Today we're releasing Koken 0.8, a notable console update that includes a wide range of new features, fixes, and enhancements. There's a lot of stuff in this release, so we're going to walk through each of the things you should be aware of, starting with what's new.

Better link formatting

Koken 0.8 introduces major changes to site link formatting. Before, all links to site content used IDs for their slugs (the unique identifiers at the end of a url). The links worked of course, but they weren't optimal for readability or SEO purposes. Koken 0.8 changes this so that new installations use titles and dates for slugs instead of IDs. Existing installations will continue using IDs after upgrading to 0.8, but you may change to the new link formatting in the Settings > Site publishing section of the console after upgrading.

Custom content labels

As part of the link formatting update we're also including support for custom content labels. By "labels" we mean how your content is classified: "Albums", "Content", "Essays", and so on. Labels may now be edited through the same setting (shown below) that handles link formatting.

Links and labels editor in Settings

Editing a label will change not only how links are formatted but also change any applicable page titles or links in a site theme. For example, if you changed "Albums" to "Projects", your links would use "/projects/" in their path and site links like "All albums" would appear as "All projects". All of the default themes that come with Koken have been updated to support these custom labels wherever appropriate.

Set covers, improved cover management

Cover images for albums and sets have undergone a complete overhaul. Covers now appear at the top of the "Inspector" column (see below) when an album or set is selected. You may then click, drag and drop the covers into the order you want. Dragging a cover to the first slot automatically makes it the primary cover.

Ordering album covers by drag and drop

Cover assignment is also easier. Simply drag and drop images onto album and set titles in the left column and the image will be assigned as the collection's primary cover.

Dragging an image onto an album to assign cover

Last but certainly not least, images may be assigned as covers for sets. Before, set covers were automatically generated using the covers of the albums they contained. Koken 0.8 drops all that so that set covers may be edited just the same as albums.


GPS info in image metadata is quickly becoming the norm with today's cameras. Koken 0.8 takes advantage of this data by displaying a special button at the top of the right column of the Library (see below) whenever a selected image contains GPS data.

GPS button that appears when an image is geotagged

When the button is clicked a map is displayed that pin-points the exact location where the image was captured.

Map showing where the photo was captured

Social sharing and Twitter Cards support

All of the default themes have been updated to include content sharing links for Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+. These links (which may be hidden if you don't want them) make it easier for visitors to share your site content with their followers.

Each theme incorporates the links a little differently (depending on their design), but here's a screenshot of the share menu Madison now includes:

Share menu that appears on content hover in Madison

As part of this update we're also rolling out support for Twitter Cards. These are tweets that use special layouts for media. Cards are attached to tweets whenever someone tweets a link to a page on your site that includes Twitter Card information. For example, if someone were to tweet a link to an album on your site their tweet would include the album title, summary and covers as illustrated below:

Twitter is currently testing Cards, so for now you have to submit your site for approval in order for them to appear. Or, you can wait. Once Twitter rolls this feature out for everyone your site will be ready and ahead of the game.

Disqus plugin and discussions

Alongside Koken 0.8 we're also releasing a free Disqus plugin to publish comments on your site. All of the default themes have been updated to support the plugin, so once you've setup a free Disqus account and enabled the plugin site visitors will be able to leave comments on your published essays and content.

External image embedding in essays/pages

Need to link directly to an image at an outside site in an essay or page? Koken 0.8 now allows you to paste absolute image paths into the body of an essay or page. Koken will recognize the image link and format it appropriately.

Improved Madison navigation for mobile devices

Madison's navigation on mobile devices wasn't optimal, so we completely changed its design. The theme now displays a fixed menu button (circled below) at the top of every page which -- when clicked -- slides the page to the right to reveal navigation links. This creates more room for page content and makes the theme easier to navigate as well. Below is a screenshot of Madison's layout on an iPhone.

New side mobile menu and button in Madison

Easier custom templates

Koken 0.8 completely changes how custom templates are added to themes. If you're designing your own theme, all you have to do is drop a file with ".lens" as its file suffix into your folder to create a custom page. So your theme could include "contact.lens", "about.lens", or whatever you like and publishers will be able to add the page to their site navigation (see below).

Custom .lens template in the Add Links sheet

Essay autosaving

Losing your work by accidentally closing a browser or losing power can really suck. Koken 0.8 helps out by automatically saving draft essays whenever changes are made so nothing is lost.

Code embedding in essays/pages

Inserting custom Javascript or embed code from an outside provider is now easier. Simply create a new line in the editor, click, then choose the code button at far right (see below). Paste your code into the sheet that appears and you're done.

Embed code in an essay or page by clicking the new code button

Lens template tag and variable updates

Theme developers have some new and updated template tags and variables to play with. We've documented them all in the "What's new" help center article.

Upgrading to Koken 0.8

Upgrading is easy. Simply sign-in to your console and an upgrade notification will appear at the top. If you don't see a notification right now, wait a bit and try refreshing your browser again a little later.

Full release notes

Along with everything listed above, Koken 0.8 also includes a number of bug fixes and general theme updates. Check out the release notes to see everything.

Moving forward

Our goal with Koken 0.8 was to pack as many new features and fixes into one big drop as we possibly could. But we're anything but finished. A whole new round of features and enhancements are on our list for Koken 0.9, which we'll begin working on next.

As always, if you have any questions or issues with Koken you may contact us anytime for support.

Categories: Updates