Ghost delivers its last big release

Today we are releasing Ghost 0.5 – a massive technical progression and an exciting step forward for the Ghost blogging platform. By far the biggest release we’ve ever done, Ghost 0.5 is absolutely packed with new things.

This post, you may have noticed, is the first on the Ghost.org blog which is not written by John. Our flagship feature for this release is that Ghost now has support for multiple Authors, Editors and Administrators. Company, community and collaborative blogs are now all possible.

Ghost is the first and only Open Source publishing platform to build a public JSON API. We’re incredibly excited about the immense possibilities which this opens up for the future. What does that mean, exactly? Just like Twitter and Pinterest have an API which developers can build apps on top of, Ghost has this power as well. This means that iOS, Android, Desktop and even Web Apps can now all be built on top of any Ghost blog. Because Ghost is a self-consuming JSON API, every single feature which is in Ghost is available to 3rd party developers. Not just a subset; Everything. In the very near future we’ll be opening up authentication for the API via OAuth, In the meantime we’ll be publishing documentation so that developers can start to get to grips with what’s available.

The Ghost admin area may look generally the same, but under the hood it is a brand new beast. In February of this year we made the decision to convert the Ghost web app (the admin app which consumes the JSON API) to use Ember.js. What does that mean? Ghost is now a fully-featured client-side JavaScript application. Everything you do in the browser happens in real time. We’re now able to start building user-interface components which look and feel like what you might expect from a desktop (or mobile) operating system.

Our default theme has had massive update with beautiful new user profile pages, full-bleed homepage cover images, restructured navigation, improved mobile styles, and a massive improvement to typography contributed by Jake Giltsoff from Typekit.

host is leading the way with a new Open Source initiative called Privacy.md. We now ship a text file with a plain English description of every feature within the software which might affect user Privacy.

New Install Screen – A refined UI when installing a new Ghost blog.

OAuth Support – for extensible, secure authentication with less hassle.

Mobile Improvements – Better support on touch based devices.

After a lot of consideration, we believe we’ve made significant error in how we do our releases. Until now we’ve blindly followed how other Open Source projects do software releases: 2-3 releases a year with fixed milestones and feature-sets. Each time a release comes around, it’s a big event and everyone has to upgrade (like right now). If you look at it objectively: this model is good for precisely nobody. Developers have to wait 3-6 months to see how users respond to their work, and then iterate on it another 3-6 months after that. For users who have to upgrade, the release cycle is always either too long or too short. Both are understandably frustrating. All of this is also a pretty archaic way of working, for web based software development in 2014. So we’re going to change it up.

Starting today, we’re moving to a more agile release process. Every 2-4 weeks we’re going to ship new features, improvements and bug-fixes to Ghost. There won’t be any more big-bang events like this one. There will be smaller, more frequent announcements that we’ve released new features, fixes and improvements. These releases will be rolled out automatically to all Ghost(Pro) users as and when they happen. No input required. We’ll let you know when there’s cool new stuff on your blog – and you concentrate on using it. Then, 2-4 weeks later we’ll ship the next round of improvements based on your feedback. For self hosted users, you can update any time you like. We’ll also push update notifications 4x a year, or whenever there is a critical security update.

Ghost Blog: http://blog.ghost.org/ghost-0-5/

Fab’s Notebook: http://fabsh.com/ghost-0-5/