Magnolia CMS (news, site) is on a big journey, with the latest update showing off some pointers for the web authoring system's future direction.

Collaboration is the Name of the Game

The latest enterprise version of open source CMS Magnolia, released today, offers a decidedly cooperative flavor. New features include concurrent editing by multiple users, rapid comparison of page versions with highlights, assistance for translating content across global sites and multi-part forms, among other additions.

Multiple editors can work at the same time by monitoring the admin bar. Editors can work on different paragraphs within the page and can see when other users have finished their work, allowing them to move into the previously locked area of the page. Users can see who is working on the page to aid in collaborative efforts.

 An example of softlocking for multiple editors

Users can also benefit from Web-based spell check support and improved dependency management of objects on the page. Along with various module updates (including LDAP, ModeShape from JBoss and STK) and performance improvements, this Magnolia update keeps the product moving along nicely towards its major goal of the 5.0 release.


Magnolia's version compare feature in action

Aiming for the Big 5.0

This release is apparently the last major update of the 4.x product. All of these features bring Magnolia closer to the launch of the next major update, planned for summer 2011, to version 5.0. This should offer wider support for touchscreen devices like the iPad as the web goes further and further into the mobile space.

Switching the GUI for Vaadin and enabling Google Web Kit features will make it a more responsive and extensible product. For developers, the new RESTful API should improve mobility further while the new AdminCentral should make life easier for those in charge of maintaining sites.