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A Community Project to Finish WebGUI 8

• 8/2/2014 0:59 am by scottwalters

A while back, I started to get involved with danny_mk and his project to rework the admin.  I think I was somewhat in denial about the state of wG8 and still am, but he caught me when he was just thinking about doing it and I proposed the idea of finding another GPL'd system with a nice looking admin to steal the HTML and CSS from.  danny_mk's project amounts to writing a JavaScript webapp that does AJAX calls to the wG backend.

At the time, I had been working on an installer that automated the various steps and gave a nice UI.  I know that scripts similar to this idea exist for the WRE, but I wanted to get away from using the WRE and instead use native packages.  Maintaining the WRE took time away from maintaining wG itself.  danny_mk kindly created some screencasts for me demo'ing the installer.

Those two projects address what I see as some of the largest deficiencies in wG8 other than this one:  no beta was ever released.  The bug board was never tamed, no testing was done on the finished product, and no beta release was posted.

The other major deficiency is that the themes are now outdated.  You can look at a stock wG site and instantly recognize it as being from a few years ago.  Some companies have done fantastic work on creating custom themes just for their brand, but out of the people, people don't have much of a start.  This isn't news.  wG has gotten it's themes updated more times than we could probably count.

Over the past week, I've been on #webgui on Freenode IRC helping people get wG8 installed, discussing ideas and plans, merging the partially finished installer into mainline code, updating the README, creating a github project page for a community project to create a beta candidate, and working with volunteers.  beppu fixed some bugs.  elnino has been fixing broken links on the site and more space for 8 here.  jabberwok started a project to create a migration utility from WordPress and generated a pile of bug reports from testing the installer.

My first goal is to get the installer running well so that developers can play with the still buggy wG8 code.  Next I'll work with them on fixing bugs, and turn that into the first beta candidate (candidate because PlainBlack needs to decide what changes need to be made to our work before it becomes an official beta).  Work on the new admin and new themes will target 8.1 and 8.2 releases, in no particular order.

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