Archive for April, 2008

Nightly Snapshot Releases

admin. Wednesday, April 16th, 2008.

Starting now, nightly “snapshot” releases of Greenstone3 will be constructed and made available on our snapshots page.

Every night, the most recent revision of the Greenstone3 source code will be automatically checked out, compiled, and packaged up as an easy-to-use installer and put up on our website. These snapshots will be created for Linux and Windows, and soon, Mac. They will be made available in two formats: as an executable Jar, or as a native binary for your operating system. And to make things even easier, there is also a native binary which comes bundled with Java.

As of today, you no longer have to wait for a release to come out before you can take advantage of a new feature of Greenstone3. All you have to do is install the latest snapshot release, and you will have all the features added up to the previous day.

Nightly snapshot releases were made possible by our move to the open source installer Ant Installer. We have been able to construct a release “kit” for each operating system, which automatically creates releases of Greenstone3 using a number of Ant scripts, the Ant Installer software, and a simple executable wrapper program. Since creating a release is now as easy as running a single command, we decided to let the computer create them nightly.

Not surprisingly, the snapshot releases are likely to have a few flaws. These flaws will have two sources: bugs in the release kits, and bugs in the Greenstone code. As far as the release kits are concerned, in time we aim to eliminate all the bugs, so that they produce robust and usable installers. But as for the Greenstone code, we recognise that the most recent revision of the Greenstone code will always have some “bleeding edges”, so we do not expect to ever eliminate all the bugs there. (If you want thoroughly tested releases, go for one of our regular releases, not a snapshot.)

You can help us to perfect the Greenstone3 release kits by downloading and installing a snapshot release, and telling us if you hit any problems. Go on, be brave!

(For those interested, instructions for getting and using the release kits themselves are available at

Also, keep a look out for Greenstone2 snapshot releases and release kits, which are coming soon.

Greenstone Workshops

Dave Nichols. Friday, April 4th, 2008.

There will be a 4-day Greenstone Workshop at the University of Malaya (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) on 12-15th May 2008. The workshop is hosted by the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology and the instructor will be Prof. M.G. Sreekumar – further details are in the workshop brochure (PDF).

Bess Sadler writes that photographs from a Greenstone Workshop in Bulawayo (Zimbabwe) in December 2007 are online.