Friendica “Red Hot Poker” 2020.07 released

We are pleased to announce the slightly delayed release of Friendica 2020.07.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to make this release! The 2020.07 release is composed from 280 tickets, closing 66 numbered issues and enhanced several aspects of Friendica and the communication with other projects within the Fediverse and the Federation. For a full reference, please have a look at the CHANGELOG file, some important things are worth highlighting them here:

  • Friendica is now using table views for the database which can cause errors from the MySQL database (Prepared statement needs to be re-prepared). If you encounter such, please have a look at this issue in the Friendica tracker and this article at stackoverflow if you are encountering problems in that aspect,
  • In the frio theme we introduced a more… menu at the bottom of postings which contains the not so often used actions (editing, pinning, etc.), Additionally it is now save to hit the ESC key while composing a new posting.
  • You will now find allow lists, deny lists and block lists instead of their old labels.
  • We found some places where we could enhance the performance of Friendica.

Not directly linked to this release but worth mentioning is the cleanup-friendica script by ingoj to assist Friendica node admins and help with forgotten or dead accounts.

How to Update

Updating from old Friendica versions

If you are updating from an older version than the 2020.03 release, please first update your Friendica instance to that version.

Pre-Update Procedures

If you are using PHP version 7.0 there is currently a problem with one of the dependencies of Friendica. Please see this forum thread for more information.

Ensure that the last backup of your Friendica installation was done recently. We had no problems reported during the upgrade process from 2020.03 to the 2020.06 release candidate, so hopefully you will have a smooth transition.

Please make sure to use Barracuda as MySQL DB file format for your Friendica database. Change your database settings before you proceed with the Friendica update. To apply the changes you can use the following command from the Friendica console tool

bin/console dbstructure toinnodb

This change will take some time depending on the size of your database.

Using Git

Important: We are removing the master branch and are using the stable branch instead.

Updating from the git repositories of Friendica will be a bit more complicated as you might be used to as we decided to rename the branch for the stable releases to stable. Hence you need to switch the branch you want to use, after pulling the current version of the code from the repositories. As usual, please remember to update the dependencies with composer as well.

cd friendica
git fetch
git checkout BRANCH
bin/composer.phar install
cd addon
git fetch
git checkout BRANCH

Where BRANCH is either the new stable branch or the develop branch, depending which version of Friendica you want to use. The old master branch will not receive any updates and will be removed soon.

Pulling in the dependencies with composer will show some deprecation warning, we will be working on that in the upcoming release.

Using the Archive Files

If you had downloaded the source files in an archive file (tar.gz) please download the current version of the archive (friendica-full-2020.07.tar.gz and friendica-addons 2020.07.tar.gz, Note both are located at github) and unpack it on your local computer.

As many files got deleted or moved around, please upload the unpacked files to a new directory on your server (say friendica_new) and copy over your existing configuration (config/local.config.php and config/addon.config.php) and .htaccess files. Afterwards rename your current Friendica directory (e.g. friendica) to friendica_old and friendica_new to friendica.

The files of the dependencies are included in the archive (make sure you are using the friendica-full-2020.03 archive), so you don’t have to worry about them.

Post Update Tasks

The database update should be applied automatically, but maybe it gets stuck. If you encounter this, please initiate the DB update manually from the command line by running the script

bin/console dbstructure update

from the base of your Friendica installation. If the output contains any error message, please let us know using the channels mentioned below.

Please note, that some of the changes to the database structure will take some time (days)) to be applied, depending on the size of your Friendica database.

Known Issues

After the release it was reported, that one of the dependencies of Friendica is currently not compatible to PHP 7.0, although claiming otherwise. If you are using this version of PHP and want to install Friendica 2020.07 you have to edit the source code slight.y. For more information, see the forum thread about the problem.

If you are using MySQL there is an issue under investigation you should be aware of. This issue affects only users of MySQL, users of MariaDB have not reported this issue.

How to Contribute

If you want to contribute to the project, you don’t need to have coding experience. There are a number of tasks listed in the issue tracker with the label “Junior Jobs” we think are good for new contributors. But you are by no means limited to these – if you find a solution to a problem (even a new one) please make a pull request at github or let us know in the development forum.

Contribution to Friendica is also not limited to coding. Any contribution to the documentation, the translation or advertisement materials is welcome or reporting a problem. You don’t need to deal with Git(Hub) or Transifex if you don’t like to. Just get in touch with us and we will get the materials to the appropriate places.

Thanks everyone who helped making this release possible and have fun!

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