Those of you that are Jamroom regulars may have noticed over the past 6 weeks or so that I've not been online as much as normal. While I'd love to say I've been relaxing and enjoying some time off, I have to admit instead that I have been holed up in the Jamroom Development Cave, and am just now getting out to some fresh air and brighter skies (although up here in Seattle we seem to be stuck in an extended winter). The result of the last 6 weeks is that Jamroom 6.1 is now in BETA.
Jamroom 6.1 is an incremental upgrade over Jamroom 6.0, and while there's not a lot of new "visual" cues that it is different than Jamroom 6.0, there are a number of important under the hood upgrades that have been needed. Some of these were planned during the JR 6.0 development cycle and didn't make it in time, while others have been continuing work that started with Jamroom Core 6.0:
- New System Tools module - We've moved all the different binary tools used by Jamroom modules into a new "System Tools" module. Since these binaries change very little, having them be in a separate module that does not need to be upgraded very often results in much smaller "regular" module sizes, and will save on disk space.
- Upgraded Queue Support - This is a continuation of the work started in Core 6.0 and now the queue system is even more robust. We've also added better support for when Jamroom is running in a cluster and when the queue is under heavy load.
- Upgraded Template Compare - The Template Compare section has been upgraded and should do a better job of showing differences across different skins and modules.
- New "Full Page" Caching option - There is a new "Full Page Caching" Core Global Config option that enables a full page cache for logged out users. Jamroom has always used a partial page cache, where sections/widgets are cached individually, but this new option for logged out users allows entire pages to be cached and speeds things up for visitors, while reducing the load on your JR server.
- New Image Caching - The resized image cache in the Image Support module has been rebuilt from the ground up to be much faster, and for cached images requires ZERO database queries.
I've also been working on a complete overhaul of the Jamroom Cluster modules, and in the next 1-2 months we will be rolling out Jamroom Cluster 2.0 which makes running Jamroom on a cluster of servers as easy as running on a single server, so stay tuned. If you are running a large Jamroom site, and are interested in upgrading to Jamroom's cluster solution for High Availability, contact us and we can work with you to ensure we have something that fits your needs.
To upgrade and get involved with the Jamroom 6.1 beta, you can do so by:
1) Log in to your Jamroom site as the master admin
2) Go to ACP -> Core -> Marketplace -> Tools and click on the Marketplace Channels button.
3) Enter "JAMROOM61BETA" into the "Channel Invite Code" field and then click "add channel"
You can now go to the "System Updates" tab and upgrade to Jamroom Core 6.1 + modules. After upgrading don't forget to install the new System Tools module as well.
Like usual, Jamroom 6.1 is a BETA RELEASE - do not upgrade your "live" site to Jamroom 6.1 at this time. We anticipate a short beta cycle for Jamroom 6.1, so you won't have to wait long to get updated, but for now hold off from upgrading your production sites to Jamroom 6.1 until we get feedback from the community on how things are going.
We hope you enjoy the Jamroom 6.1 beta and new updates. Please post any feedback or questions or concerns to the User Support Forum and we can help.