Apache’s Lenya as Easy as 1.2.3

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) released version 1.2.3 of its
Lenya project after only two months of development, group leaders said
today.

Lenya is an open source Java/XML content management system (CMS) that
is based on Apache Cocoon version 2.1.7. Last updated in February 2005, the improvements include revision control, site management,
scheduling, search, WYSIWYG editors and workflow.

Lenya 1.2.3. also has added caching to default publication; a move to Ant 1.6.3 and Jetty 4.2.23; a FileUser that is now serializable; and an improved Windows installer to make the latest Lenya version more explicit and launch Lenya start page at the end of the install.

One of the most visual improvements to Lenya, however, is the
update to its authoring capabilities.

The Apache Lenya authoring area is used to edit individual pages. The
author browses through the authoring area just like a visitor to a Web
site would. A menu at the top of the screen is the only indication that
you are inside the authoring environment, the ASF said in its
description. Everything else is just like it appears on the live site.

As for improved site management, ASF said Lenya can use its perform
operations that concern multiple pages, like moving pages around,
renaming sections of the site.

Finally, Lenya comes with different editors for content editing. One
of the more advanced ones is Bitflux Editor — or BXE.

Using BXE, the Apache Foundation said users can edit arbitrary XML in WYSIWYG
and validate a document against a Relax NG schema
while it is being edited.

The foundation said BXE in Lenya uses validation to restrict the
editing choices instead of allowing free-form input and then generating
validation errors on save. The group said that approach alone makes it
stand out against most other content editors.

“While some CMSs allow users to change the styling of pages in the
graphical interface of the application, Lenya does not,” Jon Linczak, an
ASF contributor and Lenya user said during a tutorial last month. “Some
consider this to be a big negative for Lenya, and for a large
institution with multiple designers and CSS developers, it can be.”

Linczak said Lenya’s other benefits are that a page layout is done in
XSL files, and when the page is accessed through your Web
browser, the content and the XSL template merge and get transformed into
a valid HTML or XHTML document.

The CMS platform is certainly getting its fair share of accolades. In
a September 2004 study by MIT, the technical institution chose Lenya as
its No. 1 recommendation for CMS usage.

For the next release, ASF said it is planning to move Lenya to a
block-based system, which should make it much easier to mix and match
Cocoon and Lenya components.

The group said it has two Lenya presentations scheduled at its
upcoming ApacheCon 2005 event in Stuttgart, Germany in mid-July.

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