BookStack Project Update for March 2023
Dan Brown posted on the 31st of March 2023
There’s no new feature release for BookStack this month, due to various distractions and the type of work done in this release cycle, so I thought it’d be good to instead provide a general project update to highlight what has happened in the last month or so.
Within the last week I published BookStack v23.02.2. Since we’re still a little far from a feature release, I thought it’d be worthwhile to package up a patch release just to address a couple of user-management bugs and to merge in the latest translations.
A bunch of new hacks have been added to the site. If you’re unfamiliar with this part of the site you can find out more in my blogpost here. The newly added hacks are as follows:
- Render TeX/LaTeX Mathematics with MathJax - Provided by @codemicro.
- IFrame Specific Tweaks - Provided by @vincent.
- Custom WYSIWYG Editor Buttons
- Page Export Contents List
New API Script
While assisting a user on Discord, with using PowerShell to call the BookStack API, I ended up creating a new REST API example script in the repo:
PowerShell - Create BookStack Pages from HTML Files
I don’t really know PowerShell, and I’ve never gotten on with Microsoft’s documentation, but this was my first case of finding ChatGPT very useful to at least provide tailored examples to work from until I got something working.
This month I did something a bit different & outside my comfort zone, by being interviewed by Jeremy at Noted about BookStack.
You can find the full interview here.
The interview delves into the origin of the BookStack while also touching on the challenges experienced maintaining the platform over the last 7 or so years.
Development & CodeMirror 6
For the next release, so far my focus has primarily been on filling in gaps within the API as planned, with code now in the main branch to add image and content-permissions API endpoints.
I’ve also continued to chip away at updating CodeMirror from CodeMirror 5 to CodeMirror 6. CodeMirror is used for a lot of views within BookStack including code-blocks within content and the markdown editor input. The jump in version is quite a significant change, and something I started back in August but came across blockers with. During this month, I’ve looked to address the lack of default support in CodeMirror 6 for a couple of languages we currently support. I’ve published my resultant work as external stand-alone open source NPM packages in the event they’re useful to other projects that require the same:
First Repeat Support Subscriber
It’s now been a full year since I set-up & launched the BookStack support services. Since these are annual-subscription-based we’re now coming across the first renewals, and I’m pleased to say we’ve seen our first successful renewal! This may seem minor but it’s quite significant to me in the interest of these support services “building up momentum” across years to help cover my living costs to become sustainable.
If you’re interested in how these have helped finances so far, I provided a fair bit of information within the “BookStack in 2022” post.
Video: Installing BookStack on OpenBSD Assisted by ChatGPT
I’ve been wanting to expand my knowledge in the world of BSD operating systems so, as a fun introduction, I decided I’d try to install BookStack on OpenBSD and record the process. In addition, I thought it’d be fun to only have ChatGPT as my external reference during the process:
Although this ended up with having almost 2 hours of video to edit down, I quite enjoyed the process of discovery in addition to further learning the benefits and weaknesses in using a tool like ChatGPT, especially in more niche subject areas.
Header Image Credits: Photo by Tim Gouw