We just released Managing News 1.1. This release includes many new features, such as customizable maps, improved GeoRSS and KML support, and a more flexible tagging system. In this post we’ll give a roundup of the new features, details on the project’s new versioning system, and a look at our big goals for future development.
Now with a customizable map
What’s unique about the World Glass map is that it allows you to customize the color of your maps using a color picker, just like you can with other components of the theme in Managing News.
Automatically geotag items in GeoRSS feeds
In the latest release, Managing News can parse coordinates from GeoRSS feeds like:
Managing News will use the coordinates to geotag feed items. There’s no longer a need to tag these items manually, allowing for more large scale automatic story mapping within Managing News.
Better GeoRSS exporting
Previous versions of Managing News have been able to export GeoRSS, but we’ve added the place name to the feed. For example:
<georss:point>54 -4</georss:point> <georss:featureName>United Kingdom</georss:featureName>
This makes the GeoRSS information more useful on systems that do not automatically determine place names based on lat/lon coordinates (like other instances of Managing News, for example).
Exporting the news in KML
Any listing can be exported as KML, so geotagged stories in a particular feed, tag, search, or channel can be loaded into mapping applications like Google Earth.
More flexible and more automatic tagging
In addition to the new geo features, Managing News 1.1 also has more flexible and improved tagging. You can now manually tag an item with a geo term, and it will show up at that location on maps within Managing News. We’ve also expanded auto-tagging in this release beyond just geo-terms. You can now designate a list of tags to automatically be applied to all stories from a particular feed.
You can also set up a term to “watch” for, and when it is found it will be automatically tagged on that story. To do this just check “use for term extraction” on the term edit page.
A new versioning system
As of this release, we will also be using a new versioning pattern - we are jumping right from the last 1.0 beta release to a 1.1 release. We expect the 1.1 release to go stable very soon, and then upcoming releases of Managing News will be 1.N+1, instead of 1.1 beta N+1. This versioning pattern will be more faithful to the fact that our releases are usually minor feature releases, and not large overhauls.
Future development plans
We have several large goals that we would like to achieve for Managing News in the coming releases:
- Fully support pubsubhubub for real time aggreagtion. (Current support is experimental.)
- Be Kit compliant.
- Upgrade to Drupal 7. We are actively working to upgrade the Features, Context, Tao, Feeds, Open Layers, Rubik, and Boxes modules and themes that Managing News relies on, and a full upgrade will follow once that lifting is done. We’ll post more on our progress with Drupal 7 upgrades in the coming weeks.
- Expand test coverage for Managing News.
Much of the investment behind this release was made possible by Efiia Creations - thank you. The creation of Managing News 1.1 was a team effort by Alex Barth, Robert Soden, David Goode, Jeff Miccolis, and myself, with Tristan O’Neil helping with testing support.