Newsletters News and Center Pieces are Falling Into Place

spiderr • 09 Jan 2006 (09:15 UTC)
Research and Development
The NewslettersPackage has received a major overhaul, refactoring, and feature improvements. So much so that the NewslettersPackage is becoming a powerful "email marketing tool". At this point the schema is pretty much settled down, and there is a bevy of beautiful features, including:
  • Use of phpMailer
  • Tight integration with groups in the UsersPackage
  • Message tracking number of Reads
  • Users can now permanently unsubscribe from Everything.
  • Newsletters and their editions are now publically browseable (or not)
Currently the package is still in pre-beta, however the schema seems settled at this point. There are lots of groovy features still needed (like nice statistical eye candy, click-through tracking, and more). If you are interested in taking it for a spin, "cvs checkout newsletters" in your bitweaver directory, and get involved! We'd love to have help with the package development.

In other news, center pieces in layouts now seem to be working very well. Center Pieces allow you to put multiple center blocks together of different packages together for a package home page. For example on, there is a static wiki page at the top followed by recent articles. It would also be possible to insert a center piece of blog posts or image galleries.

Along with this, module parameters can now be entered in the XML attribute="foo" format in addition to the existing the http "GET" format. These changes are in the ReleaseOne CVS Branch and will be included in the next release. If anyone notices any display issues, please drop by ConnectingToIrc and let us know asap...


Hosted Site User Wants to Try

by Edwin, 17 Jan 2006 (11:35 UTC)
We use bitweaver and are in great need of the newsletter capability to distribute information to our mailing list. Unfortunately, our bitweaver site is hosted, so I am not familiar with using CVS. Is there an easier way of installing this at our site so we can give it a try. I'd be happy to document the process for the benefit of others, if someone would kindly point me in the right direction. I am a Mac user. Thanks in advance for your advice.

Re: Hosted Site User Wants to Try

by Filipino Filipiciu, 17 Jan 2006 (11:54 UTC)
Hi eclvvin,

Yo can go to and download the newsletter package. Then upload/untar it to your server, then go to the bitweaver packages interface (admin+>packages, if i remember well). Hope this helps :) and good luck!

by Edwin, 24 Jan 2006 (09:46 UTC)
Thanks filipok,

Your suggestion worked beautifully for installation. However, when I went to test the newsletter service, I did not receive the test email. I find it strange since I do receive other system generated notifications.

If anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it.

I am very curious to test this new service.

Re: Newsletters

by xing, 24 Jan 2006 (11:47 UTC)
hi eclvvin, the newsletters packages hasn't been released yet. there are things missing from the package you downloaded such as the phpmailer we use. the safest way to get hold of all of this, is to download the CVS version of bitweaver and checking out the newsletters package seperately. have a look at bitweaverFAQ and bitweaverCVS for instructions on how to get hold of our cvs. Please note that we don't support anything that isn't released yet and we don't announce schema changes of unreleased packages. this means that your site might stop working when you upgrade to the next version of newsletters and you might have to modify the database by hand or reinstall the newsletters package. if you run into problems, drop by IRC.

the newsletters cvs module is called _bit_newsletters.


Re: Newsletters

by Edwin, 24 Jan 2006 (14:16 UTC)
Thanks Xing,

We run a hosted solution and I use a Mac. Unfortunately, all the CVS clients I've looked at, even for other platforms, are intended for use with directories on your own machine. Is there a CVS client or some service provided by hosting services that would allow me to use CVS?

Re: Newsletters

by xing, 24 Jan 2006 (17:15 UTC)
if your host grants you ssh access to the server, you are likely to have cvs access as well. all you need to do is ssh to your server and type the cvs commands outlined on bitweaverCVS.
if you don't have ssh access, you can use cvs to download the files to your local system and then upload those to your host. when you use cvs, it informs you of what files have been updated, making it easy and quick for you to only exchange the files that have been modified since your last update.


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