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Sunday, February 18, 2024

Blog / General / Berlin community meetup in March

Berlin community meetup in March

Hi folks,

Fraenkiman and DeltaLima want to organize a FlatPress community meetup in Berlin at the end of March. This is a great opportunity to meet “your” coders and other FlatPress users.

Bring your ideas, questions and suggestions, and have a great time talking to other FlatPressers, solve your plugin or theme issues and get inspiration for your FlatPress blog.

If you happen to be in the area at that time, please let us know on the Support Forum:

All the best,

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Blog / News / FlatPress 1.3 “Andante”: First beta version released

FlatPress 1.3 “Andante”: First beta version released

2024-01-20_beta.jpgHi folks, thank you very much for your patience regarding the release of the next FlatPress version. We’ve come a long way, especially the upgrade of the Smarty template engine created a lot of issues.

But the effort was worth it: Today I can proudly announce the start of our first beta test of the upcoming FlatPress 1.3 “Andante”!

The name “Andante” may be seen as a (not entirely serious) allusion to the FlatPress release cycle: We’re not going particularly fast, but steadily we’re going.

Most important improvement of the new version is the PHP 8.1 and 8.2 PHP 8.1, 8.2, and 8.3* compatibility. Also, we added a few helpful plugins and fixed tons of bugs and security issues. And check out all the other improvements like the localized installer!

Please see the Beta 1 release on GitHub to find the detailed change log, a download package and an update package from FlatPress 1.2:

This is a beta version - we strongly recommend not using it in your productive blog yet.
If you want to help testing, please see this topic on the FlatPress support forum.

I explicitly want to thank all the coders, translators and testers who helped creating this new version. FlatPress 1.3 wouldn’t be possible without you! (Cheers, Frank and Matthias! πŸ‘‹)
See the contributors list to learn about all those great people!

All the best,

* Update 2024-01-23: In fact, FlatPress 1.3 “Andante” will happily run under PHP up to 8.3 :)

Image: “Beta” by erokism - licensed under CC BY 2.0

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Blog / General / Long way to FlatPress 1.3: Current status

Long way to FlatPress 1.3: Current status

2023-10-29_coding.jpgHey folks, quite some time has passed since the release of our last FlatPress version 1.2.1. And often the obvious question has been asked: β€œWhen will FlatPress 1.3 finally be released?”

Today, I’d like to give you an overview over the current status of development.

tl;dr: FlatPress 1.3 is almost ready, but a few annoying problems are still holding us back from releasing it. We ask for your help.

What we want to achieve with FlatPress 1.3

  • Main goal (and it’s about damn time!) is PHP 8.1 and 8.2 compatibility.
  • Also, we want to add a few more plugins for convenience. For example, FlatPress lacked a proper image gallery display and management.
  • And of course, known bugs and security issues should be fixed.

What is done already

2023-10-29_gallerycaptionsplugin.pngEven if you haven’t necessarily noticed it, a lot has happened since the last FlatPress release. As of today, we count 424 GitHub commits to be precise :)

Reading through the change log, you’ll find a lot of changes, fixes and additions. I want to highlight the most important ones:

  • We got FlatPress working with PHP 8.1 and 8.2.
    But there was a “little” catch: In previous versions, FlatPress utilized version 2 of the templating engine Smarty, which is outdated and does not support current PHP versions. So we switched to the current Smarty version 4, that came with significant API changes - we had to rework a lot of code and template files. Although that worked out great in general, we still have a few critical issues to fix (see below).
  • Some new plugins have found their way into the FlatPress standard, for example PhotoSwipe for stylish and responsive image gallery display, or the Gallery Captions plugin for maintaining the captions of gallery images in the Admin Area.
  • A proper metric ton of bugs and security issues has been fixed.
  • The FlatPress installer is now localized and looks better than ever.

If you’re curious, feel free to get the latest development version, it’s currently named “FlatPress”. The “dev” is not silent - it stands for “do not update your productive blog, some things might not work properly yet!”. But there’s absolutely nothing to be said against installing it in another folder of your web server to take a peek at the cool new features of FlatPress 1.3! After all, removing it afterwards is as simple as deleting this folder.

What still has to be tackled

There a still a few open issues, we gather them in a milestone on GitHub. Some of them are real blockers for the release of FlatPress 1.3 - we can’t ship as long as the contact form is not working, or saving entries is not possible under some circumstances. Also, the RSS feed delivers raw BBCode, which simply has to be fixed. Most of these issues relate to the Smarty update.

Greatest limiting factor is, no surprise, the developers’ spare time. Especially the Smarty issues are quite challenging and require more than one or two single hours of debugging.
So if you like to support us there, we’d appreciate any help!

What you can do to help us

  • We invite FlatPress users to download the lastest development version. Fiddle around with it, and let us know your findings on the support forum.
  • Template and plugin authors may want to prepare their templates and plugins for Smarty 4 in order to run with FlatPress 1.3. This helpful article on our wiki also contains tips on how to keep plugins backwards compatible.
  • As a PHP programmer, please feel free to tackle any of the open issues from the 1.3 milestone! We’re always very grateful for Pull Requests with your changes on GitHub.

So this is the current FlatPress 1.3 development status. Of course, we’ll keep you up to date whenever there’s something new. Make sure to follow the FlatPress accounts on Mastodon or Twitter, and subscribe to this blog’s RSS feed.

Keep blogging happily!
All the best,

Image: Slightly cropped “Coding Javascript” by Christiaan Colen - licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Friday, January 6, 2023

Blog / News / Forum: Login with Two Factor Authentication

Forum: Login with Two Factor Authentication

From now on, the FlatPress support forum supports Two Factor Authentication (2FA). (For more information on what’s 2FA, see below.)
Feel free to secure your account!

Activating it is quite easy: Go to the User Control Panel, tab “Two Factor Authentication”. Select “OTP” and hit “Add new key”.

Screenshot of the FlatPress support forum; arrows show the click path to 2FA activation

Your OTP secret and a QR code are being generated. (The QR code basically contains the secret.)
Scan the code with your OTP app or enter the secret manually.

Screenshot of the FlatPress support forum; arrows show the OTP key and the QR code

Read the OTP from your OTP app and enter it in the “OTP key” field. Hit “Register new key”, and 2FA is activated for your account! From now on, you’ll need to enter the current OTP code after giving your username and password.

Of course, you can disable 2FA at any time by simply deleting the registered keys.

What is Two Factor Authentication?

Two Factor Authentication (2FA) with Time-based One-Time Passwords (TOTP) is a great way to protect your user accounts on any platform providing it. It basically means you do not only need your username and password to login, but also a 6-digit code freshly generated every 30 seconds e.g. in the OTP app on your mobile device.
So even if your username and password get stolen (via phishing, keylogging, social engineering, … you name it), your account can still not be accessed without knowing the 6-digit OTP code (which changes every 30 seconds).
This massive increase in security comes with a price, though: Without your OTP generator (i.e., the OTP app on your mobile or any other program capable of generating the code), you will be not able to access your account. But fear not, a good OTP implementation will provide you with static backup codes you can use instead. Of course, nobody else than you should ever get those backup codes, so keep them well :)

2FA is a widely spread standard. Some examples: Amazon offers it, PayPal does, GitHub and Twitter as well. My personal recommendation: Try it, get used to using it, and activate it on any platform that provides it.

What’s a good OTP app?

There may be countless TOTP generators out there. My recommendations are:

  • The password safe KeePass (great for securely managing many different, unique and safe passwords on Windows, Linux and even mobile platforms!) has the OTP plugin KeeTrayTOTP.
  • FreeOTP+ (F-Droid / Google Play Store) is great for Android devices.
  • Apple users may want to take a look at FreeOTP.

More questions?

If you have questions regarding 2FA or want to share opinions or recommendations, please feel free to do so on the FlatPress support forum.

All the best,

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Blog / General / Project interna / Feel free to say “Thank you”

Feel free to say “Thank you”

Hi folks,

over the last few years, some of you have asked me how they could send me a small donation to recognize my efforts on the FlatPress project.
This means a lot to me, not for the money, but for your gratitude.

I’ve finally managed to set up a PayPal account and a SEPA bank account for this - so if you want to send a little “Thank you”, feel free to do so now:

Thanks a lot to all of you!