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DNN 8.0.0 CTP 4

DNNReleaseOver the last month the DNN team has been hard at work on DNN 8.  DNN 8 is a big release with a lot of bug fixes, improvements and new features. Many of the DNN 8 changes involve improving the platform architecture to make it easier to maintain as well as providing greater control to users on what features get installed.  We are also working to make it easier to extend DNN in new and interesting ways.  In previous CTPs we introduced new module types, added additional security options for Web Services, started the process of separating admin functions into standalone modules, and introduced a brand new content management option. CTP 4 is focused on three main features: 1) OAuth server support 2) CKEditor as the default HTML Editor 3) Separation of admin modules.

One of DNNs strengths has been its broad extensibility options.  In previous years, that extensibility has almost always required your code to run in the context of the DNN application.  With the introduction of the Web Service Framework, DNN provided the basic building blocks for creating rich AJAX based modules. The initial framework lacked a security model which could be extended beyond the server.  If you wanted to write mobile apps or external web apps that interacted with your DNN web services, you would need to first create your own security layer for your web services.  With DNN 8 CTP 4, we are introducing OAuth server support in the platform.  This will allow you to decorate your web service methods with a simple OAuthAuthorize attribute that will authorize users using the new OAuth framework.

CKEditorOver the past decade DNN has had many different HTML editors available for the platform including: FreeTextBox, CKEditor (formerly FCKEditor) and the Telerik RadEditor. We have consistently tried to provide users with a great rich text editing experience to make it easier for our users to edit content.  As we work to decouple Telerik controls from the platform we needed a new editor to replace the aging version of Telerik RadEditor which currently ships in DNN.  In DNN 7.4.1 and 7.4.2 we shipped a new CKEditorProvider as an optional extension.  In CTP 4 we are finally making this the default editing experience and have made RadEditor an optional extension.  We still have some cleanup work to do for the CKEditor and the configuration tools, but think that the CKEditor provides an improved experience over the RadEditor. Since the CKEditor is Open Source, we no longer have to worry about licensing restrictions for such a critical platform component.

CTP 4 will see the addition of 6 new admin modules with even more on the way in the next CTP.  One of our major initiatives in DNN 8 is to give administrators greater control over what features are installed and potentially to allow DNN to be installed with a minimal Admin UI.  This will make it easier for people to build custom solutions on DNN without surfacing admin features which may not make sense for the target audience.  We will also use this opportunity to move some outdated features to the forge which will help shrink the memory footprint of the platform.

CTP 4 also includes more than 40 additional bug fixes and minor enhancements over CTP 3.  The really good news is that if you are already running CTP 3, you can do an in place upgrade to CTP 4.  We spent quite a bit of time to add this capability into CTP 3 and would be interested to hear your experience with such an important feature.

I am happy to announce that DNN 8.0.0 CTP 4 is now available for download.  Please take some time to try it out and give us some feedback.  Like with CTP 3, you will be able to upgrade from CTP 4 to any later CTPs or betas as well as to the final release build.

UPDATE: I forgot a very important change that was included in this CTP.  Beginning with CTP 4, DNN is once again a Web Application Project thanks to the hard work of Oliver Hine.  This means that the core platform is now a compiled application.  We are still working through how this change impacts our build process so you might see a stray .cs file in the install package, or a resource file that is missing.  Your help in identifying these and other issues is greatly appreciated.


Ingo Herbote
This is a very sad day I really don't understand why we need to ckeditor providers. The real one and the stolen one. I was stupid enough to choose a license which was open enough to allow this to happening. I am really disappointed in the dnn team. for me this is the end. I still don't understand why two providers. I only request one thing, that all my custom plug-ins been removed from that provider package.
Ingo Herbote Tuesday, September 01, 2015 12:06 AM (link)
Joe Brinkman
@Ingo - I am sorry that you feel this way. I know how difficult it can be to have your project forked. Forks happen in many open source projects and are a natural part of how Open Source communities grow and learn. One of the best examples of this is the IO.js fork of Node.js. I really appreciated the healthy way that the Node.js team approached this by acknowledging that the IO.js developers had different ideas about how to move the project forward. Ultimately, by embracing the competition and understanding the reasons why IO.js team felt the fork was needed, they were able to re-unite the projects.
Joe Brinkman Tuesday, September 01, 2015 7:51 AM (link)
Sebastian Leupold
I'd like to thank Ingo for his long time and steady contributions (CKeditor and other modules). Especially his support for CkEditor is outstanding - we are using it in all our installations since it replaced FCKEditor 2 and for all our sites, DNN 4 to 7. Ingo, please go on and thanks again!
Sebastian Leupold Tuesday, September 01, 2015 8:50 AM (link)
Will Strohl
Wow... I must say that I'm disappointed in Ingo's reaction to the provider - and especially from someone who's been so supportive and passionate in DNN in the past.

We're an open source community - with the first word being "open."

Honestly, I would prefer that every extension out there had at least 3-5 options. Out of those options, I'd almost certainly find several that don't fit my use case today, but I'd find at least one that does. And when I build the next site, one of those other options might be the better fit.

While it might make sense to some of you to have more than one of those options in the core, it would be overkill. Having more than one option available in the core has many more side effects, other than convenience.
Will Strohl Wednesday, September 02, 2015 10:31 AM (link)
Hans Zassenahaus
Joe, There appear to be issues with the current releases with operation in the Azure SQL Server environment. Will the 8.0 release be certified for operation in MS Azure?
Hans Zassenahaus Thursday, September 03, 2015 4:41 PM (link)
Will Strohl

I'm not speaking on behalf of Joe... but every DNN release will end up being tested and fixed for Azure compatibility by DNN Corp specifically. You can take this for-granted, since the Evoq solutions are hosted inside of Azure. :)


Do I get points for comments on a blog? :)
Will Strohl Thursday, September 03, 2015 5:44 PM (link)
I would like to thank Ingo for his great ckeditor module - we have used it on many site & it has always worked great & it was also backed up by his great support.

It is a shame that DNN could not even try to work with Ingo with the ckeditor module - he is a great developer & deserves a bit more respect than what has been given to him (especially in these blog comments by both Joe & Will). After over 10 years of using DNN it's such a shame to see you guys keep making the same old mistakes. DNN was once a great product with a great expanding community, now almost no one is using DNN any more thanks to the silly decisions the Corp has made & it's lack of community respect & support.

You have lost a great developer & supporter of DNN in Ingo & it's such a shame you guys continue to let things like this happen.

Good luck Ingo!
MWD Saturday, September 05, 2015 2:07 AM (link)
Joe Brinkman
@Hans - Yes. We test both Platform and Evoq solutions on Azure. The Azure SQL DB situation is a little bit in flux while Microsoft moves everyone over to v14 databases. This will happen automatically later this month so I expect most current Azure SQL issues to be solved by the migration. Any remaining issues will be resolved by the team before final release.
Joe Brinkman Tuesday, September 08, 2015 10:48 AM (link)
Will Strohl
First, I have nothing against Ingo or anyone else and I appreciate everyone's participation, passion, and input. My track record on that speaks for itself.

I've been on both sides of the DNN Corp argument, and yes - as a company it makes plenty of mistakes, but any company does.

However, in our community and especially in recent years, it doesn't appear that there is such a thing as "the right thing" or "right way" when it comes to open source and commercial extensions. Whether an extension gets included or not, how it gets included, and whether they do or don't have alternatives... it's met with equal scrutiny, distrust, and backlash.

I get that people are passionate about each other, specific projects, and the platform itself. This is great and it's healthy. However, I think we could and should be having a healthier reaction and conversation about it. :)

In my opinion, this instance is a great example of competing with the core in order for one or the other to prove the best approach. This is part of the reason I personally love having multiple options with multiple projects - it drives innovation and participation.

If there's one option and it gets included in the core, then we'd likely be having a similarly toned conversation - where now people wished that it wasn't included in the core. That would likely lead into another situation where people aren't pleased with the upkeep, integration, or concessions necessary to make it happen. DNN Corp still ends up being the bad guy here.

Instead, now we have potentially two great options. And I sincerely hope that Ingo and everyone else sticks around, participates as much as they can, and blows everyone's minds with new and innovative releases of their respective extensions - regardless of whether they live in the core or not.
Will Strohl Wednesday, September 09, 2015 5:42 PM (link)
Sebastian Leupold
I just reviewed the "modified" CK Editor package and I am astonished not to find any notice about the original owner anymore. Am I now allowed to remove copyright claim from DNN Software package and release it as my own product?
Sebastian Leupold Thursday, September 10, 2015 5:21 PM (link)
Joe Brinkman
@Sebastian - We have removed all copyright info from the source code and instead put it in the DNNCKeditor.license.txt file. I do see though that there was an oversight and that file wasn't included in the packaging. We'll fix that so that licensing is clear. We also referenced the original project that this was forked from in the release notes. The intent is not to hide the lineage of the project but to prevent the outdated license messages which litter the DNN source code.

Joe Brinkman Sunday, September 13, 2015 4:10 PM (link)
Scott Willhite
I was really thrilled to hear that Ingo's CKeditor provider would become the standard for DNN. The CKeditor is a fantastic product and Ingo has been so faithful and consistent in maintaining the provider, it's really become the very best choice of HTML editor provider for DNN. By far. Of course, I am very sorry to understand that the way in which this was accomplished has been disheartening to Ingo!

Knowing everyone involved, I am 100% confident that nobody intended to cause anyone any grief. But I am reminded how easy it is to become offended, and honestly, that its not unreasonable to feel offended. We can become rightfully offended even when someone else is not trying to offend us. To develop for open source is a "risky" proposition... it puts our pride at risk every day because we lay out our work for everyone to see, pick up and play with, fork, borrow or even "steal"! But we continue to do it anyway. Some people think that's nuts... and maybe in some ways it is. But it is so important, and so helpful to so many, and gives such great testimony to the character of those that pursue it. So I would like to take one moment and simply say "thank you" to Ingo, for everything!

I really do hope , Joe, that we can figure out a way to work with Ingo in such a way that he will feel good about continuing to develop his CKeditor provider. I understand the need for DNN's dependence on 3rd party components to remain loosely coupled, but I am certain that you guys can work out some kind of arrangement that honors his work and meets DNN's objectives. That would serve not only knowledgeable few that install and use the provider currently, but every future DNN user! I'd sure love to see Ingo be a part of that!

Ingo, I hope you also do see that, despite some apparent communication mistakes, this is a huge compliment to you and to the work that you've done! I am currently a user of your provider and am thrilled that it will become standard. If there is anything that I can do to help you in these circumstances, please don't hesitate to call on me.

Scott Willhite Tuesday, September 22, 2015 10:44 AM (link)

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