Fork me on GitHub

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Current development status: New Admin Area and PHP 8.1

Hi everybody,

here’s a little update on the current development status of FlatPress. We’re actively working on two main topics: The new Admin Area and getting FlatPress PHP 8.1 compatible.

New Admin Area

As described in the last blog posting, franah created a great new Admin Area for FlatPress: It looks fresh and awesome, adapts to your screen size, and also works great on mobile devices.
It is quite complete, and now it needs a lots of testing with different themes, plugins, and page content. We have to make sure everything works fine, so please help us testing!

Check out the future of FlatPress, and test the heck out of it :)

PHP 8.1 compatibility

FlatPress throws ugly errors when run under the current PHP version 8.1. This is because it uses functions PHP 8.1 marks as deprecated. In order to keep running correctly, FlatPress needs to be reworked.
One main issue here is that we still utilize the outdated version 2.6 of the template engine Smarty - which is not ready for PHP 8.1. So our first step to PHP 8.1 compatibility is to update Smarty to its current version 4 (Issue 94). What sounds quite easy, is actually a lot of work, since Smarty changed a lot in between. I’m still working on it (Branch on GitHub), but some effects become clear already:

  • With the new Smarty version, FlatPress will require at least PHP 7.1. (Until now, PHP 5.6 is minium.)
  • Themes and plugins may need some overhauling. The name of many Smarty functions has changed, and it has become less tolerant when it comes to template syntax.

As soon as Smarty is up-to-date, we can work on the PHP 8.1 compatibility of the FlatPress code itself (Issue 92). Main task here is the strftime() function that has become deprecated. Its date and time formats (e.g., “%Y-%m-%d” - check out the “International settings” options in your FlatPress settings!) most likely have to be changed to the format of the date() function (e.g., “Y-m-d”). This also may require some sort of automatically updating these date format settings.

Schedule for the next FlatPress versions

PHP 8.1 compatibility is quite urgent, since this is the current PHP version for quite a while now. And since the Admin Area still needs testing, the next FlatPress version 1.3 could bring PHP 8.1 compatibility and then 1.4 the new Admin Area. But this order is not finally decided and simply depends on when each topic is finished; we’re actively working on both.

Stay up to date!

If there is any news on the developments, I’ll let you know here on the project blog (you may want to subscribe to the RSS feed). Also, feel free to follow FlatPress on Twitter and on Mastodon.

All the best,
Arvid

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Please help testing: New Admin Area

2022-01-15_responsiveadmin_desktop.pngHey folks,

hope you had a good start into 2022. These are strange and sometimes exhausting times out there, stay safe and keep smiling!

As you may or may not know, franah works on a complety new Admin Area for quite a while now. It presents all the known administrative functions in a stylish new way and also works great on your mobile gizmo, e.g. smartphone or tablet.

What we need to do now is testing the new Admin Area in every possible way. Is everything working fine, does it look good on any device, does it break anything?

This is where YOU come into play: Please help us testing!

Download the latest development snapshot here:

(The “responsiveadmin” development branch contains everything you find in the main branch - but with the new Admin Area instead of the old one.)

2022-01-15_responsiveadmin_mobile.pngYou could set up a new FlatPress installation, say, under yourwebsite.com/responsiveadmin. Then simply copy the fp-content and fp-plugins folders from your productive website there, so you can edit your very own blog content in the new Admin Area. Also, add the folder of your productive theme to fp-interface/themes to see if your own blog theme works well with the new Admin Area.

Since we are in very early testing, we strongly recommend not to use the new Admin Area on productive sites. Let’s make sure everything works and looks fine first :)

If you have opinions about the new Admin Area, or you want to suggest changes or report bugs, please join the discussion on the FlatPress support forum:

Thank you very much for supporting us!
All the best,
Arvid

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

log4shell: FlatPress is not affected

You probably heard of the Log4j vulnerability “Log4Shell” which causes trouble for sysadmins and software developers all over the world currently.

Good news is: FlatPress does not utilize Log4j at all, and thus isn’t affected by this problem.

Stay safe out there!

Saturday, June 19, 2021

New release: FlatPress 1.2.1

I just released a bugfix release for FlatPress 1.2 “Legato”. It solves issue #82 which may have led to a blank page in the admin area. Thanks for reporting!

As a little bonus, 1.2.1 introduces a Dutch translation by Macmee - hartelijk bedankt!

Please see the changelog for a complete list of changes.

Updating from 1.2 to 1.2.1 is very simple, please see the update instructions on the download page.

All the best,
Arvid

Friday, April 16, 2021

An ode to FlatPress - by Edoardo Vacchi

In 2006, SimplePHPBlog (SPB) was a simple blog engine that stored the contents of a post in text files. At the time WordPress was already one of the most used blog engines. I was starting my first year at the university and I wanted something I could host on a free shared web hosting, easy to customize and with a database that was accessible and easy to backup. For me, SPB at the time checked all the items on this list, and there was a growing community of enthusiasts that provided plugins and themes.

SPB’s simplicity was one of the reasons why it attracted a lot of fans; an international community quickly grew, and from that, a smaller Italian community (SPBItalia) was born too. These communities developed mods and code extensions to customize SPB for their needs. However, the simplicity of its codebase at some point showed its limits. A heavily customized installation of SPB could diverge a lot from the main development line, leaving users with an old, unmaintained, possibly insecure version.

A more modular design could have helped. What makes WordPress great today was the same thing that made it great back in those days: a powerful plug-in API, a theming system, and a vast community that contributed lots of useful plugins and themes, making it easy to customize it, while allowing users to keep up with platform updates.

Luciano Porro (@drudo) founded the SPBItalia forums and developed many themes; Samanta Grasso (SamyWeb) became a moderator shortly after: she was one of the most productive modders and themers in the SPB community. We all met virtually on those forums, and, together, we decided we could do something more.

We released the first FlatPress version on April 15th, 2006. A lot of time has passed since then. I no longer do web development, and a lot of people, especially developers, are now using static website generators instead of dynamic scripting-based blogs. Yet, today marks 15 years from the date, and, to my great surprise, the project is still alive and kicking. This is why, in 2019, I handed over the project to another brave member of the community, Arvid, who is now leading all the future developments of the project.

I still remember fondly those days. Even though I have moved on to different projects, FlatPress has been an important part of my life as a developer.

So, here’s one to you, FlatPress! And, as we say here in Italy: cento di questi giorni!