Flightpath 0.420

I am ready to announce an alpha public release of Flightpath–the 0.420 version. Flightpath is a super-lightweight web content management system that uses PHP and XHTML. It allows the user to create short messages and bookmarks, allows them to be perma-linked, and also handles file uploads.

Flightpath can downloaded here (in ZIP archive format). To check for the latest version, visit the Flightpath version history page.

For information on installing Flightpath 0.420, check the page about version 0.420 on the codex.

Why I created Flightpath
As a blogger and amateur photographer and video producer, I like to share information on the open web. However, for the last few years the boomlet of “web 2.0” companies in areas like photo sharing, micro-blogging, social bookmarking and social networking (as well as hosted blogging apps) has had the effect of encouraging people to put their photos, notes and videos in the silo of a particular web service–or several. Much has been made of ideas about centralizing the ID info and data of users, but these efforts are in early stages of adoption. In addition those efforts sometimes overlook the data people upload rather than the meta-data that their online habits produce. For that data, it is often possible to link to resources posted outside the service itself, though most people use built in photo and video apps. Thus the utility of a lightweight content management solution that anyone with a shared hosting account should be able to run–and that does not even require a database. That was the idea for Flightpath.
So Flightpath is about users’ data and the freedom that comes with putting it on their own site, even if they may link to it from services like Facebook or Blogger.
The three tools that Flightpath 0.420 offers–bookmarks, SMS (short messaging service) and uploads–each have three different inspirations. The bookmarking service is inspired by del.icio.us, and the simple power of pointing to a particular spot on the web that it demonstrated. The SMS service is inspired by services like Twitter and identi.ca, which allow short updates. It is also a rough successor to the Perl-based blogging software that I wrote in 2002. [I have since moved to PHP for my programming.] The upload service is inspired by the desire to host one’s own content, as mentioned above, but also by the fact that when I started writing that piece, back in 2007, the WordPress blogging software did not have sophisticated file management capabilities and I wanted to be able to upload files easily without using FTP (WordPress has since improved their file handling).
The copyright to Flightpath belongs to me (Daniel J. McKeown). In order to ensure that users have the freedom to use and modify the code, I have licensed Flightpath under the GNU GPL, versions 3 or later.

What’s next
The next planned version is Flightpath 0.5.0, which does not yet have a set release date.

Alpha code
This software is very experimental–it has some known issues, and lots of bugs need fixing. It is not recommended for production servers. You can contribute bug reports or feature requests at the Flightpath forum.

UPDATE: Flightpath has a newer, updated version available.

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