Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Location: Seattle, WA
Posted: 08/31/12 07:54
Sorry for this being such a long post - there's a lot to cover here
A couple of months ago we announced the new Jamroom Network team, and at the same time indicated that Jamroom 5 was going to be released to beta on August 31st. Well, today being August 31st we figured we better get Jamroom 5 (or what we have of it so far) into the hands of some users so we can get your feedback. So up front I have to apologize, as Jamroom 5 is really more of an "alpha" at this state than a beta.
After our announcement 2 months ago, we knew we had set up an aggressively short amount of time to get the work done we felt was needed for Jamroom 5. Just like I had done a year earlier, our initial work was to simply "expand" Jamroom 4 to Jamroom 5 - but once again we quickly ran into the same issues I had run into a year ago that was going to make much of it difficult, if not impossible, for us to pull off.
So the decision was made (again) to do something new and exciting - something that can lay the ground work for the next 10 years of Jamroom - a completely new Jamroom built from the ground up. While this an exciting position from a development standpoint, it was also a very hard decision from a Jamroom perspective - I've always tried very, very hard to make sure any new release of Jamroom is fully backwards compatible with previous Jamroom releases (i.e. up to Jamroom 4 you could still run Jamroom 1 themes!). With Jamroom 5 however, it is a new system, and is not backwards compatible with existing Jamroom skins and modules. I know for a lot of you this is going to be disappointing, as you've invested a lot of time, work and energy into your existing Jamroom 4 sites - that's why we have no plans to discontinue Jamroom 4 support, but instead will continue supporting Jamroom 4 with bug fixes and tweaks for the foreseeable future.
However, going forward the future definitely will be with Jamroom 5 - we're going to work hard to get modules and skins supported that will allow many of you to update your sites to Jamroom 5 (an upgrade path will be coming along once we feel the core offers a good assortment of modules and skins, etc.).
The new Jamroom 5 core is very, very streamlined from Jamroom 4, and from the ground up has been built as a modular system to be fast, configurable and easy to develop. One of our biggest goals with Jamroom 5 is to broadly expand the number of developers creating products for Jamroom - in order to appeal to developers however, we needed the development process for modules and skins to be MUCH easier.
Some of the high level Jamroom 5 changes include:
Simplified skin development - no more "themes", just a "skin" for the entire site. The admin can customize the site CSS, templates and images right in the admin control panel.
Simplified module development with the new schema-less "DataStore" for storing module data.
New Power Lists (akin to JR4 ranking system) allows you to list, search and sort on any bit if data you would like that a module manages.
multiple "master" admins and "profile" admins
simplified media handling
the Jamroom 5 Core is open source (MPL)!
Plus a ton more
Jamroom 5 is a really fun core to work with - if you are a Jamroom 4 module developer or are interested in Jamroom 5, make sure and join in our alpha.
With all that said, we're opening the doors today to the first batch of alpha users that want to help us with getting things ironed out in Jamroom 5. Ideally we are looking for users that can install Jamroom 5 and play around with it and provide us feedback on what you like/don't like, or any issues you might see. It would help if you are comfortable installing and updating scripts on your own server via FTP, and are willing to spend some time learning something new.
Please send us an email at support [at] jamroom [dot] net with your EMAIL ADDRESS you want us to send the Jamroom 5 core to, and your forum user name - we'll get you a copy of the latest Jamroom 5 core that you can play with. We have some last minute cleanup that needs to happen this weekend, but copies will be heading out on Monday. Note too that for the first few days here we may limit it to a few users until we're sure its ready for more wide-spread usage, so please bear with us if we don't get you your copy of Jamroom 5 right away.
I want to thank the rest of the Jamroom Network team for their hard work on Jamroom 5 - I've been very busy the last 2 months and they have really picked up and ran with the new system, which really validates that the new venture was a really great idea
Thanks everyone - please feel free to post any questions you might have - I'm certain I have overlooked something in my post here and we can clarify any questions that might come up.
On behalf of the entire Jamroom team, welcome to Jamroom 5!
Great to hear that the new Jamroom is skin only. I have already removed themes from my custom templates. What I am hoping to see on the new Jamroom is more fluid control panel UI and easier to develop Jamroom modules.