BookStack Release v23.02

BookStack v23.02 is here, acting primarily as a maintenance release to upgrade the underlying framework while optimizing things and making a few other additions.

Upgrade Notices

  • PHP Version Requirement Change - The minimum supported PHP version has changed from PHP 7.4 to PHP 8.0.2 in this release. Please see the v23.02 version-specific update instructions for guidance on updating PHP.
  • Logical Theme System Event Change - The commonmark_environment_configure event argument and return types have changed. Please see the event definition to understand the new types if using this logical theme system event.

Framework Update

The main task of this release was to upgrade the core framework of BookStack from Laravel 8 to Laravel 9, allowing us to keep on supported libraries. While not providing any user-visible features, this provides some benefits on the development side of things while bumping the minimum PHP version supported to PHP 8.0.2, providing us new language features to play with.

Roles API Endpoints

This release extends the REST API with some new endpoints for roles. This adds list, create, read, update & delete endpoints allowing integration and automation of role management where desired, working in support with the existing user API endpoints.

List of REST api endpoints from the BookStack REST API docs

Shelf Book Sort Enhancements

The shelf edit view has received more attention to generally improve the user experience of managing books on the shelf, with the primary aim of making the interface usable via keyboard & screen-reader, much like the book sort additions in the last release.

Shelf edit view showing book sorting actions

Also added to the view is a new dropdown menu containing quick sort actions so you can quickly sort by common categories such as name, created date or updated date, without needing to drag & reorder each item manually.

Sendmail Command Configuration

We’ve always supported the sending of email via sendmail where preferred, but the exact command used has been hardcoded to /usr/sbin/sendmail -bs. In some environments a different command could be desired, so this can now be configured like so:

MAIL_SENDMAIL_COMMAND="/my/path/to/sendmail -bs"

Sendmail configuration documentation.

System Performance Improvements

Attention has been put on performance in a few key areas where things were reported to be slow or inefficient in certain scenarios:

  • Saving page content, especially on first save with a lot of content, can now be much faster as some inefficiencies in how some parsing operations have been addressed.
  • Significantly increasing WYSIWYG page editor lag, when page length increases, has been significantly reduced.
  • App setting loading is now done in batch to reduce latency caused previously by per-setting-cache usage.
  • An extra index has been added to the pages table to improve loading of recently updated pages.

Overall, these changes should help to keep the system feeling fast and responsive.

Improved Favicon Handling

In the last feature release we introduced the ability to set an app icon and, while this was used in the vast majority of scenarios, there could be certain edge-cases you’d still see the default BookStack favicon.

To help with this, BookStack will now also generate a favicon.ico file (if file permissions allow) using your custom supplied icon file.

Preview of a cat image used as a custom tab icon image


Once again a big thanks to our brilliant translators that help keep the language text of BookStack up-to-date. All those listed below have contributed translations since the last feature release:

  • Ole Aldric (Swoy) - Norwegian Bokmal
  • VIET NAM VPS (vietnamvps) - Vietnamese
  • Eduardo Castanho (EduardoCastanho) - Portuguese
  • toras9000 - Japanese
  • scureza - Italian
  • Statium - Russian
  • 10935336 - Chinese Simplified
  • sdhadi - Persian
  • Indrek Haav (IndrekHaav) - Estonian
  • Jan Mitrof (jan.kachlik) - Czech
  • pathab - German
  • m0uch0 - Spanish
  • Éric Gaspar (erga) - French
  • Gábor Marton (dodver) - Hungarian
  • MichelSchoon85 - Dutch
  • Andrii Bodnar (andrii-bodnar) - Ukrainian

Customization Hacks

Although not part of this release, during the last month I deployed the new /hacks part of the site where you can find different kinds of unsupported customizations that can be applied to BookStack.

You can find more information in this blogpost.

LinuxServer Docker Guide & YouTube Monetization

Another thing I’ve worked on in the past month is a video guide to common management operations when running BookStack in a docker based setup using a docker container setup. This covers updating, backing-up, restoring, running comments and other bits. I’ve been wanting to make this for a while since I’m often supporting users that have this setup so now I’ll be able to point to the video to save time in writing out detailed guidance.

Also on the YouTube side of things, I’ve now met the threshold to become a “YouTube Partner” so I can now earn from my videos, which I’ve enabled to act as an additional (yet minimal) passive income avenue to support work on BookStack. This looks like it’d maybe provide about £20 per month right now, but every little helps and this should slowly increase as the channel gets more subscribers. I have only enabled skippable ads though to keep interruption minimal.

Next Steps

The roles API addition in this release was a bit of a prerequisite for adding permission API endpoints, so I’ll likely look to spend some time further fleshing out the API.

I’d also like to spend some time making the install & update process streamlined with some scripts, which I’ve wanted to do for a while but have been split between approaches, but I think it’s time to just proceed with a pragmatic approach.

At a higher level, I need to start thinking about what the next major feature will be on our roadmap, so may begin some implementation proposal discussions.

Full List of Changes

Released in v23.02

  • Added user roles API endpoints. (#4051, #4034)
  • Added configuration option for the sendmail command. (#4001)
  • Added sort actions and accessible controls to the shelf book management interface. (#4049, #4031, #2050)
  • Updated framework to Laravel 9. (#4021, #3123)
  • Updated project minimum supported PHP version from 7.4 to 8.0.2. (#4029)
  • Updated the URL length limit for link attachments to 2k characters. (#4044)
  • Updated app icon handling to generate favicon.ico file where possible. (#4032)
  • Updated setting loading to be more efficient. (#4062)
  • Updated test handling with cleaner centralized filed/image handling. (#3995)
  • Updated translations with latest Crowdin changes. (#4025)
  • Fixed issue where uploaded images would not show in the gallery for draft pages. (#4028)
  • Fixed issue with increasing WYSIWYG editor lag as pages grow. (#3981)
  • Fixed potential pluralization issues in some languages. (#4040)
  • Fixed slow response time when saving page due to URL parsing and handling. (#3932)

Released in v23.01.1

  • Updated pdf library to address vulnerability. (#4010)
  • Updated translations with latest Crowdin changes. (#4008)
  • Fixed missing default 180px icon. (#4006)

Header Image Credits: Photo by AJ Wallace on Unsplash