New Concerto 2 Beta Release – 0.4.0 FoxtrotFlamingo!

It’s been two weeks since our previous Concerto 2 beta release and we find ourselves at “0.4.0.FoxtrotFlamingo”. This release is jam-packed with UI enhancements and bug fixes. To get started, you can find our installation to get started in our Github wiki.

Most notable among the UI changes is a revamped dashboard. Previously, Concerto 2 had a bit of an identity crisis going on with an admin “dashboard” and a front page for logged-in users that acted a little as a dashboard of its own. We’ve rectified this by creating a consistent dashboard that is visible when a user logs into Concerto 2. The dashboard is broken up into a number of portlets and acts similarly to what you might expect: it’s a front door to everything you can do with the Concerto Panel. The dashboard tailors itself to your user account. If you have submissions to moderate, you will see a message right on your dashboard. If you belong to one or more groups or control screens, those will appear on the dashboard. An Activity Log of the latest happenings in your Concerto world appears along the right side of the dashboard. And future portlets will be coming!

A screenshot of the new dashboard in the Concerto 2 0.4.0.FoxtrotFlamingo beta release.

A screenshot of the new dashboard in the Concerto 2 0.4.0.FoxtrotFlamingo beta release.

The new dashboard is accessible via the root url of your Concerto 2 instance when you are logged in as a user, and it can be reached by clicking the big blue Concerto logo button in the top left of the page.

In addition, the administrator views have been reorganized into three main areas: Settings, Plugins, and Users. The Settings are grouped into several tabs based on common functional areas. We hope this organization will serve us well as we flesh out the final components of plugin management.

We’re really interested in your feedback about these changes to the Concerto 2 UI. Please tell us what you think in our discussion group and post to our issue tracker if you discover a bug or want to suggest a change.

You can find a full list of changes for this release here. Expect another exciting beta release in a couple weeks!

EchoInchworm Beta Release

We’ve just finished pushing our latest update to the Concerto 2 beta, “0.3.2.EchoInchworm”.  In the two weeks since our last release we’ve been busy addressing a handful of feature requests and bugs reported since the last release. You can find our installation to get started in our Github wiki.

Among the notable changes you’ll find support for legacy (V1) screen urls.  Concerto 2 correctly responds to urls like http://concerto/?mac=00:aa:bb just like Concerto 1 did.  You should now be able to test out Concerto 2 without updating the URL on your existing clients.

We also added a new <iframe> content type.  If you need to display a remote web page or dashboard, you can create a piece of content which will use an iframe to display the url on a screen.

This release also includes some speed improvements to content browsing and bug fixes to template importing (aka it works now, unlike the last release).

Almost as exciting as all of those changes is the updated demo system.  Head on over to http://nightly.concerto-signage.org and check out this Concerto 2 release running on Heroku.  If you haven’t taken the plunge yet, the demo’s worth checking out to see what Concerto 2 is all about!

Do get in touch with us via our group or issue tracker if you come across a bug or have a feature suggestion for us.  It’s great to hear when things work (or don’t) so we can improve for the future!

You can find a full list of changes for this “0.3.2.echoinchworm” release here.

Concerto 2 Beta – DeltaOcelot!

Concerto 2 development continues to progress at a blistering pace! In just a little over two months (67 days for anyone counting), the Concerto team has released a second beta version – 0.2.0 “DeltaOcelot”. Perhaps even better news is that development pace shows no signs of slowing down and new versions can be expected on an increasingly frequent schedule. To get started head over to our installation guide here.

DeltaOcelot brings three entirely new and compelling features to the table. Support has been added for Vimeo videos. Youtube support is nice, but isn’t for everyone and options are always nice! Ticker text now supports basic HTML which should prove useful in distinguishing ticker text items of various importance. Finally, an activity feed has been added to help users quickly view pertinent information and updates.

In addition to new features, there are improvements to existing ones as well. Weather locations can now be specified by WOEID. The group management interface has been redesigned to be easier to use. Graphic caching has been improved, as has security. Finally, no incremental beta would be complete without an ample supply of bug fixes.

Please get in touch with us via our group or issue tracker if you come across a bug or have a feature suggestion for us.  You can find a full list of code changes for this “0.2.0 deltaocelot” beta release here.

 

Concerto 2 Beta

Five years ago today a half dozen students debuted “Concerto”, the home-grown digital signage system for RPI.  Today we’re proud to announce the first beta release of Concerto 2, building a much more robust an extensible platform for open source signage of the future.  To get started head over to our installation guide here.

When we first released Concerto 1 at RPI we had no immediate plans publicize the open source software powering it.  None of us were quite sure if the project was going to take off past the 2 maiden screens on campus, never mind have a place outside our small collegiate community.  We’ve been more than a bit surprised how well Concerto’s been received this far and are excited by all the interesting places screens have popped up.

If you’re looking at setting up a new digital signage system give Concerto 2 a try! We’re eager to hear any feedback and help with any problems that arise during the installation / setup process; let us know how it goes.  Reading our past early preview posts [1, 2, 3] will share an overview of the features you can expect to find in Concerto 2.

For the Concerto 1 users, this beta release includes all the core functionality you’re familiar with in V1.  Some of the more noticeable changes include a redesigned UI and workflow (the buttons are different, the nouns are the same), more granular authentication and authorization controls, and the notion of plugins so we can add support for additional content types to the system like RSS feeds, YouTube Videos, and more.  Behind the scenes we rebuilt the system from scratch, trading PHP for Ruby on Rails.

Those who’ve been living on the bleeding edge with us through the rockier early preview releases should find all of the current show-stopping bugs fixed in this release.  Everything that we knew about that was broken has been fixed and we made significant strides to achieve feature parity with the common V1 installation.  We’ve added a clock to the frontend among other improvements, tossed in a weather plugin, and fixed some misbehaving user management pages.  Thanks for all your help testing out the Early Preview releases!

Please get in touch with us via our group or issue tracker if you come across a bug or have a feature suggestion for us.  You can find a full list of code changes for this “0.1.0.charliehorse” beta release here.