Browse Tag by BlueSpice

BlueSpice 2.27.2 released

Now even more user-friendly with impressive new features

We have great news: we are proud to announce the new BlueSpice release 2.27.2. After scarcely three months, we are already publishing the second release of the year.

Looking forward to the release of BlueSpice Version 3 in 2018, we are already working hard on many small adjustments, making BlueSpice even more user-friendly, so you can operate it more intuitively. This means that the new version already contains valuable features and improvements, so it is more convenient to use and working on it is more efficient.

You can find all the detailed information and documentation on our BlueSpice Helpdesk:

Here is an overview of the most important innovations in BlueSpice pro 2.27.2:

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BlueSpice 2.27.0 released

New BlueSpice release 2.27.0.

Our focus: quality assurance, usability and farming.

We proudly announce today’s stable release of the new BlueSpice for MediaWiki 2.27.0. It is our second release this year and brings new features and numerous optimizations. Above all, it is fully compatible with the long-time support version MediaWiki 1.27.

All detailed information can be found in our BlueSpice Helpdesk:
Notable changes,
Release notes with changelog,
• Installation instructions with installer and without installer,
Update instructions.

We have installed some pretty helpful features. The focus is on characteristics such as quality assurance, usability and farming.

These are the most important new features of BlueSpice pro 2.27.0:

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MediaWiki extension ReplaceText compatible with BlueSpice

This little helper from MediaWiki enables administrators to search and replace words or text passages. The changes can be done in the content of wiki articles and in article titles. Fast and easy, because the modifications will automatically be made in all relevant articles.

  • Special page to search and replace single words or text passages in articles
  • Search and replace in article titles
  • Usage of placeholders and regular expressions
Choose a text that should be replaced
Choose a text that should be replaced

 

Form to replace text
Form to replace text

“Replace text” has been tested to be operational for MediaWiki and BlueSpice by the BlueSpice developer Hallo Welt!

Compatible with:

  • BlueSpice 2.23.x
  • MediaWiki 1.18.+

Where do you get this extension? You can download the extension “Replace Text” in the BlueSpice shop.

 

 

MediaWiki extension BreadCrumbs compatible with BlueSpice

With the MediaWiki BreadCrumbs extension it is possible to keep an overview of where you are in the wiki. The extension shows the path to the called up article and therefore provides orientation.

MediaWiki BreadCrumb: Article with navigation path
MediaWiki BreadCrumb: Article with navigation path

 

 

MediaWiki BreadCrumbs: Preferences
MediaWiki BreadCrumbs: Preferences

BreadCrumbs has been tested to be operational for MediaWiki and BlueSpice by the BlueSpice developer Hallo Welt!
Compatible with:

  • BlueSpice 2.23.x
  • MediaWiki 1.19+

Where do you get this extension? You can download the extension “BreadCrumbs” in the BlueSpice shop.

 

 

A new model for BlueSpice

BlueSpice Website

We set ourselves a couple of goals for 2015 and 2016 at our strategy meeting at the start of January. The most important ones relate to the MediaWiki distribution BlueSpice. We are making this successful product truly open source, offering new prospects for customers and partners.

100% subscription, one product, no more modules.

We have been developing the BlueSpice service model further and further over the last five years. In the future, BlueSpice will be made available in an integrated distribution. This means that the additional modules that require payment will be collected together in a single edition. Customers will thus be able to use all the modules from the outset. And, above all, you will gain tremendously from new developments as all our latest innovations will be contained in this distribution. This means that those new developments will always be available for subscribing customers whenever they want. This will save you the trouble of having to purchase them separately. Furthermore, as there will no longer be costs for each module, getting started with a professional solution will be significantly better value.

In parallel, there will still be the popular distribution BlueSpice free, which is downloaded 20,000 times a year, and used in over 130 countries and more than 20 languages. The free distribution contains the same scope of services as before, and remains the ideal first step in collaborative knowledge management.

Supporting growth and propagation

Why are we doing this? Firstly, because now we can. The major Linux distributions Red Hat and Suse have always been the examples we have followed: The best open source models for customers and developers are made in the Linux environment. However, moving away from project business and without outside capital, we are only now able to take this step.
Another reason is that we want to build the best open source wiki with new partners. This is only possible with extensive openness, technically and economically. The module system has been good for us and our customers. However, it is now blocking us from developing MediaWiki further into the most popular Wiki software for businesses. A module system will become too complex and opaque for customers and developers as we grow further. Also, we do not want to lose our way in administration, but rather to concentrate on development, integration and quality assurance.

Radically open source

For this reason too, we are radically opening the development to external developers. They can, from this year, contribute to all BlueSpice extensions, including those which had been previously unavailable. In this way, we open up the project for other developers, accelerate the programming and improve quality assurance.
Last but not least, BlueSpice should become more compatible with SemanticMediaWiki (SMW) so that customers and partners need no longer decide whether to choose SMW or BlueSpice. Using both is already a possibility. But, by the end of the year both worlds should interlock better.

It will be a busy and interesting year. The new version will already be ready for examination and ordering at Cebit. We have already set out the stages which will follow this. We will be moving towards an ecosystem, which is a familiar concept from other open source projects.

We look forward to all your support and cooperation.

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BlueSpice and MediaWiki templates for content boxes

With this wiki box set, it is possible to achieve more structure and overview in a wiki article. You can highlight content and distinguish it from the surrounding text. These boxes are a great support to improve the quality of an article and to add some design to the articles to make it more appealing for your interested users. You can insert text, links, files and lists into the box – the same way like you know it from normal wiki content – to provide useful tips, documents and further information in addition to the article text. Use this content highlight boxes in MediaWiki or in BlueSpice wikis – it is compatible with both systems.

You can buy them in the BlueSpice shop : you will get eight designed content boxes as easy-to-import xml-files, with extra designed icons, a usage description and master copies – for only 7,99 €. We provide the box templates in seven different colors: green, grey, orange, purple, red, turquoise and BlueSpice style (CI). The colors of the box set perfectly match with the navigation icon sets, which can be downloaded for free in the shop. The boxes are responsive and available in English and German.

Box Documents: Link important documents, that are related to or necessary for the article. In the box, readers will notice immediately.

box-Documents-bluespice

Box Good to know: Write a short hint and make it more visible with the “Good to know” box.

box-Good to know-bluespice

Box Info: Set a highlight of an important abstract or a accentuate a note with the “infobox”.

box-Info-bluespice

Box News: Separate news or updates from the rest of the article.

box-News-bluespice

Box Protocol: Link related protocols so that they get the attention they need.

box-Protocol-bluespice

Box Related Articles: Link similar articles manually to connect related articles and motivate the user to read more about this topic.

box-related articles-bluespiceBox Tip: Insert some helpful information in the “tip” box – readers will be thankful when they don’t have to search for additional advices.

box-tip-bluespice

Box Useful Help Articles: Link – for example – to the BlueSpice helpdesk, to YouTube tutorials or to helpful documents in your file system.

box-useful help articles-bluespice

 

BlueSpice 2: The new version coming up later this year!

We started with BlueSpice three years ago in October 2010. Since then, we have gradually expanded and improved the software. In the fall of 2013, we are taking the plunge and publishing a completely revised version.

The new version of BlueSpice builds on the experience we have amassed working with public company wikis and user requests and suggestions. But opening up BlueSpice for developers and vendors is also an important step. We took this into account in the planning stage by inviting our users to participate in a feature poll.  The architectural changes below the surface also have this aim.

The schedule: In October 2013, both the beta and the stable versions will be launched. The good news is that most of the changes have already been done. We don´t want to let the release become a never ending story and so we decided on for a timebox approach. It´s better to have one feature less than to jeopardize the release date. Nevertheless, there is a lot of work which has to be done!

 

1. New tools for quality management

Let´s start with wiki contents. With BlueSpice 2 it will become easier to control content quality by using new functions:

  • A reminder feature will let authors add articles to a watchlist and will remind them to review the article after a defined period of time. We will completely revise our workflow tool (Review) in line with this new function next year. This tool will make the workflow process much more flexible.
  • BlueSpice 2 comes with a dashboard for users and administrators to organize their tasks. A feature that’s been eagerly awaited! This central dashboard can be individually filled with different widgets.
  • Extensions which may seem minor will significantly change day-to-day work with the wiki:  We are adopting the new notification system from MediaWiki, which unifies the notification process and makes it clearer. Articles can be added to the watchlist with one click, like in Wikipedia. And last but not least, it is possible to assign a category to an image in the upload dialogue.

 

2. Better usability, faster navigation and a new “State of the art” search function

A lot of things are changing in terms of usability too:

  • Visual editor upgrade: We are integrating the new TinyMCE 4. The development of the native MediaWiki editor is progressing (see current testing page), but not as fast as we expected. In direct comparison, the current BlueSpice solution is still several steps ahead. Due to this, an upgrade of TinyMCE is worthwhile. Changing to the MediaWiki editor remains on the agenda for some time in the future. This could take place at the end of 2014.
  • The dialogue technology is also being upgraded, and we are using the opportunity to improve usability in a number of ways. Users should be able to search for categories and users much faster in dialogues. Long scrolling will become unnecessary.
  • The upgrade of the search function to a new Solr server provides new possibilities: You can now navigate with the search. Many of you will like the new feature “More like this”, which shows similar articles at the bottom of a page.
  • There are also two more tools which will make working with articles easier: From now on, user can create checklists and multiupload enables you to upload several files at the same time. With the new version of InsertMagic, inserting tags and variables will become much easier.

 

3. Less time spent on administration and rights management

There is good news for sysops. Administrators and installers will be able to configure BlueSpice 2 more quickly:

  • The rights management of MediaWiki has “grown” and recognizes a lot more characteristics. We have found a way to make the managing the wiki more transparent for administrators who do not have extensive knowledge of MediaWiki. We are integrating this in BlueSpice 2.
  • If you install BlueSpice 2 for the first time, it will already have the most popular preferences set as default.

 

4. BlueSpice becomes a “real” MediaWiki extension

The major changes to BlueSpice are taking place under the bonnet. BlueSpice has worked with its own libraries for a long time. We did this to keep legal opportunities open for proprietary components. However, something has changed in the general legal concept, so we can do without this special architectural arrangement. And we gain a lot:

  • The systems performance improves, because we can now use the MediaWiki-ResourceLoader – and therefore important MediaWiki resources.
  • The free version, with its new architecture, can now become part of the MediaWiki Git Repository. This is an important step towards developing an independent developer community. You can already catch a glimpse of the initial code version, which will soon be updated on a weekly basis, here.
  • BlueSpice is also becoming more international. Opening BlueSpice up for freelance developers in the global MediaWiki community lays the foundation for many new language versions.

 

5. New themes and user-friendliness

There is also more openness in the new layout and design. The distinctive BlueSpice skin has won many admirers. However, after nearly four years BlueSpice needs a new face. Or to be more precise: It will be possible to give BlueSpice a range of faces.

  • So, BlueSpice 2 comes with a new standard skin. This skin (we have not yet decided on a name) has a responsive design, optimized for mobile equipment. Above all, the range of functions has been tidied up leaving more space for the content. An initial sketch of the new skin will be ready for viewing soon on BlueForge. However, of course, BlueSpice 2 supports the existing BlueSpice skin too.
  • The function Flexiskin gives you more individuality, allowing the basic layout to be customized more easily. Our age old software HalloWiki had a Flexiskin module. Now BlueSpice is getting one too.

BlueSpice 2 aims to provide new momentum and ideas. In any case, we are bringing many important stimuli for the user. And, of course, there is still a long wish list for further features. We will be able to say more about these points at the start of next year. This is when the roadmap for BlueSpice 2 will be updated.

BlueSpice in the Russian Wikipedia – maybe soon in other languages, too?

BlueSpice is mentioned in the Russian “MediaWiki” article. In the German Wikipedia, there is a seperate article about BlueSpice for MediaWiki. And last but not least, in the English Wikipedia there is a list of wiki software. Here you will find an entry about BlueSpice, but there is no content in the article itself. Maybe you help to improve or create a neutral article about BlueSpice for MediaWiki in your Wikipedia?

You don’t knwo how to edit in Wikipedia properly? Have a look at the introduction.

Tambien es possible escribir in Wikipedia España. Los primeros pasos

 

MediaWiki vs. Confluence? Not a question of features

When businesses want to make use of professional wiki software, they come quickly to the question of whether they should choose MediaWiki or Confluence. Confluence is a wiki specially developed for the needs of businesses. The concept for MediaWiki is, on the other hand, for the huge online encyclopaedia Wikipedia. Having more than 750,000 downloads per year, MediaWiki has a decisive lead as the standard wiki software, in business too.

Fans of Confluence used to complain that MediaWiki was not really suitable for businesses. And one can find serious comparative studies which completely ignore the possibility to extend and adapt MediaWiki. However, the extendibility and adaptability of MediaWiki is an essential feature of the software. The project page MediaWiki.org alone lists more than 1,800 extensions.
And, since the publication of BlueSpice, there is a completely free enterprise distribution for commercial users, which can be extended to suit individual needs via modules.

To show how MediaWiki really is a solution for business, I have collected together the most common objections to MediaWiki and I comment on them below. Continue Reading

BlueSpice mobile – Use MediaWiki on your mobile device

Right now we check our new app for MediaWiki distribution BlueSpice. The first sneak preview is available now.

 

 

 

 

View, edit and manage your BlueSpice MediaWiki enterprise distribution from your mobile device. BlueSpice mobile will support Android, iOS, Blackberry, WindowsPhone, WebOS and Symbian operating systems.

BlueSpice Mobile will start in March. Another release, optimized for other MediaWiki distributions, will be provided shortly. Check into the BlueSpice website  at the beginning of March to download your BlueSpice mobile!

 

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