Beta Release v0.16.0

Another BookStack release is upon us. Since the last release work has been put into spring-cleaning the search system which is detailed below. Community contributions have gained some momentum bringing in some fantastic new features and fixes.

New Search System

The old search system had some issues. It was based on MySQL fulltext indexes which allowed the search to be efficient but smaller search terms would be ignored or non-english characters would not be matched. It also meant that BookStack relied on MySQL.

The search system has been re-written with a custom, more basic, solution that should provide a better experience for most users. The search index is now built on a standard database table and all text content on a page is indexed. Search terms are checked against this index in a prefix-match like manner. This means that the search term only needs to match the start of an indexed ‘word’.

In addition to the back-end system being re-written the main search interface has had an update:

New Search System

The result list is now simpler, With chapters, books and pages all in the same list, ranked by how much they match the given search terms. On the right hand side options have been added to expose inputs to allow more advanced searches. Exact match terms and tag searches, which were in previous releases, are now easier to use since you can add them in this sidebar without having to remember the exact search syntax.

New to the search system is a collection of advanced search filter options. These allow you to refine your search better than ever with options such as finding items ‘Created by me’ and a range of date filters.

Full details of the search system as well as a list of available filters can be found on this new documentation page.


A spellchecker has been quite an important omission for a text-heavy based platform such as BookStack but I’m pleased to say that spellchecking support is now enabled on pages. Thanks to @Abijeet whom enabled this feature within BookStack.

Spellchecking support

BookStack uses the native browser spell checking functionality to achieve this which ensures the correct settings, such as language, will be correct and any custom-saved words will be taken into account.

Translation Updates

With this release comes another round of updates to the translations. The Spanish translations have had an update to be much more complete thanks again to @diegoseso and now Slovak translations are available thanks to @jendrol.

Page Revision Counts

The number of updates is now recorded and displayed at the bottom of the page. Along with this count, A revision number can now been seen when viewing the list of revisions to a page. This enables you to uniquely reference each revision individually which can be essential in strict record keeping environments.

Full List of Changes

  • New search system with new search filter system.
    • New UI for searching content.
    • Fixes issues with search terms that are short or contain accents.
  • Added spell checker support to WYSIYG page editor. (Thanks to @Abijeet).
  • Page revision ID/Count system added.
  • Slovak translations added. (Thanks to @jendrol).
  • Spanish translations updated. (Thanks to @diegoseso).
  • The page navigation highlighting will now fade out.
  • Option to configure logging method added. (Thanks to @solidnerd).
  • Switched out markdown renderer library to markdown-it:
    • Fixes ability to have brackets in markdown urls.
    • Allows backslash escaping in markdown tables.
  • Updated permission system with ability to hide parent items and have the child be visible.
  • Confirmation emails may now be queued (Thanks to @DaneEveritt).

Next Steps

I’m thinking that the next chunk of work for BookStack may be more refinement and maintenance rather than big new features. A few areas, such as the test suite and JavaScript framework, need an update to be aligned. With the change to the search system we can also look at supporting other database types.

Notifications are becoming more requested, For which an initial discussion of using webhooks can be found here although I have some concerns about keeping BookStack performant at scale when notification come into play.

Header Image Credits: Jan Mellström