We're happy to announce that Koken 0.6.0 is now available. It includes a long list of fixes, theme updates, and a few notable changes that make Koken easier to install on a wide variety of hosts.
Support for the GD image library
Since the release of the public beta, we've heard from several users whose hosts did not allow or offer ImageMagick. Our initial response was that we needed ImageMagick for certain functionality, in particular some features we have on our roadmap for image handling. However, after taking another look at PHP's built-in GD library, we realized that GD now supports all current Koken features as well as those on our near-term roadmap. So, starting with 0.6.0, you can now install Koken without ImageMagick.
Broader web server support
In previous versions of Koken, non-Apache web servers like nginx and lighttpd would sometimes need to be reconfigured in order to run Koken. We've changed some of the internal URL handling in Koken 0.6.0 to remove the need for that reconfiguration, so Koken should now work out of the box with just about any web server software, as long as it is coupled with PHP and MySQL.
If you've had trouble installing Koken previously, try again with a fresh download of the updated installer.
For a full list of changes, see the release notes over at help.koken.me. As always, you can update by signing in to your Koken install and waiting for the update banner to appear at the top. If it doesn't show up right away, try waiting a bit or clearing your browser cache. If you run into any problems, feel free to contact us.
As we wrote about yesterday, we've been furiously sifting through emails and tweets in an attempt to identify any and all issues in the current beta. Thanks to your feedback, we're happy to announce a new release today (0.5.6) that resolves over 20 issues. For a full list of the changes, see the release notes.
To update your installation to 0.5.6, sign-in to your Koken installation. Underneath the main navigation will be a message row asking if you'd like to ignore or install the latest version. Click "Install now" and your installation will be automatically upgraded to the latest and greatest. If you don't see the update message, wait a few minutes or try clearing your browser cache. Sometimes it can take a little time for the console to recognize that an update is available.
Things have been a bit wild since our free public beta was released last Thursday morning. We worked through the weekend responding to a tidal wave of congratulatory messages, support requests and feature suggestions. If we had to sum up the experience in a single image, it all went down a bit like this:
Thankfully, the majority of support requests we received concerned initial server configuration issues, notably localhost setups. We'll be improving the installer to handle local installations better, in addition to providing written documentation through our Help Center for those who need it. Overall, we are extremely pleased with the outcome thus far and are enjoying helping people discover all the things Koken can do.
There was also plenty of activity over at Twitter, including the following tweets which we rather enjoyed reading.
In the days and weeks ahead our team will continue providing support and issuing console updates as necessary. To report a problem or ask a question, head over to our Help Center.
Thanks to some user reports this morning, we found and fixed an issue with Koken that would make it appear as though you were still logged in, even though your session had expired. This would cause confusion as any actions (uploading images, creating new albums, etc) would fail because the session was no longer authenticated. We've just released 0.5.5 to resolve this issue.
To update your installation to 0.5.5, sign-in to your Koken installation. Underneath the main navigation will be a message row asking if you'd like to ignore or install the latest version (see screenshot below). Click "Install now" and your installation will be automatically upgraded to the latest and greatest. If you have issues with the upgrade, try signing out first by clicking your name in the upper right corner of the screen, then log back in and try the upgrade again.
A new point update for Koken has been released that addresses a few issues reported to us after yesterday's (awesome) public beta release. You can read what's been fixed in our release notes.
To update your installation to 0.5.4 (and all future updates for that matter), sign-in to your Koken installation. Underneath the main navigation will be a message row asking if you'd like to ignore or install the latest version (see screenshot below). Click "Install now" and your installation will be automatically upgraded to the latest and greatest.
If you don't see the update message, wait a few minutes or try clearing your browser cache. Sometimes it can take a little time for the console to recognize that an update is available.
In the days ahead we'll continue looking into any other issues reported to us. If you spot a problem not resolved by this release, feel free to contact our support team. Thanks again to all the fantastic people who not only took the time to download and install Koken but report back to us with their impressions, feedback, and questions. We greatly appreciate it.
Ever since our first teaser page for Koken hit the web people have been asking about pricing. We've always wanted to provide a definitive answer, but decided it was better to take our time and announce just prior to the public beta (which will be released this Thursday, February 21st).
Today, that day has come. We're pleased to announce that Koken will be free. No limits, strings attached or paid upgrades. Koken will be yours to publish web sites for yourself or your clients.
Why free? Because amazing things can happen when individuals with ambition, ideas and the urge to create are provided tools to bring their visions to life. We've recognized from the beginning the number of students, aspiring artists, and pixel-pushers who would not only benefit in a practical sense from a product like Koken, but also actively participate to make Koken better for everyone else. The more creative talent we have using Koken, the richer our marketplace of third party themes, plugins and other enhancements will be. That in-turn will push us — as Koken's developers — to continually improve and expand the platform for everyone's benefit.
Plus, going free just makes everything more interesting. We would probably be successful selling Koken, but what if we gave it away? Who would use it? What kinds of sites would be created? What types of themes would be designed? Those questions could still be answered with a paid product, but the variety of users, sites and themes would be far greater by going free. For us, that's far more exciting than constructing a pay wall and limiting our reach.
How do we stay in business?
By earning revenue through other sources. Those sources will include the sale of themes (ours and third parties), plugins, services, and other enhancements. This will have the added benefit of ensuring the core product is focused on features that benefit everyone as opposed to adding more specialized functionality that would only be used by a handful of users. Plugins provide the perfect means to extend the system without added complexity or bloat.
Will features or themes be removed from the beta?
Absolutely not. Everything you see in the beta constitutes Koken's core functionality. But that's not the end of it! We have a full to-do list of additional features we plan on adding to the core (free) system.
Does this mean that Koken will be open source?
We feel that open source software thrives for tools and libraries that act as building blocks for larger applications. We believe in and use open source software every day while building Koken. But for a large system like ours we feel retaining control of the product and its direction is best for both you as a user and our company. While Koken will not be open source, it will be highly extensible via our theme and plugin system.
This Thursday, February 21st, you'll be able to download the Koken public beta through our home page. Once installed you will continue to receive beta updates in addition to the final release through the console's automatic upgrade utility. To be notified of beta availability, sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know.
Since work began on Koken over two years ago, our hope has been to share the product with as many users as possible while also contributing to the richness and variety of creative work published online. We hope you'll join us.
Five months ago in September 2012 we invited a number of people to download and try Koken as part of our initial private beta. We fixed, optimized, and added a bunch stuff in the ensuing weeks, and feel that now is the perfect time to open our doors to anyone else who'd like to give it a try. To be informed of availability, sign-up for our email newsletter at our (soon to be revamped) home page, follow us on Twitter or keep an eye on our Facebook page for download information. See you then!