Released back in 2007, after spending over two long months brewing up, Diferior now returns - harder, better, faster, stronger, as they say.
For those of you unfamiliar with the project, by definition Diferior (different + superior, get it?) is a multi-purpose content management system, meaning that it provides all the necessary tools to easily publish and organize your content. What is so special about it, you ask? Well, this is not your ordinary blog CMS. In fact, it is capable of distributing files via BitTorrent, HTTP and FTP protocols, has inbuilt forums, a sophisticated user system and many many more features that each can be tweaked, customized or disabled altogether.
You can run torrent trackers, blogs, forums and other community-based sites with it.
Diferior drops the 'beta' tag from its name and adapts an ubuntu-like version number, consisting of release year and month (hence v8.03). Although I do not want to discourage you, as excessive beta-testing has proven, bugs sprout up in the most unexpected places. If you manage to run into one, do not hesitate and report it in the forums. I will personally help you patch up the problem.
Now onto the fun stuff. 8.03 introduces many new features:
Even though I have tested the previous beta release on different server configurations, some people still ran into trouble setting it up. 8.03 should work on any server that is capable of running PHP 5.2+ (with GD module) and MySQL database. Mod_rewrite dependency has been removed (although it's still highly recommended).
Improved torrent tracker backend support
The previous beta worked only with a modified XBTT tracker. This release supports almost any possible tracker backend. Running a public tracker? Use OpenTracker. Don't have GCC access? Use PHP tracker. Server load problems? Use XBTT. Furthermore, you are able to configure Diferior to work with anonymous public (a.k.a external) trackers, e.g. denis.stalker.h3q.com or open.tracker.thepiratebay.org. Not only will this relieve your server from IP-address crunching duty, it might also add another layer of legal safety, so to speak (*cough*).
You will now be able to assign tags to blog posts and downloads. A significant addition for sites with loads of content. No longer will you have to decide which single category your submission best represents. Simply add some keywords to the tags field and it's all good.
Encouraging users to express themselves is essential for any growing community. Anonymous commenting is sort of "try before you buy" solution, allowing users to easily voice themselves on a particular matter, without going through a (~minute long) registration process.
With this option turned on, Diferior will hash client IP-addresses, instead of storing them in plain text. Since hashes are impossible to decrypt, your users will feel much safer about their privacy. Note that server configuration is still up to the server administrator, as it's way out of any regular WEB CMS's league.
While Diferior has a sophisticated templating system, introducing and distributing quick hacks to existing skins can be cumbersome. 8.03 has some improvements in it's template handling system which allow inclusions of extra stylesheets for current templates, thus enabling designers to code their own layouts and color schemes without messing with HTML or Smarty tags.
With forum search, "quote" and "edit post" buttons it is now much easier to follow and participate in discussions. There are also some minor UI fixes, that make forums so much more fun to use.
This one was probably among top-requested features. Well, it's finally here. You can send, receive and reply to private messages, engage into personal conversations with other users or simply notify members of something. In case you're concerned about your users flooding each other, don't - there's a customizable PM box limit, as well as anti-flood control system.
Bugfixes, other tweaks
There's a lengthy changelog in the README file, that is attached to the download archive. Many small tweaks and fixes in this release. You can check it out, if you're a sucker for details
Even although this is a major release, I'm not yet done and have some pretty big plans and features planned out for Diferior. Got any suggestions? Feel free to chime in.
Managed to get Diferior running? Let me know how you like it here.
Big thanks to Ernesto from TorrentFreak for supporting Diferior, witkuz for designing the logo (and "Skio Four" template), Rytis for helping out with diferior.lt, beta testers for contributing their time to test-drive pre-release versions of Diferior.
Diferior has been covered by Mashable, KillerStartups, SoftPedia, p2pnet, IrishGeeks, HellYeahDude. It's also listed on OpenSourceCMS (go there test-drive the system), OSLiving, CMSCritic and DemoLabo! Thanks and let me know if I missed somebody