About 3 hours ago we updated the Mozilla Etherpad installation to a more current version. This has been in the works for almost a full year, and has finally come to fruition.
Here’s a short list of the cool features we’re getting with this upgrade:
- More ports work. You can still connect to the old http://etherpad.mozilla.org:9000/ link, but the :9000 isn’t necessary anymore. The standard port 80 works just as well.
- SSL Support! However you access the site, you’ll get redirected to https://etherpad.mozilla.org/. This is very cool, especially for the “SSL Everywhere” folks.
- “Team Site” functionality. This is huge, and easily the biggest new feature… people have been asking for something like this for quite a while. Now Mozilla is a pretty open organization, but the reality is there are still some things that can’t be publicly discussed right away. A good example is domain name registrations… people have a habit of swiping them out from under us if we discuss a new domain name before it’s registered.
- Team Site Pads can be public or private, and can even have their own password, just for that one pad. Let’s say you’ve got a team pad, and you need to let someone not on your team access it… but only that one pad, not any others. Simply make it a public pad, but set a password on it. Your team members can still access it, and now anyone you give the shared password to can also!
- Team Site Pads can be deleted! This is a common request due to accidental information leaks (passwords, etc). Sadly this doesn’t extend to purely public sites, but it’s still a nice step forward.
Within a couple hours of migrating to this (and on a Friday at 5pm), and despite a bug on the confirmation email preventing it from “just working”, we had 8 different team sites created for various groups… from apps to UX, jetpack to infra. I suspect we’ll see some cross-functional and community team sites eventually as well.
Sadly, there are some bugs still to be worked out, especially in the area of SSL certificates. I’ve created a wiki page, mostly dealing with features and bugs associated with the upgrade: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Etherpad. Feel free to add to it!
On a side note: there’s been talk recently about Etherpad Lite, and it’s definitely something we’re considering. We didn’t go with it this time because 1) most of this work was already done by the time we knew about that (this has been in the works a long time), and 2) Etherpad Lite lacks some of the functionality we’re getting here… specifically the Team Sites. It’s in their TODO list though, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re on Lite in the future.
Let us know how the new system works for you! We’d love to get some feedback on it.