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2012
The Alfresco Certification program has been running since October 2011, and in that time more than 400 of you have become Alfresco Certified professionals. Congratulations, and if you’re one of a small number of people who have yet to receive your certificate and badge, these will be on their way to you in early 2013.



On 30th November we updated the certification exams with changes to both the syllabus and content:



  • All items have been updated for Alfresco version 4, and new ones introduced to cover new functionality in version 4 such as Solr indexing and Activiti Workflow.





  • The number of questions in each exam has been reduced from 80 to 60, reflecting feedback from non-native English speakers who requested extra time to understand what each question was asking. Reducing the number of questions should also allow for additional review time at the end of the paper. This change will not compromise the exams’ integrity, since a 70% pass mark is still required, and the level of questions will remain the same.





  • All items have been cross referenced with the documentation available at docs.alfresco.com and/or the training curriculum on the University site, to ensure they are covered. (There will still, however, be a small number (no more than 20%) of questions related to knowledge gained in the field.)


  • The new exams come with new blueprints which you can download from our certification page.


  • To improve the revision experience we’ve created online sample papers for both exams, and you can try the sample ACA and ACE papers now to test your readiness for the exams. These have 30 questions each (representing 50% of the exam), and provide a much better experience than the previous sample tests.



If you’re already certified, please rest assured that your certification is still valid, and will be until the next iteration of the exams, which will be issued after the next major release of Alfresco (version 5). We’ll notify you in plenty of time to encourage you to upgrade your certification prior to this release.



As certification gains more and more traction in the marketplace, you will see more positions advertised requiring Alfresco certified professionals. There has never been a better time to prepare for your Alfresco certification - make it your new year's resolution.

Homebrew. The missing package manager for OS X

 

 

As part of some recent testing for Alfresco Mobile 1.4 (1.4.1 is currently being reviewed by Apple), I noticed that my thumbnails and document previews had stopped working. All this probably coincided with an upgrade to OS X 10.8.2, JDK 7 and/or the phases of the moon - whatever it was it's time to fix it!

 

Previously I'd tried both MacPorts and Fink to install command line utilities, but these two projects seem to either be far too complex, or rarely up-to-date. Fortunately there's a new kid on the block, namely Homebrew. Built upon Ruby and git and some very sensible deployment choices (binaries are linked into your path, rather than installed there) it sounds like exactly what I needed to fix my development setup.

 

The first step is to ensure there's a good GCC compiler installed locally. If you happen to be running Xcode already, that's just a matter of choosing the optional 'Command Line Tools' component in Preferences / Downloads. There are probably many different ways of getting GCC installed, but Xcode would be the simplest, if perhaps not the most efficient disk space-wise. Anyway, now you've got Xcode installed there's nothing stopping you modifying and contributing to the Alfresco iOS Mobile source code -- so that's the option I'm going to recommend!

 

The next step is to install Homebrew itself; very simple by copy & pasting the command line:

$ ruby -e '$(curl -fsSkL raw.github.com/mxcl/homebrew/go)'

 

There's then a quick diagnostic check to confirm everything's copacetic:

$ brew update && brew doctor


In my case this showed I was running an old version of XQuartz (X.11 for OS X), so a quick download and install fixed that.


Homebrew packages are simply installed using 'brew install <package>'. Each package is scripted in such a way to download and install any mandatory dependencies. The Homebrew ethos is to not install any unnecessary cruft, so we'll have to bear that in mind when installing the packages Alfresco needs for transformations.

 

I've already got a local install of Apache OpenOffice, so just need to install: ImageMagick, Ghostscript and swftools. Ghostscript can be installed as an optional submodule of ImageMagick, so that's the first package:

 

$ brew install imagemagick --with-ghostscript

 

Let's check the installation:

$ gs --version
9.06

$ convert --version
Version: ImageMagick 6.7.7-6 2012-12-05 Q16 http://www.imagemagick.org
Copyright: Copyright (C) 1999-2012 ImageMagick Studio LLC
Features: OpenCL

 

That all looks fine, so next comes swftools.

$ brew install swftools

 

Check the installation...

$ pdf2swf --version
-bash: pdf2swf: command not found

 

Hmmm.. what's going on here? A little Googling concludes that I'll need to manually install a few dependencies, as pdf2swf is actually an optional component within the swftools suite, so let's uninstall swftools and install the dependencies:

$ brew uninstall swftools
$ brew install lame
$ brew install giflib
$ brew install fftw

 

Now we're good to go with swftools again, and this time should get pdf2swf too:

$ brew install swftools

 

And check:

$ pdf2swf --version
pdf2swf - part of swftools 0.9.2

 

OK, so that was a little long-winded, but pretty easy overall.

 

But we're not quite done yet. OS X has its own version of the infamous Windows so-called 'DLL Hell' regarding .dylib files. The problem here involves the ImageIO system framework located at /System/Library/Frameworks/ImageIO.framework. It's evident when firing up the Alfresco Repository, as we'll start to see some transformation errors during bootstrap:

err: dyld: Symbol not found: __cg_jpeg_resync_to_restart
Referenced from: /System/Library/Frameworks/ImageIO.framework/Versions/A/Resources/libTIFF.dylib
Expected in: /usr/local/lib/libjpeg.8.dylib

 

Fortunately it's simple to fix, helped in part by the fact that Homebrew links binaries and libraries. We'll just need to re-link some image dylib files back to the ImageIO framework package, remembering to remove the problematic links first:

$ cd /usr/local/lib
$ rm libgif.dylib
$ ln -s /System/Library/Frameworks/ImageIO.framework/Resources/libGIF.dylib libGIF.dylib
$ rm libjpeg.dylib
$ ln -s /System/Library/Frameworks/ImageIO.framework/Resources/libJPEG.dylib libJPEG.dylib
$ rm libtiff.dylib
$ ln -s /System/Library/Frameworks/ImageIO.framework/Resources/libTIFF.dylib libTIFF.dylib
$ rm libpng.dylib
$ ln -s /System/Library/Frameworks/ImageIO.framework/Resources/libPng.dylib libPng.dylib

 

We'll also double-check that tomcat/shared/classes/alfresco-global.properties contains the right configuration for our new tools:

img.root=/usr/local
swf.exe=/usr/local/bin/pdf2swf

 

That should be it. Testing with Google Chrome (so I don't need a system-wide installation of Adobe Flash!) shows that thumbnails and previews are all working well within Share.

 

Share Document Library - Browse view

 

 

Share Document Library - Details Page

 

Hope this is of use to you.

 

-- Mike

Alfresco Community 4.2.c

Posted by kevinr1 Dec 10, 2012

The latest Alfresco Community 4.2 release is out! Here's some information on what improved features you can expect since the last release.



LightTheme



The latest Share user interface theme to be added to Alfresco and a preview of the newer more modern look we are working towards in the Share UI. This theme is a step towards a lighter looking, more modern UI experience. It is not the final version as we intend to refactor the header bar and top-level menus to add some much needed contrast but it already makes Share look more modern and more pleasing to use in modern browser environments. This theme is now the default for new installations. It also shows just how far you can take a Share theme with just CSS!



LightTheme



Gallery View



Improved performance (large thumbnails are now JPEG format by default) and improved user experience, including a fix to the issue of 'squashed' image aspect ratio for thumbnails.



Forms Validation Improvements



A feature that has been present on the Alfresco Cloud product for a while and now part of Community also - improved user feedback for form validation.



Wiki CSS Improvements



The CSS used to render wiki pages has been improved.



Google Docs Integration



The very latest Google Docs integration (2.0.1-13) is present in 4.2.c and has a number of important fixes.



Translations



We have full Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Dutch and Norwegian translations available in 4.2.c as well as the usual English, French, German, Spanish, Italian lang packs.



CSS Data Images



A SpringSurf web-framework feature now on by default. Improves the performance of pages that use a lot of small icon images by including them already encoded into a single style sheet file rather than lots of little image files.



Bugs!



Lots of bugs have been fixed, including the issues with Document Library filters that was present in 4.2.b. You should also find again the performance of 4.2 is so much better out the box than Community 4.0. See the full list of fixed bugs since the 4.2.b release.



In Summary



We hope you enjoy this Alfresco Community release, it's the last one we will be putting into your stocking before xmas!
wabson

Media Viewers and Quick Share

Posted by wabson Employee Dec 4, 2012
Peter helpfully put together a summary of a couple of the many different content viewers that are now provided by the Media Viewers project. His blog post is well worth checking out if you're not familiar with the Embed and PdfJs viewers, or if you have content types that you have problems previewing in Share today.



He also pointed out something that may be obvious to some of you, but it had not occurred to me! When you add a new plugin to Alfresco's web preview component - as this add-on does - then that is also available on the Quick Share page.







If you're not familiar with Quick Share it is a great new feature originally in Cloud and now in Community 4.2, providing public sharing of documents via a short URL, which can be easily used by clicking the Share action directly above the document preview.



The result is pretty powerful, since using an iFrame you can easily add those embedded documents to an intranet page or public web page - or just link to the items direct as Peter has done in his post. In fact Sergio Buitrago and I worked on this implementing this very thing as a WordPress plugin at the Berlin DevCon Hackathon last month!

Latest Changes in PdfJs Viewer



It's worth mentioning that you can try out the features Peter mentions by grabbing the project's latest source from trunk. In particular, here are two new features that are hot off the press in the PdfJs viewer:



  • Perform a search in Share and click through to a PDF file or office document. You should see that the search function is automatically invoked for the term you searched for in the previous page, and highlights the first match.


  • If you are using the latest available Firefox or Chrome browsers, you can enter full-screen mode by pressing Ctrl+F on the keyboard. Now you can deliver PowerPoint presentations directly from Share itself!


We are still in the process of finalising the 2.1 release of the Media Viewers add-on, so if you have feedback please file an issue on the Share Extras project site.

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