Play your part in Xibo Open Source Digital Signage
The heart of the Xibo Signage solution is our open source content management system. Last week we shared an introduction to open source digital signage, but if you want a bit more detail, read on!
If you’re currently running a self hosted CMS and / or our open source Windows or Linux players, this blog will offer some valuable insight into the future of our open source solution and how you can play your part in its growth.
What developments have been made on the Open Source CMS and players?
At Xibo, development starts with the content management system (CMS). The CMS we offer on our commercial Cloud hosting platform is the same CMS we make available as open source software under the AGPLv3 licence.
We’ve been working hard on our latest and greatest CMS, Xibo v3. This version, which is now in release candidate3, includes touch and web hook interactivity. We’ve also improved organisation with folders. Best practices and security are a main priority in our development plans and we always ensure the frameworks and libraries we use are up to date.
Our open source player for Windows, written in C#/.NET has recently been converted from WinForms to WPF. This has allowed us to add support for overlapping regions, transitions between widgets and add a Chrome based web rendering engine for embedded content.
The open source Player for Linux, written in C++/GTK is a more recent addition to the platform and currently has support for most 1.8 features. We have been working on stability and distribution and have recently introduced support for AppImage. Over the coming months we will be adding version 2 features to this player.
The latest CMS releases and source code can be found here:
What future plans are there for the Xibo Open Source Solutions?
We are in the midst of our “interactive signage” project which will be included in the Xibo v3 release coming soon. At Xibo, we add functionality first and then work on iterative improvements to that functionality. This is what we will be working on next.
Beyond that we have some exciting improvements coming to the way Widgets are designed, with a real focus on usability.
We are also hoping to bring the community together and move forward with the Linux Player. Currently the Linux Player is an early 1.8 capable player and needs refinement to become stable and then improvements from v2 and then v3! There is a lot of work to be done there and we’re hoping to get the community involved!
What are the benefits of Xibo Open Source?
There are many benefits for users and businesses when choosing open source software, as discussed in the first of this blog series, an Introduction to Open Source Digital Signage. Open source software can also bring benefits to development teams!
At Xibo we have built our CMS with extensibility in mind, so that a software developer can add to the platform, even if those additions are not things added to the product as a whole. We do this through a custom namespace (drop your PHP in the /custom folder), custom middleware (add your middleware to settings.php) and a Modular Widget architecture.
With these tools it's possible to add new pages to the CMS, new forms and new Widgets to add to Layouts! You can find out more about these tools in the developer documentation. This is a great place to go, whether you want to integrate, extend or even make your own player (we know how hard this is though, which is why we’ve made 5 players to cover a range of hardware!).
How can I get involved with the future of Xibo Open Source?
The best way to get involved with the project is to come and join us in our Community. Everything we do is out in the open and you can see our future plans, the things we’re working on and what our users are talking about.
If you have software development skills and want to pick up a bug or feature request we’re always happy to help.
The Xibo CMS is a PHP web application using the Slim Framework and a Bootstrap/jQuery based front end. The Windows Player is a windows application written in WPF/CSharp, and the Linux Player is written in C++ using GTK.
The Linux player is the area where we need the most help so join our community and get involved!
Learn more about how you can contribute to Xibo Open Source Digital Signage.
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