The first release candidate for Serendipity 1.4 can now be downloaded.
Serendipity 1.4 mainly addresses improvements in the now Double-Opt-In comment subscription (plus support for fulltext comment notifications) and ships with a new bundled default WYSIWYG editing component (Xinha, the successor of HTMLArea). This new component is more reliable and cross-browser capable than the old version, by still supporting everything that worked with HTMLArea previously.
Things that are visually noticeable include a new "widget-style" configuration option for the "Entryproperties"-Plugin, so that you can arrange and enable/disable each feature of that plugin to your own liking. Also you can now configure each sidebar plugin directly from your frontend.
Also, the Bulletproof has now been promted as new default template, imitating the design of the previous default template - but offering a now completely new distinct default look to the admin panel.
The Remote RSS-Feed sidebar plugin now is templated, so that you can achieve distinct look for certain feeds on the sidebar.
Serendipity also addresses some minor bugs usually only affecting very special environments. Other changes include new PostgreSQL ts_vector fulltext search, comment approval-by-mail for the spamblock plugin, better HTTP header status updates for CGI environments. For developers, some API improvements and new variables/parameters have been added. The performance of the entryroperties plugin can be enhanced by new configuration options that let you fiddle with the involved SQL generation.
The complete list of all changes is documented within the docs/NEWS file of the release. This serendipity release is also the first one to include checksums to verify your installation integrity.
Updating is easy and documented online: Just upload the new files onto your web, possibly refresh/purge your browser cache (and if you upgrade from Serendipity older than 1.2, you might need to purge your old cookies), go to the admin panel and you're done. For shared installations, make sure all deployed htmlarea directories are updated with the new files (if not, the old htmlarea will still be there, not Xinha).
Also, the new version contains release checksums. This makes sure that the files you uploaded correspond with the checksums generated through the release. This way, bad FTP uploads will no longer be driving you nuts. If this makes any trouble for you, try to upload the files in BINARY mode in your FTP client.
Please report any trouble with this new release candidate on the Serendipity Forums or here on this blog. Even though we find this release quite stable and generally believe it production ready, feedback is much required. If all goes well, the final version will be released in december.
For the future, Serendipity is still planning on minor and major features. We always keep a close ear to the wishes of our users, some of those that cannot be solved instantly have been documented here: Future of Serendipity. If you're a developer or designer, and want to help in proving that Serendipity is a flexible and easy to use Blogging/CMS-application - your help is needed and appreciated!