version running that will not change until a Debian 10 Buster upgrade is performed. Even though it is possible to upgrade such a system to a newer PHP version, even provided by its Maintainer, some of you have or want to stick to PHP 5.6 or PHP 7.0 a little longer.

Serendipity Styx 3.0 does not only require an up-to-date PHP version, it also requires PHP/GD/ImageMagick with --webp support and an openSSL version which is at least a Debian Buster version like 1.1.1d for strongest login encryption! DO NOT use upcoming 3.0 on a system less than Debian Buster (10)!

To not get in conflict with the upcoming major 3.0 upgrade(s), you have to set up a new Update-RELEASE-file URL in your Backend Configuration Panel. Open Configuration - General Settings - and see the option Update RELEASE-file URL. There you add this new URL, pointing to the branch RELEASE file and submit the form:

Now you will only get future update request notes if a new branch release, like (next) 2.9.2 is prepared to supply. If you then are ready for upcoming Styx 3.0 Next, you just change it back to the master branch at:

Styx 2.9.1 runs (…some highlights)

  • Bugfix some non violent extended features of Serendipity (in the MediaLibrary and Plugins)
  • Fix some Themes extending features
  • Added global frontend styles for the new figure/figcaption support, and let the CKEditor notice these elements
  • Fixed the wrong counted assign for the (optional) stable Archive
  • Some language constant fixes and improvements

Check out the ChangeLog for details or even read the commit history for more. See download

Serendipity Styx 2.9.0 release

N° 2019/3 - The Serendipity Styx 2.9.0 release - 50 years Montreal “Bed-In” “Give Peace a Chance” (1969) Edition.

Since the more template focused Styx 2.8.0 version was somehow delayed in early April 2019 and then was overrun by a real flood of Core improvements and fixes, this version was abandoned in favor of 2.9.0.

Serendipity Styx is PHP 7.3 READY and requires PHP from 5.5+! This is the LAST edition supporting the old PHP 5 Series and will only get security or important bugfixes as point releases. Serendipity Styx NEXT will be 3.0, which will require a modern PHP 7.x version.

Styx 2.9.0 runs (…some highlights)

  • Various THEMES were improved to give a better migration to HTML5. Read on in the ChangeLog and keep your copy themes up-to-date!
  • Various old and some newer bugs were fixed
  • Improved media renaming and for all db types
  • Improved various group permission related access privileges
  • Important Security fixes
  • Improved error reporting for all DB layers
  • Improved backend comments list counter by permissions
  • Upgrade jQuery lib
  • UTF8 mb4 support ready for all DB types
  • Trackback improvements
  • NL2BR plugin nl2p-mode improvements
  • Timeline theme update
  • Improved setCookie
  • Improved access for auto-update method
  • Various language constant fixes and improvements

It is again a GOOD IDEA to take the advantage of starting a new copy template, before adapting each single theme change to your old copy themes!

Check out the ChangeLog for details or even read the commit history for more. See download

A word about distribution politics

N° 2019/2

A word about (server) Distribution politics for the ImageMagick graphics package and new exciting image formats!

There are two current versions of ImageMagick, the LTS-alike version 6, which will be supported for another 7+ years and the rewrite version 7, being a little more strict and which becomes new features and enhancements etc. This will give legacy applications more time to upgrade to version 7.

The current stable Debian 9 "stretch" is running IM 6.9.7.x, while upcoming Debian 10 "buster" and "sid" are at IM 6.9.10.x versions. That means, it seems that even for dist-upgrades the next ~5 years there will be no change, without giving the opportunity to run both versions co-existing in your environment. Same issue for Centos/Fedora or Ubuntu. Fedora Devs stated to support the co-existing tooling, so that migration is at least possible over the years.

Serendipity Styx does already support ImageMagick 7 processing.

WebP support is another thing coming up. As you might have noticed, bigger web sites already use WebP images more and more. WebP is a new image format developed by Google, which is both, lossy and lossless. WebP-related software is released under a BSD license. It is a sister Project of VP8 video and WebM multimedia formats. I am truly convinced that this will be the NEW open standard for lossy compressed true-color graphics on the web in the near future, producing much smaller files of comparable image quality to the older JPEG and PNG schemes. There are limitation as ever, since you need a browser to support it - well, and the good thing is the most already do - and you need PHP builds enabled --with-webp, you need either PHP GD having it enabled (see gd_info()) or ImageMagick build with webP support, which is ready for Debian 10 since version (see above).

Unwilling to wait?

You can do one thing about it now. Load the free available tool cwebp and pre convert your images to the new format before you upload them to your blog. If you then have PHP 7 with GD enabled WebP support or even the mentioned IM (or better) versions, then you can already use WebP in your Styx MediaLibrary with success. If not, you cannot create an upload auto thumb of this format for the moment and probably have to wait until Styx will release the next major version 3.0.

Happy Birthday old girl

N° 2019/1 - 16 years of Serendipity

You’ve come a long way, ... what a fortunate stroke of serendipity !

Its time to give an update of development and the future plans for Serendipity. Upcoming Serendipity Styx 2.8 revision will be the last update for the old and outdated PHP 5 Series and future 2.8.x dot versions will only address security or real bug fixes.

Serendipity Styx 2.8.0 will prepare the core system themes for consistency and to easily live in these modern “mobile-device” times without breaking too much for fallback or engine depend themes.

Then Serendipity Styx will strongly jump right to 3.0 and will further only support PHP 7 Editions. And it will be (much more) “feature” complete. 🙂

I sat for years and found you saying:
Never mind old chap, I will resist
kill my bugs, that still persist!

Serendipity Styx 2.7.0 release

N° 2018/6 - The Serendipity Styx 2.7.0 New Year’s Eve Release Edition is out! Serendipity Styx is PHP 7.3 READY and requires PHP from 5.5+! Approximately this is the last edition supporting the old PHP 5 Series, since its End of Life support just ended.

Styx 2.7.0 runs (…some highlights)

  • Various old and some new bugs were fixed
  • Various THEMES were improved again, either updated, or revisited for certain places, like the new “pcomments.tpl” file for paged comment shortcut pages. Read on in the ChangeLog and keep your copy themes up-to-date!
  • Improve media directory list, adding the number of local media entries
  • Improve categories list, adding the number of associated entries
  • Multiple improvements for the MediaLibrary, like lowercase .ext conversion and adding possible missing media file extensions for image types.
  • Improve the Media Gallery markup and display notation (referred to rendering) to run and float with the much better column ordered lists, compared to a per row display gallery.
  • Improve the Maintenance widget page to display items column-ordered
  • Preparations to allow and replace hidden-category entries by the categorytemplates event plugin, which makes it possible to use categories/entries independently.
  • Various lang constant fixes and improvements, like finding a better name for the MediaLibrary in german [de] language files.
  • Add a new “Zombie Plugin Manager” Clearance Maintenance Spot, to get rid of old, locally outdated and unsynchronized plugins, physically. This has a “dependency” twin in ZARATHUSTRA, an upgrade task, which makes (unused) local plugins upgradeable via Spartacus for the case of being (re-)installed again in future.
  • Works on PHP 7.3 readiness

It might again be a good idea to take the advantage of starting a new copy template before adapting each single theme change to your old copy themes!

Check out the ChangeLog for details or even read the commit history for more. See download

What next?