WordPress, the Goliath of free and open source content management systems (CMS), closed the year with the release of a new version named in honor of yet another musician.

Version 4.1 — aka "Dinah" — honors singer and pianist Dinah Washington, one of the most popular black female recording artists of the 50s. She was posthumously inducted to both the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Matt Mullenweg, the founder and CEO of WordPress' parent company, Automattic, and a musician himself, blogged that the new version "helps you focus on your writing" and that the new default theme, appropriately named Twenty Fifteen, "lets you show it off in style."

Mullenweg said the blog-focused theme is designed for clarity and has "flawless language support" through the use of Google’s Noto font family.

Writing is work — and this version aims to make it easier through something called a distraction-free writing mode. When you start typing, all of the editing tools disappear, "letting you focus solely on your writing." The tools "instantly return when you need them," Mullenweg explained.

Not sure if this will actually make writing any easier, but it's a novel option that perhaps some of the platform's massive user base might find worthwhile. For the record, WordPress powers more than 46 percent of the World Wide Web, according to BuiltWith, which monitors such things.

What else is new in free and open source CMS this month? Plenty.

Composite C1

Last month, the team at Composite offered new and existing users a free 14-day trial of Composite C1 as a service. "By following a few simple registration steps, anyone can create a professional-looking company website and instantly host it in the cloud with Microsoft Azure," said Composite community manager Aleksandra Kharchyshyna.

The benefits of using the new feature include improved response time across the globe, integrated health monitoring and scaling options to match user traffic of any scope, she added.

Composite is working on an add-on that expands on the choices for scaling out on Microsoft Azure. The Composite.Azure.ScaleOut add-on is intended to simplify deployment of websites that require website visitors to input or update data.

"It ensures that data changes result in a notification to all nodes, enabling cache flushed," Kharchyshyna said. "It expands on the ways you can choose to do the technical design of your cloud based website and can make it almost trivial to take an existing Composite C1 solutions and migrate them from simple hosting to a scaled out cloud environment, even across geographical locations."

Composite.Azure.MediaDataProvider migrates the website's media archive to the Azure Blob store, sharing it between multiple instances of the website. Compsite.Azure.DataCacheFlusher uses the Azure ServiceBus infrastructure to propagate data changes between instances almost instantaneously.


Hippo can’t wait for 2015, with some great new developments as we enter the new year, and a few more big announcements coming up.

You can get the latest maintenance release of Hippo 7.9.5 now. This maintenance release brings stability to projects upgrading from 7.8 series and includes a new repository version that fixes upgrade related blockers and new plugins. Read more about the update here.

The next major Hippo release, 7.10, will require Java 8 as runtime, for which the team has changed the configuration and build setup in the current trunk. The bottom line: Anyone building the latest trunk is now required to have the JDK/JRE for Java 8 installed and configured.

The Hippo team is pretty excited about several pats-on-the-back.

For one, Couchbase has migrated its blog platform to Hippo from Drupal. This will help the open source NoSQL database provider to further enhance their thought-leadership and spread the word about NoSQL technology, team members told CMSWire.

Secondly, following its selection as People’s Choice for Best Enterprise Java CMS by CMSCritic, Hippo’s community edition has been recognized with a Critic’s Choice for Best Free Java CMS.

Finally, Hippo partner, web development agency Oshyn offered five reasons why IT departments love Hippo.


The Liferay community is excited about today's release of its Audience Targeting app for Liferay Portal 6.2. Through the app, companies can show the right content at the right time to their visitors to create the most relevant, engaging web experience for the people they want to reach.

The app, available on Liferay Marketplace, offers the ability to tailor specific content for audiences based on user behavior on the site, user information such as age and gender, social media attributes and more. Marketers can also create targeted campaigns, track user actions and generate reports on the effectiveness of the campaigns.

The team claims the app will "raise the engagement experience of your portal to a whole new level" with personalized content for site visitors. The app allows you to segment your audience, target specific content to different user segments and create campaigns to target content to user segments. It also allows you to track user actions and generate reports that provide insight into the effectiveness of your campaigns. You can learn more at the upcoming Liferay LIVE webinar on Jan. 21.

Liferay released the latest set of milestones for the upcoming Liferay 7, including out-of-the-box Geolocation support. You can read more about it in this blog post.

The Liferay Developer Network is a new website developed specifically for those who use Liferay and write code on its platform. You can learn more about the new site in this blog post.


Last month, Jahia launched Form Factory, which team members say frees digital marketing teams "in the creation and monitoring of their favorite engagement tools." The add-on followed the release of Jahia's Digital Factory 7 earlier last year. Form Factory allows digital marketers to:

  • Create multi-step, multi-language, multi-conditions and validation-ruled forms through drag-and-drops
  • Manage all forms created from a central interface (the Form Center)
  • Monitor collected data, measure engagement (by form, field completion, period, etc.) and export data
  • Connect each/all/selected forms to external business app such as CRM and marketing automation tools
  • Extend the Form Factory with personalized fields, groups of fields, validation, logic and custom consequences


The Joomla team is pleased with everything that happened in 2014 — and eager to improve the project even more this year.

Last year's achievements included a new Joomla Extensions Directory with a clear, advanced search function, as well as a new review and scoring system, a Resource Directory and a Demo Site. In addition, it created a Volunteer Portal, where Joomla volunteers share what they are doing, and held the third Joomla World Conference — the first JWC in Latin America.

"You may be wondering, how can 2015 ever top all of that? Well, the Joomla Project is going to try," noted Alice Grevet, co-lead editor on the Joomla! Community Magazine. What's on tap? 

  • The Production Leadership Team is working on the next major release, Joomla 3.4
  • The fourth Joomla World Conference in November will be the first one over to be held in South Asia — in beautiful India, to be specific
  • The Certification Team is zeroing in on the finalization of the Administrator exam
  • The next JandBeyond conference will run May 29 and 30 in Prague
  • A proposal for a new structure and methodology for the Joomla project is being prepared and will be presented to the community for feedback this month. Progress can be followed in the team reports on the Volunteers Portal

What will 2015 not have? "Support for Joomla 2.5. It’s time to bite the bullet and migrate," Grevet noted.


It was an incredible year for Magnolia, with new clients, staff, partners and several significant awards. In the past year, it has increased its global workforce by 30 percent and now has more than 75 channel partners.

To end the year, the team released Magnolia 5.3.6. The focus was on fixing a series of important issues, as well as adding some enhancements. It also published a new tutorial on how to create custom content apps, posted some photos of a team trip to Zermatt, Switzerland and sent a video Christmas card.

This year, Magnolia will run conferences in May and June, one in Basel and one in Silicon Valley. The call for papers is now open.


The latest release of the Nuxeo Platform has several enhancements, including a native integration with Elasticsearch. "Like everything we implement or integrate, the search experience is also configurable with Nuxeo Studio – our online configuration and design tool. This integration provides a unique cocktail of configurability and permissiveness that leverages the capabilities of Elasticsearch aggregates," Alain Escaffre, director of product management at Nuxeo, explained in a blog post.

How can you develop an application to manage your organization's digital assets? Nuxeo notes that it typically requires building complex content models, internal and external workflows, integrations to other systems and a custom user interface. This video will show you why the platform approach will make this task more manageable and agile. 

Formtek and Nuxeo announced a partnership last month. Formtek’s plug-in enables the management of engineering documents, drawings, and CAD files within the Nuxeo Platform. If you missed their live presentation of this plug-in, you can watch it on-demand here.

Nuxeo is also providing an updated version of the Codenvy Nuxeo Factory. This new integration deploys on the new Codenvy platform released earlier this year (Codenvy 3.X series). Developers now have an entire development cycle using only a web browser. Development, compilation, build and deployment are now available in the cloud. All of it can be accessed with a simple link.

Finally, Nuxeo just released a technical paper on using AWS for Content Management with the Nuxeo Platform.


SilverStripe CMS and PHP Framework released a series of introductory screencast lessons to help developers new to SilverStripe build simple websites quickly.

This five lesson series introduces the use of the MVC framework that powers SilverStripe CMS, the SilverStripe template engine, converting your static html templates into SilverStripe compatible ones and how to build out page types using simple to learn PHP classes to store custom data and layouts. There is also a getting started video that explores Composer, dependency management and setting up development environments.

Each lesson contains a full video walk-through, written text version including code examples and a git repository with all the code to get started.


Last month, the TYPO3 team issued the first release of CMS 7. This fall, it will release a Long Term Support (LTS). The current branch revamps the backend interface/experience and the technologies underneath it, unifies code and improves the toolset already in heavy use. It also deprecates logic that is not maintained any longer within the TYPO3 Core.

The CMS7 motto is “Embrace and Innovate" — and the team stresses that it goes for “Convention over Configuration” to achieve strong defaults in the upcoming LTS version.

A new visual language for the backend has been introduced and will be put into place bit by bit. The backend runs on Twitter bootstrap and all open CSS changes are moved to LESS, laying the foundation for a more "app'" like approach and of course a responsive administrative backend. The color scheme is more streamlined and in general comes with less distraction, the team noted. Usability of the backend is important for the new LTS release and a lot is done to make that come true, it added.

Technically, a lot of things have changed in TYPO3 CMS, too, including the use of namespaces. "This year it also became clear that TYPO3 Neos and TYPO3 CMS will live together for a long time as members of the TYPO3 family," said Ben van 't Ende, community manager for the TYPO3 community.

The TYPO3 Neos team released the third version of TYPO3 Neos. With version 1.2 comes the highly requested feature of content translation along with various improvements for editors. "Overall, the new version is a major advancement in what we like to call ubiquitous content through advanced localization. Coupled with the full extent of Neos’ Content Dimensions, it provides the capability to create and manage any kind of publishing setup handling variants of content," he continued.

The Neos team is pushing the next gen CMS hard and has already published a sneak preview of TYPO3 Neos 1.3, which will include features like a security framework, a history module, new resource management with an API which allows you to non-destructively manipulate images and automatically create and maintain thumbnails, the integration of Google analytics and some serious SEO features.

It's been a busy month — and user experience lead Rasmus Skjoldan still found time to visit #JBoye14. He also traveled to London to meet with content strategist Relly Annett-Baker as part of his UX research for Neos to talk about content strategy, user experience and author experience.


Members of the XOOPS Project said they've been busy keeping the current version up to date and working on the next generation of XOOPS.

The team released a Security Patch for XOOPS 2.5.7 as well as several new themes, including Inception 2.0 and Ethernial.

To provide users with better documentation, XOOPS Team has decided to standardize its Documentation on GitBook Platform. In addition, the xBootstrap theme framework has been updated to Bootsrap 3.3.1 and there is a new experimental module framework for XOOPS 2.5.7 series, the "Common Utilities". The team said the latter includes "really cool" features, including one-click updates, URL rewriting, form fields, custom codes, configuration system, in-line docs and plugins support.

XOOPS will continue with major work on XOOPS 2.6.0, its next generation of XOOPS. The progress of the last year can be seen in 45 seconds here.