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4.6 beta is out with UTF-8 support! 5.0 alpha: feature list.

Hi all,
DaDaBIK v. 4.6 beta is out!
The first big, long awaited news is that DaDaBIK now officially supports UTF-8, allowing the correct handling of content in almost any known language and writing system. While some hacks for adding UTF-8 support have been posted on the forum during the last years, this feature has never been officially introduced because of the drawbacks involved: PHP doesn't offer a complete support for multibyte encoding and using DaDaBIK with UTF-8 content could lead to unexpected and bad results such as content corruption.
The new version of DaDaBIK has been completely revised in order to work well with UTF-8 content; furthermore, in order to reduce dependencies with external libraries, which can make the UTF-8 support implementation even trickier, the use of ADOdb has been discontinued and the PDO extension is now used for all the DBMSs.

The move to PDO also means less software footprint, theoretically better performances (they were not tested in details though) and changes in minimum requirement: the new ones are PHP >= 5.1 with mbstring extension enabled and one of the following MySQL >= 5.0 or PostgreSQL >= 7.4 or SQLite >= 3. The database default charset must be UTF-8 if you need to handle UTF-8 content.

There are still some cases in which the correct handling of UTF-8 is not guaranteed, see for further details.

Version 4.6 beta comes with a long list of fixed bugs, a couple of them about security, you can find it as usual reading the change log ; a new known bug about field and table names has also been added to the documentation, again, all the details in the change log.

The second big news is about version 5.0 alpha, which will be probably available in a couple of months with an impressive number of new features, most of them already implemented, including:

  • A completely new permissions manager which allows to set, for each user or group, which operations (read, delete, update, create and details) are allowed on each form and field.

  • Customizable data grid: the sytle of the data grid will be completely customizable using an HTML template, for example it will be possible to get a google-style results view instead of the classical results data grid very easily just by working on the template.

  • Filter feature: a quick, customizable, search form a the top of the results data grid.

  • Static pages: the possibility to add static, custom, pages to the DaDaBIK application (e.g. an help page).

  • SQL-filled fields: a new field type whose value during insertion is specified by a custom SQL query.

  • Form desing customization: the possibility to choose if a form field has to be positioned close to the previous one in the same form row or in a new one (current behaviour).

  • Master/details view available not ony with the edit function but also with the details function.

  • A brand new graphic interface (maybe, this is not sure!)

Yes, a lot of work has been done, but I am satisfied because the messages of appreciation I am receiveing from the customers are beginning to repay all the efforts :)