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Roller 5.0 has been in the works for a long time and even before Roller 4.0 was released. Roller 5.0 is the result of contributions from Sun Microsystems social software efforts, San Jose State Univ. student developers, a Google Summer of Code project and volunteer work of ASF Roller project committers and other contributors. The ApacheCon US 2009 presentation What's new in Roller 5.0 tells the story of Roller and Roller 5.0 in some detail and includes details on the new features, which are summarized here:

  • Media blogging features
  • OpenID for user logins
  • OAuth for AtomPub authentication
  • Simple multi-domain support
  • Code base improvements

Now, let's talk about each area.

Media Blogging features

The main new feature in Roller 5.0 is "media blogging" which is what we call a set of features that are designed to make it easier for you to upload, manage and blog images, video files and audio files – media files. These new features were added by Tanuja Varkanthe and Ganesh Mathrubootham for a 2008/2009 computer science project project class at San Jose State Univ. With Roller 5, when you upload files you can add title information, tags and Roller will automatically generate a thumbnail for your image. Below you can see the new media file management page, showing a thumbnail for each media file:

These new features also make it easy to browse and pick and include a media file from within the weblog entry editor and to present a feed of newly uploaded media files. For more information:

Open ID for user logins

With Roller 5 it is possible to allow uses to authenticate with OpenID credentials. You can setup your Roller system to allow only OpenID logins or to allow your users to login by username and password or via OpenID. Below is a screenshot that shows what the login page looks like when both username/password and OpenID logins are allowed:

This new feature was added by Tatyana Tokareva for a 2008 Google Summer of Gode project and was implemnented using Spring security's built in support for OpenID. For more information:

Editing of comments

This is a small feature that makes it possible for a blog owner to edit the comments left by others on his or her blog for the purposes of cleaning up HTML, spelling errors or profanity in comments. Here's a quick screencast that illustrates how comment editing works:

Simple multi-domain support

This new feature allows one Roller instance serves multiple domains, e.g. the Roller site at rollerweblogger.org serves four domains. Each blog can specify its own domain URL. The example below show how domain URLs are assigned to weblogs by handle for three weblogs: photophys, alex and linus.

For more information:

OAuth for AtomPub

As part of the SocialSite project, an OAuth provider implementation was added to Roller. This OAuth provider is used to authenticate Roller's AtomPub web services interface. In Roller, there are now three options for AtomPub authentication:

  • oauth - OAuth 1.0 authentication
  • basic - HTTP Basic Authentication
  • wsse (hasn't been tested recently)

If you specificy OAuth then you will find a new page in the Roller Main Menu area that shows you the three OAuth URLs and your consumer keys/secrets.

Improvements in code base

In addition to the new features above the Roller code base has been completely reorganized to follow the Maven directory structure and to use Maven 2 instead of Ant for builds, debugging and creating final release files. All of Roller dependencies were upgraded and most to their most recent releases. See also:

That's all for this summary of Apache Roller 5.0. Please direct comments, questions and other feedback to the Roller Mailing Lists.

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