As of yesterday 30 March 2011, web2project v2.3 has hit the street. You can download it from Sourceforge now.

While under development, we didn’t fully realize what all this release would entail. As this development cycle began, we had a perfect storm of events: a holiday break, a particularly motivated project team, a few moments of clarity, and an engaged community. These things gave us significantly more updates for v2.3 than we ever expected.

For this release, a few specific people stood out within an already great community:

  • CasN has done an outstanding job in the forums in reporting & debugging issues, helping other users on the forums, and some Add On module work;
  • Eureka has submitted great bug reports, the occasional core patch, an updated French translation, and shared quite a bit of work on a number of Add On Modules;
  • Opto has contributed detailed and useful bug reports, good patches, and insight on the forums;
  • RobertBasic appeared out of nowhere to contribute patches related to better UTF/Unicode handling, translations, character encoding in general, and even a complete rework of the PDF-generation.

As a result of all of this activity, we have a variety of new features, updates, and fixes. While the full v2.3 Release Notes are too long to cover in detail in this post, here are some items I consider particularly useful:

For the Project Managers:

  • We further cleaned up the Project List screen – before one of the slowest in the system – and added support for configurable columns. Any core field from a project can now be displayed, formatted properly, and even sorted on.
  • We updated the Gantt Charts to ensure that project ordering is consistent and represents the standard waterfall layout.
  • We made all milestones in the Gantt Charts color-coded to distinguish upcoming, overdue, and complete.
  • We updated all user-specific task pages to include both the Task Priority and the User Priority to make sure everyone has a clear indication of goals, priorities, etc.

For General Users:

  • We rewired some of the post-save redirects. Now after saving many types of items – contacts, events, and files – instead of being sent to the list page of that module, you’re redirected to view the item.
  • We added a simple “password strength checker” to encourage strong passwords.
  • We made major improvements to the Calendar to ensure that private events and tasks are only visible to the proper people, that all events – both recurring and one-time – render in the Day, Week, or Month views appropriately, and that the tooltips have all the necessary information.
  • We eliminated upwards of 80% of the XHTML/CSS validation issues. As a result, the system is better behaved in all modern browsers.

For System Admins:

  • We added warnings in the Modules and Translations Admin to ensure that you know if any tweaks are necessary.
  • We eliminated over a dozen joins to speed performance and reduce memory use.
  • We updated many of the underlying libraries including ADODb, PHPMailer, and Xajax.
  • We adjusted the system configuration to automatically save known-safe values if they were previously unset.

For Developers:

  • We added a the ability to specify “preferred” values in dropdowns to simplify long option lists like Country.
  • We removed all references to soon-to-be deprecated classes and added deprecation warnings. If you develop Add On modules, please review your error logs to use the proper classes.
  • We refactored most of the controllers into a w2p_Base_Controller class to support Dependency Injection for Unit Testing.
  • We added over 50 Unit Tests since the v2.2 release in December.

From here forward, we can focus on the v3.0 release for June. You can review our agenda in the Issue Tracker (select v3.0 in the dropdown), but the top two things on my agenda are finishing the web2project license change and merging in my latest development on Project Budgeting.. more on both of those later.

You can download web2project v2.3 from Sourceforge now.