Samizdat 0.6.0 is released

What is Samizdat?

Samizdat is a generic RDF-based engine for building collaboration and
open publishing web sites. Samizdat provides users with means to
cooperate and coordinate on all kinds of activities, including media
activism, resource sharing, education and research, advocacy, and so on.
Samizdat intends to promote values of freedom, openness, equality, and

What’s new in Samizdat 0.6.0?

The version increase attributes to the gradual changes in 0.5.x series
and incorporates almost two years worth of real-world deployment. Now
that Samizdat has finally become a mature open publishing system, the
road is cleared for more intrusive changes and major new features, such
as free exchange and calendaring.

In the way of major features, this version introduces ubiquitous message
translations and RSS syndication. Many old tools are now more flexible
and easier to use: focus management interface is simplified, the front
page now packs more information in better layout and allows to include
static headers and footers.

There are even more changes under the hood: multi-layer caching, gzip
and ETag support, support for audio and video uploads, BitTorrent links,
HTML and CSS filtering, flexible access control, new moderation
features, new UI translations and themes, code reorganization,
simplified installation, and more.

Changes in more detail:

  • message translations: message replies that are related to
    focus:Translation are now treated as translations and are displayed in
    place of original message wherever appropriate; Accept-Language
    browser setting is now fully respected

  • syndication: it is now possible to syndicate Samizdat front page (both
    features and recent updates), focus pages, and Squish RDF queries
    using RSS 1.0

  • focus management interface: select focus from a pull-down menu
    directly on the vote or new message page (you can also enter focus id
    if it’s not in the list), preliminary setting of current focus is no
    longer necessary

  • new front page layout: top focuses are now listed in the left column,
    central column lists feature articles (messages most recently related
    to focuses, with rating above configurable threshold); old-style main
    focuses list is now displayed on a separate page

  • static header and footer: new fields in config.yaml can be used to
    display, or include from file, arbitrary header and footer for the
    site front page; bandwidth-constrained users can disable static
    content in their member settings

  • audio and video uploads, BitTorrent links: Ogg, MP3, MPEG, AVI, WMV,
    and BitTorrent are added to the list of supported file formats

  • HTML filtering: all HTML issued by Samizdat is now filtered through
    Samizdat::Sanitize and HTMLTidy to protect from XSS (cross-site
    scripting) attacks

  • multi-layer caching: front page, messages, page fragments, and query
    results are cached in memory, filtered HTML rendition of text messages
    is also cached in the database; to (re)generate database cache, run:

    SAMIZDAT_SITE=samizdat SAMIZDAT_URI=/samizdat/
    ruby -r samizdat/engine -e ‘Message.regenerate_all_html’

  • gzip and ETag support: transferred page size is severely reduced for
    browsers supporting gzip encoding and/or ETag content negotiation flag
    (contributed by Hleb V.)

  • access control: new access control facility is configurable from
    per-site yaml config file and distinguishes between two actions (post,
    vote) and three roles (moderator, member, guest); guest users can now
    be allowed to publish messages without registration

  • moderation: moderation log can now be viewed online, moderators can
    hide and unhide messages (members can opt to view hidden messages) and
    reparent comments under a different message

  • new translations: site interface is translated to Esperanto by Antono
    Vasiljev, to Ukrainian by Indymedia Ukraine, to Polish and French by

  • new CSS themes: Savannah, mimicking the style of
    where Samizdat project is hosted, and snow-white Sky contributed by
    Indymedia Ukraine

  • code reorganization: the code is reorganized to support running
    multiple sites from single Samizdat engine installation; Storage,
    Cache, and Sanitize libraries are untied from Samizdat engine core

  • easier installation: Samizdat can now be installed from a Debian
    package; new site can be set up in several minutes with help of new
    database generation script and ready to use example of Apache
    configuration file; experimental support for SQLite3 will one day make
    Samizdat installation even simpler

  • more: improved security, numerous usability tweaks, bugfixes,
    documentation updates.

Where to get it?

Project page:
Debian packages: Index of /debian/pool/main/s/samizdat