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Fans of the OpenPublish (news, site) packaged Drupal (news, site) distribution aimed at publishers will be pleased to know that creator Phase 2 Technology has some interesting updates coming, and big plans to complete before the next Drupalcon.

Versions

Phase 2 just released OpenPublish 2.1, which consists mostly of tweaks, fixing and cleaning. Still, there are some new and improved features worth checking out:

  • RDFa support now included for fans of the semantic web
  • PHP 5.3 is now supported, though 5.2 is still recommended
  • Theming improvements, including custom layouts, context-based layouts and improved context editing
  • Improved image handling, such as better re-use of already uploaded images, the ability to fetch an image from a URL and extended image cropping support
  • Fixed issues caused with Internet Explorer and CSS
  • An improved content sharing widget
  • Two-level primary menus

OpenPublish continues to use Drupal 6. Phase 2 hopes to have the update to Drupal 7 done by the next Drupalcon in Chicago.

The company's customers have access to additional custom modules such as a partial paywall for publications experimenting with such a model, and the ability to make special section fronts you can upgrade on the fly without digging into the HTML and CSS. To see these modules in action, check out The New Republic's site.

Seeking Input and Other Projects

Up until now, Phase 2 has sought input primarily from the Drupal community on how they could improve OpenPublish. Now the company is reaching out to the publishing community to find out what they want and need from a publishing platform.

In addition to OpenPublish, Phase 2 is working on a Drupal-based offering called OpenPublic. The goal of this distribution is to help government organizations address the open standards mandate without requiring extra funds. This work in progress is meant to show people not used to openness that they don't need to be scared of the process. Ultimately, the hope is that OpenPublic will provide a set of tools for government agencies to aid collaboration and transparency.

Phase 2 plans for OpenPublic to be a more community-based effort than OpenPublish.