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DotNetNuke Blog 5.0 RC

If you haven't been tracking along with the Blog module, we previously released a Beta 1 and Beta 2 that were generally pretty well received (read the links for full details about what each Beta introduced). Now, after some bug fixes and a few more enhancements, I am happy to say the Blog module is about ready for the masses with the RC build which is now available on CodePlex.

What’s New?

Building off of what was started in previous betas, the primary focus in this build (besides bug fixes) was to ensure the module was easier to use for all users (something I believe we achieved). Besides user interface cleanup and integration with the new services framework (required for notifications), the following changes are the highlights for this build:

Publishing Workflow
In beta 2 we introduced new permissions at the module level, "Ghost Writer" and "Blogger". These permissions allow members in the "Ghost Writer" role(s) to author blog entries on behalf of the blog owner. What is introduced in this build is that when a "Ghost Writer" authors a new unpublished blog entry, a core notification is sent to the blog owner for publishing approval where they can choose to 'approve' or 'delete' the post.
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Comment Notifications 
Comment notifications come in two flavors: Comment Added and Comment Pending Approval. Comment Added notifications replace the previous module setting that allowed blog owners to receive an email each time a new comment was added. Now, blog owners will always receive a 'Notification' each time a new comment is added (which they can simply dismiss, no other actions are available) and there is no additional setting for them to manage (Notifications should be managed from a centralized spot, the new core messaging system, not the modules utilizing it). 

The Comment Pending Approval notification is sent to a blog owner each time a new comment is added that is NOT approved. This notifications gives the recipient two options: Approve the comment or Delete the comment (they can also dismiss the notification, too). A sample of the "Comment Pending Approval" notification can be seen in the screenshot. 
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Comment UI
The majority of the user interface was overhauled during the beta period with the exception of one area, Comments. After pushing to production here on, I realized that this was something that must be addressed before final release and the result is a much cleaner user interface that is integrated with the core profile. 

As you can see, blog owners can still approve/delete/edit comments from this area (in addition to notifications). One thing that is different, however, is there are no longer options for title and who can/cannot post approved comments. Instead, any user that can blog anywhere in the module (bloggers, ghost writers, etc.) can post an approved comment while all others require approval. 
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What’s Next?

At this point we do not have a road-map for the module established but I expect that this is something Peter Donker and I will be discussing shortly. My guess is that we will have a followup release within the next 60 days (this release will be no new features, just bug fixes) with another release (the one we would build based on the road-map) following later this year. 


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